Saturday, June 25, 2022

WoW: TBC more popular than Vanilla - but where are the player masses?

September 16, 2021

Those who regularly listen to our buffedCast know: In the run-up to the launch of WoW: Burning Crusade Classic, I was sure that the game experience in the open Outland would be one big shitshow for quite some time if Blizzard didn't provide completely new TBC Classic servers or provide numerous layers on all well-populated realms (which wouldn't be much better).

In fact, there were phases where questing in Outland was only marginally fun on my server, Razorfen. Especially when the developers reduced the number of layers from 7 to 2 before the first weekend, although of course more people had time to play at that time, there was a lot going on in Hellfire Peninsula. And Razorfen is far from the most popular server in the TBC Classic ecosystem.

However, the situation calmed down much faster than I had suspected in advance. Queues were only an issue on a few servers for some time. Questing and farming is quite feasible on many realms. At the same time, the layers play a smaller role than in WoW (buy now 14,99 € ) Classic. The possible reason: Burning Crusade Classic seems to attract or inspire fewer players than it was still the case with WoW Classic. And this is strange at first glance, after all, the Burning Crusade era always performs significantly better in popularity polls than the vanilla version of WoW (here is a sample poll).

TBC more popular, but...

Don't misunderstand: Burning Crusade Classic is far from dead. The number of characters actively participating in the PvE endgame of TBC Classic is increasing

with each passing week. According to, four servers are now cracking the 10,000 mark. In total, there are over 300,000 level-70 characters in the US, EU, and Russia regions in the Outland PvE endgame. However, we are still a long way from the peak numbers from the Classic era - especially on the German-speaking servers. Whether these can be reached is questionable, since there are more and more players who already hang up TBC Classic on the nail or at least pause.

But what is the reason that WoW Classic, despite its lower popularity, has been able to attract more players or inspire them over a longer period of time? I asked around and searched the net for reasons. In particular, the following points were mentioned again and again:

  • I didn't even start playing TBC Classic because... you could play the TBC content continuously since 2007. Classic, on the other hand, was fresh because the vanilla version of the world hadn't been available since Cataclysm.
  • I didn't even start playing TBC Classic because ... I had already played TBC at the time. It was a great time, but I don't need to relive it again. Vanilla, on the other hand, I hadn't experienced, so that was exciting for me.
  • I didn't even start playing TBC Classic, because ... #somechanges like the character boost or the edition with the mount bother me. I don't support that by playing TBC Classic.
  • I stopped playing TBC Classic again because ... I'm currently playing WoW patch 9.1.
  • I stopped playing TBC Classic again because ... Phase 1 has nothing to offer anymore. Raids are through, attunements are through, reputation is farmed. I might come back with phase 2.
  • I stopped playing TBC Classic again because ... Summer.
  • I quit TBC Classic again because... I'm done with WoW. I'd rather wait for the new MMOs like Ashes of Creation or New World or try this thing called Final Fantasy 14.
  • I quit TBC Classic again because ... farming honor is way too time consuming right now and without hardening in the arena after a certain rating is just frustrating.

How does it look like: Are you still playing Burning Crusade Classic or have you also stopped (or never started)? If the latter is the case: What are your reasons? Tell us in the comments!

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