Today is a big day for World of Warcraft fans, as Blizzard is launching WoW Classic. WoW Classic is Blizzard’s official attempt at (and answer to) vanilla servers that have proven to be popular with WoW fans. With it, fans will be able to play World of Warcraft as it more or less existed shortly after it released in 2004, with no expansions and none of the major modern improvements.
If you’ve ever felt nostalgia for the old days of WoW, then this release is aimed directly at you. Expect progress to be a lot slower, with more of a focus on questing and gradual improvement over a longer period of time than simply getting to endgame content as fast as possible. So, when can you play?
When does WoW Classic launch?
For those of us here in the US, WoW Classic launches today, August 26th, though depending on where you are in the world, its release date may be Tuesday, August 27th thanks to the wonderful magic of time zones. Have a look at the map below for when WoW Classic will launch in your region.
This is definitely a North America-centric launch, with the game going live at 6pm EDT in the east and 3pm PDT in the west. If you’re in Europe, you’re looking at a late-night launch – 12am on the 27th for France, to be specific. Folks in Taiwan, Korea, and Australia are stuck with the game going live in the morning hours of the 27th, so they have it even worse.
How much does WoW Classic cost?
Unlike the latest retail expansion, WoW Classic doesn’t need to be purchased upfront before you can play. All you need to play is an active subscription to WoW – which means that most people who are interested either don’t need to do anything to gain access to WoW Classic since they’re already subscribed or simply renew their subscription. Subscriptions to World of Warcraft run $14.99 per month, and while monthly subscriptions are a rarity here in 2019, WoW is still popular enough for Blizzard to justify requiring them.
How do I play WoW Classic?
To play WoW Classic, you’ll need to download Blizzard’s Battle.net launcher from the company’s official site. Once that’s downloaded and you’ve subscribed to World of Warcraft, simply download the game using the launcher and wait for that process to complete. After the game has been downloaded, you’ll notice a drop down menu above the big blue “Play” button – select World of Warcraft Classic from that menu, hit Play, and you’re in.
Can I create WoW Classic characters and select my realms ahead of time?
You’ll be happy to know that the answer to your oddly-specific question is “yes.” You can currently create characters and select the realm you want to play on before the game goes live later today. Blizzard opened up character creation and realm selection a couple of weeks ago in order to allow players to claim their character names, so while you may have missed the boat on your chance to claim a common name, you can still get your characters created now and start playing right when the game goes live.
Blizzard recently upped the per-realm character limit, taking it from three to 10 per realm, with a grand total of 50 characters allowed per account across all realms. The company also added five new realms to the server list, with four of them being player-vs-player realms and the final one being a normal, player-vs-environment realm. If you’re creating your characters now, try to avoid creating them on high or full population realms, as you’ll almost certainly be stuck in a queue when you try to log in after launch.
This is a big release for Blizzard and World of Warcraft fans alike. It’ll be interesting to see how popular WoW Classic becomes over the coming days and weeks, and beyond that, how much of that playerbase it can keep as the post-launch timeline expands to months. Will you be playing WoW Classic when it launches later today? Head down to the comments section and let us know!