WoW Classic and Streamers

I'm not into streaming at all and the only times I get to see any streamer's content is if someone records a particularly interesting clip and uploads it to YouTube, but even so I can't deny that they clearly have a following and considerable influence these days.

The WoW Classic interaction with streamers has been oddly split. On the one hand a number of popular streamers have been big fans of the concept of Vanilla servers for a long time, actively advocating for them and helping to bring the notion to the attention of a wider audience. On the other hand, a not insignificant number of the Classic crowd seem to view streaming culture as an annoying new-fangled thing that should have no place in Classic, and there's been talk of actively avoiding the servers that certain streamers want to play on or even forming "anti-streamer guilds" who would aim to gank and disrupt streamers wherever they can be found in the wild.

I can actually somewhat understand the latter sentiment, not least because I don't get the appeal of streaming myself and can absolutely see how a streamer roaming the lands with hordes of devoted followers could be disruptive to other people's gameplay. Yet at the same time... this doesn't inherently strike me as incompatible with what Classic is all about. They'd basically be like celebrities on their own server, and isn't the Vanilla community spirit all about knowing the people on your server? How is the annoying streamer different from the known trade chat troll or leader of a big social guild? I'm not saying you have to like them as people, but having someone on your server who is infamous for one reason or another is perfectly in line with the Vanilla experience everyone has been pining for.

As far as the streamers' interests go, anti-streamer guilds or no, Classic might actually be a pretty good fit for streaming as I understand it, for a number of reasons:

- The average moment-to-moment gameplay is pretty slow-paced and simple, meaning you can play and interact with your chat at the same time. You also don't have to worry about pausing your chatting in order to watch cut scenes or listen to dialogue.

- The open world makes it easy for viewers who also play to join in (unlike in purely instanced, session-based games like Fortnite), and unlike in current WoW, where this is also technically possible, you might actually find it beneficial to have people to group with! Imagine picking up a group quest as a streamer and a bunch of viewers come and help you get it done. Neat!

- At the same time time, the subscription requirement and levelling time required to be viable beyond the starter zone should keep the amount of completely random trolls wanting to grief streamers to a minimum.

- The slightly sandboxy nature of Classic means that you can organise events that allow a flexible number of people to participate and can make for memorable moments, such as when I attended a duelling tournament on Kronos, or when streamer Asmongold had some of his viewers kite a world boss to Stormwind in the Classic beta.

What are your thoughts on streaming? And do you think it will have a noticeable impact on Classic, both in terms of changing the average player's experience and by how it will providing free advertising for the game?


  1. It's an odd phenomena. I don't watch any streamers, except the Massively folks now and then, if they're playing something I'm interested in. I don't like to see the mob mentality that the real world is plagued with rising against any group anywhere, certainly not in a game where might imagine such things don't exist. Let them play, let them have fun like everyone else. That's what I think.

  2. It already had an impact with folks wanting to be on a non-streamer server. There are enough folks in my guild that don't want to be on a streamer server that we'll likely end up on a lower population server.

    Generally the feeling is that the streamers themselves are fine, but it is all the most obnoxious fans that make people want to avoid the streamers. I think folks just want to play the game and let things happen organically rather than the thought of their play time being disrupted as fuel for some streamer's view count.

    Personally, unless Classic is (again) a massive hit I suspect we won't be worried about streamers and the antics of their followers six months after launch.

    1. Considering how few servers they want to open for Classic, I'm not sure there'll be such a thing as low population servers!

      And very true that much of the dislike seems to be more targeted at obnoxious followers than the streamers themselves.

  3. I think there's a difference between people being famous for in-game reasons and people being famous for out-of-game reasons. The local troll and guild leader are part of the local community. The streamer is closer to an invasion from outside.