World of Warcraft’s private servers are emptying in the wake of WoW Classic, but they aren’t empty yet

    
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The vista

So, who figured that the people playing World of Warcraft emulators would all jump ship in order to play on the official version of WoW Classic? Raise your hand and move to the right side of the room. And everyone who thought that players would find some excuse to keep not paying a subscription and stay on private servers, move to the left side… and now meet back in the middle because you’re both partly right. It turns out that servers like Kronos and Elysium have definitely noticed a drop-off in play, but the servers are also not devoid of players just yet.

So why are people not moving on to the official servers? The stated reasons run from the fact that layering didn’t exist in vanilla and thus renders the game not classic to this justification of not paying a subscription from the operator of Kronos:

Many in the community (myself included) do not believe we should be charged the same fee for a 15 year old game as for a current game that has literally thousands of additional hours of content in it, and we see it as yet another way of them being able to pad their subscription numbers.

Ultimately, it’s likely that there are still a few private server diehards who will swap over, and it’s a similarly open question how many private servers will remain viable in the wake of the diminishing population. It’s interesting to watch regardless; after years of asking for the original game, a lot of people are happier to play it in an official form. But not everyone.

Source: Kotaku
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Roger Melly

The way I view it is Blizzard are doing the right thing so I will do the right thing and play on their servers .

If they ever offer pristine servers with a version of the retail game with something approaching the vanilla ruleset and difficulty I will certain play them to .

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Jake Boller

I play Classic and private. From what I see, the private server scene is quite healthy. There’s a Vanilla+ realm launching in a few months that looks amazing. They’ve redone all talents, their goal is that every spec is raid viable.

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flying_dutchman

The price of the modern game is a pretty poor argument. They are still charging the same now as they were at launch, and the dollar has lost something like 40% of it’s value since wow launch.

I’m honestly surprised blizzard hasn’t jacked up the price. Still, piracy is still piracy.

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agemyth 😩

You are a pirate.

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styopa

I paid to play on them, and I’m glad they’re now dying.
The remaining people who aren’t playing classic because they are asserting “classic has layers” etc are the simple % that always exist that want something for free. They were never going away.

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Sarah Cushaway

“Private server players are only playing there because it’s free! They wouldn’t actually PAY for Classic!”

Yeah, how’s that foot taste now, I wonder? Because the majority of players have moved over. The few that remain are yep, entitled… but they are definitely a minority.

Never want to hear that bullshit of “they only play because free” excuse again in regard to Classic.

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James Balmer

Gamer entitlement at its finest.

You are not entitled to a free game from Blizzard, no matter its age – grow up.

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Akagi

The problem with some people that played on private servers is that they grew accustomed to no have to pay for WoW and now when they have to, they are making up excuses why Classic sucks.

Reminds me of Aesop’s fable about “The Fox and the sour grapes” where people tend to delude themselves they dislike something they can’t get.

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Mewmew

Many Pirates have an excuse as to why they “need” to pirate. It used to be that Vanilla didn’t exist. So now it exists and the truth comes out for a lot of them, they simply don’t want to pay the monthly fee.

There were those that really actually were being truthful about just wanting that version of the game, and they moved on to the official servers since the Classic launch. But as you say, the emulated rogue servers didn’t just die or lose all their population. The people still there just shifted their excuse to a different one.

If they did release a $10 Classic Only sub, I’m sure they’d find yet another excuse.

Yet it doesn’t matter what they say, it’s not legal, they don’t have the rights to the stuff. They’re just game Pirates like any other. Any slight nobility they had died when Classic was released and they stayed with their free rogue servers and just found a new excuse.

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Sarah Cushaway

Not “a lot”. A minority.

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johnwillo

I sympathized with people who wanted Vanilla when there was none. Now that Classic is available, I have no sympathy at all for those who haven’t moved over. The number of people who truly can’t afford $15/month wouldn’t fully populate even a single server, IMHO.

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Loopy

“Many in the community (myself included) do not believe we should be charged the same fee for a 15 year old game”

Oh boy, the mental gymnastics are ready for the Olympics!

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Matthew Yetter

It would be nice if they had a separate subscription option for Classic, at a lower price. For example, $10 monthly for only Classic and the regular $15 for the option to play both. This would take a lot of the wind out of the sails of people who complain that it’s not fair to be paying full price for a 15 year old game.

Of course, for many of them this is most likely nothing more than a justification. It could be $3 for Classic only and they would probably still find an excuse to not pay.

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Malcolm Swoboda

$10 for me, Canadian, is nearly $15, so I’d jump on that.

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Bree Royce

That’s actually pretty reasonable, given that Classic isn’t going to be getting all-brand-new content at a rapid pace like Retail… well, like Retail should be in a just world. Insert jokes about Retail not getting sufficient updating either here. :P

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johnwillo

But Classic has to make enough money to fund development of Classic: Burning Crusade and Classic: Wrath of the Lich King! :)

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Utakata

At the risk of destabilizing Retail’s bread and butter, I think not. It’s a benefit to everyone they should both remain on one account.

As for the consumer, no better deal then getting 2 subs at the regular price of one. When you look at their lootbox ‘n whale competition, this deal is made in the heavens, IMO.

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johnwillo

I agree. I think that the joint subscription is how Blizzard justifies what would otherwise be seen as cannibalization of retail players by Classic.