A sticky for newcomers (welcome!) who want a summary of the most important information we have so far:
When is the WoW: Classic release/launch date?
Summer 2019. Confirmed at Blizzcon 2018.
How much will WoW: Classic cost?
It is included in your normal WoW monthly subscription cost. For those who do not own a World of Warcraft product, I imagine there will be an extra one-off price for the game itself.
What patch will WoW: Classic launch with?
Blizzard EntertainmentCheck our this screencap summary of all of the vanilla patches and what they introduced.
After careful consideration, we decided on Patch 1.12: Drums of War as our foundation, because it represents the most complete version of the classic experience.
Dev watercooler, 15th June 2018
They are officially calling it Patch 1.13.
Will WoW: Classic run on the modern game client?
Yes. It appears that they will be building classic within the modern client, this is confirmed by the blue below. Job descriptions on Blizz's careers section seem to indicate that original character models and textures will be used.
Starting from a modern architecture—with all its security and stability changes—means the team’s efforts can be focused on pursuing an authentic classic experience
Dev watercooler, 15th June 2018
Will there be server sharding on WoW: Classic?
Yes, at least for starter areas at launch.
...However, realm sharding is one of the best tools we have to keep realms stable when hundreds of players are swarming the same initial few zones and killing the same few mobs (like they will be at the launch of Classic). To that end, we do believe that some form of sharding may be helpful, especially in those early days.
Full post here
What mechanics and features will change in WoW: Classic?
Brokenshield, who attended Blizzcon 2018, reports that the debuff limit will remain at 16, not 8:
Loot trading will work as it does in the modern client:Brokenshield wrote:Ion said that in WoW: Classic, the debuff limit was capped at 8 debuffs when the original game launched. In 2005, the limit was increased to 16 debuffs. This was not necessarily a game design decision at the time, but a natural limitation of the tech being employed at the time (i.e. Server RAM limitations). In retail WoW, this limit is effectively uncapped (255), but increasing this cap in WoW: Classic could generate a whole host of unforeseen issues.
Brokenshield wrote:In modern WoW, you can trade an item you accidentally looted with other people in your party for up to two hours. In vanilla, if you accidentally looted an item, you would have to open a support ticket in order to get it transferred. Since the end result is the same, it frees up Blizz customer support for other issues, and gets accidentally looted items to players faster, the modern loot trading system will be used.
Which original mechanics and features will remain in WoW: Classic?
As people play the demo, it seems the majority of the old mechanics are still there. Some things are a bit wonky of course, as is to be expected of a pre-alpha stage development demo! Blizzard are committed to a no changes design philosophy as far as mechanics go:
Blizzard EntertainmentTo summarise findings from Classic panel at Blizzcon:
We want to create an experience that feels just like 2006 World of Warcraft. If someone was playing WoW in 2006, and they lay down and took a very, very, very long nap, and woke up in 2019 and we sat them in front of WoW: Classic, it shouldn't feel like an immediately different experience. You might wonder like why this monitor is so thin and all that, but other than that, it should feel like the game that you know.
- No Looking for Dungeon Group/Looking for Raid Group tool. In response to the demo findings:
This is just a remnant of some leftover UI. WoW Classic will not have Dungeon Finder/Raid Finder.
- No Cross-realm grouping (realm identity, representation, etc. needs to be maintained).
- No flying, ever.
- No achievements (Classic had its own goals, such as pursuing exalted reputations).
- No unified auction houses (if you want to trade with Alliance as Horde, you will need to use the goblin auction houses).
- Mail will still take 1 hour to arrive.
- UI will remain the same, albeit some small changes under the hood that won't affect the player.
Will old or new addons work on WoW: Classic?
Addon developers who have played the demo so far have concluded that the 'beta development client' is a mess. Neither old vanilla addons nor modern client addons will work at the moment. Blizzard have said that they are unsure about how they will implement addons and will ask the community for input.
Will there be Battle.net integration in WoW: Classic?
Additional improvements will include modern anti-cheat/botting detection, customer service and Battle.net integration, and similar conveniences that do not affect the core gameplay experience.
Dev watercooler, 15th June 2018
I am disinclined to believe that they will actually release WoW: Classic for the 15th year anniversary. It seemed like a great concept back in April or so, but since they haven't announced anything and are giving a demo for BlizzCon ticket holders, I feel like it is still a little ways away.
Although who knows, they could surprise us and drop a December release date or something. As long as they drop it around a time when I can play the shit out of it I will be happy :D.
Yeah, honestly it just depends upon how many resources they are actually devoting to WoW: Classic. I've done both computer programming and networking, and they're making it sound like it is a much bigger project than it actually is. Sure, modern architecture is much different now than it was 14 years ago, the tables for skills have changed a lot, B.net authentication and server mechanics, and all sorts of other things have changed under the hood, but it is not something that should take more than a year given Blizzard's resources. Not by a long shot.
That is, of course, assuming the higher ups didn't go "look, we will devote only X amount of resources for this project. That should allow you to hire roughly 10 people. We will not devote anymore resources that we could've been pouring into hearthstone, overwatch, etc." Which, honestly, is what I think happened.
According to what they say, they are very commited to it. In the last update they said that there is still a lot to work on but who were they pointing that to? It might mean that they wanted to make sure people dont think it is coming like this year as they named it ''DEMO''. I believe it is closer then we originally expected and might come up in the second Q ass I said. I quess they will want to adjust the release accordingly to BFA progression as well.
Just a side note, from what i have heard, Classic is running on a CUSTOM beta build from Legion... addons devs are saying it's a complete mess.
