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If you’re eager to claim your character name in WoW Classic, take note: we’ll be opening character creation on Tuesday, August 13.** Players with an active subscription or game time on their account will be able to create up to three characters per World of Warcraft account. We’ll have more information on realm names closer to launch, but rest assured—you’ll have plenty of time to figure out your plans for realm domination!
To actually get access to the beta, which has already started and continue to add more players, you need to sign up via your Blizzard account management page. Under Games & Subscriptions, scroll down to Beta Access and visit the Beta Profile Settings page. Once there, you’ll see a grid of available betas you can opt into. Once you’ve checked WoW Classic, hit Update Preferences and you’re set.
The Horde 12-20 (Barrens + Stonetalon Mountains) guide has been rewritten and revamped.  In addition, there has been numerous tweaks to the speedrun route to make things faster and easier to follow.  Also, in case you haven't noticed I am now adding about 40% more info per step and redoing all the images.  Unlike with my previous vanilla guides, I am now giving a brief explanation of where to go and what to do with each step along with any other helpful tips.
Some quests in my guide are marked as "SKIP" and colored in red.  These quests are simply either too hard to solo or not worth the XP/time and are skipped.  My guide will only list SKIPPED quests if the quest is a direct follow up after completing a quest, not one that you have to click the NPC again to get it.  If you hover over the skipped quests, it will give info on why it is skipped in the guide (unless that info is already listed directly in the guide text).
I made some route changes to the Horde levels 43-44 sections.  I have swapped 44 Dustwallow Marsh with 44 Desolace (the entire sections). This allowed me to do Deadmire (at lvl 43 instead of 38) and then go stop at TB to turn in Deadmire + The Black Shield at the same time, then fly quickly to do the Desolace stuff.  Doing 44 Desolace is now mandatory because I think its faster with the new routes. This will also make the level 53 grind much shorter.  I think these were great changes.

It was the first time in a decade that I wasn't gunning for the end game, pillaging the beta test to determine the fastest way to level and get to the "good stuff," and tweaking my add-ons to skip as much content as I could to get there. I even read a quest or two, though I admit to using the option (still available, even in vanilla) to turn off the line-by-line scrolling of quest text.
Blizzard has given us a pile of new information on World of Warcraft Classic, including the fact that it’ll finally release this August. But you won’t have to wait quite that long to start playing for yourself – the WoW Classic beta goes live tomorrow, May 15. This is a closed beta, and Blizzard says it’s pretty limited in scope, but there will be more chances to play heading into the WoW Classic release date.
I made some route changes to the Horde levels 43-44 sections.  I have swapped 44 Dustwallow Marsh with 44 Desolace (the entire sections). This allowed me to do Deadmire (at lvl 43 instead of 38) and then go stop at TB to turn in Deadmire + The Black Shield at the same time, then fly quickly to do the Desolace stuff.  Doing 44 Desolace is now mandatory because I think its faster with the new routes. This will also make the level 53 grind much shorter.  I think these were great changes.
Well, I think, a “wall of of text” is not defined by the amount of characters. To create a wall of text you need two things: lots of characters, and lots of missing line breaks / paragraphs. I’m completely aware of that, and I’m always trying to section and format my texts in a manner that makes it usable for readers ;) I think the limit of 990 chars is not contributing to avoid walls of text. (It’s easy to build a a wall of text with only 500 chars, but I think you got what I mean…)
Well, I think, a “wall of of text” is not defined by the amount of characters. To create a wall of text you need two things: lots of characters, and lots of missing line breaks / paragraphs. I’m completely aware of that, and I’m always trying to section and format my texts in a manner that makes it usable for readers ;) I think the limit of 990 chars is not contributing to avoid walls of text. (It’s easy to build a a wall of text with only 500 chars, but I think you got what I mean…)

Only really to expand on Gráinne's comment as regards the 'collecting' and 'roster development' sections - which are, as said 'distinct' although they are intrinsically linked - I would like to point you in the direction of the in-game Achievements > Battle Pets > Collect tab. There are a series of achievements called Raiding With Leashes, pretty much all of which can be completed via the auction house - if you have the gold/inclination - or by completing old raids.
I received a beta invite for Classic, and had also been an alpha and beta tester for the original game 15 years ago. That isn't unique; plenty of people in Northshire Valley had had the same experience, suggesting to me that active players who were Day 1 WoW gamers or had participated in the original tests might have gotten priority invitations to this one.
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