Two Weeks of Classic Era

It's been about two weeks since I started playing on Classic era. My night elf rogue hit level twenty and managed to get into a group for Deadmines, but I didn't have a whole lot to say about that run. It was good fun but relatively uneventful. Since then I've allowed the character to rest up a bit in town while I focused on being active in my newfound Horde guild.

Playing on Horde side is very weird and in some ways quite unlike any MMO experience I've had before. I noted in my initial impressions of the population on Alliance side that it seemed uncomfortably low for my standards - and while we don't have reliable numbers, I reckon that the Horde population is maybe half as large as that of the Alliance, if even that (which is very much in line with the typical faction balance on PvE servers from what I've seen).

The auction house rarely has more than 100-200 auctions running and it's driving me batty, not because I have any ambition to be an auction house baron, but because I'm used to making a bit of money on the side by selling useful drops and trade goods. I'm already vendoring a lot of things that I'd usually try to sell to other players, but with some items it just feels wrong. I must have re-listed the same stack of mithril about ten times by now but I just can't get myself to vendor the stuff. Plus the auction house should have some mithril on it, just in case someone is searching for any! I'm not claiming to make a lot of sense on that front, but it's how I feel.

The emptiness of the open world is actually quite charming to be honest. It makes quests that send you out to deal with local threats feel more real somehow when you really are the only adventurer in town. And when you do run into someone else out in the open, you really notice that person, take note of their name and guild, and maybe emote at each other. Every encounter feels meaningful.

In the cities the emptiness is a bit harder to swallow to be honest. I had a bit of a crisis of faith when I did a /who Undercity one night and I was literally the only player there. Playing on era means needing to be able to feel comfortable with being alone sometimes. Orgrimmar at least gets a little bit busier around raid time, but then it's weird to notice that all the people in and around the bank are in my guild. There'll be the occasional unguilded character or member of Trinity, but other than that, it feels like the world basically exists for my guild. Did I mention yet that this is a very weird situation to be in in an MMO?

And yet, I've been playing in that environment, both solo on my hunter to work on some bits and bobs, and joining my new guildies for dungeons and raids to soak in some of the social atmosphere. In Thursday's raid I laughed out loud a couple of times, prompting the husband to ask what was going on, something that hadn't happened in regards to WoW Classic in a while. This is the sort of thing that made me fall in love with the Forks two years ago...

Still, I'm conflicted in some ways. I shouldn't be looking to replace the Forks, and nobody likes a person who constantly compares everyone to their ex. I worry that I might be making myself too comfortable too quickly. And do I really want to go through all that progression in Classic era all over again? I don't know.

I do know that I felt proud to finally be able to afford my tauren hunter's epic mount tonight, and to finish up her BWL attunement with the help of some guildies. That's another kind of interesting and bizarre thing: On the one hand the lack of an active pugging scene is obviously a massive inconvenience, but on the other hand it does put the onus more obviously on the guild to help people. I think of my many moans in early BC Classic about finding it hard to get guild runs together and how the response was always to "just pug it", because people didn't think that it should be their responsibility to make things happen for their guild mates.

In Classic era, that's not really an option, which is why I actually felt somewhat empowered to stand up and ask people to come run UBRS with me for my attunement despite of being very new, and after one of the raid tanks agreed to come along, the rest almost sorted itself, even as I felt hopelessly out of my depth keeping track of whose alt was doing what. (I'm still a big noob here!)

The lack of a functional economy also makes gold nearly worthless beyond taking care of certain vendor-sold conveniences such as mounts or chronoboons. My epic kodo did require some grinding (and I was pleased to find that I had a bunch of solo quests left to do in Silithus, probably because they hadn't been added yet when I originally switched to Alliance), but aside from that everyone just tries to take care of each other by providing help and material assistance when needed. I already mentioned that resistance potions were being handed out for free in AQ40, and when I asked whether the guild bank had any of the hunter books from AQ20 in stock, I found all three of them in my mailbox only a few hours later.

It's just such a chill and cosy community, but the whole environment is also kind of weird and different, and I don't know yet how that's going to turn out for me in the long run. At the moment I'm having a good time though.


  1. This is a really revealing post from my perspective. Leaving aside the guild/raid aspects, what you're describing is my normal mmorpg experience in multiple games over many years. I've played a lot of less popular titles, usually in the wrong time zone, so an almost empty world in which it's surprising to run into another player is par for the course.

