In 2016, Blizzard started clamping down on legacy servers where purists and old-school WoW enthusiasts were happily reliving the world of 2004. After fans complained, Blizzard began (not-so subtly) working on a solution to make everyone happy: enter Classic World of Warcraft.
Classic World of Warcraft was a game-changer for Blizzard back in the day, infamously becoming the most popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) in the world for several years. The game has spawned iconic memes (its most famous, Leeroy Jenkins, was ultimately outed as a coordinated prank), multi-generational fan communities, and a veritable universe of cosplayers and conventions. There was also, of course, a live-action movie, but the less said about it, the better.
The beauty of original WoW was the fact that it was, by and large, an uncharted world that required actual exploration, cooperation, and patience between players. Some long-time players feel like the current game has been ruined by excessive modifications and add-ons, as well as “lazy” shortcuts like fast travel and easy “looking for raid” features. In the past, trying to find a consistent raid group and slogging your way out to some far-off, remote dungeon entrance was all part of the experience.
Back then, the closest thing that vanilla WoW had to a wiki-type guide was Thottbot, a general RPG news site that eventually morphed into a one-stop shop for World of Warcraft information. Though Thottbot was named after the site’s creator, Bill “Aftathott” Dyess, “thot” has a drastically different meaning today, one likely to spawn legions of nostalgic new memes. Thottbot was eventually absorbed into Wowhead, arguably the most popular WoW database today.
Existing WoW subscribers will finally be able to play the game on August 27; in the meantime, closed beta starts today, with stress tests scheduled in upcoming months. First impressions of the game include positive sentiments about how it recreates a sense of community and camaraderie amongst small groups of players — which can be an elusive feeling in the sprawling MMORPGs of today.