Prepare your Chronometers, Azerothians. With World of Warcraft’s legacy Classic servers due in little less than a week, it will be time to jump into a brand(ish) new Azeroth. This week, in preparation of the launch, let’s discuss some things you need to do to put your best foot forward in ye olden Azeroth!
Reserve Your Name NOW!
Classic is SIGNIFICANTLY outperforming many people’s expectations for player counts, including my own! Coupling your Classic access into your current World of Warcraft subscription, Blizzard is now allowing all players to pre-make their characters prior to its release on Monday. While you don’t need to make any major decisions on your races or classes right this moment, if you have a certain name you’d like to reserve now is the time to get it done!
Start Doing Your Research…
Classes are definitely not as they are now in the Live version of WoW. Leveling is a very slow and painful process to manage, especially for classes like the Warrior who are ALWAYS in combat with no ability to heal. Before you jump in with both feet into what your current Live main is, do a little bit of research first.
Take the Druid for example. These days, Druids are masters of just about everything, minus some utility, depending on their role. In Classic, even a Hybrid class will have certain limitations. Their roles are FAR more reduced and their item optimization will require you to grind to exalted with multiple Battleground factions. You won’t ever be your raid’s main tank or top healer, but you’ll be a masterful off-tank and decurser! Every class has their niche to fill in both PvE and PvP, but its up to you to figure out what niche you want to fill.
Additionally, every race is unique. While each race in Live has its own abilities as well, the nature of Classic’s smaller stat-base makes each additional stat increase and ability from your race incredibly more tangible. Three classes feel this more than most, that being the Priest, Paladin and Shaman. Priests will get two unique spells depending on their class, some being far more impactful than those from other races! Paladins and Shaman are both faction restricted classes in Classic; only Alliance players can fight for the Silver Hand, while the Horde are restricted to wielding the fury of the elements.
Classic is much more difficult than the current Live version. Questing and leveling solo will be a chore, taking hours at a time to even push through one level. As such, get a few friends who are interested in Classic and start forming your leveling group now. This will also help you make some decisions based on your faction, class, and potential race to help fill what your party needs to succeed.
Maybe convince one to be a Mage. Free food is good food!
Skills to Pay The Bills
Get. Your. Professions. Early.
Learning anything in Classic Warcraft will cost you money. Learning upgraded versions of your own spells will cost you more money than you’d like! As such, you’ll want to pick up your professions as soon as you can. Most players will pick up mining and skinning to start their journey, both being used by multiple professions for armor-crafting. Ores and Leather are guaranteed to sell quickly on the auction house, and the latter you’ll find on the MANY creatures you’ll be grinding.
Its also advisable to pick up First Aid and Cooking. Simply leveling your character from 1-40 could cost you nearly 15 gold in purchasing food, gold that could better be spent on your basic mount. Melee classes, such as Warriors, Rogues or Feral Druids will take significantly more damage than most, with less healing abilities than other classes. As such, First Aid and Cooking can reduce your recovery time between quest mobs. That means you can spend more time grinding experience than wasting played time!
The reality of Classic is everything is harder and more expensive than what you’re used to. Everything you will want to achieve is incredibly difficult. Everything will cost far more money than you’re used to, and acquiring gold is far more difficult than you might think. While teaming up is a necessary part to adventuring through Azeroth, you’re going to need to help pull your weight!
After getting to a comfortable point in your leveling, consider getting a crafting profession relevant to your class to optimize your armor. High-level crafting professions will take an incredible effort to make, but are more than well-worth their payoff. On top of making yourself more powerful with rare and epic quality items, other players may come to you seeking the tools of your trade.
As you begin leveling up, your first major goal should be to get your racial mount and learning riding. Its an incredibly difficult feat, but your raid team will appreciate not waiting for you as long when you forget your Fire Resist gear during Molten Core AGAIN.
Just… Lower Your Expectations.
Classic is not as impressive as you might think.
Aside from the absolutely horror-movie worthy character models, Classic is built on some of the game industry’s oldest game design philosophies. As such, its going to be a painful experience on more than one occasion. Do you want to quest in Arathi Highlands? Get used to running back and forth for 10 minutes every time you want to complete one quest. Get a brand new mace but your Two-Handed Mace skill isn’t maxed out? Get ready to start retraining it. From zero.
You can’t take Classic as seriously as one would take Live’s playstyle. Class Balance simply does not exist, period. Spell Batching is going to straight up make your life hell if all you know is Live’s version of how PvP works. Everything, to put it bluntly, is a serious case of janky.
That is the beauty of Classic though. It’s a game that is really hard to take seriously, and it forces you to have fun or you’ll just develop an aneurysm. Everything is a long-term investment in this iteration of Azeroth, from raid progression to merely getting to your next class quest. Classic is about the journey, not the destination. So sit back, get some friends, and have fun re-exploring Azeroth!
And just roll a Dwarf if you’re making a Priest. You’ll thank me later when you get into healing dungeons.