Good news, Warcraft fans – WoW Classic‘s release date has been revealed as August 27, and an invite-only closed beta test will begin tomorrow, May 15. Current World of Warcraft subscribers can opt-in to an invite-only closed beta test. This is the first firm info we have been given on World of Warcraft Classic since we first reported on it back in March of this year.
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.
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.
To actually get access to the beta, which has already started and continue to add more players, you need to sign up via your Blizzard account management page. Under Games & Subscriptions, scroll down to Beta Access and visit the Beta Profile Settings page. Once there, you’ll see a grid of available betas you can opt into. Once you’ve checked WoW Classic, hit Update Preferences and you’re set.
The fact that Cookie's Tenderizer from the Deadmines had +3 instead of +2 strength. The fact that the Stormwind south bank had one instead of two mailboxes. The fact that Jaina's Proudmore's name was "Jaina Proudmore" instead of "Jaina Proudless." Stuff like this isn't what mattered. It was arbitrary. If Cookie had dropped a shield instead of a mace and Jaina had been named Susan, nobody would have cared. It wasn't specific details like these that caused us to enjoy the game.
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