Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft Classic – the long-awaited reboot of the game which turns back the clock 13 years – will go live on August 27, although current WoW subscribers will get a chance (and note, it is just a chance) to beta test it long before then, starting from tomorrow in fact.
The Classic version reverts the game to how it was when the ‘Drums of War’ update (patch 1.12) was released in August 2006, except it keeps many of the contemporary bells and whistles the current MMO benefits from.
If you subscribe to World of Warcraft, you’ll get this retro reboot for free, as well as the chance to jump into the closed beta test from tomorrow (May 15) as mentioned. Essentially, you’ve got to register your interest in the beta here, and hope you are lucky enough to be picked.
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That said, even if you don’t make it early on in the beta, Blizzard notes that there will be a series of stress tests throughout the summer, with increasing numbers of players being invited to participate.
As we’ve heard in the past, part of the idea of WoW Classic is to make things tougher, just as it was back in the day, with the broader aim of fostering greater levels of social interaction to deal with those challenges.
The release of Classic is part of celebrating 15 years of WoW, and Blizzard is also producing a World of Warcraft 15th Anniversary Collector’s Edition that will go on sale on October 8 for £90 (around $115, AU$170).
It includes the usual in-game bonus items and various collectibles such as a statue of Ragnaros the Firelord (‘by fire be purged!’) and a mouse mat sporting a map of Azeroth, among other goodies.
There will also be an in-game WoW event which will build up to a 25-player raid featuring some of the most renowned bosses from the past, with the chance to earn a special Obsidian Worldbreaker mount for those who successfully make it through.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).