After announcing the official throwback servers at BlizzCon 2017, Blizzard have given the long-awaited World of Warcraft: Classic a worldwide release date of Tuesday August 27, 2019 - just in time for the game’s 15th anniversary.
“Azeroth has always been a wondrous and deadly place,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard.
“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.”
WoW players with current subscriptions will be able to experience the game as it was at the 1.12.0 “Drums of War” update, originally released in late August 2006 - though more content is slated to come. The retro game will have modern servers with full Battle.net support, and Blizzard will (hopefully) be ironing out some of the bugs present at the time.
Players with active subscriptions will be able to create up to three characters starting on August 13th. The servers will launch at 8:00am AEST/10:00am NZST on 27th August.
For a select few, the closed beta of WoW Classic will start tomorrow (16th May AEST). Interested players can sign up on the WoW website for a chance to be included. Blizzard will also be holding additional server stress tests throughout the next few months.
There will also be activities in the current expansion, Battle for Azeroth, to celebrate the game’s 15th anniversary on November 23rd. Though Blizzard are yet to announce exact details, they’ve said that the questline will end with 25-player raids against iconic bosses from the game’s history. Those who are successful will receive the Obsidian Worldbreaker mount, designed to resemble Deathwing the Destroyer.
Also announced today was the WoW 15th Anniversary Collector’s Edition, with a bunch of goodies for super fans to be released on 9th October. Along with a 30-day WoW pass, the collectibles include:
a 10-inch statue of Ragnaros the Firelord
an Onyxia pin
a mousepad with a map of Azeroth
a set of Azeroth art prints
two in-game mounts - the Alabaster Stormtalon for Alliance characters, and the Alabaster Thunderwing for Horde characters.
If you decide to purchase the mounts in August when they become available, before attaching the Collector’s edition to your account, you’ll receive US$25 back to your Blizzard Balance.
For more information on anything WoW related, including details on how to opt in to the beta tests and launch-plan specifics, visit their official website.