WoW Classic Calms Down a Bit

We are now about five weeks into the WoW Classic experience.

I believe this past week was the first since Blizzard opened up name reservations back in mid-August that they have not had to add any further WoW Classic servers.

Classic is as classic does

They started out with 25 servers, 13 US/Oceanic and 12 European.  The count now stands at 74 servers, 36 US/Oceanic (with 1 each for Latin America and Brazil) and 38 European.  That is quite a change, enough to drive subscription revenue up by 223% in August when compared to July.

I remain interested in the mix of server types, which come out as follows:

  1. PvP – 51
  2. Normal – 18
  3. RP-PvP – 3
  4. RP – 2

I would have assumed, given the World of Warcraft care bear, theme park, easy mode, starter MMO reputation that normal rules servers would have represented a greater portion of the mix.

My own theory has been that Blizz effectively making all retails servers normal servers with Battle for Azeroth may have pushed that, though I have been told that PvP is also one thing that the private emulation server community did not do well, so WoW Classic may be the only way to scratch the open world PvP itch for a lot of Azeroth fans.

I also wonder how the success of WoW Classic will influence the industry?  Which games… among those who haven’t already gone this route… will feel pressure to jump on the bandwagon?

I remain happy with my own server choice.  The RP server is about as chills as expected.  The population has been moving up through levels, so the early zones are not as crowded as they were a week or two ago.  I even caught the Defias Messenger outside of Moonbrook.

He made it out onto the road outside of town at least

For quite a stretch there has been somebody waiting for him at his spawn point in Moonbrook, with his corpse usually present only as far as he was able to flee.  He has a drop players need in the quest chain that leads you into the Deadmines, so has been a popular attraction.

In other news, Blizzard posted another video about WoW Classic and its creators, this time featuring Alex Afrasiabi.

 

Like many other members of the team, he found his way into the game as Field Marshal Afrasiabi, who stands at the entry to Stormwind.

He doesn’t have anything to say to me save “Move along”

Blizzard also posted two more WoW Classic city tours on their site, this time for Ironforge and Undercity.  Despite their similar circular layout I have always found Undercity much more confusing to navigate.  It is probably the elevators.

And, finally, Ula put up another video.  She captured a bit of a druid bear form party event taking place around the fountain in Stormwind.

I think the reactions of passers by are pretty amusing.

3 thoughts on “WoW Classic Calms Down a Bit

  1. bhagpuss

    Lol! I haven’t really seen anything like that on Hydraxian Warlords yet although there’s a *lot* pf sitting-on-chairs-in-Inns roleplaying going on. I have to force myself not to make the kind of remarks the crowd are making at the Bearfest.

    I also find the huge bias towards PvP servers peculiar. I was definitely expecting it to be the other way. The shuning of RP servers is peculiar, too. HQ is consistently at Medium even in prime time. It’s Medium as I wrote this at just before 7pm UK (8PM for most of Europe), which is one of the busiest times of the week. By contrast, 22 servers are Full and 13 High. The only other “Medium” servers are the later ones people were encouraged to swap to, which they clearly didn’t.

    It seems to me that having 35 servers Full or High at the start of the second sub-required month, especially considering Blizzard doubled their capacity before launch, suggests an ongoing success story. Blizzcon is going to be interesting this year.

    I’m also very pleased with my choice of an (actually, the only available) RP server. It’s been very friendly and laid-back as I hoped it would be and if the crowds I see every day at “Medium” are anythig to go by I’m very happy not to be on a server that sits at High or Full.

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  2. Archey

    I’m really interested to see how long the phenomenon goes on. I’ve always been more on the “worldy” side than the “gamey” side with all the challenges that brings to the table… though some would call them annoyances. And the annoyances have been slowly weeded out of the game over time, leaving retail with a different complexion than we see in Classic.

    Selfishly, I would like to see Classic succeed because it both shows that there are others like me, and gives me the game I want. But even on an intellectual curiosity level, I wonder how much of the popularity is nostalgia and how much the actual appetite is for this kind of game.

    I think it’s really a different beast than the nostalgia servers for Everquest/EQ II, because (so I’ve heard) EQ hasn’t changed as much mechanic-wise as WoW has. Curious for actual EQ players’ take on that, though.

    On a side note: Alex Afrasiabi also has a second credit in the game, as I recall: a Western Plaguelands quest called “The Great Fras Siabi”.

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  3. bhagpuss

    @Archey – EverQuest has certainly changed a lot less over it’s longer lifetime than WoW has. The main reason is that the EQ developers have always chosen to add more systems on top of what was already there rather than Blizzard, who tend to prefer replacing old with new. Consequently there are far more things you can do in EQ c.2019 than in EQ c1999 but few that you have to do.

    If you want to log into a Live server and play the way you did twenty years ago you can, by and large, do so. Some things have gone for good, like the full page spell book when you meditate, but an awful lot is still much the same. On the other hand, if you want a much more modern UI, a completely different loot system, NPC mercenaries to fight or heal your character and a plethora of other innovations added over two decades, they are all there to choose from. Most of what the Progression servers do is to block these systems and re-introduce them with the expansions or updates that added them.

    As for the content, as Wilhelm says, most of it is still where it was, as it was, looking like it ever did. There were a few years when SOE attempted a graphical revamp but they only ever got as far as part of the are around Freeport, as far south as Innothule Swamp and as far East as Lavastorm. Probably about 1% or less of the entire gameworld.

    As a game, it plays much as it ever did, although things like xp curves, death penalties and travel are far, far less onerous than they used to be and the AA (Alternative Advancement) system allows you access to a vastly wider range of abilites than was once the case. My Magician, for example, is always permanently levitated and has instant, unbreakable invisibility, al with no reagents for maintenance costs, via AAs. That alone makes playing her a completely different experience from the Classic era.

    The whole thing is easier and faster, for sure. Easy and fast, though, it still is not!

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