How many players was there on a vanilla World of Warcraft server? (2022)

How many players was there on a vanilla World of Warcraft server? This is a question that keeps appearing on World of Warcraft forums, with a lot of different answers and no consensus. In this article I hope to help bring some clarity.

Why players ask this question

Players ask this question for a variety of reasons but most often I believe they ask it to reduce their doubts and fears. They probably don't care that much about the actual number. What they want is enough trust and confidence to start on a server. And to get that they need access to information to alter their beliefs. They want to know if the server is "healthy", if it is of "quality/good enough/trustful" or "sustainable" and get some comparison points or references. Many probably do not know how to evaluate a private WoW server and thus rely on intuitive and simplified judgements (what psychologists call heuristics) based on the answers they get to this question. For example one could think that 0 players online is bad (the server is probably dead or of low quality), 100,000 is too much and anything in-between is a grey "I don't know" area. Without a reference to compare with they get stuck.

Why this question is difficult

(Video) Asmongold Explores the DEAD Classic WoW Servers Left Behind

This question is difficult for many reasons.

The first problem is definitions, one would have to define what they mean by "players". Is a guy that creates an account a player even if he never connects with it? Is the guy that gets a character to level 20 over a month and never comes back still a player? Maybe then it is better to go with "active player", but what is an "active player"? Are you active if you go fishing for 5 minutes every day on your WoW character? Are you active if you log to read World Chat? Would then "accounts" be better? But what about those that are never used or that haven't been used in months? And players can have many different accounts. And server owners can manipulate those numbers with bots or by creating blank accounts. Perhaps "population" then? But what does it mean? Is that the number of characters seen online since the launch of the server? After a month? Only characters level 5 or higher seen online after a week? Peak amount of characters on saturdays, on average? On what server then? It is impossible to answer all those questions but fortunately we still have some tools left from 2006. Notably, one of the most reliable ways to get information on player numbers on a server was by using the Census addon. This was used by players back in vanilla to upload data on Warcraftrealms and allows us to know

how many characters level 10+ were seen online by players using the Census addon during the last 30 days

. If we want to compare numbers then this is probably the best one and that is what I will call "population".

Definitions is not the only issue though, there is much more to it. What was "healthy" population or game in 2006 might no longer be in 2016, players have grown, min-maxing is now an expected behaviour, gaming habits changed, access to computers is now easier, there are much more other MMOs or games to chose, most players already know the game well, the processing powers of computers and datacenters is much stronger than before, vanilla guides can be found everywhere, etc.

(Video) How One Of Classic WoW's LAST Balanced Servers Fell

Server populations during Classic World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft servers in 2004-2006 allowed anywhere from 0-30,000 characters level 10+ to log into the game over a 30 days period. On average servers had around 20,000 characters level 10+ seen online over a 30 days period to be considered full. Those numbers are likely due to server limits of the time. Here are my sources for those claims :

Design decisions also reflect the need to keep players happy. While each gamespace could conceivably handle 20,000 simultaneous players, Mythic limits them to about 4,000 players each, adding new gamespaces when necessary instead of increasing the load on the ones already up. "If you have too many people, the worlds get too crowded," says Denton. "The last thing you want is to be bumping into thousands of people." [Mythic (DaoC) interview, 2003]

In order to break down the game’s large subscriber base into more manageable units, players must choose a specific server to play on. Each server can host a community of about 20,000 players (there are 107 servers available in the U.S.). Three server types are available. The most common is PvE (player versus environment) where players cannot kill other players by default, unlike PvP (player-versusplayer) servers. The third server type is RP (role-playing for players who prefer to “stay in character” during the game. [ Ducheneaut, N., Yee, N., Nickell, E., & Moore, R. J. (2006). “Alone together?” Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI ’06. doi:10.1145/1124772.1124834 ]

(Video) Playing on a Dead Server - Asmongold Interviews Player That Won't Quit WoW

A WoW "server" consists of a server farm. That is, dozens of servers operating together with load-balancing to support around 3000 players peak. Each server farm requires placement in a data centre with 24/7 support and uptime. It's not economical to house just one WoW server farm, which is why our current ones are all housed together in the USA. A peak population of around 3000 players generally means a server population of 20,000 players. That's because at any given time, even peak hour, most players are not online. All the hardcore players are online every night, but your general casual person making up most of the 20,000 is not. I may be wrong - more like 15,000 total population per busy server if I divide the copies sold by the number of servers. The 20,000 estimate comes from EverQuest 1 and other games of the period. But that's still a lot of players, and you're still talking about the costs of housing one server farm alone on the wrong side of the world. [May 2005, Australian internet news forum discussion]

