At BlizzCon 2018, the WoW community got their first chance to experience World of Warcraft Classic for themselves. To help players understand what goes into bringing a Blizzard-quality experience like this to life, software engineers Brian Birmingham and Omar Gonzalez along with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas took the stage Saturday afternoon to share their insights. 

This is, in my opinion, the largest change that WoW Classic will have over Vanilla, and it’s something that simply can’t be undone. Back in Vanilla, guilds were very secretive over strategies of how to correctly defeat a boss. Videos of boss kills were virtually non-existent,and strategies on how to itemize and play various classes and specs were hard to come by, especially for newer players. This, in addition to the unforgiving raid requirements and difficult content, lead to a lot of the player base never really getting to see a lot of the endgame content. Those that did rarely ever did so efficiently, and it wasn’t uncommon for the best guild on any given server to take months to complete a raid tier. There is absolutely no way that this happens in Classic. The raids in Vanilla are very much a solved system by now. Every raid, and every boss and trash pack inside, has been thoroughly strategized and talked about to death over the last 14 years. Rest assured even if you and your friends never played Vanilla, someone in your raid party will know exactly what to do on every boss, exactly when the trash packs are going to respawn, and exactly what buffs and gear to get to prepare. That certainly doesn’t mean thatClassic raiding will be a cakewalk, but it will be different than how the majority of people stumbled through the content.
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Nov 15 Guild Banks Pt. 14 So let's take our minds off subs and sharding and have a nice classic discussion about guild banks. Guild banks are still by far the least impactful on gameplay and most spirit of Vanilla community change one could request. Not only that the log keeps officers and gm's honest. Without logs they are free to skim off the top of donations and trivialize their epic mount purchase. Thoughts?Padrepwn91 Nov 15
World of Warcraft: Classic might be just around the corner, so it’s about time to start preparing. We’ve already published a class selection guide, and today we’re focusing on the most important resource of the game, of course, it is gold. Many players who played World of Warcraft back in the day might remember the times when you needed to count every spent penny and the times when gold farmers roamed the Azeroth on their super expensive epic mounts. In vanilla WoW, gold was everything. And we’re here to help you save as much of it as possible. So, without further due, let’s dive in our World of Warcraft: Classic gold making guide.
The vanilla WoW Horde leveling guide you see on this site was originally made back in 2006 by Joana (AKA Mancow, or FuriousPaul).  The guides have been tweaked many times over the years to make things "faster".  The leveling guides were made because of all the messages I got from people asking me how I was able to level up so quickly on new realms.  I was first to level 60 on 7 different realms (3 with Mancow and 4 with Joana), even winning Blizzard's "First to Level 50" contest they held back in 2006.

There are more passive methods to gain wow classic gold, but these are slower. For example, many people choose to fish in places like Tanaris, or kill Harpies in Feralas and loot items such as mageweaves. These are rather AFK-able, but again, not as rewarding. Some people choose to favour fun over anything, and like in any MMO (massively multiplayer online game), the best way to have fun is playing games with friends or your guild. Dungeon runs with your friends provide social interaction and are definitely helpful over the long-term for your gold stack!
So we asked ourselves, would it still be possible to deliver an authentic classic experience if we took our modern code, with all its back-end improvements and changes, and used it to process the Patch 1.12 game data? While that might seem counterintuitive, this would inherently include classic systems like skill ranks, old quests and terrain, talents, and so on, while later features like Transmog and Achievements would effectively not exist because they were entirely absent from the data. After weeks of R&D, experimentation, and prototyping, we were confident we could deliver the classic WoW content and gameplay without sacrificing the literally millions of hours put in to back-end development over the past 13 years.
