Last night I started the evening as I have done several recently… spending a chunk of time playing Rage 2. However at some point I needed to get up and around and when I finally got sat back down at the laptop on the sofa… I decided to check to see if I happened to make it into World of Warcraft Classic Beta. I can’t even pinpoint where I heard the news, but at some point yesterday I heard that Beta invites would be going out. I did not notice that I had gotten an email but I opted to just check the launcher, and sure enough… nestled beside PTR in the list was “Beta: WoW Classic”. I installed the game and popped in to see what all had changed since the BlizzCon demo.
Side note… at some point during the evening I did in fact receive an email titled “Belghast – You’re Invited to the World of Warcraft Classic Beta Test” and I clipped part of the email above… which is obviously formatted for mobile devices. Like I said however my account had received the entitlement long before I got an email, so I feel like your best option if you are curious is to see if it shows up in the drop down of selectable World of Warcraft accounts. There are rumors that you have to have an active subscription to get access to it… which checks as even though I am not playing the game I never went through the process of cancelling my subscription. I also purchased BlizzCon access last year… so it might also be tied to that for all I know. Whatever the case I have access and I spent some time playing last night.
Ultimately I created what was literally my very first World of Warcraft character. I made a Tauren Warrior back in one of the beta phases in 2004, and since my good friend Grace is excited about Classic and has way stronger Horde loyalty than I do Alliance loyalty I opted to give it a shot last night. First take away… Mulgore is way more peaceful than I remember and it was super chill running around as a big damned cow warrior bopping things with a big hammer. Eventually I managed to get a axe and shield set up going, and since I leveled the original Belghast as prot I am expecting to level in Classic as prot for old times sake.
There was a weird sense of coming home to roaming around in the world. One of the things I love about limited access alphas and betas in World of Warcraft… is that the community is generally speaking non-toxic. I spent a good chunk of the night chatting away with random people in general about what we remembered about the early days of Warcraft. It is weird but I have sorta missed feeling like I had a community that is worth communicating with. Sure there are excellent people in a good number of the games… but in the post Dungeon Finder reality no one talks to anyone else. This means that general channels are left to the devices of the people who just want to make trouble for others, and a secret to my sanity for years has been disabling them entirely. I’ve missed an era when it was okay to hang out and chat in a public space, and if nothing else that was refreshing about the Classic Beta.
The other big takeaway from the night is that they seem to have toned down the game a bit from the Classic Demo from BlizzCon. The only death I took during the night is when I charged in to attack a mob that I did not properly “con” first… and wound up fighting a level 9 swoop and level 6. This probably would have been fine had another level 9 wolf not jumped in to help out the birb. My goal for the night was to get to the point where I had tradeskills trained, and I now do in fact have both Mining and Smithing after a quick jaunt to Thunderbluff. My best drop so far is the 4 slot black bag… and I remember back in the day I used to farm the newbie zone until I had gathered four of these before moving onwards. Hell when Classic launches I might actually do this so that I don’t feel like I am behind the curve the entire time. As far as tradeskills… I figured Blacksmithing was going to give me the best bang for the buck as a Warrior in that it will let me craft all of my gear for the most part.
The joys of looking like you dressed yourself for the very first time. I guess however that is part of the charm of starting over and returning to vanilla. Getting excited over a grey item dropping for a slot I currently had nothing equipped in is an experience that I have not had for a very long time. I remember banking shoulder items back in the day just so when my friends got to that point I could hand them one and fill a slot that greys start dropping well before anything reasonable does. I look forward to running Ragefire Chasm and Deadmines legitimately. I do not however look forward to trying to make the run to Deadmines as a Horde player. I keep reminding myself that this is patch 1.12 and not patch 1.0… and in theory Meeting stones exist? I am not sure at what point they put in the teleports that allow Horde to get to Deadmines easily however. Ultimately it feels sufficiently vanilla to trigger my nostalgia and doesn’t feel quite as purposefully punishing as the BlizzCon demo did. I am happy for the moment if for no reason other than I was not expecting to do this last night at all… nor was I expecting to spend the night chatting with strangers. Good start so far!