The time has finally come and the gates of Azeroth have opened once more for millions of players looking to rekindle the magic of one of the most important MMORPG's in gaming history.
But the majority of those players were, ironically, stuck in the most nostalgic and classic World of Warcraft experience of all -- being stuck at the "Realm is Full" screen upon login. To those that didn't log on well in advance and wait at the character select screen, the actual release time of Classic WoW is more like 3:00 PM PDT + 3 hours or so.
To those that did make it inside, the starting zones of each race were, understandably, filled to the brim. It was an all-out race to pick up quest items, tag enemies NPCs with the first hit (doing so yields the experience and loot when it dies) and progress through the world where less populated zones await.
Starting zones being slammed on release and insanely long queue times have always been things associated with Classic WoW and Blizzard did their best to warn players who had selected populated servers. They made new servers before August 26th and even urged players to switch servers to the less populated ones. The Classic WoW team "fully expected" this relaunch of the game to be more popular than ever before.
In an interview with Classic WoW developers, InvenGlobal learned about the team's initial underestimation of the popularity of the game and how Blizzard might be making the same mistake in 2019.
"In 2004, we underestimated vastly how many people wanted to play this game. I slightly suspect that we’re going to do that again." - Patrick Dawson, Production Director for World of Warcraft: Classic.
As such, popularity for the game on Twitch.tv is at an all-time high. At one point, 1.1 million viewers had tuned in to watch some of the popular streamers each try and login into the game and play. Meanwhile, Blizzard is in full celebration mode on Twitter with #ToastToWarcraft and "rediscovering" Azeroth after 15 years.