This is, in my opinion, the largest change that WoW Classic will have over Vanilla, and it’s something that simply can’t be undone. Back in Vanilla, guilds were very secretive over strategies of how to correctly defeat a boss. Videos of boss kills were virtually non-existent,and strategies on how to itemize and play various classes and specs were hard to come by, especially for newer players. This, in addition to the unforgiving raid requirements and difficult content, lead to a lot of the player base never really getting to see a lot of the endgame content. Those that did rarely ever did so efficiently, and it wasn’t uncommon for the best guild on any given server to take months to complete a raid tier. There is absolutely no way that this happens in Classic. The raids in Vanilla are very much a solved system by now. Every raid, and every boss and trash pack inside, has been thoroughly strategized and talked about to death over the last 14 years. Rest assured even if you and your friends never played Vanilla, someone in your raid party will know exactly what to do on every boss, exactly when the trash packs are going to respawn, and exactly what buffs and gear to get to prepare. That certainly doesn’t mean thatClassic raiding will be a cakewalk, but it will be different than how the majority of people stumbled through the content.

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Nov 15 Spell Mechanic Questions and Hopes on Items I am not necessarily looking for any discourse that would lead to an answer, but hopefully this would gain enough traction that Blizzard might see it, and offer some insight to intended function come summer 2019. I know there is a current wall of text somewhere regarding questions on almost every item with a spell damage effect and whether or not they will be granted coefficients from character gear grand spell damage. I noticed one in particular that was left out and wanted to reiterate my personal favorites. Shard of the Fallen Star: Originally benefited in part or completely 1:1 ratio from spell damage and was capable of critting. It was nerfed in patch 2.0 which is after classic wow content. In the spirit of keeping things as they were, do you think Blizzard will keep this mechanic or change it to a post nerf state which although is not classic wow maybe seen as a balanced fix. Weapon List: Hand of Ragnaros, Netzerek the Blood Drinker, Corrupted Ashbringer, Shadowstrike - all received 2:1 coefficent originally in classic. I believe they were a little too strong but did not receive any nerf to my knowledge. Do you think these will remain as it was or be changed to satisfy the hopes for balance?Tunnelboy6 Nov 15
Nov 15 Thank you for the demo I just want to say thank you to Blizzard for the demo. I seriously had so much fun - so much more fun than I've had trying to play wow in YEARS. I know not everything was 100% accurate to classic, but it was just a demo so that doesn't worry me too much. I still had a million times more fun playing that demo than retail in any case. THE THINGS I LOVED: (1) I died so much. Like... SO MUCH, and that's alright! Once I finally finished whatever it was I was doing, it felt really rewarding! My group and I were actually laughing when we party wiped. No one insulted anyone or pointed blame, we just had fun. (2) Things took time. The journey mattered, it wasn't just about hitting end game asap. I felt accomplished at the end of all those time consuming things I did. (3) I had fun exploring! I spent so much time just running around, not knowing what the heck to do, but that was FUN. I had FUN getting lost and finding treasure chests. (4) Seeing the classic models again! Tbh, the races all look rubbery and stupid now... I honestly think the old racial looks are nicer. (5) Reading quests was necessary again, so the story mattered to me. No one booted me from the party for "taking too long" because I wanted to read. (6) The community! There were actually people doing RP stuff and talking in character. Everyone in the chat was just having fun. (7) All of the inconveniences - running out of mana, no mounts, running slowly on foot, little or no flightpaths... These things are fun because they're not just handed to me. I had to work hard and play the game to get things. (8) People constantly buffed other players, because that small boost could be the reason you didn't die when a roaming centaur attacked you from behind. THE THINGS I WAS CONCERNED ABOUT: (1) I've heard rumors about possible sharding... PLEASE DO NOT SHARD. PLEASE. I can understand if it's temporary just for the initial launch, and only for starting zones. I think that is a decent enough compromise for the inevitable problem of overpopulation for the first few weeks. But if we're talking about full scale realm sharding, PLEASE DO NOT! Cross-realm features and sharding are what ruined communities in wow, same with dungeon finder and other such things, and these features are very unwanted for a classic player like me. (2) The elite raptor I tamed as a hunter was not stronger than the non-elite raptor I tamed at the same level. In classic, elite animals had better stats as hunter pets once tamed, compared to the same non-elite version of that animal at the same level. (3) I think the mana and health regen rates were a bit too high? I'm not certain, but if they were I honestly want them to be genuine. It's okay if it's hard - challenges make games fun! Anyway, thank you again! I had a ton of fun, and as long as classic is true to classic with all of its pros AND cons, I feel certain that it will be a success.Sarai10 Nov 15
