- Author: Dwarflord
- Date: May 20, 2023
- Expansion: WoW Classic
On May 18th, 2021 The Burning Crusade prepatch came out and Classic servers were split: you could choose to send your character swirling through the Dark Portal to Outland, or you could choose to stay level 60 forever; you could also choose to do both for a fee. Most players jumped through that portal without a second thought — they were done with Vanilla, they would never want to play that version of the game again… right?
At first, the Classic Era servers were ghost towns! Vanilla WoW enthusiasts were scattered across the realms, and these realms were connected into clusters to help connect the player base. It was not until September 28th, 2021 that free Era to Era transfers were offered: players on PVP realms could transfer to Whitemane, and PVE realms could transfer to Mankrik on the NA servers. For EU the main servers to transfer to were Firemaw PVP and Pyrewood Village PVE.
For the next year there was a slow and steady growth — people who left the Vanilla servers realised that they missed that flavour. In the mornings there often were less than 50 people total online on my server of Whitemane. There were guilds clearing Naxx, but not the thriving community of levellers and raiders we see today.
Yet players slowly returned, and eventually there more and more people restarting their journey from level 1 (as they did not clone their character to Classic Era). And, when Season of Mastery ended on Feb 14th, 2023, the Classic Era servers saw a spike in players.
Suddenly, these servers started to feel very much alive. The main clusters hit medium, and then high, and some even hit full population. The last four months of Classic Era have been a wild time to witness.
And it has been a very fun experience watching it all happen. We now have Battlegrounds popping 24/7, when we used to only do them for several hours on Friday and Saturday nights. We have raids going around the clock. Oceanic players hosting both the early morning raids, and very late night raids. East coast raids, West coast raids. Casual raids, and hardcore speed-running raids. World buffs drop all the time, sometimes every couple of minutes at prime time. And there is tons of world PVP on the PVP realms.
One thing is clear: now is an awesome time to get back into Vanilla WoW!
Lastly, I want to say thank you to those who reach out to me. I love getting whispers in game, or a DM on Discord saying: “Hey, I read your article on Warcraft Tavern/watched your video and now I am playing on Classic Era because of you.”