World of Warcraft Classic finally has a release date, beta begins tomorrowPlatforms: PC
Blizzard has confirmed that World of Warcraft Classic will be releasing on August 27th, with a closed-beta scheduled to begin tomorrow, May 15th.
World of Warcraft Classic releasing on August 27th will celebrate 15 years of World of Warcraft, which released all the way back in 2004. Classic will be free of charge for all current World of Warcraft subscribers.
For those who are itching to get their Warcraft on, an invite-only closed-beta begins tomorrow, May 15th, for active subscribers who opt-in. For your chance to play the beta tomorrow, be sure to opt-in on the official World of Warcraft Classic website. If you don't receive an invite, don't fret, Blizzard says that "even more players will be able to participate in a series of stress tests, scheduled for the summer".
World of Warcraft Classic is a re-release of the original game before any of the expansions were added to the game. This is World of Warcraft at its most pure, with the same visuals and experience players had following the "Drums of War" update in August 2006. Though Blizzard says that the performance of the game has been vastly improved.
In a press release, president of Blizzard Entertainment, J. Allen Brack had this to say on the release of World of Warcraft Classic:
“Building and launching World of Warcraft back in 2004 was immensely challenging. A tornado literally tore the roof off one of the game’s data centers during the early days of testing—but Blizzard was fortunate to have hundreds, and then thousands, and then millions of people around the world cheering our developers on.
Like many of our players, everyone at Blizzard was fueled by the excitement of seeing the world of Azeroth from the ground level, through the eyes of the heroes inhabiting and fighting over it. Azeroth has always been a wondrous and deadly place, and it was especially so at the time of WoW’s launch, when everyone was discovering its vistas and exploring its dungeons for the first time—all while helping and supporting the company as everyone here worked through the many technical struggles of hosting a game of this size.
That early experience was incredibly important to Blizzard. It taught us many things about ourselves as a developer and publisher, and about the global community of players that we feel honored to be a part of. The World of Warcraft Classic experience is very different from the Azeroth we know today, but we love it for what it is and what it stands for. We can’t wait to get reacquainted with this dangerous, demanding, and rewarding world with all of our friends, new and old.”
Blizzard also announced that World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth will be receiving a host of in-game activities later this year to celebrate the game's 15th anniversary. The activities will culminate "in a 25-player raid (accessible through Raid Finder) that will pit players against some of the most iconic bosses from throughout the game’s history". The reward for beating this trial is the Obsidian Worldbreaker mount, "designed to evoke the terrible visage of the ancient Dragon Aspect Deathwing the Destroyer".
But that's not all! Available for pre-purchase right now is the World of Warcraft 15th Anniversary Collector's Edition. The collection of goodies comes with 30 days of game time, a beautiful 10-inch statue of Ragnaros the Firelord, an Onyxia pin, an Azeroth mousepad, a set of fine art prints, and a pair of mounts: the Alabaster Stormtalon, and the Alabaster Thunderwing. This collection will release on October 8th, and is available for £89.99 from theBlizzard Gear store. The collector's edition will also be available from various retailers worldwide. It is currently sold out at the Blizzard store, but don't give up hope, check other retailers, and keep checking the Blizzard store, you never know if they will restock.