I hate to be the one to say this, but let’s face it: we’re not little kids any more. Even for those of us who played Vanilla when they were well into their adult years will have gotten 14 years older, 14 years wiser, and up to 14 years more experienced with video games. What does that mean for Classic WoW? Well for starters, the grand majority of people who are interested in Classic will now have full time jobs. Some might have families and kids they didn’t have before. Basically, WoW Classic won’t be a big of a chunk in people’s lives as it was back then. Considering how much time you will really need to put into Classic WoW to enjoy everything it has to offer, that might be an issue. Stringing together 40-odd people to storm Blackwing Lair might be significantly more difficult now than it was back then. However, due to the issues I talked about in the paragraph above, it might not need to be the long, arduous hours that many people put into Vanilla raiding. With the right preparation and knowledge, raids in Classic will most likely take considerably less time to complete than they did in Vanilla, which will hopefully counteract the fact that the majority of players will have less overall time and fewer long chunks of time to play. 6. Conclusion In essence, the game itself might not be changing from Vanilla to Classic WoW, but the knowledge and mindset of the players of the game will considerably change the way the game feels. Everyone probably figures that there won’t be that same sense of wonder that Vanilla WoW brought so long ago, and that’s true. Nostalgia can only carry Classic WoW so far. Thankfully, I believe that there is some truly solid game design inVanilla WoW, and the fact that Blizzard have doubled down on creating a verbatim experience for Classic WoW is something that people have been adamant about since the day they announced its release. Only time will tell if ClassicWoW truly is the thing people have been wanting, or whether the new CEO ofBlizzard Jay Allen Brack was right – we thought we wanted it, but we didn’t.
Nov 15 Managing your time and Classic So how are you guys thinking you're going to do it? I know when I played Vannila, I sunk so much time into it as I didn't have any responsibilites. Nowadays I work 24 on, 48 off (which is actually good, except for raid days) and have a wife. I figure a lot of you will be in the same boat. That may be a good thing as it can slow the pace a bit.Crupzz4 Nov 15
So we asked ourselves, would it still be possible to deliver an authentic classic experience if we took our modern code, with all its back-end improvements and changes, and used it to process the Patch 1.12 game data? While that might seem counterintuitive, this would inherently include classic systems like skill ranks, old quests and terrain, talents, and so on, while later features like Transmog and Achievements would effectively not exist because they were entirely absent from the data. After weeks of R&D, experimentation, and prototyping, we were confident we could deliver the classic WoW content and gameplay without sacrificing the literally millions of hours put in to back-end development over the past 13 years.
A lot has happened in World of Warcraft in the fifteen years since it originally launched, and over that time we’ve come to expect certain things, not just in WoW, but in games in general. As players explore Azeroth as it existed back in 2006 during the WoW Classic beta, they’re reporting bugs – but in many cases, these ‘bugs’ are really just features that are working as intended.

In restoring World of Warcraft Classic, our guiding principle has been to provide an authentic experience. Things might run a bit smoother and the hardware is better, but the game should still look and feel like you’re playing World of Warcraft from 2006. Things like combat equations, original models, and hunter skills are certainly part of that—but things like social dynamics are a part of that too. The reliance on others, the effort it took to assemble a group, and how that impacted your journey into a dungeon—these were all part of the classic experience that we wanted to preserve.
Other decisions were slightly less clear cut. At one point in WoW’s history, there was an 8 debuff limit on any one target. This was later raised to 16, and today there is no debuff limit. Thes change radically changed the balance of classes and strategies players could employ when using these debuffs to overcome content. To preserve that balance—and to avoid the slippery slope of retuning patch 1.12 data to compensate for such modern-era changes—we’re looking at setting a debuff limit of 16 for WoW Classic.
So even though you can play a WoW Classic demo today, we’re not done quite yet. We have lots of capital city features to look at, such as banks and auction houses. We need to test our dungeons and raids to make sure the bosses’ abilities all still work correctly. We need to examine all of our PvP systems. But we’re committed to taking a close look at all of these and more as continue bring the classic game back to life. 
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