wintergrasp possibly cross realm in wotlk classic featured image

The latest WotLK Beta build brought a host of changes and bugfixes with it, but Reddit user u/notthatkindoforc1121 made an interesting observation: a new spell was added to the database, with the following description: “When this player returns to their server, this aura activates the Essence of Wintergrasp buff for all players in their faction”. The spell’s name according to the database is “Wintergrasp Instance – Essence of Wintergrasp Trigger”. This has major implications for Wintergrasp, suggesting that cross-realm Wintergrasp may be in the works!

For those who aren’t familiar with it, Wintergrasp is a world zone in Northrend, where a fierce battle between the Alliance and Horde take place regularly. The winning faction gains control of the zone for 2.5 hours, gaining access to new daily quests, as well as to the Vault of Archavon raid. The raid is very quick and easy, and rewards raid gear (specifically, tier set pieces) from the 10-man version of the current raid gear (Phase 1 => 10-man Naxxramas Tier 7) and PvP gear from the current season — making it extremely popular, specially for alts.

Historically, Blizzard has had issues with Wintergrasp: while a lot of people enjoy it, the fact that it’s an all-out war between the factions can cause issues on servers with imbalanced faction populations. In patch 3.2, Blizzard added a queue to participating in the battle for Wintergrasp, which enforced a 100 vs 100 player cap. The minority faction on many servers still couldn’t compete with the majority, failing to get even 20 players on off-peak hours. To ameliorate this issue, Blizzard added a buff that made players proportionately stronger depending on how big the population imbalance was, which helped a little.

The faction population issues are significantly worse in Classic, with several servers being either 100% Alliance or 100% Horde — meaning many players will never experience the battle of Wintergrasp. This new buff seems to imply that Blizzard is aware of this issue, and is experimenting with the possibility of adding a cross-realm version of Wintergrasp. If we understand the buff’s description correctly, Wintergrasp would now be fought among multiple realms, and players from the winning side would return to their server and “claim” it for their faction there, granting players of the same faction the Essence of Wintergrasp buff, which allows them see the monsters needed for the daily quests there, as well as collect Stone Keeper’s Shards, the local currency in Wintergrasp.

It’s uncertain whether Blizzard will end up implementing this feature and how exactly it will work in its final version, but it’d certainly be very interesting to see what they do. A lot of players are expressing concern over the possibility of not being able to experience Wintergrasp on their servers due to the population imbalance, and it’s good to see that Blizzard is at least aware of the issue and trying out fixes for it!

What are your thoughts on this topic? Would you like to have cross-server Wintergrasp? Is your server completely one-sided and won’t get to do Wintergrasp properly? Or would you rather that Blizzard keeps things the way they were, even if this means no Wintergrasp on some servers? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author


Classic WoW is my jam, with a passion for PvP. Most know me as Baranor, the ret paladin guy, but I'm secretly a druid main, don't tell anyone. In my free time I play Switch games, particularly JRPGs. Some day I'll be making my own games and I humbly hope you play those too!

Notify of

1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 months ago

“The winning faction gains control of the zone for 2.5 hours, gaining access to new daily quests, as well as to the Vault of Archavon raid.”

Not entirely true. you always have access to the daily quests winning or losing wintergrasp.The quest givers are just replaced in a different location.

Scroll to Top