Blizzard announced WoW Classic in 2017 as a way for players to return to the simpler, jankier days of early World of Warcraft. It was a response to a common sentiment expressed by long-time players that the game had somehow gotten worse as its rough edges were sanded off and it was made more appealing to a wider audience. The throwback servers are officially set to go online in August, but a small group of players has started playing a beta version this week, and they’re learning that nostalgia may have skewed their perceptions of WoW’s early days.
According to a post on Blizzard’s forums by the company’s community manager, developers have been getting a lot of emails about bugs that actually feature. They go on to list some things that players assume are bugs but are actually working as intended. WoW Classic is aiming to recreate the experience of World of Warcraft in the months after it launched. If you were playing then, you may remember that it wasn’t always the smoothest experience.
For one thing, quests weren’t automatically tracked on your map, and even the icons that denote quest givers were inconsistent. Spawn rates were also much lower than they are in the current iteration of the game. There are also some strange quirks, like Taurens having longer melee reach than other players, sitting down while being attacked causing some abilities not to trigger, and the mysterious message, “Your skill in Protection increased to 15” appearing when you level up. All in all, the list of “not bugs” currently sits at 13 items:
- Tauren’s hitboxes and their melee reach is slightly larger than other races.
- Being critically struck while using /sit to sit does not cause abilities like Enrage, Blood Craze, and Reckoning to activate.
- Using the “Automatic Quest Tracking” option does not auto-track newly accepted quests. (It instead will start to track an existing quest once progress towards an objective is started.)
- Warrior health Regeneration is working at the expected rate.
- Quests objectives and points of interests are not tracked on the map or minimap.
- Completed quests are marked on the minimap with a dot. (and not a “?”)
- Feared players and NPCs run fast.
- Standing on top of other players while facing away allows spells and attacks to be used.
- Creature respawn rates are much slower than in Battle for Azeroth.
- NPCs which offer multiple quests may inconsistently display them as a dot or a “!” on the available quests list. They were inconsistent in 1.12, and we’ve reproduced the exact inconsistency they had back then.
- Quests that are too low level for do not show up as a “!” in the game world.
- Available quests do not display a “!” on the minimap.
- On level up, the message: “Your skill in Protection increased to 15” was added in 1.12.1, and we’re intending to keep that.
Blizzard says all those kinks are here to stay. The eventual plan for WoW Classic is to have the game update on a regular schedule to replicate the release of patches and expansions during WoW’s pioneer days. It’s unclear how closely the developer will mimic bugs being patched out (and in) when these updates were first released.