I would like to start playing World of Warcraft (again, after very, very.. long time...). I heard that Cataclysm expansion greatly changes game mechanics, like deleting many stats (some of them I liked very much) or possibility to get them on items.

I don't like this 'simplification'. I very liked the old system, so I would like to play World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (+ Burning Crusade ofc.), without further expansions (Cataclysm, Pandoria or newest one). But can I do this? Are there servers for all expansions, so people don't need to buy anything more, or I would need to have at least Cataclysm or some other expansion?

I would like to play WoTLK very much, without all these very deep mechanics changes and stats deletions (it's really not the same gameplay :-[ ), and I almost bought it, but I just heard that some of the patches to new expansions can affect the old ones.

But, I suppose, something so important like game mechanics shouldn't be affected, right? ...Or they do, and I cannot play normal WoW : Wrath of the Lich King?

  • I do not believe this is a thing that is possible. At best, if you do not have an expansion associated with your account, you are locked out of content unique to that expansion (max levels, dungeons & raids). When an expansion is released all of World of Warcraft is updated, so things like changes to talent trees and/or stats are applied to everyone, regardless of what expansions they own. May 4, 2014 at 22:33
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    I already saw this @Frank, but it is not duplicate, only similar question: It says nothing about deleted stats and just gives examples of changes in mechanics. For me, it is possible to change things like Talents, without doing said deep changes in mechanics, there can even be different changes for every expansion in this patch. I read this topic and it didn't answered my question, or I just don't have proper lore to deduct the answer from this. This is why I posted my question.
    – Kusavil
    May 4, 2014 at 22:48
  • Your accepted answer is saying the exact same thing as the accepted answer on the duplicate question. I'm not sure how this isn't a duplicate. Quote from that answer: "it's impossible to play the game today using the talent system from an earlier period in time"
    – Frank
    May 4, 2014 at 22:58
  • @Frank a single answer may serve multiple questions. This question is asking about mechanics, not content.
    – Amy B
    May 5, 2014 at 0:38

1 Answer 1


Blizzard's servers all run the latest version. This version currently is 6.1, which includes the Cataclysm update to the Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms, as well as Outlands, Northrend, Cataclysm zones, Pandaria and (back-in-time) Draenor.

There is no way to play an older version of WoW on Blizzard's servers.

But what about purchases? Currently, if you have WoW at all, you have these expansions automatically : Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria. It has been this way since 2014-10-14.

If you want to play WoW you only need to buy the base game. Do not purchase the older expansions because you get them with the base game.

Until you purchase Warlords of Draenor, you will be unable to:

  • level past 90
  • go back in time to the level 90-100 content.
  • Thank you :) Good to know about this, I will buy the base then :) I will try these changes.
    – Kusavil
    May 4, 2014 at 22:52

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