Long black hair, goatee, green eyes and pale skin. It was over 14 years ago that I created my paladin in World of Warcraft. In all those years I haven’t changed anything about his appearance. Okay, except for one time when I wanted to earn the “Shave and a Haircut” Achievement. After that, however, I did not know how quickly I had to change his haircut back to the original!

Blizzard has less trouble changing things. In fact: if the developer changes a little, it goes much further than just a simple visit to the barber! The current World of Warcraft can therefore no longer be compared to the game I was introduced to 14 years ago. Just like the character models, the rest of the game is now more refined and slicker. Nevertheless, I often long for the WoW of the past. I could personally experience my nostalgic sentiment in the beta and stress test, where I was allowed to work with World of Warcraft Classic.

Classic WoW is a special version of the MMORPG, which allows players to relive the original version of the game which was announced during BlizzCon of 2017. You can play the Classic version with your normal subscription. In other words: you do not need a separate subscription to be able to check this Vanilla version.

Endless tinkering with dividing the points in my talent tree and the almost death experience after picking more than two mobs. What year is it? We have to ask this question to the man who has been working at Blizzard for 16 years, helped develop World of Warcraft 15 years ago and is now looking into the Classic version of the game. 

This man, Omar Gonzalez (now Senior Software Engineer) revealed during an interview that the devs always seemed eager to make a Classic version. And there was always demand from the player base as well. 

When Blizzard decided to make World of Warcraft Classic a reality, it turned out that it wasn’t that simple. Gonzalez said that Classic is not a simple port on which they could just throw the old version of the game online. Instead, the old art assets run on the modern code structure. In other words: old information must work in the modern way that Blizzard now runs its games. Gonzalez describes this process as wanting to merge two halves of different games, which of course do not connect well. He was sometimes surprised by how much the core gameplay systems different. Gonzalez has succeeded in combining those two halves! Gonzalez follows by saying that the world in the former WoW was much more challenging. It was much harder to survive on your own. Thus, the world encouraged players to form groups and help each other. When a raid was planned, you arrived on time, even if you were tired. You just wanted to help your friends, because abandoning them was not an option!

It’s nice for new players that everyone starts at zero. You do not always follow the facts on this leveled playing field and you also have the opportunity to earn achievements that were previously only reserved for older players. Achievements and titles that people earn in Classic are not visible in the modern World of Warcraft.

Classic will be based on version 1.12: Drums of War from circa 2006. After the launch of World of Warcraft, each class gradually underwent a major rework. Patch 1.12 is the sum of all these improvements. In other words: it’s World of Warcraft Vanilla in its best condition!

After the launch of World of Warcraft Classic, the content is added in phases. Below is a global overview of the first Content.

Phase 1: Molten Core, Onyxia and Maraudon

Phase 2: Dire Maul, Azuregos and Kazzak

Phase 3: Blackwing Lair, Darkmoon Faire and Darkmoon deck drops

Phase 4: Zul’Gurub and Green Dragons

Phase 5: Ahn’Qiraj War Effort, Ahn’Qiraj raid, dungeon loot reconfiguration

Phase 6: Naxxramas and Scourge Invasion

I’m looking forward to phase 5, in which the Ahn’Qiraj War Effort erupts. The opening of the gates, after all resources have been collected, is one of the greatest moments in the history of World of Warcraft. When thousands of players came together, however, Blizzard struggled with offering reliable services and uptime, but that will change now.

World of Warcraft Classic is launching on August 27th on PC for anyone with a active WoW subscription.