World of Warcraft Chromie Time Explained: How To Play Previous Expansions

WoW Expansions
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How can I play the previous expansions in WoW?

If you create a brand new character in World of Warcraft right now, you will be given two options when it comes to the starting point of your adventure: the initial zone of your selected race or the tutorial island of Exile’s Reach. For brand new accounts the Exile’s Reach is mandatory on your first character and it will throw you right into the Battle for Azeroth expansion with little to no context as to what is going on. 

That can be really confusing and even jarring for some players, especially new players who want to experience the story of WoW for the first time or returning players who want to resume their adventure from whatever point they’ve last stopped at. While most of the quests, dungeons and raids of previous expansions can be accessed normally, they will be very lackluster in terms of difficulty, rewards and story consistency.

The only way to properly play through the previous expansions’ content is called Chromie Time, and this system can be a little bit cryptic to figure out on your own.


What is Chromie Time?

Chromie, or Chronormu, is a recurring character in World of Warcraft by now, and you should already know that she is a powerful dragon of the Bronze Dragonflight who goes by the disguise of a cute gnome woman to deal with the mortal affairs of Azeroth. She has timewalking powers and wishes to protect the stability of the timelines in the world of WoW at all costs.

Using these timewalking abilities, or “Chromie Time”, Chromie can change your current timeline to that of any previous expansion, allowing you to experience past events the right way. Not only does Chromie Time change the world of Azeroth to how it was during the selected expansion, but also scales all of the content in order to provide a leveling experience from levels 10 to 50.

It is important to note that after level 50 you will not be able to use Chromie Time anymore, meaning that after leveling on the selected expansion all the way to level 50, you will be moved onto the current content once again. The only way to go around this restriction is by locking the experience gain of your character.


How do I activate Chromie Time?

There is no way to use Chromie Time on your first character. In order to activate Chromie Time, you’ll have to level up your first character all the way to level 50 and only after that you will be able to use the system on your other characters.

All you have to do is create a new character and level it up to level 10. Now you should see Chromie’s icon on your map, which is an hourglass. She is located in both Orgrimmar and Stormwind, so the easiest way to do this is to follow the quests of your race’s starting zone up until they send you to the capital city of your faction.

When talking to Chromie now she will give you the option to activate Chromie Time and play through Timewalking Campaigns.


What are the benefits of Timewalking Campaigns?

While they are not the same thing as having been there when the old expansions were first released, Timewalking Campaigns are a great way to fully experience these expansions for the first time or even revisit your favorite points of the story of World of Warcraft.

They allow you to level up your characters in any expansion’s content, thus making replayability a big factor here. Now you can have a completely different leveling experience on each of your alts, or maybe it’s simply easier and more fun to level up all of your alts in your favorite expansion, be it for gameplay or story reasons.


Can I play through all of the expansions in chronological order?

Considering that Chromie Time is only allowed for characters below level 50, there are two ways to properly play through all of the story of World of Warcraft in chronological order.

The first way you can go about this is by creating a different character for each expansion. Doing this, you will level up each character all the way from 10 to 50 and experience all of the content of each expansion scaled correctly to your level. This is a great option for players who enjoy creating alts and playing with different classes to spice up the gameplay loop. The only issue here is the fact that you will have to quest through the first 10 levels on the starting zones every time, which not only is annoying but can make the story feel a little disconnected.

The second way to play through WoW in chronological order is through experience locking or level locking. At any point before level 50, you can lock your experience gain in order to remain at your current level, thus avoiding the level restriction of Chromie Time. To do that, Horde players have to talk to Slahtz at the Hall of the Brave in Orgrimmar and Alliance players have to talk to Behsten at the War Room in Stormwind. The price is only 10 pieces of gold, so any player will certainly be able to afford it.


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