World of Warcraft Classic is a recreation of “retail” World of Warcraft before expansions started to significantly change its content. Its creation was in no small part due to high demand for a “vanilla WoW” experience, which had been catered to by popular private servers before World of Warcraft Classic was announced at BlizzCon 2017. The game was then released in 2019.

WoW Classic offers a faithful rendition of WoW as it was after patch 1.12.1 in September 2006. As such, gameplay mechanics from the original release have been replicated as closely as possible. As of 2021 Blizzard released Burning Crusade Classic, which offers an optional migration into WoW’s first expansion with all the features that it included at the time.

World of Warcraft Classic Key Features

Original Gameplay - Experience WoW as if for the first time by reliving all the gameplay features of the original. An old school difficulty curve including unforgiving enemies, a levelling grind and time-consuming travel makes for a more rewarding experience as players watch their character grow.

Original Races and Classes - Without the expansions, players can only pick from Humans, Dwarves, Gnomes and Night Elves for the Alliance and Orcs, Trolls, Tauren and the Forsaken for the Horde. Additionally, only the original nine classes - druid, hunter, mage, paladin, priest, rogue, shaman, warlock and warrior are available, with Paladins being Alliance-only whilst Shamans are Horde-only classes.

Freedom to Advance - Following the release of the first ‘Classic’ expansion with Burning Crusade Classic, players can now decide whether to advance into the expansion or remain in Vanilla WoW. Characters can be cloned and used in both versions with the Activate Clone service.

Continual Updates - Though a call-back to its origins, WoW Classic still moves in new directions, as could be seen in the Season of Mastery - a 12-month competition season that incorporates post-expansion features and delivers a fresh take on the Classic realms.