Over 30 days, amount of different characters over level 10 seen (exluding servers with low amount of snapshots = red) :

29,000 (Argent Dawn) Highest
19,000 (Dunemaul) Average
9600 (Anetheron), server opened 6 days before snapshot
7600 (Muradin), server opened 13 days before snapshot
7600 (Duskwood), server opened 7 days before snapshot
3300 (Steamwheedle Cartel) Lowest, server opened 7 days before snapshot

[Warcraft Realms, Census data from players, 28th March 2006]

(Video) Classic Era is ALIVE - Best kept secret in WoW - The Classic Era Community

If Blizzard had to open more servers, it is likely that this is because current servers were getting too close to their maximum amounts on average. This Warcraftrealms snapshot shows an average of 19,000 characters on each realm, over 30 days, which further supports the idea of about 20,000 players on a server.

Further thoughts

Does knowing those numbers help the players asking for them? I believe not, as it doesn't tell if the server is "healthy" or if it is "sustainable" or even if it is "trustful". Those are only numbers after all. Now, for some to know if a server is "healthy" means knowing how many battlegrounds happen each week, this doesn't tell them that. Those numbers don't tell if the mechanics in the game are working correctly, they don't tell if players are nice and friendly, they don't tell if the server keeps crashing every hour or if it will end in a day due to lack of leadership. All they know is if some server has a population close to what there used to be in vanilla World of Warcraft. There are still players on the Rebirth server, yet it has a much lower population than 20,000, and they stick to it and say they have fun. There were many more players and population on Nostalrius (which unfortunately will be closing on the 10th April 2016), and they sticked to it and said they had fun. Numbers are only numbers.

I believe it is time to go with other, more meaningful questions.

(Video) Vanilla WoW Private Server Population 2022 ALL SERVERS Review

[Other articles about vanilla WoW]


How many players can be in a wow server? ›

that is the cap. the server can acutally hold up to about 8000 players.

How many people are playing vanilla wow? ›

We estimate the daily player count of World of Warcraft Classic to be 1,044,172, with a total player base of 27,478,220.

Which Wow server is most populated? ›

US WoW Realms
1Area 5224771
49 more rows

How many World of Warcraft servers are there? ›

According to the North American realm status page, there are 241 total NA realms. Of these 113 are Normal (PvE) servers, 105 are PvP, 17 are RP, and 6 are RP-PvP. For Europe, there are 109 English speaking realms, 87 German, 37 French, 11 Spanish, and 19 Russian, for a total of 263 realms.

How many players did WoW have at its peak? ›

Released in 2004, the Blizzard Entertainment game continues to be relevant and popular among online players. But how many people play World of Warcraft? At its peak in 2010, there were about 12 million players on World of Warcraft.

How many players are there in WoW? ›

Not a single competitor comes anywhere near WoW's total player count, which is effectively 120 million.
World of Warcraft population compared to competitors.
MMORPGTotal Players (millions)
World of Warcraft122.05
Final Fantasy XIV Online40.27
Lost Ark17.04
1 more row
31 Oct 2022

Is vanilla WoW still popular? ›

While WoW Classic represents the millennial era of World of Warcraft, it remains ever-popular, so here are all of the WoW Classic server populations for this month in November 2022.

Is WoW Classic Worth Playing 2022? ›

Well, if you are trying to figure it out that whether WoW Classic is worth playing 2022, then the answer you'll get here is almost certainly yes! World of Warcraft Classic is a server option for the MMORPG World of Warcraft.

Can you still play vanilla WoW? ›

All you need to play is an active subscription to WoW – which means that most people who are interested either don't need to do anything to gain access to WoW Classic since they're already subscribed or simply renew their subscription.

Is WoW or LOL bigger? ›

League of Legends is bigger. It's bigger than World of Warcraft's peak 12 million monthly users. League of Legends has 35 million active monthly users. It's bigger than Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's peak 3.3 million daily players.

