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Blizzard Entertainment’s Classic World of Warcraft may have transitioned into Burning Crusade Classic, but it seems like vanilla WoW Classic’s story is not quite over. A recently launched Classic PTR server (Public Test Realm) appears to have ‘Phase 1’ rules. Moreso, it appears the Chronoboon, which Blizzard added at the end of Classic’s lifespan, is in the build. While nothing is confirmed, we could be getting fresh Classic WoW servers sometime soon.
The new build on the PTR appears to have Phase 1 like content. All Phase 1 means is a lack of PvP Rankings, while Molten Core and Onixia are the only raids available, along with some changes like the Chronoboon. Adding in the Chronoboon, which stores a character’s World Buffs, is evidence of a major design shift if fresh servers are true. The Phase 1 addition of the Chornoboon removes the need to log out until raid or the rage-inducing moments of getting your buffs purged by an opposing faction member. It means that a potential Phase 1 on the PTR will be massively different from Classic’s Phase 1 if it does happen.
Changes are nothing new to Classic WoW. TBC now has Horde-only battlegrounds to address a major PvP community issue. Meanwhile, the Chronoboon was a solid remedy to the World Buff meta, while still allowing players to grief if they so wished. It is clear Blizzard is open to changes now that the consequences of a true vanilla experience don’t necessarily mean you get a vanilla experience.
The interest in new servers?
Fresh Classic WoW servers have been a hotly requested feature, dating back to the pre-release of Burning Crusade Classic. With the rampant botting and hyperinflated economy, many Classic players predicted disaster for TBCC and the future of Classic progression servers. Not to mention that Classic was not vanilla. The rampant World Buff meta forced raiders to log off their characters so that they can raid ‘optimally’. If they didn’t, they could face the bench in the most extreme cases (not very vanilla-like). Fresh Classic WoW servers with the above changes could get players much closer to the vanilla-like experience that Classic WoW tried to emulate, but ultimately failed to achieve.
Blizzard Entertainment is more than aware of the interest in fresh Classic WoW servers. The launch of TBC was nowhere near as dramatic as the Classic WoW launch of 2019. Furthermore, the fans that caused Classic to appear in the first place have always been Classic enthusiasts. Even popular content creators in the WoW community frequently ask Blizzard to create fresh Classic WoW servers.
— Payo (@payowow) August 15, 2021
Before TBC’s launch, some communities in North America and Europe attempted to launch a Classic fresh experience on some of World of Warcraft’s ‘dead realms’. Those projects aimed to create a more vanilla-like experience, with a much healthier economy that attempted to avoid the rampart botters. While those projects failed due to a plethora of community and meta-issues, it doesn’t mean Blizzard will.
Of course, the phenomenon of fresh Classic WoW servers is not entirely new. Before Blizzard released Classic WoW, many vanilla WoW fans played on private servers. It became a bit of a meme in those communities of how much they loved fresh. Not to mention that many freshes servers tended to reshape the game and add changes to adapt to the community skill or to make it more interesting. Only time will tell what Blizzard will do, and we so await an official announcement.