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World of Warcraft: Classic launches on August 27, closed beta starts tomorrow

Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft: Classic will launch worldwide on August 27.

As the name suggests, Classic is a recreation of the original World of Warcraft game. "It runs a bit smoother on today's computers, but the game still looks and feels like you're playing World of Warcraft from 2006," says the official website. "Combat mechanics, original character models and skill trees all contribute to a truly authentic experience, as do your interactions with other players."

Classic turns back time to before Blizzard introduced any World of Warcraft expansions. Players can explore epic encounters such as Molten Core, Onyxia, and Maraudon at launch, with content like Alterac Valley and the Ahn'Qiraj War Effort set to arrive with later updates.

A small, closed beta starts tomorrow, May 15. Players can also contribute to the game through upcoming stress tests. For consideration, opt-in to the WoW: Classic beta via Account Management. "Subsequent stress tests will extend the opportunity to even more players," said Blizzard in today's announcement. "Level caps will also be in place to ensure we're emphasizing the 'stress' in 'stress test.' We want to push our tech to the limit, and that means a critical mass of players in close proximity."

Select players who have opted in to either the WoW: Classic beta or standard Warcraft beta will receive invitations to take part in the beta and stress test process. Prospects need to have an active subscription or game time on their Battle.net account. The length of a player's subscription may also factor into the decision-making process.

Blizzard plans to open character creation for Classic on August 13. From that day on, active players can create up to three characters per WoW account. For a look at the stress test schedule and to determine the Classic launch time for your region, head over to the official announcement.