Who is the number 1 WoW player? ›

Top Players of 2020 for World of WarCraft
Player ID% of Total
53 more rows

Why is the horde so popular? ›

The Horde has better racials. That's the short version. The long version is that initially, players who wanted to be the best at pvp tended to play Horde, specifically Undead, because of the Will of the Forsaken being the best pvp racial in the game. So other players who enjoyed pvp tended to follow their lead.

Who has played WoW the longest? ›

The longest videogame marathon playing World of Warcraft is 45 hours 51 min 50 sec, achieved by Imre Molnár (Hungary), from 29 October to 31 October 2021.

Is WoW the biggest game ever? ›

Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft (WoW) video game is the most popular massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by subscriptions, ever. Since the game's release in 2004, over 100 million accounts have been created, and Blizzard has been grossing roughly a billion dollars per year.

What is the most played class in WoW? ›

the hunter

Is WoW still the number 1 MMO? ›

World of Warcraft is Blizzard's premier massively multiplayer online roleplaying game. Since its release in 2004, World of Warcraft has been the largest and most popular MMORPG in the world.

Why do they call it vanilla WoW? ›

Why was Vanilla WoW called Vanilla WoW? It's the original of something, like the original Ice Cream flavour. In computergames the original game is called classic or vanilla when the expansion comes out.

Is WoW Classic better than WoW? ›

If you're a fan of MMORPG grind and challenging gameplay, and the subpar visuals are not a problem for you, you should pick up the classic version. But if you want to enjoy the fun adventure, unrestrained by slow progress, filled with wight expansions worth of content, then the retail WoW was made just for you.

Is WoW solo friendly? ›

Yes, it can be. While many of WoW's prominent activities, such as raiding or batlegrounds, are best done in groups, as well as with a dedicated guild, there are a number of activities that can be done while soloing, such as: Questing. In the past, some quests required a group, but the vast majority can be done alone.

Is classic WoW pay to win? ›

You cannot legally buy gold in wow classic, so no, GDKPs do not make TBC classic pay to win. You can only get gold by playing game and doing activities like quests, ah, etc.

What is the most played class in WoW 2022? ›

Most Played:
  • Monk.
  • Warlock.
  • Death Knight.
  • Demon Hunter.
  • Warrior.
22 Aug 2022

Will WoW 2 ever come out? ›

We've got terrible news for WoW players: Blizzard have just cancelled the sequel / spin-off they were developing under the name Project Neptune. Here's everything we know so far. The "golden years" of World of Warcraft have long since past.

Does WoW have an ending? ›

The end is just the beginning

In contrast to other uses of the term, in World of Warcraft 'end-game' does not refer to the end of the game, but rather the culmination of the leveling process, and the beginning of what to many players are the game's main attractions.

Is WoW Classic going away? ›

Classic WoW Stays Indefinitely

As time goes on, most players will all be level 60 and potentially have a level 60 for each available class. There will be very few new players attracted to the game and very few people for them to play with if they did.

Is 8GB RAM enough for WoW? ›

Recommended RAM for World of Warcraft

According to WoW's official system requirements, the minimum amount of RAM for WoW is 4GB, while at least 8GB is recommended.

Is WoW more CPU or GPU? ›

This is the short answer World of Warcraft has always been far more CPU intensive and prefers higher clock speed versus higher core counts when compared to the performance gains of a GPU.

Is WoW or ff14 better? ›

WoW appears to offer more competent gameplay. However, FFXIV offers more flexibility thanks to the Armoury System, where one can change the class of their characters through the weapons they wield.

Who is the strongest player in WoW? ›

World of Warcraft: The Top 11 PvP Players In Classic WoW History
  • 8/11 Drakedog.
  • 7/11 Hydra.
  • 6/11 Angwe.
  • 5/11 Cobrak.
  • 4/11 Reckful.
  • 3/11 Vurtne.
  • 2/11 Hansol.
  • 1/11 Pat PvP.
26 Feb 2022

Can I make money playing WoW? ›

Top WoW players make money by helping the weaker ones reach their intended goal and complete certain quests and raids like Sepulcher of the First Ones Heroic Raid Run. There are even specialized companies offering various boosting services.

Who is more evil alliance or Horde? ›

Horde goes evil later, but In classic, both sides are pretty neutral for the most part. But she's not. The Horde isn't the “good” side. Medivh and Arthas are no longer with the Alliance, just like Grom, who murdered the night elves' demigods and went back to his demon blood addiction, is no longer with the Horde.

