Players have already waited months to return to Azeroth in “World of Warcraft Classic,” but the launch is straining under the load forcing them to wait a little longer. The game launched in North America on Monday, at no additional cost since it’s part of everyone’s WoW subscription, and Blizzard was right to warn players about lines to get into the servers. A long list of the NA servers have waiting lists in the thousands, and players will have to wait it out to get online with their friends.

If you’re new to the idea of “World of Warcraft Classic,” Blizzard recreated the pre-expansion game in its most feature-complete state, as it was during 2006’s “Drums of War” update back in patch 1.12.0. The game has become immensely complicated, larger, and more popular since those early days. “World of Warcraft” has been played by more than 140M players over the past 15 years according to the company, and has evolved considerably across seven expansions, with numerous features, enhancements, and quality-of-life improvements. Activities like raids and dungeon runs must be organized collectively by players on the same realm, with the toughest challenges requiring 40 coordinated players to achieve victory. That’s why it’s so frustrating for players waiting to get online with their friends, since no one wants to be left behind, or wait for that last player in your group.

In the game, the Alliance and the Horde, in the midst of outright war, are made to reckon with forces whose powers transcend their own brutal conflict—including some of the most iconic and love-hated of villains of the Warcraft universe, like Ragnaros the Firelord and the Archlich Kel’ Thuzad.

“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re overjoyed to welcome our friends new and old to classic Azeroth,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “The community’s excitement is infectious and deeply motivating—it’s clear they’re as thrilled as we are to relive the World of Warcraft Classic experience. We look forward to rediscovering its wonders and challenges together with them, starting today.”

Blizzard stated that “World of Warcraft Classic” will continue to expand in the weeks and months following today’s launch, allowing players the opportunity to live through pivotal moments in Azeroth history previously lost to time. Among the host of features and activities set to be introduced to the game across six phases are iconic raids like Blackwing Lair, Zul’Gurub, and Naxxramas; player-versus-player battlegrounds like Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, and the classic version of Alterac Valley; and time-limited server-wide events like the Ahn’Qiraj War Effort, and the Scourge Invasion.

Blizzard is also celebrating World of Warcraft’s 15th Anniversary. New festivities will begin with an in-game event in World of Warcraft’s latest expansion, Battle for Azeroth, in which max-level players can participate in a special raid that brings together some of the mightiest raid bosses in WoW’s history. Players who complete the raid will be awarded the Obsidian Worldbreaker mount, inspired by the dreaded Dragon Aspect Deathwing the Destroyer. In addition, all Battle for Azeroth players who log in during the 15th anniversary event will earn limited-time bonuses, including a Lil’ Nefarian pet, a commemorative in-game achievement, and more. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.

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