Classic Community Competition

There’s been a lot of posts and discussion on the state of the TBCC servers (server balance, dying servers, mega servers), but I’ve yet to hear any creative solutions to the problem. Most posts amount to a reiteration of old solutions (free transfers, locks, restrictions, etc), or just a frustrated “blizzard fix this!”, or (worst of all) a nihilistic leaning into the problem as if it was inevitable.

This is my attempt to lay out a creative (but realistic) solution to the problem that is plaguing TBCC, but also affects (or has the potential to affect) any classic version of the game where server communities (factions) are valued and supported (vanilla, TBC, wrath, etc).

The problem:

  • “Natural” forces in the game and player community drive players to condense into a few “chosen” servers destabilizing servers, destroying communities, and isolating players in the process. Blizzard supports mechanisms that aggravate this (transfers, layers, FvF BGs, etc)

The goal:

  • Reverse this trend and balance servers, while maintaining benefits that led players to aggregate in the first place (i.e. active communities).

My solution:
“Classic Community Competition”

  • An un-normalized friendly in-game competition with other members of your faction on your server.

The CCC adds no new content, but rather adds incentives for players to actively engage in existing content. The competition should connect players to each other and to their faction and server. The smaller servers have an advantage, enough advantage to possibly entice others to migrate away from over-crowded servers.

My Forum Competition for you:
The nature of the competition and the nature of the rewards is tricky, but a fun thing to brainstorm. My task for forum posters is to propose your own competition idea, and the one with the most hearts “wins”. I’ll try not to give too many guidelines, but here are ones I thought were obvious:

  1. Fun
  • The competition should be challenging, but not over burdensome (a hard balance to strike)
  1. Non-distruptive
  • The existing meta of raids and gearing should generally stay the same. The competition should support the existing meta, not change it.
  1. Realistic
  • The less complex development involved the better. Use existing wow classic paradigms like item drops and HKs, rather than introduce entirely new systems.

define that ?

the only way its to cross realm everything


Here is my idea so far:

“Visit Gordon Gankerstien, A’cha Bleedingheart, and Noah Life; newly arrived persons in Shattrath City. They are wealthy travelers interested in employing champions to aid them in their obsessions through friendly competition. Gordon seeks tokens of war and honor. A’cha seeks tokens of the eradication of evil and misguided beings. Noah seeks tokens of collection and obscurity”

Each NPC runs a weekly competition where champions compete to deliver the greatest number of tokens valued by the respective patron.

He seeks evidence of victory in battle:

  • BG wins

Those securing the most victories gain the most credit towards Gordon’s treasures of war:

  • mount
  • special trinket
  • honor tokens

She seeks evidence of the death of evil and misguided beings:

  • Heroic end boss kills
  • Raid boss kills

Those vanquishing the most evil receive the most credits that can be spent on magical treasures:

  • mount
  • special trinket
  • nethers/badges

He seeks rare artifacts found on rarely seen persons and creatures:

  • Tokens dropped by rare spawns.

Those collecting the most artifacts will receive credits to buy powerful inventions:

  • mount
  • special trinket
  • primals/flasks

Sooo… achievements with rewards?

Sure… but repeatable, and the competition aspect is the most important part, since we are trying to motivate players to move to smaller servers and be active on those servers.

The nearest analog would be the ranked pvp system in vanilla, except unnormalized, and lacking the penalties for temporary inactivity.

Why would anyone want a smaller server when the most important resource in this MMO is players…

Y’all make no sense

1 Like

Just wrote this wall of text about what is wrong about the competititon thing and why it wouldn’t work (mostly that it would cause a community to break down and only cause people to work within their own guild). Then offering my solution which is one you didn’t want involving free transfers, faction based locking, layer removal, queues, and the deletion of a lot of realms… but screw it.

Detailed critiques of the competition idea would be welcome. It seems like a good idea, but valid critiques may sway me, or require me to amend the idea.

I don’t think this thread is a good place for proposing alternatives, as there are plenty of threads where those have been discussed. I’d rather stay focused on the proposed competition idea.

The competition also does not preclude any other actions such as closing smaller servers, free transfers, etc. And may actually require them to be successful.

Well ultimately your suggestion would have the minimal to the exact opposite effect that you want to have with the current player mindset on optimizations.

With the Battleground, Arena, Raid, and Heroics aspect. Everyone will only group with their own guild. There would be no interaction between the community because that would be the optimal way to get the rewards as fast as possible then never have to do anything with it again.

The whole rare one however is the one that would likely damage a community. With everyone being pissed at everyone else for stealing their rares. Ending with a toxic community for awhile until no one cares because everyone got their rewards. You could get around this buy having things factions tags as a thing earlier then they were meant to be, but as oppose to this fostering world pvp it would just support mega realms further as you’d want to be on the dominate faction and not the minority.

It is a cool concept, but doesn’t take into account the current player base mindset and how they would react to such a system being placed into the game.

With something like limiting realms to 5000 accounts per faction per realm. Deleting realms until we have only 14 (resulting in 13 balanced realms with one horde dominated realm based on current log numbers), free transfers to facilitate the rebalancing of realms, and queue times to force people to transfer off until that 5000 account point is reached. Would result in that rare aspect of this theoretical system to foster world pvp because players wouldn’t have been allowed to segregate themselves.