Who is stronger Horde or alliance? ›

But if you are truly interested, lorewise alliance is stronger than the horde. If you're looking at the lore, The alliance lost a great deal of the population and forces during the third war. Fightting the Cult of the damned what remained migrated to Kalimdor.

Is Horde better at PvP? ›

Horde has more players. More doesn't mean better, it just means there's more players to judge and log. You can look at the PvP ladders and Raid stats and see there are plenty of Alliance doing rated arenas and Mythic raids.

Can 2 people play WoW on the same account at the same time? ›

YOU can play on both of them at the same time but letting someone else is against the rules, unless they are your children.

How many players can join a non dedicated server? ›

However the non dedicated server only allows 4 players max.

How many people can be on a new world server at once? ›

New World has over 200 servers, but that's still not enough to end long queues. Amazon Games launched its New World MMORPG today, but you may have a tough time getting in.

How many players are online in WoW right now? ›

247,206 Players Online

You are viewing the live World of Warcraft player count on PlayerCounter. Come back to this page when you want the latest update on live World of Warcraft players or update to show the most recent amount of players online. *Ad blockers may prevent stats from updating; please allowlist us.

Can you get banned for account sharing WoW? ›

Can you get banned for account sharing in WoW? Yes. Account sharing, for any reason, will result in your account getting banned or suspended in WoW. You're only allowed to share your account with your child, if you're their parent or guardian.

How much is a new WoW account? ›

WoW subscription costs in the United States
Subscription LengthCost/Price (US)$ Per Month
9 Jul 2022

Is dual boxing allowed in WoW? ›

Multiboxing, or playing multiple World of Warcraft accounts at once, is not a violation of our End User License Agreement.

What game has the most players on one server? ›

World of Tanks has staked out a place as the Guinness World Record holder for most players logged onto an MMO server, with 190,541 players simultaneously logged in on one of the game's Russian servers.

Is a dedicated server better? ›

Dedicated servers provide a better performance

The server is dedicated to you and you alone. This means your dedicated server will give better performance and faster applications than a cloud server. A cloud or shared server's resources are shared between all the users on that particular server.

Is a dedicated server worth it? ›

However, dedicated server hosting is the plan of choice if you need the most power for your money. However, as you'd expect, the downside is cost, and some run up to three-figures per month. Fortunately, by the time your website needs one to handle its traffic, it may very well be worth it.

How many servers do you need for 120 people? ›

A very general rule of thumb is 1 server for every 25 guests, but here are some more specific guidelines to help you determine how many servers you will need: 1 Bartender for every 50 guests. For seated dinners, 1 server for every 2 tables. For a buffet, 1 server for every 40 guests.

What is server cap? ›

Traditionally, server capacity planning is defined as the process by which an IT department determines the amount of server hardware resources required to provide the desired levels of service for a given workload mix for the least cost.

How do I increase my server cap? ›

If data server capacity does not meet your present or future needs, you can expand its capacity by adding disk space and creating additional containers, or by adding memory. If these simple strategies do not add the capacity you need, also consider adding processors or physical partitions.

Is WoW Classic Worth playing 2022? ›

Well, if you are trying to figure it out that whether WoW Classic is worth playing 2022, then the answer you'll get here is almost certainly yes! World of Warcraft Classic is a server option for the MMORPG World of Warcraft.

Do people still play WoW Classic 2022? ›

While WoW Classic represents the millennial era of World of Warcraft, it remains ever-popular, so here are all of the WoW Classic server populations for this month in November 2022.


1. Is Classic WoW The Best Version Of Warcraft? 150 Hours Into Vanilla WoW Server
(Creator Louis)
2. How One of the LAST Classic WoW Servers Fell | Asmongold Reacts to WillE
(Asmongold TV)
3. Classic Era Servers Are OFFICIALLY Dead | Classic AND TBC Classic
4. Is Classic WoW Dead For Good? Asmongold Reacts
(Asmongold TV)
5. Asmongold AMAZED By Alliance Player On 98% HORDE SERVER - Classic WoW
(Asmongold TV)
6. World of Warcraft Alternatives - Vanilla Plus Server Review Lv 30 - Is this a more honest opinion??
(Maze Perception)

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