World of Warcraft Classic demo has been cracked and is now being played (sort of)

World of Warcraft Classic

Folks are already playing the World of Warcraft Classic demo – or at least a limited version of it – before its official launch following the opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2018 on November 2.

As you may have already seen, not only will the demo be playable on the show floor, but those who bought a virtual ticket for BlizzCon will be able to download and play a sampler of WoW Classic on their home PC.

Virtual ticket holders have been able to pre-download the demo in readiness for the big event, and despite the fact that it shouldn’t be playable before BlizzCon, enterprising gamers have managed to crack the demo open.

As Eurogamer reports, YouTube user Dodgy Kebaab grabbed the WoW Classic demo client when it was leaked as a Google Drive download, and used a sandbox emulator to get it running.

That said, because the cracked demo isn’t hooked up to a Blizzard server – but rather a fake program running on the host computer – most of the important bits are missing. You know, little things like quests and NPCs.

That said, this isn’t a pointless experience, as you can still wander about the world in the demo, and check out how the revamped visuals (and engine) compare to the original game.

Water works?

And that’s exactly what Dodgy Kebaab did in a YouTube video which compares the new game to the vanilla version of World of Warcraft as was played back in 2005. As you’d expect, the lighting has been tuned up and the graphics are sharper overall, although the pond (water effect) looks a little odd, and less dynamic and convincing than the original (in our books anyway).

Certainly looking at the YouTube comments, not everyone is keen on the new night-time effect, but the good news is if you want the old WoW look, there’s a ‘classic’ option in settings that reverts the graphics back to how they were in 2005.

Perhaps the biggest benefit will be the improved interface, and the fact that there are many more options in terms of UI customization right from the off compared to the old vanilla World of Warcraft.

Blizzard is also promising modern bells and whistles for WoW Classic like anti-cheat countermeasures, full customer support, and a stable online experience which isn’t beset by lag.

You’ll be able to see everything for yourself in just a few days’ time on November 2 at any rate, providing you have purchased a virtual ticket for BlizzCon (or indeed if you’re heading to the event itself).

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).