WoW Classic Beta: Will Blizzard Preserve the Authentic Vanilla Gameplay?
The word about WoW Classic first got spread during the 2017 Blizzcon when the game was officially announced. Logically, World of Warcraft fans across the globe has been buzzing with excitement ever since. And now that we’re familiar with the demo version, can we expect that the WoW Classic Beta will deliver an authentic vanilla experience?
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Yes, I believe that Blizzard will keep the original vanilla feel intact. With that being said, the demo that we saw during Blizzcon 2018 could’ve probably been better. Players started from level 15 (instead of level 1) and the starting zone for each faction was a more high-level one to accommodate the fact that you’re starting from lvl. 15. Unfortunately, all of this doesn’t truly represent the original feel of the game that we all love. But hey, the demo is just a small piece of the game so that’s not the end of the world and the beta will give us a clearer picture of what to really expect.
Suffice to say, some WoW streamers and game critics weren’t all that happy with Blizzard’s decision to let players explore only one zone per faction. But since this is not a brand new game, I believe that they went for this approach because most people are already familiar with vanilla. Some have played the original game during its almost 3-year lifespan (late 2004-early 2007), while others have tried it on private servers.
Is there an official release for WoW Classic Beta?
Unfortunately, no. There isn’t anything concrete or official as of yet in terms of when the beta will see the light of day. But since WoW Classic will be released sometime in 2019, I believe that we might very well see the open beta go live in Q1 2019. What It really goes down to is how quickly Blizz is moving forward with the project in the coming months.
Nonetheless, until we get a chance to hop onto the beta, at least the Classic demo that was revealed during Blizzcon 2018 shed some light as to what’s in store for all us vanilla fans. Even though not everyone was able to play the demo, it still gave us a good idea as to what the end product called WoW Classic will be like.
What was the classic demo like in terms of authentic gameplay?
The Classic demo offered players to get a glimpse of the original and supposedly authentic vanilla gameplay during Blizzcon, although there was only one zone per faction available – Westfall for the Alliance and The Barrens for the Horde. Everyone started at level 15 in one of the aforementioned zones (depending on the faction), while the level cap was set to 19. Now, keep in mind that the demo was only available to Virtual Ticket holders and those who actually attended Blizzcon 2018 since the demo was also playable on the show floor during the event.
Basically, the demo enabled people to venture into some of the most iconic lowbie zones from the original game. And while you could essentially explore both The Barrens and Westfall in their entirety in the demo, the two thematic dungeons of these zones were locked. That’s right, you actually couldn’t go into the Wailing Caverns in the Barrens or the Deadmines in Westfall.
Regardless, players could still engage in things like duels and old school questing to get a glimpse of what vanilla is all about. You also had 5 initial talent points to spend on various talents, due to the fact that you start at level 15 and talents were unlocked at level 10 in the old days.
Of course, the questing aspect of vanilla was pretty much intact. Mobs were still quite challenging to kill and aggroing more than one would most likely result in you dying, depending on your class that is. For instance, leveling up a Warrior in vanilla has always been a total pain (speaking from personal experience) and by the looks of it, the Classic demo represented that true to vanilla, hardcore questing.
For more WoW, check this out: WoW Classic Talent Calculator: How Do Vanilla Talents Work?
Okay, but why were LFD, LFR, and Sharding all part of the demo?
Simply, because the Classic demo was running on the 7.3.5 client as a baseline. The reason for that is mostly because Blizz is still working on polishing and integrating the authentic 1.12.1 client. Essentially, by using the 7.3.5 as a baseline and then using the actual Classic client, they would be able to spot any issues and fix them, from a developer standpoint at least.
So if you’re freaking out about vanilla having weird modern WoW things like LFR, relax. Clearly, Blizzard is aware of what players want – authenticity and they’ve admitted that their goal is to provide an authentic classic feel. But were things like sharding part of the original game? Nope, they really weren’t.
Now, the concept of sharding is supposedly meant to safeguard low-level players as they progress throughout the game. Everyone who’s played vanilla knows the awful feeling of getting ganked over and over again by lvl 60s in areas like the PvP-galore Stranglethorn Vale. But adding sharding to the final version of Classic WoW will be a huge disappointment for most die-hard vanilla fans.
The only exception would be adding sharding on launch day if Blizzard is expecting large masses of players playing at the same time. However, they’ll most likely have more than enough servers to compensate for the large player base that’d be expected. After all, it’s not like this would be the launch of a single private server based somewhere in Russia. We’re talking about the official Classic servers here, thus sharding has no place in them!
There’s no denying that the WoW Classic Beta will answer a plethora of the questions that arose after the official demo. We’ll most likely see whether or not things like sharding or LFD were removed and what leveling up from scratch feels like.
When do you think that the beta will be released though? And also, what are your thoughts on Classic based off what we saw from the demo? Feel free to let us know by leaving your answer below!