Old addons will not work, Legion/BFA addons will not work, everything will have to be learned/made from scratch, wich honestly can be a positive thing, when the original Vanilla launched no one had addons too.
About sharding... i hope they don't do it, it's a huge change and will kill the immersion.
Also, since both BFA and Classic share the same subscription, this means you can buy an WoW Token with gold on BFA and play Classic for free.
So I attended BlizzCon. Here's a few highlights from their panel on Classic Wow that might be of use to add:
• Changes will be made to the game, but only if they still deliver an authentic experience.
Blizzard Entertainment• Changes will not be made that affect the integrity of social dynamics (things like LFR, LFD, etc.)
"We want to create an experience that feels just like 2006 World of Warcraft. If someone was playing WoW in 2006, and they lay down and took a very, very, very long nap, and woke up in 2019 and we sat them in front of WoW: Classic, it shouldn't feel like an immediately different experience. You might wonder like why this monitor is so thin and all that, but other than that, it should feel like the game that you know." -Ion Hazzikostas, BlizzCon 2018
• 1.12 data will not be changed (hit points of mobs, etc.)
• The architecture appears to use the old art and model assets from patch 1.12, but runs over the code from Legion (patch 7.3.5). This was to hopefully cut down on the prodigious amount of changes that they would need to make to 1.12 code in order to bring it up to speed (Bnet authentication, patches for bugs or exploits, and so forth). It worked, however they needed to still make a lot of changes (fixing terrain mismatches between pre and post cataclysm zones, etc.).
Things that will not be changed:
• No Dungeon Finder, Group Finder, Raid Finder, etc. (because doing so affects social dynamics).
• No Cross-realm grouping (realm identity, representation, etc. needs to be maintained).
• No flying, ever.
• No achievements (Classic had its own goals, such as pursuing exalted reputations).
• No unified auction houses (if you want to trade with Alliance as Horde, you will need to use the goblin auction houses).
• Debuff limit will be maintained at 16 (as it was in 2005).
Ion said that in WoW: Classic, the debuff limit was capped at 8 debuffs when the original game launched. In 2005, the limit was increased to 16 debuffs. This was not necessarily a game design decision at the time, but a natural limitation of the tech being employed at the time (i.e. Server RAM limitations). In retail WoW, this limit is effectively uncapped (255), but increasing this cap in WoW: Classic could generate a whole host of unforeseen issues.
Blizzard Entertainment• Mail will still take 1 hour to arrive.
"We are restoring the 16 debuff limit. 'Now why are we doing that?' you might ask, if it's frankly, objectively, worse design. That actually implicates the third point in my original philosophy slide, which is, we don't want to mess with the 1.12 data, we don't want to mess with balance. If we change the code in this regard, who's to say what effects that would have on balance in raids, in PvP, and elsewhere. Maybe, suddenly, dot classes like Warlocks and others, are far more effective then they had been, and we have actually a different outcome, a different metagame, than the original classic experience produced, and that would actually be deviating from authenticity." -Ion Hazzikostas, BlizzCon 2018
In classic, it was often faster to give materials to another player in person, and that helped facilitate a particular social dynamic that otherwise would be different if mail was instant as it is today. To avoid changing any of these dynamics, mail will once again take 1 hour to arrive in WoW: Classic.
• Energy regeneration will be reverted back to as it was in vanilla.
In modern WoW, today, the client will restore 1 point of energy for every tenth of a second (modified by haste). Back in the day, due to architecture limitations, regeneration came back in "chunks". While this is a subtle difference, and probably something that would be changed had the tech allowed for it in vanilla, the original energy regeneration limitation will be maintained in Classic. This is because it affects the ebb and flow of a rotation, which may affect gameplay (especially for rogues).
Things that will be changed from Classic:
• Some slight UI changes will be more modern.
According to Ion, some things (such as how fast mail items are removed from your mailbox and added to your bag) will be consistent with modern WoW. The look at the feel of the UI will be the same as it was in 2005, however, some minor changes under the hood will be made. Since these do not affect social dynamics, how the game plays, etc., they feel these are okay changes.
• Loot trading.
In modern WoW, you can trade an item you accidentally looted with other people in your party for up to two hours. In vanilla, if you accidentally looted an item, you would have to open a support ticket in order to get it transferred. Since the end result is the same, it frees up Blizz customer support for other issues, and gets accidentally looted items to players faster, the modern loot trading system will be used.
Things they don't know if they are going to change:
Some addons may be restricted if they affect the authentic experience of WoW: Classic, particularly the social dynamics of the game and how people interact with each other. However, that being said, there are some addons that may be of use by the community. With this regard, they are not sure how to properly address addons and are requesting input from the community.
• Game will initially be launched next summer, 2019.
• Game will start in 1.12, however, end-game content will be released in stages (since WoW: Classic was about a journey).
Stage 1: Molten core, Onyxia, Dire Maul, Kazzak, Azuregos (WoW, circa March 2005).
Stage 2: Blackwing Lair, Battlegrounds and PvP rewards, Zul'Gurub (WoW, circa July 2005).
Stage 3: Ahn'Qiraj, Tier 0.5, Silithus content, Green Dragons (WoW, circa January 2006).
Stage 4: Naxxramas Raid, Scourge Invasion (WoW, circa June 2006).
Note that the exact timing of this has not been determined. They are also looking for feedback from the community on the release timetable.
The demo that was present at BlizzCon and available to virtual ticket holders was not representative of the final product. This is because there are still a few mismatches between the 7.3.5 server and the 1.12 prototype client (for example, /lfr produces the looking for raid window still, which will be removed).