At BlizzConline, Blizzard's virtual BlizzCon in the time of pandemic, we got confirmation that the World of Warcraft Classic concept will keep moving forward through the history of WoW. Illidan and friends (the 'evil' version, not the later version when we realise he was just misunderstood and maybe demon hunting was a very good idea) will be waiting.
So how do we prepare? (Look, everyone has to do some version of that joke. It's the law).
Let's run down exactly what happens with your character next, whether you do or don't want to progress.
Do I stay or do I go?
On the day Burning Crusade Classic launches, every player will be given a choice for every character they play on whether they will move forward into BC or if they stay in the OG Classic era.
The 'default' choice is progression, and your existing realm will become a Progression realm in the Classic context, continuing forward through the patches and eras over time. If you're all about the Vanilla experience you will choose to move your character to a Classic Era realm.
'Move' is kind of the wrong word, as the BC Classic team has said that your character will exist in both places at BC launch as a 'snapshot' of that moment. So if you're worried about your name, don't – it will exist in both places until you decide which path to follow.
Can I do both?
Yes, but it'll cost ya. A paid option will be offered for those who say they want a character to have its OG WoW version stay in one place AND continue into BC in the other.
Personally, this seems a little disappointing – especially if the snapshot is sitting there – but one concern the team wants to avoid is the issue of players saying they want both but just abandoning one instead. So putting some commitment against the idea that you 'really truly' want both was the decision.
What happens to my name?
Because the snapshot approach is being used, your name will exist in both places. Where conflicts may occur due to realm changes the team says they will probably use your original Realm name extension (like we often see in modern WoW) to avoid conflicts if they ever need to occur. Ultimately, they want both realms to keep feeling like 'your' realm and the realm names will be maintained no matter which direction you go.
I fell behind OMG what do I do now?
In the lead up to Burning Crusade Classic, the team has said a level boost to 58 will be offered – with limitations to respect the hard work others have done to get to max level.
There will only be one boost available per account, and you won't be able to boost a Draenei or Blood Elf.
And in there own way, those two new races are already behind when they launch, so the good news for those eager to head into BC with a Blood Elf or Space Goat they will be available to play when the BC Classic pre-patch arrives so you can rush them toward readiness (I didn't say prepare!) when the Dark Portal opens.
Will they start Vanilla Classic servers all over again one day?
In the WoW Q&A this question came up, and the Classic team said that while there is no short-term plan – that's focused on getting BC Classic launched – they know there's a desire for new Classic server launches and it's definitely something they're thinking about when the right time will be to do that.
So if you're keen to race your friends and other guilds to world firsts on a spanking fresh OG server all over again (again), you'll be able to do that one day. They know you want it. They want you to have it.
What's the catch?
Why do people always think something must be up when new things come along? Seriously, apart from the fee for wanting a split personality it seems like smooth sailing for those eager to have a Classic experience – whichever way they want to do it.