You are only citing problems with the particulars of my proposed competition. Not the idea of a faction specific competitions in general. Can you think of any alternatives that would work better?

I chose to split the competition into 3 because I couldn’t think of a one size fits all competition for a diverse player base. The rare spawn collecting was an attempt at targeting the collector, and solo world player, but I could see where it might become particularly toxic.

Having guilds game the system would be absolutely acceptable, and would give guilds something else to do (if they cared to). I don’t see how this would inherently ruin communities any more than the ranking system did in vanilla. Sure there was some drama, but there was also community building as well.

I’m not very attached to the objectives I chose (BGs, Heroics boses, rare spawns, etc). This is exactly why I made this post. I’m curious if other creative people can brainstorm alternative competitions that would provide sufficient incentives that enhance the game without excessively changing its TBC character.

The issue with faction specific competition is the same as stated before. In the event you mean in-faction competition, and only X amount of players can get rewards. You won’t have people moving to smaller realms in order to have a better chance. You will have players work within their guild to accomplish the competition. If it isn’t possible for them they will simply ignore it. Unless they rewards have player power involved. In which case they would just complain. If you mean faction v faction competition. It wouldn’t change anything that is currently going on and actually reward it.

Do I have an alternative that would work better to facilitate the spreading of the player base via some in-game activity that would make them want to spread out? No, I don’t simply because they mindset of the player base isn’t there. Which is the major road block and the only real thing that can get them to move is something that impact their ability to raid or arena at the times they want to do it. Which is something Mega realms is the best support for.

Guilds gaming the system wouldn’t ruin communities it just wouldn’t build them which is what I assumed would be partially the point. You working with members of your realm to accomplish something to build up that realms community.

Actually that might be the only thing that could work if free transfers were also thrown in. Some for a competition that is realm vs realm and the larger your realm is the harder it is to complete that competition and win. Something like the AQ opening event… but the resources you need to get scale to the amount of players on your realm. Still see a problem with that because we know account wide things will happen in the future. So the likely who is that anyone who actually cares would just go and sacrifice a character to a dead realm in order to complete the event and get the reward. All the while still playing on the mega realm as normal.

There isn’t really a good answer because a majority of the player base would ignore it and the rest would game the system in someway to continue on as they normally do but still get the reward.

1 Like

I’m not currently playing SoM, but if I was, and I found out that ranking up would be easier (less time consuming) to achieve on a smaller server, I would absolutely roll on a smaller server. So we’ll just have to agree to disagree on your major point which is “this just wouldn’t work”.

You would probably have to lock-down transfers from low pop server/factions to high pop server/factions to avoid players gaming the system.

My major point is that the general players base thinks and reacts in this fashion based on the history of them doing exactly what they have done. It isn’t something that will suddenly change.

Just because you are an outlier doesn’t make the rest of the general playerbase respond the way that you would. Ultimately for any solution, you have to take into consideration how that generally player base would react. Not how you are any other given individual would react.

How on earth do you have the authority to claim clairvoyant knowledge of what the entire player base wants, and yet claim that my opinion must be isolated entirely to me?

It seems like we haven’t seen the type of incentives I’m talking about before, so we can’t really say how they would work out. Seems worth exploring the option for its merits.

… because I have the entirety of WoWs history to look at how the player base reacted to various things.

Learn from history or be doomed to repeat it.

Can you point to a single system that has incentivized against faction imbalance that has been tried?

Kirtonos alliance had around 15 players from TBC release to p2 release. This supported a single Kara raiding guild. The main reason these players stuck around that long was the community that we formed combined with (naïve) hope that blizzard would intervene (merge servers) in some way that would allow us retain our community while expanding our team. If there was some benefit to staying, and we had had even the most minor of influx, I guarantee we would all still be on Kirtonos. 95/5 wouldn’t have bothered us under the right circumstances.

I hear similar stories from Skarem alliance in classic.

Some players prefer the busy larger servers (zoom zoom), some players actually prefer the smaller tight-knit servers. Nobody enjoys a dead server.

You mean besides Blizzard in the past balancing things to the point where people said Alliance was the stronger factions, but remained horde regardless because of other factions that were more important than the incentives that alliance brought?

Nothing you can bring about in any system can go against ease of access to doing things. There is no “soft nudge” incentive solution to faction imbalance. Blizzard would actually have to force the balance for anything to get done.

If that was the case. Then these players that people keep saying would prefer a smaller thight-knit server… would have always all joined one specific server, and they would be out here on the forums, on reddit, on the various discords inviting like-minded people to come to play with them. That hasn’t happened now has it.

You can’t keep saying this and that player exists ins such quantities and then have nothing ever happen in regards to it. All the while demanding or asking that players who don’t want be in some way made to do what you want. If those players exist. If you have this like-minded community of players. Get together. Join a specific realm together, and there you go. Your problem is solved.

I think I and others would probably do just that if we had the “soft nudge” incentives.

You and others shouldn’t need “soft nudges” if you all truly want these small tight-knit realms.

If you need incentives to do it. You didn’t really want it in the first place you just want free things.

This devil’s advocacy is not really productive.

Given this thread has had such limited engagement, it seems there’s probably not really much apatite for an incentive system. I’m willing to drop it.

At this point, I’m a pretty miffed player, and I’m not sure there’s much that could really re-engage me in TBCC.