Classic Era Goes Viral

I haven't actually been playing that much Classic WoW for the past couple of weeks, as I've been more focused on SWTOR for a number of reasons. However, that doesn't mean that time has stood still for Classic era in the meantime - in fact, it's been quite the opposite: A lot has been happening while I've been gone. For example <The Old Raiders>, the guild in which I had placed two of my Alliance alts, exploded in a massive drama bomb and then reformed under a new name. I didn't witness any of this; I just found the Discord completely empty one day and then got the scoop about what had happened through the grapevine.

However, the really big thing that happened was that Classic era went kind of viral last week. It started with a video from medium-sized WoW YouTuber Metagoblin, someone with whom I'm mostly familiar due to an old guildie who used to constantly link his videos at the start of BC Classic to justify dumb takes about what "the meta" was going to be. A day later, streaming behemoth Asmongold "reacted" to said video on his stream.

Yesterday popular WoW Classic YouTuber WillE - someone who contributed a lot to the "Classic era is dead" narrative last year - released a video in which he admitted that era is alive and that he was wrong to write it off the way he did. And Asmongold actually logged into era himself and took a bit of a look around.

All of these videos raised era's profile massively within a matter of days. The community Discord was flooded with hundreds of new members, which was mostly nice to see, though the way some of them skipped straight past the FAQ to ask the same couple of questions over and over and over was a bit aggravating.

The effect was visible in-game as well, as the European PvP cluster (not sure about the US one) reached a "medium" population rating for the first time. Incidentally, this also showed that the community has been mistaken about how the population display works... we'd assumed that the cluster effectively had medium population already, and that it just wasn't showing because every individual realm was considered to be low pop on its own. However, when Firemaw ticked over to medium, all the realms connected to it ticked over at once, which shows that the indicator takes the whole cluster into consideration after all.

It's an exciting time to be a Classic era enthusiast for sure. Mind you, I don't think the game is in any danger of becoming the next big thing. With no more content progression it will remain niche, and to be honest the videos I linked above are hardly the greatest promotion for it either. Metagoblin and WillE mostly seem kind of confused by era being a thing, and Asmongold gets weirdly focused on a tangent about how he thinks Classic should be free-to-play... no, it won't really make much more sense if you watch it yourself. To them, the game remains an oddity that none of them really care about beyond using it as a subject to generate views.

However, considering that we know that many people - including those who actively play other versions of WoW - didn't even know era existed, this kind of exposure is still extremely valuable, because while era clearly isn't going to be for everyone, the current state of affairs feels like there must still be a lot of gamers out there who would enjoy it but simply don't know about it. I don't need or even want it to become huge - but I'd love it if the EU PvE cluster would grow to medium pop as well, as that seems to be my happy place. While high is too busy for my liking and low is okay, having a bit more players than we have right now would be great.

By the way, while I linked all the videos I mentioned above to give credit where credit is due, I don't think they are actually that interesting to watch if you have even the slightest idea about Classic era already and are actually interested in playing it. If you'd like a bit more information about what it's actually like to play on era, I recommend watching one of these two videos by active era community members JayTV and Morphious instead:


  1. I saw the Asmongold Youtube video had posted and thought "this could be a good thing or a bad thing". At least there's some interest in Era now, given that people are starting to realize that the Cataclysm train is going to be leaving the station this year.

    1. Yeah, the average Asmongold viewer is probably not the target audice for era... but some might be! And at least it gets people talking.

      I really need to make that post about the future of Classic that I've been thinking about. I reckon that we are in for some interesting times.