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":" - Any time a step ends in a ":" instead of a "." means that the next step is part of the current step you are on. This generally means the next step should be done while working on the current step. This means every "start working on" or "continue working on" will end in a ":". But this is used with other occasions as well, so keep this in mind.
I consider myself a purist in that I would prefer classic to be released as close as possible to the original. Where that is on the spectrum of patch content will be up to blizz. I'm also not vane enough to believe that any single state of the game is the "Ideal" location we should be aiming for. There is common ground that we can agree on, and I would welcome more than a few changes as long as they are made in the spirit of keeping classic on the vanilla rails.
Some players have been surprised by these apparent flaws—even players who have been eagerly awaiting WoW Classic's release based on fond memories of vanilla WoW. In truth, it has been so long since WoW first released, players' memories may not always be accurate. Some details might be fresh, but others might be lost in time, and it's those lost details that could surprise players revisiting the original experience in WoW Classic.
I have tried it a few times. It's good if you're new to the game. Otherwise not so much. I found I leveled slower by using it, as it's suggesting to take the longest possible route usually. Basically following roads everytime, when you could take an easy shortcut. Especially if the shortcut involves a bit of fall damage, it's out of question. The "go here" spots don't also update if you take a shortcut, and then the waypoint arrow points to wrong direction. But perhaps it has been updated since then.
That's not to say that everyone has an unrealistic vision of what vanilla WoW was like. There were already plenty of people on the WoW Classic forums pointing out that perceived bugs are just recreations of the original game. And as noted before, a flaw to one player is a key component of the original positive experience to another. WoW Classic will surely please plenty of purists in spades. But this goes to show that it won't be for everyone who has fond memories of the game circa 2006.
Workaround as a player is simply to skip forward past that step in the guide, at which point it has steps for the other quests. I'm still on Bleakrock as that character, so I don't know if a duplicate "begin the evacuation" step exists after you've found all the missing people. In either case, just don't talk to Captain Rana about evacuating until you've completed all the other main/sidequests on Bleakrock, which are listed at the UESP link above.
Each battle that you win will yield experience for each pet that participated. However, deceased companions will not receive any experience (so make an effort to keep them alive by swaping in a different pet). Experience gains are based on your pet's level compared to the wild pet. Defeating a higher level opponent will grant more experience than a much lower level one, but be ready for a tough fight!
With the Classic beta now out it seems every related article somehow manages to spark the eternal war of "Vanilla was the best WoW sucks now" and "lol nostalgia goggles, Vanilla sucked, enjoy your two weeks of Classic". I have to say, even though I understand the principles behind the battle and the reasons people behave and talk this way... I actually REALLY don't get it on a deeper level.