    More than that, though, I have always had ambivalent feelings about auction houses and the like, especially in WoW, where I really dislike the way the whole thing has been set up. I prefer systems where you just throw stuff on an forget about it, maybe picking up the cash a month or a year later if you ever remember to check. Consequently, I tend to just stash or vendor most things because the process of auctioning them is unpleasant and boring. An almost empty auction house means I can just forget about that whole aspect of the game and get on with my virtual life, which in turn adds to the sense of immersion.

    You're definitely making Classic as it is now sound more appealing than ever!

    1. I have no idea why that came up as "Anonymous" - it said "Comment as Bhagpuss" when I submitted it.

    2. Haha, I got the notification for that comment from "Anonymous", read it, and thought "That sounds kind of like Bhagpuss..." Your tone is unmistakable even when your login doesn't work. 😁

  2. You've managed to put into words exactly how I feel about many aspects of this server environment. It requires playing in a way which can be both rewarding and frustrating at times! Despite this I've been playing on era for about a year now, after missing the initial run of classic, and it's perfect for some chill vanilla shenanigans.

    I'm glad you're enjoying playing with us and hope we gain more attention as time goes by from other players on WoW's spectrum!

    Regards from a fellow warrior of sunlight :)

    1. Ooh, an anonymous guildie! Hello there, and glad to see you found your way to my blog. 😊

      I hope that these posts may also come up for people searching for more info about Classic era on the European servers. The people promoting era recently have done an admirable job, but they all seem to be on the US PvP cluster, and obviously things are a bit different there.

      I think it's important to be honest about both the pros and cons of the experience, because I can totally understand how this wouldn't be for everyone! But I do think there's an audience for this kind of play and I think it would be good for more people to find out about it.

    2. There was a really excellent post on Reddit which had information about all era servers, across regions, down to the names and progress of guilds residing there. It actually felt a bit weird seeing our guild name on a post like that! But the effect has been rippling out over the past weeks.

      There has been an overall uptick in interest on our server over time, due to things like French server merges and as a result of posts like those. We're expecting a bunch more recruits as people decide whether or not to clone before Wrath, but also when season of mastery ends and people get the choice to remain in vanilla.

      In the end it's just down to people knowing we exist. I used to browse the forums now and then to look for any activity, caught wind of some people playing and paid a month just to get to 60 and mess around. Then I didn't stop! I would've joined months earlier had I known!

    3. Yeah, I saw that reddit post and mentioned it in a previous blog entry of mine when listing some sources of information about era.

      And I was wondering what was up with the occasional LFG comment in French, that's good to know, haha.

  3. Making references to the Forks is fine. We understand you're using the Forks as a reference to the type of guild atmosphere you really like. It would be different if you wanted your new guild to be exactly like the Forks, instead of just as a shorthand for discussion. :)

    Enjoy your Horde guild for what it is, for however long it lasts. That's the important part.

  4. I think that it's okay to talk about the Forks, because unlike an ex, they're not going to be around out there in some form. That's not a creepy thing, it just is a thing. The Forks had a fork stuck in them, and there's nothing you can do about it; they chased the larger server, thinking it'd solve their problems, when the problems were already inside the guild and growing.

    I think of my many moans in early BC Classic about finding it hard to get guild runs together and how the response was always to "just pug it", because people didn't think that it should be their responsibility to make things happen for their guild mates.

    Boy, if I had some in-game gold every time someone in guild leadership said that, basically washing their hands of the situation they created, I'd be able to afford epic flying mounts for both Brig and Linna. Actually, that does give me an idea for a post, because I did pick up that guild leader's book that Bill had recommended, and for a bunch of obviously smart people you can tell that a significant portion of guild leadership doesn't know how to, well, lead.

    1. See, you're the number one person I keep thinking of who'd really enjoy life in era I think, because it's the exact opposite of those issues you had with your own guild in Classic. I mean, I don't know what things are like on the US servers, but I'd imagine the overall community feel to be similar.

      And what book is this? Or maybe I should just wait for the post if you're going to write about it anyway. :P

    2. I have poked my nose into Classic Era on Card lately, and it's been pleasantly mellow.

      Oh, and it's not just one book, but two books on guild management. I have to finish both, but yeah, there's a lot of things in those books that I've used in regular management so far.

  5. Cozy for sure. I've liked spending stretches of time in Classic, it's definitely the better WoW right now. Glad you're on Team Blaugust with us!