Wrath of the Lich King Fresh Start Realms Explained
Fresh Servers are an experimental set of realms arriving with the pre-patch of Wrath of the Lich King Classic. They are unique in that players must create all new characters if they wish to participate in these realms, and the entire server will begin with a new, separate economy. Find out more information about these special servers below.
What are Fresh Servers?
On August 30, 2022 the pre-patch for Wrath of the Lich King Classic begins. With the release of the pre-patch, Blizzard will also be opening two new servers in each region, one PvP and one PvE, that will be what are known as "fresh servers." These servers are going to be disconnected from all other Classic realms, meaning the only way to play on them or with the people playing there is by making and leveling your own character. You will not be able to transfer characters to the realms, nor will you be able to boost characters on the realms. These realms are meant to be a fresh start for anyone looking to get back into the game, and should appeal greatly to anyone worried about being behind when starting new.
Why Play on Fresh Servers?
In other games, economy resets are extremely common and are used as an incentive to draw back in players who maybe are waiting for a natural starting point. This is why games such as Diablo or Path of Exile always have huge surges of players who come try the game when a new season launches, because it offers a natural starting point where you do not feel like you are hopelessly behind other players who have been playing constantly. Games like WoW normally heavily encourage players to never stop playing by allowing you to accumulate massive amounts of resources such as gold and gear.
Fresh servers are the equivalent of a new season for WoW. They are an economy reset that allows both veteran and new players to start from nothing, building up a new world and economy without the influence of outside resources. One of the biggest issues plaguing TBC classic servers right now is gold inflation. Massive amounts of gold have entered the game over the years since Classic released, and newer players have a very difficult time affording anything important since established players have so much more gold and resources by comparison. This will be especially noticeable in Wrath, where prices on raw materials and other important items will be heavily inflated early on as long-term players finally have something to spend their gold on. Fresh servers mean that gold will be significantly more scarce, and so your effort and resources gathered initially will be far more meaningful and valuable than it would on a normal server.
What Should You Expect on a Fresh Server?
First, you should expect large populations, probably with significant queues for the first few days or even weeks after release. To ensure the servers remain active, Blizzard has chosen to only release two servers in each region, one PvP and one PvE. These servers are:
- Skyfury (PvP)
- Angerforge (PvP)
- Maladath (Normal)
- Thekal (PvP)
- Jin'do (PvP)
- Giantstalker (Normal)
While this is an excellent decision for the long-term population health of the servers, the downside is that the early experience will be a bit rocky. For people who have been around, it will likely feel similar to how the original classic launch felt on a larger server, with the early leveling zones completely packed with players all trying to level in the same areas. The major difference is that leveling will be significantly faster now, both because this will be using Wrath of the Lick King experience values and due to the 50% experience buff that will still be in effect until the expansion launches in another month.
In short, if you plan to play on the fresh servers, make sure you have some patience. It is likely that your early leveling experience will be a bit slower than you might like, with lots of player congestion and queues. However, if you stick with it, you will also probably find the world to be more alive than on any other server in the game.
What to do during the Pre-Patch
As mentioned above, the fresh servers will open when the pre-patch begins on August 30 (NA) or 31 (EU). The pre-patch lasts until September 26, when Wrath of the Lich King officially releases and Northrend opens. This gives you about 4 weeks to prepare your new characters for the expansion. There is plenty that you can do to prepare, but keep in mind that ultimately you should not feel pressured to play if you do not want to. All of the recommendations below are mostly to make your experience easier later on: there is very little that absolutely has to be done during the pre-patch before being ready to enter Northrend once it releases.
This is obviously the most important task to accomplish, and is the only one that you should consider to be "required" during the pre-patch if you are looking to play Wrath when it releases. On the fresh server, you will be starting from Level 1. Even if you want to play a Death Knight, you still must level another character to 55 first. Your first and most important task once the servers launch will be to level from 1-70. For most players, there will be two main methods of leveling: questing, and dungeon grinding. With coordinated groups, especially because it will be a congested server launch with tons of players, dungeon grinding can be an extremely effective method of leveling without needing to worry about competition for mob tags or quest rewards. Otherwise, questing will probably be the most effective way to level your characters.
You can learn more about the dungeons of both Classic and the Burning Crusade in our overviews below.
Because this is a fresh server, the economy will be created from nothing. However, just like on other TBC servers, there will still be a huge demand for resources once Wrath releases and people need the new gear and materials. The best way to prepare for that is to make some gold ahead of time so you can afford more things later. Specifically, farming raw gold from either questing at max level, farming dungeons, or AoE grinding mobs in the open world will be extremely lucrative early on. Keep in mind that several lower-level resources such as cloth, ore, herbs, and skins will all also be more valuable early on as players start to level their professions.
Learn more about certain methods to acquiring gold in our TBC goldmaking guides!
The questing gear that you earn from Northrend is quite strong, better than some of the early dungeon and raid gear you get at Level 70 in Outland. However, some of the later raid gear from places like Sunwell Plateau is incredibly strong, and will never be replaced until you get the new Heroic dungeon gear at Level 80. Having a set of higher ilvl Level 70 Epic gear will make your leveling and dungeon experience significantly easier once Wrath launches.
While you can do raids or dungeons for some gear, the most effective method by far will be spamming battlegrounds for Honor. In the pre-patch, you can purchase the full Brutal Gladiator set of PvP gear (TBC Season 4 gear) with honor. Even though this is PvP gear, in terms of stats it is actually only slightly worse than the best possible raid gear in TBC. The entire set is obtainable in a deterministic and guaranteed method, you just will have to spend enough time in battlegrounds to earn the Honor needed. Even if you lost every battleground, eventually you will earn enough for the pieces. Once you have a weapon and a few other pieces of the Brutal Gladiator set as well, clearing raids or dungeons will also be far easier and you can supplement your gear.
In Wrath, professions give combat bonuses when you have them leveled up to a high enough level, usually 425+. Even though the bonuses are relatively small, it is still highly recommended to have two fully leveled professions if you want to do any sort of raiding or PvP content. Professions are also incredibly important early on for gearing, with almost every profession serving some sort of practical purpose for obtaining the best possible gear and other items in the first tier of Wrath. If you put in the effort early on, almost any profession can be an excellent way to make gold.
The best time to prepare and level your professions is during the pre-patch. You can level up to 375 in your chosen professions during this time, even potentially preparing some materials to get you through a few more levels once Wrath releases.
While not everyone will play alts, many players will choose to have more than one character. If you know you want multiple characters, use the time during the pre-patch to level them up and prepare them. One common practice used by veteran players who want to generate lots of resources early on is to have alts leveled specifically for extra professions. You must be Level 65 to train up to 450 in a crafting profession in Wrath, so if you wanted to level characters to 65 now, those are potentially more characters that you could have professions on. One such example would be to have 450 Alchemy on these alts, since you would have more uses of your daily transmutations.
Establish a Community
Finally, it is also important to remember that WoW is a social game. Having a guild or other players that you can reliably do things with will make your life easier. Use the time during the pre-patch to try and find a guild, or at least meet other players whom you could do dungeons or other group content with once Wrath releases. Almost all end-game content in WoW cannot be completed alone: the game is designed for groups. Use the time now to find your own community to be a part of!
- 22 Sep. 2022: Added additional Fresh Realms created at a later date.
- 28 Aug. 2022: Page added.
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