Wrath of the Lich King gets 'fresh start' servers for its arrival in WoW Classic

WoW: Wrath of the Lich King Classic
(Image credit: Blizzard)

World of Warcraft Classic will soon be receiving the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, something of a fan-favourite. As part of this the game will open 'Fresh Start' servers for players who haven't yet been tempted back. These realms are intended for players who want the experience of starting with a new character and playing alongside others who are in the same boat.

Players have been requesting Blizzard do this for some time, but Wrath of the Lich King is a hugely popular piece of WoW's history, and no doubt the developer expects it to tempt many 'new' as well as lapsed Classic players.

The servers were announced in a blogpost by Blizzard CM Kaivax, and will be "Wrath of the Lich King Classic realms from day one, so when they launch, they’ll have all of the talent trees and player abilities coming with Wrath of the Lich King Classic, but all players will start new characters at level 1."

The Fresh Start realms also come with certain conditions, all of which are basically intended to stop people boosting:

  • For at least 90 days, you will not be allowed to boost a character on Fresh Start realms.
  • For at least 90 days, Fresh Start realms will not be available destinations for character transfers.
  • Death Knights cannot be created on these realms without a level 55 character on that same realm.

All of the WoW Classic and Burning Crusade content will be available in these realms, while Northrend is locked on all servers until Wrath of the Lich King launches.

"Ultimately, we hope to see players spread out onto all of the available realms as Wrath of the Lich King Classic approaches," writes Blizzard. "For players looking for a chance at faction balance, we’re hopeful that by starting fresh, they’ll have a chance to stay balanced for a long time. For players looking for a chance to level up in dungeons, we hope the presence of other leveling players makes that more likely."

Wrath of the Lich King will definitely pique a lot of interest: our own Fraser reckons that it marked the end of WoW's best times, and the game was never better than during the return of Arthas. Blizzard hasn't yet dated the expansion but expect it sometime later this year. Meanwhile, here's everything we know about how the studio is bringing back one of WoW's greatest eras.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."