*Disclaimer: The following article was written by a guest author, and it may not necessarily represent Inven Global's editorial stance.
It’s now only a few short months until Classic World of Warcraft launches and some players are already looking to optimize their experience by studying the game. Although Classic WoW has huge appeal to people who played the original game 15 years ago, there will also be an influx of players who never played the original game.
Players who joined World of Warcraft after Vanilla, and particularly after the Cataclysm expansion, will find the game to be very different and are likely to make many mistakes if they approach the game with a Battle For Azeroth (BFA) mindset. This can also apply to people who played Vanilla. No one has played the original game since the release of The Burning Crusade in 2007, so there’s bound to be some game quirks that players have entirely forgotten or are misremembering. If you’re thinking “ah ha! But I’ve played on private servers” then it’s true, you will have a better grasp of the game than most other players despite the recent revelations of the differences between the WoW Classic Beta and Private servers. These tips are aimed at players who didn’t play Vanilla WoW or player who did play in Vanilla but want a refresher crash course in what mistakes to avoid.
Pulling Too Many Mobs
Leveling in Classic WoW is a slow and meticulous process. In BFA your character is hardier, often kitted with heirloom gear, and the world is less dangerous. This means you can afford to pull bigger groups of enemies while questing alone, and quickly move on to the next group when you’ve scattered their corpses on the ground. Classic WoW is very different. You will struggle to kill more than one or two enemies at a time and will take significant damage for your efforts. This slows the leveling process down, not only because you take longer to kill mobs, but also because you will be eating and drinking after most kills.
Picking The Wrong Faction
On PVP realms players have been able to create characters on both Horde and Alliance factions since the release of The Burning Crusade. This was not the case in Vanilla WoW and so will not be the case in Classic WoW. You will have to pick a side and stick with it. You have to pick a faction that you will happy to level through 1-60 on, and happy to level all of your alts on too. Of course, you can pick a new realm if you want to play the opposite faction, but just be aware that you can’t have opposite faction characters on the same realm if you play on a PVP realm.
In the current game, you can quest your way through an area and move onto the next area seamlessly once the quests are complete. Completing all the quests in the area will get you to the appropriate level to start the next zone. This is not the case in Classic WoW. You will find that you will run out of quests in an area before you reach a high enough level to tackle the next zone. This means you will have to grind mobs to increase your experience and level up before moving on. Although it might not sound fun, you can actually get more WoW gold from grinding in Classic WoW than you get from questing, making it worthwhile. Love it or hate it, grinding was a major part of Vanilla WoW. But if grinding is not for you, you are always free to simply buy WoW gold and skip it altogether.
Not Picking Up Flight Points
In BFA you can get a mount at level 20, but in Classic WoW you can’t get a mount until level 40. This means for the majority of your leveling experience you are going to be running everywhere or taking flight paths. Pay close attention to whether there are many flight paths close by and always collect them. This also applies to flight paths that are a short walk into a higher level zone. The quicker you get flight paths, the easier you will find the game.
Rushing Into Picking Your Class
In BFA, and in the expansions since Vanilla in general, Blizzard has worked hard to provide class balance. Today, all classes are well balanced and all have a range of similar abilities like area of effect spells, crowd control abilities and so on. In Classic WoW classes fit specific roles and some classes are more desirable in raids than others. For example, Warrior Tanks are considered essential in raids and will always be picked over a Paladin tank. Balance Druids have lower DPS output than other DPS classes and tend to run out of mana quickly, making them less likely to be picked. Rogues and Mages were considered high DPS classes and popular choices for raids.
If you just want to have fun leveling a class and be casual when it comes to raiding then you can afford to be more free with your class choice. However, you should also consider how good your class is at leveling. Warriors are famous for being slow levelers in Vanilla. Hunters are good levelers because they can use their pet to tank and avoid taking too much damage. The same is true for Warlocks, although they are of course more squishy.
Picking The Wrong Specializations
The WoW talent system has been simplified over the years, starting from the Wrath of The Lich King expansion. In Classic WoW there were 51 talent points that you could spend in the talent tree to improve or gain abilities. Many players argue that this system left more room for customization and complex and unique characters, however, in practice most players would put their points into specific talents in order to optimize their class for raiding. Re-speccing was very expensive in Vanilla WoW since Gold was a lot more scarce. It’s not only your talent points you need to be careful with, but also your spells. In Classic WoW you need to buy your spells from a class trainer as you level up, and buying spells can get very expensive. You should prioritize only buying the important spells and not buying less useful spells in order to save gold.