World of Warcraft
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Blizzard has announced World of Warcraft: Classic will be launching this summer, with testing due to kick off tomorrow. WoW Classic goes live around the world on August 27th, inviting players into WoW version 1.12. It’s the Drums of War patch from August 2006 and will be the same 13-year-old game, warts and all.

Basically resetting the clock, WoW Classic takes players back to where it all began. We’re talking Molten Core 40-man raids and adventuring through the Barrens. No flying mounts, no Cataclysm, just vanilla WoW. Mmm, vanilla.

Blizzard then plans to roll out phases of updates, matching the content updates for the original World of Warcraft. It sounds as if it’s going to be on an accelerated schedule compared to the original, so less waiting around. The early months will see the likes of Blackwing Lair and Zul’Gurub return, all the wait through to some period-accurate patch reworks and, eventually, Naxxramas. The plans get a little sketchy from there on out, although we’re hopeful they intend to begin rolling out the expansion bit by bit, beginning with The Burning Crusade.

"Like many of our players, everyone at Blizzard was fueled by the excitement of seeing the world of Azeroth from the ground level, through the eyes of the heroes inhabiting and fighting over it,” said Blizzard president J. Allen Brack. “Azeroth has always been a wondrous and deadly place, and it was especially so at the time of WoW's launch, when everyone was discovering its vistas and exploring its dungeons for the first time - all while helping and supporting the company as everyone here worked through the many technical struggles of hosting a game of this size.”

Playing WoW: Classic will require an active World of Warcraft subscription, as will the opt-in closed beta stress tests. You can opt-in through your account management. Spaces will be limited for the tests but will be available across the following dates:

  • Closed Beta: Wed May 15 - ?
  • Stress Test 1: Wed May 22–Thurs May 23
  • Stress Test 2: Wed Jun 19– Thurs Jun 20
  • Stress Test 3: Thurs Jul 18– Fri July 19

WoW Classic will be included at no extra cost for active subscribers, so a single subscription will cover both WoW and WoW Classic.

Is anyone else going to bathe in some nostalgia in August? Or has WoW simply become a better game with age? Let us know what you think of WoW Classic below!