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WoW ClassicJun 13, 2022 2:30 pm CT

Wrath of the Lich King Classic will launch with Fresh Start realms

If you’ve been waiting for Wrath of the Lich King before starting your World of Warcraft Classic experience, or if it’s been months since you’ve last logged in and want to level a new character at the start of Wrath Classic then we have good news. When Wrath Classic begins in prepatch mode later this year there will be Fresh Start realms to accommodate those looking for, well, a fresh start with level 1 characters.

For at least the first 90 days of the realms’ existence there will be no boosting or transfers to the realm allowed, so that every character starts at level 1. Death Knights will be allowed, but only after the account has a level 55 character on that server. You’ll be able to start leveling at the moment of prepatch, as the Classic and Burning Crusade Classic zones will be available, but as will be the case on other realms you will not be able to travel to Northrend or start a Death Knight until Wrath Classic officially launches.

Once the restricted period ends, these realms will be the same as any other realms, with Blizzard’s stated goal of building a community and faction balance hopefully present upon them — but whether that actually occurs or lasts remains to be seen. If the timing of the Fresh Start doesn’t work with your schedule, you’ll still be able to take advantage of the Seasons of Mastery to start out fresh if you desire, but when and how often those will occur has yet to be announced.

Uniting to take down Arthas

The announcement of Fresh Start realms, while a welcome one, seems counter to recent updates by the development team as to how they’re planning to consolidate players together better. Last week it was announced that a whole host of realms were being outright retired in August — move voluntarily now or be unceremoniously kicked off in two months — and previous restrictions about PVP realm transfers and the ability to have characters of both factions on the same PVP realm are going away. That said, the popularity of Wrath was so extensive that the team may be anticipating a similar rush in players for Wrath Classic that the Fresh Start realms don’t end up unpopulated in a year.

At the same time, the desire for faction balance on servers is likely a pipe dream at this point — community tools and coordination have made it all too easy for realms to be overwhelmingly one side of the faction war, with no incentives for the players available to try to compensate. While individual realms will be a lot more populated in Wrath Classic the faction imbalance will likely remain simply because it’s too beneficial for players to maintain it, which doesn’t bode well for those who want competitive Wintergrasp matches.

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