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Those World of Warcraft: Classic bugs aren’t bugs, y’all

Blizzard gently reminds some players what Vanilla WoW is really about

World of Warcraft: Classic - farm in Westfall Blizzard Entertainment
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

World of Warcraft is a 15-year-old video game. World of Warcraft: Classic is designed to play like its earliest forms. That means some parts of it are, quite literally, features and not bugs. But some not-hip-to-this players are reporting them anyway.

Blizzard politely told players of the WoW: Classic beta that about 13 or so things may not be as they remember them (if they remember them) but they are in fact how the game functioned as of Drums of War, the 1.12 patch update (released August 2006) being used to rebuild the vanilla version of the game.

That means, for example, the Tauren’s hitboxes are stupidly large on purpose. “Yup, that’s intended,” said one player. “One of the Hyjal bosses in [2007’s Burning Crusade] had a war stomp for the melee, and my hitbox/reach was so large that I could melee him from outside the stomp range.” Good to know!

Here’s another example of Blizzard’s commitment to authenticity.

NPCs which offer multiple quests may inconsistently display them as a dot or a “!” on the available quests list. They were inconsistent in 1.12, and we’ve reproduced the exact inconsistency they had back then.

World of Warcraft: Classic will even present the perplexing message “Your skill in Protection increased to 15” upon level up, as that was added in patch 1.12.1 “and we’re intending to keep that,” developers said.

With this level of fidelity, naturally, players’ thoughts turned to the Blood Plague — the virtual pandemic of 2005 that spun out of control despite developers’ efforts to contain it. (If you remember, real life epidemiologists studied this as an example of how humans respond to an epidemic).

The Blood Plague was, by miracle of modern medicine, eradicated in of patch 1.12. But some anti-vaxxers still want to see it come back like the measles. Den of Geek reported this week that Brian Birmingham, WoW Classic’s lead software engineer, acknowledged that it had come up in internal discussions.

“We all had a good laugh about that experience,” Birmingham told Den of Geek. “I don’t have any plans to announce today, but it’s certainly something we thought was an amusing idea.”

This, of course, has all become lighthearted git-gud fodder for WoW graybeards to school the younglings. “WELCOME TO CLASSIC, KIDS!” said Ashbringër. “THIS AIN’T YOUR BABY [Battle for Azeroth] SHENANIGANS. YOU GONNA BLEED AND YOU GONNA LIKE IT!!”

“Some of those “bugs” people reported is hilarious,” said Kurdash. These are the people they are letting into beta?”

Here’s the full list of known not-issues. There’s also a full list of actual factual known issues. If you’re in the beta, which began May 15, check both before you take to yon forums to report what you see.

World of Warcraft: Classic launches Aug. 27. The game will launch in stages so that it builds to an endgame similar to the original’s progression. The first stage will recreate the game as of March 2005, four months after the game’s original release and one month after its European debut.

The next level of puzzles.

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