It was the experience of the game that brought pleasure and joy, and that's what a lot of us want again. Not the numbers. When I play Classic I want to go through the deadmines with people I like and overcome a challenge together and see myself become stronger as a result. I don't want to play Classic so I can say "booyah! That number is exactly the same as it was 13 years ago!"
Although the Battle Pet Trainer will only offer to teach you your race-specific companion, it is possible to add all of these pets to your collection. You can either find them in your faction’s auction house or you can create a character of the race whose pet you would like to learn. Using your new character, you can seek out any battle pet trainer in major cities. After you learn the pet, you can delete the character; the pet you learned will not be removed from your collection.
Each pet has 3 abilities it can use during a battle, but a total of 6 to choose from. They will also have a total of 3 active spell slots that show which abilities can be used during a Pet Battle. The first spell slot will already be unlocked, but the second and third will only become available once the companion has reached a certain level. Other spells will also unlock after reaching higher levels.
“To fill our pool of beta and stress test participants, we’ll be choosing dedicated players who meet select criteria from both the WoW Classic beta opt-in and the standard Warcraft beta opt-in. Participants will also need to have an active subscription or active game time on their Battle.net Account. While opting-in to the beta is the primary way to make sure you’re in the running to join the test it doesn’t guarantee an invitation to the closed beta test. We may also consider additional factors such as how long a player has been subscribed to the game so that we have the right mix of players to ensure great feedback toward making WoW Classic the very best experience for the community.”
Workaround as a player is simply to skip forward past that step in the guide, at which point it has steps for the other quests. I'm still on Bleakrock as that character, so I don't know if a duplicate "begin the evacuation" step exists after you've found all the missing people. In either case, just don't talk to Captain Rana about evacuating until you've completed all the other main/sidequests on Bleakrock, which are listed at the UESP link above.
In player vs. player designated zones, you will still be viewable and attackable by players, but you are not left completely defenseless. While engaged in a Pet Battle, any attack from another player will break you out of the battle. You will receive a 3 second damage shield that will absorb 50% of incoming attacks. The same exact wild pet that you were previously battling will respawn after you come out of combat with the other player. However, if you defeated the primary pet in battle prior to leaving the match, the pet and its team will not respawn.