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Dev Watercooler: Inside the WoW Classic BlizzCon Demo

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Blizzard shared some details about what to expect from the WoW Classic Demo that will be available to BlizzCon attendees and Virtual Ticket holders in November.

  • WoW Classic Demo will be available to BlizzCon attendees as well as Virtual Ticket holders. You can get your Virtual Ticket here.
  • All players will start at level 15 and two zones will be available for testing: Barrens for the Horde and Westfall for the Alliance.
  • The legendary Barrens chat is back and players will be able to search for Mankrik's wife.
  • The Deadmines & Wailing Caverns will not be open for testing.
  • The only PvP available will be dueling.
  • Given the time constraints of a BlizzCon demo, they want you to explore and experiment with core systems which is why characters won't start at level 1.
  • Character level is capped at 19.
  • You'll be able to download the demo through the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app.
  • Support of 32-bit clients has been removed.

Don't worry if you can't play WoW Classic Demo on November 2-3, servers will remain up even after BlizzCon.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Hello World of Warcraft community! With BlizzCon 2018 getting closer every day, we wanted to give you an update on what you’ll be experiencing at BlizzCon around WoW Classic. We’ve been hard at work on bringing the original Azeroth back to life, and we’re excited that you’ll be able to get your hands on the demo we’re creating for the show—both at BlizzCon and at home with the Virtual Ticket.

WHAT TO EXPECT

From the beginning of this project, the team’s mission has been to be as faithful as possible to World of Warcraft as it existed back in 2005 and 2006, before Cataclysm altered the world as we knew it—and we wanted to make sure the demo we built for the show was a clear reflection of that. The focus of the demo is on outdoor questing, and we’ve selected two iconic zones that most original WoW players will no doubt be familiar with—Barrens for the Horde and Westfall for the Alliance—so you can step back in time and experience these zones as they were originally designed. You’ll be able to search for Mankrik’s wife, curse at Ornery Plainstriders for not having beaks, and make a group to kill Defias Pillagers in Moonbrook. You might even get to improvise a new rotation against the Harvest Golems in Farmer Saldean’s farm, since in this era, mechanical creatures may be immune to some of your abilities. We brought all of that back, and we’re as excited about it as you are.

Because it’s a demo, there’ll will be some limitations on the content: the Deadmines and Wailing Caverns dungeons won’t be available, the only PvP will be dueling, and you won’t be able to visit zones other than Westfall and the Barrens.  We also typically limit the time our BlizzCon attendees can play a demo, and that will be the case for BlizzCon WoW Classic Demo players at home. In order to maximize the number of people who can try out the demo, initially you’ll be logged off after playing for a certain amount of time to give somebody else a turn. We haven’t determined exactly how long this time limit will be yet, but we’re also planning some flexibility, so if we’re able to relax the restriction and still give everyone who wants to play a great experience, then we’ll do that. If you do find your session has ended before you’ve done everything you wanted to, don’t worry—your character will be there when you get back in for your next session, and all your progress will be saved.

You’ll start the demo at level 15. While we know that starting at level 1 holds a lot of nostalgia, you’re also limited in what you can do when you’re first starting out. Given the time constraints of a BlizzCon demo, we wanted to give players some freedom to explore and experiment with core systems like talents or professions, which are unavailable at level 1. We also wanted you to be able to get a good sense of the original class played. At Level 15, warriors have Defensive Stance, priests have Psychic Scream, hunters have their pet, and so on—so at this level you really start to feel like your class has some of the key tools that make the class distinct. Additionally, all characters will be capped at Level 19. But you can create multiple characters, so you can try out as many different classes and races as you’d like!

WHAT’S “NEW”

As we mentioned in our original Dev Watercooler blog we posted in June, we’re building WoW Classic on the foundation of our modern code base. That means you’ll be able to download the demo through the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app and use Battle.net chat integration in-game to ask your friend to come check out the Barrens with you. You’ll also find there’s improved support for widescreen monitors—so instead of the world looking stretched and distorted in widescreen, it’ll look like it did on your old 4:3 monitor. Only bigger!

All of the current game’s tools that help ensure World of Warcraft is a welcoming and fair environment, such as right-click player reporting, will also be in the BlizzCon WoW Classic Demo. Cheats, bots, and other exploitive behavior will also not be allowed, and the modern engine no longer permits some behaviors that could be used to get out of bounds. Support for 32-bit clients has also been removed. One of our core values is “Play nice; play fair,” and we want to do everything we can to ensure a few bad apples don’t ruin the experience for others.

