Why do people expect a massive fall off?

I keep hearing people expecting a drop in population, fall off, dip, whatever you want to call it, people are expecting this massive downturn in players. Soon after launch.

World of Warcraft didn’t have a serious drop in players until Cataclysm and the Cataclysmic shift in design philosophy. It leveled off in Wrath when things started to change (for the worse IMO) towards the end of the expansion. It is multifaceted and a topic for another discussion. The point is that WoW’s Population did nothing but go up month after month, and for some reason we are supposed to expect Classic WoW to be like retail and their drop offs?
This makes no sense at all.

I can give you 2 examples
Nostalrius, didn’t have a drop off in players until WoW shut it down.
OSRS, has been gaining people for years at this point it has far more players now, than soon after launch.

What is this expectation that the game will die in very little time when history has proven otherwise?


The fact that retail players all get the game for free, and most of them aren’t going to be fans.


Because a lot of the people who will be playing Classic at launch have no intention of staying around. They will be retail players who already have a subscription and so Classic is FREE to them.

This type of player did not exist in 2004.


Blizzard specifically stated that they expect a fall off. Why is this even a question?


And people aren’t returning in massive numbers to play again? Once more word of mouth spreads the game will pick up population.


I know right. What are they going to do? play BFA lol.


Because there’s going to be a ton of retail tourists checking out the game/trolling and they’ll most likely leave after a week or two. You can expect the game to stabilize its numbers after a month or so.

Nostalrius didn’t have a drop off because people were there just for the vanilla experience.


Whether or not that’s the case, it doesn’t change the fact that there is a large pool of people who are likely to try the game out, then quickly quit.


And people will not be subscribing for classic only? Maybe coming back to the game out of the literally 10s of millions that have quit over the years, Just to play classic and maybe tourist in BFA realize it is not anything like classic and go back?


A private server isn’t a good benchmark to use for population trends when it comes to the live product that Blizzard would provide for a price. I don’t think a bunch of private server folks are going to come over to Classic to now start paying for an experience they’ve already been having for free, and also starting over. Private servers also draw a crowd that’s seeking that vanilla, or other prior version, more aggressively than folks that are currently subscribed to retail.

I’m not a fan of retail myself, but there seems to be pretty full spaces whenever I log into the game and bop around for a bit. Whether that same crowd will enjoy Classic remains to be seen, but the gut feeling is that the two versions are different enough in pacing and mechanics that it’s hard to see the average retail player enjoying Classic for an extended period of time.

I hope I’m wrong. I’d really like to see Classic take off, sending a message to Blizzard that consumers are fans of that paradigm.


Two simple reasons:
#1: RCR (Right Click Report) is so over abused no one wants to talk in chat due to the lynch mob mentality of players…It’s gotten so bad that you don’t even have to say anything in chat at all. If people target someone, they’re screwed. No one wants to pay $15 for something that can be taken away from them because of a system that allows players to just shut anyone down at the drop of a hat.

Of course this problem wouldn’t be an issue if blizzard just told anyone using the report system for chat related issues will be suspended. If you’re bothered by what someone says in chat, then use ignore, that’s what it’s for.

#2: Most people who enter into classic really have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. I have seen a lot of players over the past 2 days wanting their heirlooms and mounts because they want to cheap the system and because they cannot have it easy, they leave.

another issue that stems form #2, is players basically getting power leveled by doing quest levels too high for them instead of playing, then leveling, and then going back to it, then trying to use the excuse of there is nothing wrong with grouping up, failing to understand that grouping up with players your own level and doing a quest your own level, and grouping up with someone who carries you through it.


Of course they will. But there are maybe 2 million or so retail players who are going to hit the servers in the first few weeks and then leave.


You have no idea what the private server community is doing do you? Have you even talked to a single vanilla private server player? Most of them have been waiting for this day for a VERY long time and have begged blizzard to do this.
Literally every Vanilla private server has had massive population drops and people quit because classic is launching.

Where do you think Tipsout, Staysafe, and Esfand came from? The private server community. They will all pay for classic. The fact is, whether you want to admit it or not, the vast majority of private server players were only playing classic wow private servers because they had no other option to play classic wow.

Some BFA private servers I could see that argument holding water for, but not for vanilla, it makes little sense that the only reason they are playing that, is because it was free.


Look at RuneScape 3 versus Old School.

Old School is doing better than RS3 now. “New” doesn’t mean “better,” and I think although there will naturally be a drop off, it won’t be nearly as great as anyone thinks. Everyone makes it seem like “Retail is the gold standard, and Classic is just some niche nostalgia risk thing”. That’s the basis they start their rationale with, and that’s why their rationale is flawed. What makes retail the standard? The fact it’s the only iteration of wow available? There are about to be 2, so that logic crumbles. The fact there’s “more content”? In a world where no one leaves the most current Xpac’s island, and does no raid besides the most current one? Clunkiness? Old School RuneScape is a lot clunkier than RS3. It is still more popular and more successful. A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum is a lot less polished than Crush by David Archuletta.

Then there’s all the people who aren’t playing retail who will return to Classic. There will be the novelty people, the people who try it and quit, but there are those types of people with every expansion. There’s always a drop off. Look at BfA. By no means is retail “real wow” and classic “some niche project”. That’s the fallacy behind it all.


And if those 2 million are replaced by others that do not play retail? You wont even notice them leaving and the population will continue to go up.

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I don’t believe it will die, far from it, but it won’t hold the attention of a lot of the existing player base that play retail.

It comes down to the players we have in retail these days. A good portion of them weren’t even born ( or were still in nappies ) when WoW originally released. Most of these types have grown up in a world were we teach kids that participating is enough to be rewarded, everyone can become prez, and there’s no punishment for your mistakes and misdeeds.

These sorts of people are not going to like WoW classic because it doesn’t reward participation alone, mediocrity is not tolerated, and your actions in social situations have potential lasting repercussions. WoW classic is a flavor of the month thing for them, then they’ll be straight back to retail.


This will not be a factor for player fall off. This will not be a factor for 95% of the playerbase.


Add to this the fact that the main argument for people playing on private servers was that previously, as you said they had no other option as Blizzard had stated many times over that they would NOT be releasing a legacy server for vanilla for varying reasons. So many people who played on private servers have stated both in game and on forums that IF such a thing existed, that they would happily pay the $15 per month sub fee just so they could play on official Blizzard servers guilt free. Now they no longer have that excuse, so unless they all lied, ALL of the people who have made such statements will be switching over to Classic when it goes live.


Based on the census info on reddit, roughly 60% didn’t or don’t have an active sub so they would be the population I expect are returning players looking for the true vanilla experience. The other information about that group showed most of them quit during cata. I think the 40% that are active subs (retail) will have a mix of people touring and some that will stay.

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I would list a different reason. Players like myself have nearly 15 years invested in some of the characters in the retail version. It’s hard to let those toons go completely. And players like myself are also at a stage in life where we typically don’t have hours every day to devote to gaming.

There likely will be a section of us old timers who will be part-timers in the game (or, should I say, both games).