Blizzard has given us a pile of new information on World of Warcraft Classic, including the fact that it’ll finally release this August. But you won’t have to wait quite that long to start playing for yourself – the WoW Classic beta goes live tomorrow, May 15. This is a closed beta, and Blizzard says it’s pretty limited in scope, but there will be more chances to play heading into the WoW Classic release date.
One of my favorite features is the Smart Injection System, which automatically determines the optimal place for your character to get started with the guides, based on your level and quest history. In other words, it doesn’t matter what level you are currently, you can jump right in and continue seamlessly with the guides. It also means that you don’t have to be a slave to the guides, they work perfectly even if you’re also leveling in instances, battlegrounds, using heirlooms or rested EXP. If your level ever gets ahead of the guide, just use the built-in feature to skip to the right place again. Very cool.
Occasionally it's also been proposed to re-randomize all the gear. We didn't have best in slot lists back then. People weren't starting out as a fresh level 1 character with a complete list of which dungeons to run at 60 in order to gear as quickly and efficiently as possible. Now, all that data is available. If gear were re-randomized then all of those lists would become useless and thing would be close to how they were. Which is a more important part of the "vanilla experience?" the fact that item X from boss Y has exactly Z stats on it, or the voyage of discovery? Personally I think that voyage is way more important. Do you remember how many points of which stat on the ring or whatever that Darkmaster Gandling drops? I don't. Would it kill your experience if the BiS for every class were in a different dungeon so people had to actually play to figure it out rather than simply consult a spreadsheet? I don't think it would. For that matter, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to handle it intelligently so that the better gear is in later dungeons. I remember there because some weird cases where level 40ish gear was better than anything that dropped in level 60 dungeons.