By the Numbers: WoW Classic’s the Fresh Crusade

WoW Classic

Humans have a penchant for recreating the past. It’s impossible to repeat it exactly like it is, but it doesn’t make such attempt any less enjoyable or cool. That sums up the philosophy behind World of Warcraft Classic. And recently, something happened in WoW Burning Crusade Classic that tried to imitate how things used to be in Vanilla WoW, only for it to end up completely differently. We’re talking about the Fresh Crusade, not WoW Classic gold farming.

Enter the Fresh Crusade

For a good chunk of WoW Classic players, the version of Blizzard’s popular, genre-defining, and iconic MMORPG is the perfect opportunity to see for themselves how things were done in Azeroth more than ten years ago. But of course, no matter how accurately they bring old Azeroth back, it’s not within their power to bring the same numbers of Vanilla to Classic. And apparently, they can’t be bothered to enforce the same anti-bot policy or vigilance as well, as lots of servers are filled with them.

Since it’s nobody’s job to recreate Vanilla WoW’s numbers, these players decided to band together and tried to do it themselves. They’re not in the hundreds of thousands, but filling leveling maps with hundreds of players at the time can make them feel like there are also many other players out there.

Known as the Fresh Crusade, it was a community project was a brilliant and a commendable act. And for the most part, it worked well. Perhaps even too well, as the Discord channel, which began with only 1300 members, ended up with around 10000 later on.

The group chose Dragonfang, a low population realm, as their chosen server. Quickly, however, it became a medium population server. Caszhar, the brainchild of the project, said that he can’t exactly tell how many of the Discord channel members actually played the game. According to his rough estimates, it was around 3000 players, but it’s also not unlikely that there were even more. Imagine how many WoW Classic bags they had to use.

By the Thousands

Aside from the project having more people than intended, they also didn’t spread out the way players did back when WoW Classic was launched. In the latter, many players were in instances rather than zones, which means the latter were way less congested than they are in The Fresh Crusade. There were players almost everywhere in the beginner-friendly maps, making it quite the crazy sight – at least according to present-day MMO standards.

In fact, due to the sheer number of concurrent players in leveling areas, some decided to move to higher-level areas, where they managed just fine. On one hand, it may seem counter-intuitive to seek less populated places in a group effort intended to recreate past player numbers. On the other, moving someplace else because a particular area is already chock full of players means that the effort is working as intended.

Ever since its moderate success, The Fresh Crusade intends to keep on going. It intends to move to other realms and reproduce what it managed to do in Dragonfang. Now that things have cooled down a bit ever since they were thrust into the limelight, they’ll be able to do their thing in a more lowkey but equally genuine manner.

The Fight Against Bots

Another purpose of The Fresh Crusade is to combat the growing number of bots in the servers. While they don’t seek to boot out the automated programs of the more experienced players who are tired of doing the grinding themselves, they believe that their sheer numbers should be enough to eclipse the effect of bots within an area.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t been an easy task, as even a low population realm like Dragonfang has its fair share of bots. And according to Cashzar, it only takes a few months before a dead server would have the same number of bots as a high population server.

For him, however, the problem isn’t the existence of rulebreakers per se, but what more seasoned players do once the bot has already reached the level cap and it’s time for the human behind it to finally play. To him, the problem is that they’re not exactly players that spread positivity or cut those that grind the old-fashioned way some slack. On top of that, their presence in zones can be quite an inconvenience. That’s why even though he thinks that it’s not impossible to use bots in a neutral way, he’s also not against players that report them. The Fresh Crusade is indeed a fresh concept in a World of Warcraft world that’s living in the past. Hopefully, they keep the crusade going as the Burning Crusade Classic nears its release date.

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