You’ll also find that post-launch accessibility options such as colorblind mode are in the demo—though as we were working on it, we realized some words and images used in the current Accessibility panel come from the modern game. So we replaced the modern icons with some classic icons, and removed the term “Heirloom” since it doesn’t appear anywhere else in WoW Classic. It’s important to us that in situations like this we blend the old and the new in such a way that it still looks and feels like the game you remember.

SEE YOU IN NOVEMBER!

We’re really excited about the BlizzCon WoW Classic Demo, and hope you are too! But we definitely don’t want to send the message that we’re done, because we’re not. There’s still lots of work left do, and the BlizzCon demo is an important step in the process of bringing the original WoW back to life as authentically as we can. This is a great chance for you to see the direction we’re heading and give us some early feedback, so be sure to leave your thoughts in the Classic section of the WoW forums.

Thanks for playing, and we’ll see you in Azeroth!

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Uncommon Patron

I might check this out. Not sure if my favorite gameplay mechanic from Vanilla will be able to be tested; lower rank healing spells.  Not very likely Greater Heal rank 2 will be unlocked between lvl 15 and lvl 19.

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1 hour ago, Lampanelli said:

Ah yes, the legendary Barrens chat. Already looking forward to hearing about the 24/7 racism, yelling, and Chuck Norris "facts" that made for that chat.

Dirge

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Just reminded me of some of the logical touches that i liked about vanilla wow. Monsters made of fire were immune to fire spells, frost mobs immune to frost spells, ect. And skeletons were immune to bleeds and machines immune to poisons. Sounds like pretty DUH logic but of course they had to change it be cause forget common sense, lets have fire mages deal damage to all the molten core monsters that are literally made of fire and lava.

Edited by Nathex

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12 hours ago, Lampanelli said:

Ah yes, the legendary Barrens chat. Already looking forward to hearing about the 24/7 racism, yelling, and Chuck Norris "facts" that made for that chat.

chuck norris has a grizzly bear rug in his living room. the bear isn't dead, it's just too afraid to move 😄

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I like how people will be testing a game that was released 14 years ago. I think if we are gonna go "vanilla" for classic then keep the same issues we ran into back in 2004 - 2005.

  • Haha 1

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51 minutes ago, Nazamber said:

I like how people will be testing a game that was released 14 years ago. I think if we are gonna go "vanilla" for classic then keep the same issues we ran into back in 2004 - 2005.

I demand the infamous loot bug!

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18 hours ago, Lampanelli said:

Ah yes, the legendary Barrens chat. Already looking forward to hearing about the 24/7 racism, yelling, and Chuck Norris "facts" that made for that chat.

Just like ye old times.

"When Chuck Norris gets in water, Chuck Norris doesn't get wet; water gets Chuck Norris."

  • Haha 1

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I don't mind if they add some quality of life improvements like dual specs into the game. Was always annoying when you had to change specs you needed to spend 50 gold to do so which was a large chunk of change back then.

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17 hours ago, Nathex said:

I don't mind if they add some quality of life improvements like dual specs into the game. Was always annoying when you had to change specs you needed to spend 50 gold to do so which was a large chunk of change back then.

It wouldn't be a bad economic idea but I think having dual specialization for Classic would be taking away a large aspect of Classic.  They didn't add it until Wrath (3.1) because of the way class grouping with Death Knights and more races-class combos were working. In all fairness to Blizzard, unless you were switching talents for PvE for PvP, then you were pretty much stuck in most endgame talent builds which were dependent on your 8-piece tier bonus. i.e. Warriors were 99.9% specced Prot/Arms for Deep Wounds as they were the only real Tank class at the time. My old guild ran with 3 Prot Warriors, and one Arms Warrior that would pop defensive Stance for fights that required multiple tanks, such as Garr in MC, Korialstrasz in BWL...but yeah most classes for end game pretty much became stagnant in spec...it just felt like you had more options.

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Rare Patron
On 10/23/2018 at 12:44 PM, Tri said:

chuck norris has a grizzly bear rug in his living room. the bear isn't dead, it's just too afraid to move 😄

Chuck Norris was already on Mars. That is the reason why there is no life there. :P

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