Analogy: think back on riding the swings in kindergarten. Was it fun? Now, imagine going back to those swings exactly as they were, and sitting in them now, as an adult. They're too small. They don't fit. Your feet drag on the ground because they're so low to the ground. The bar over your head is low enough that you can reach out and touch it, and even at the highest the swing will go, it's only about chest high when you're standing up. It's exactly the same swing, but riding on it now is a very different experience, yes?
The argument for this is simple: what makes classic WoW great to one player might be different from what makes it great for another. And who are Blizzard's designers to say which old features were just good or bad design for each player? It's an approach that shows Blizzard believes (at least to some degree) that WoW doesn't just belong to its creators but to its fans. That struggle between authorial intent or game design orthodoxy and "the player is always right" is at the heart of many of gaming's big contemporary controversies. But so far, Blizzard seems committed to its plan with regard to WoW Classic.
I am currently working full time on my Vanilla WoW leveling guides. Soon there will be a 1-60 speed leveling guide for Alliance, along with in-game guide versions available for my members area. As of right now, there is no members area, but if you would like to show support for my efforts into this project, you can simply donate to me via Patreon if you like (you will get some cool rewards in return). Or you can donate directly with PayPal if you like. All donations are highly appreciated and they will only motivate me more to continue making the best vanilla WoW leveling guides on the web.
Occasionally it's also been proposed to re-randomize all the gear. We didn't have best in slot lists back then. People weren't starting out as a fresh level 1 character with a complete list of which dungeons to run at 60 in order to gear as quickly and efficiently as possible. Now, all that data is available. If gear were re-randomized then all of those lists would become useless and thing would be close to how they were. Which is a more important part of the "vanilla experience?" the fact that item X from boss Y has exactly Z stats on it, or the voyage of discovery? Personally I think that voyage is way more important. Do you remember how many points of which stat on the ring or whatever that Darkmaster Gandling drops? I don't. Would it kill your experience if the BiS for every class were in a different dungeon so people had to actually play to figure it out rather than simply consult a spreadsheet? I don't think it would. For that matter, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to handle it intelligently so that the better gear is in later dungeons. I remember there because some weird cases where level 40ish gear was better than anything that dropped in level 60 dungeons.
I consider myself a purist in that I would prefer classic to be released as close as possible to the original. Where that is on the spectrum of patch content will be up to blizz. I'm also not vane enough to believe that any single state of the game is the "Ideal" location we should be aiming for. There is common ground that we can agree on, and I would welcome more than a few changes as long as they are made in the spirit of keeping classic on the vanilla rails.
Step-by-step class guides are on the way! The 1-12 Mulgore Guide is the first guide to get all the individual class steps. At the top of the guide, simply select which class you are playing and the page will dynamically update all the steps in the guide for that class (both text and images). The rest of the guides will be slowly updated overtime to include all the class steps, but you can see how it's going to work with the 1-12 Mulgore. I want to thank crazyK and his Placeholderguild for helping me out with the individual class content. They are allowing me to get the 1-60 Alliance guide done while also getting all the class steps done at the same time, so everything can be ready for Classic launch (hopefully).
That's not to say that everyone has an unrealistic vision of what vanilla WoW was like. There were already plenty of people on the WoW Classic forums pointing out that perceived bugs are just recreations of the original game. And as noted before, a flaw to one player is a key component of the original positive experience to another. WoW Classic will surely please plenty of purists in spades. But this goes to show that it won't be for everyone who has fond memories of the game circa 2006.
Along with revealing the WoW Classic release date, Blizzard also listed plans for both a beta and stress test of the game. Players who opt-in for the testing on their account manager page and have an active subscription will be randomly selected for the beta starting May 15. Then the developer will have three stress tests where players can log in to play the game for a short period of time on the following dates:
“To fill our pool of beta and stress test participants, we’ll be choosing dedicated players who meet select criteria from both the WoW Classic beta opt-in and the standard Warcraft beta opt-in. Participants will also need to have an active subscription or active game time on their Battle.net Account. While opting-in to the beta is the primary way to make sure you’re in the running to join the test it doesn’t guarantee an invitation to the closed beta test. We may also consider additional factors such as how long a player has been subscribed to the game so that we have the right mix of players to ensure great feedback toward making WoW Classic the very best experience for the community.”
So committed, in fact, that modern WoW players are trying the beta and reporting what seem like bugs today but what were actually intended functionality 13 years ago. This became such a common occurrence that Blizzard publicly posted a list of known non-issues called the "WoW Classic 'Not a Bug' List." For example, hitboxes for the Tauren player race are much larger than those of other races. In a modern game, this would be seen as a serious balance issue (see: Apex Legends). But it's what vanilla WoW was like, so it has been faithfully reproduced.