World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic will get “fresh start” servers come release, allowing new players to jump in without feeling left behind by players who are already max level on existing servers.
Blizzard announced the news via a post on the Burning Crusade Classic forums. These fresh servers will come with the arrival of the Wrath of the Lich King pre-patch, and will have players start at level one but with access to the new abilities and talent trees introduced as part of Wrath of the Lich King. Fresh start servers weren’t an option for the game’s release of Burning Crusade Classic.
“In addition to fulfilling a request we’ve heard from players for a long time, we expect there to be a lot of new Classic players joining us for the first time in Wrath of the Lich King, and some of them may be concerned that they’ll feel behind,” Blizzard’s forum post reads. “Fresh start realms should give those players a chance to feel as though they’re on an even playing field with everyone else.”
There will be some stipulations when it comes to making a character on a fresh start server. For at least 90 days, players will not be able to use a paid character boost, and fresh start servers will not be eligible to receive transfers from other servers for the same length of time. Players interested in playing a Death Knight in Wrath of the Lich King Classic will need to hit level 55 on a character on the fresh start server before being able to create a Death Knight character on that same server. That won’t be a requirement on other, existing Wrath of the Lich King servers, where players will be able to make one Death Knight on any server without needing a level 55 character.
According to Blizzard, the Wrath of the Lich King pre-patch will last anywhere from two to six weeks, meaning new players rolling on fresh servers won’t have a ton of time to hit max level before being able to venture to the new continent of Northrend. When the pre-patch does arrive, all existing Burning Crusade Classic servers will be automatically converted into Wrath of the Lich King Classic servers.
Blizzard is hoping fresh start servers will be an opportunity for more balanced faction experiences, which is something the game has struggled with in recent times both in WoW Classic and the game’s most recent Shadowlands expansion, with more players picking Horde over Alliance. That has led to things like same-faction PvP battlegrounds in Burning Crusade Classic and the cross-faction groups in modern WoW.
Wrath of the Lich King Classic does not currently have an exact release date, but is slated to arrive sometime in 2022.