I know a lot of people are excited about completely fresh servers, which is great. I wonder if alongside the fresh servers, blizz could give at least one server that allows people who want to continue to progress their classic era characters to do so. I can see three options for doing this:
OPTION 1: Free realm and faction transfers between existing servers
This would need to include transfers between pve and pvp, and would allow the existing populations to pool on one or two servers, or potentially all on alliance pve cluster.
OPTION 2: Free transfers to one of the new fresh servers
Obviously free transfers to all fresh servers doesn’t make sense because lots of people don’t want non-fresh characters on their fresh servers, but if only one of the fresh servers allows this, then people could just choose not to create fresh characters on that one server if this was a concern for them. Equally, people who wanted to start fresh alongside existing players from classic era would have an option to do so.
In this scenario, phases would unlock in the same progression timing as other fresh servers, and you’d have some characters who have loot from later raids. This is perhaps not ideal, but is presumably fairly simple for blizz to implement, and actually in practice it’s probably not a huge issue for pve as people could choose whether or not to include people using later phase gear in their raids.
This realm would need to be not linked with others for pvp, or imported gear banned from pvp use to avoid an unfair advantage. It could even be the case that battlegrounds are disabled entirely for this realm, since classic era players can’t play battlegrounds now anyways.
OPTION 3: Re-progression Server
As in option 2, blizz would allow transfer of existing characters to one fresh server (and all other fresh servers would be unaffected) but any gear from later phases would be either un-usable or scaled down until the phase that it came from. I prefer the scaling option because it means that characters who already have better loot from later phases are not taking loot from characters who actually need loot from the current phase.
The benefits of options 2 and 3 over option 1 are that players who want to continue to progress their characters can still progress through the raid content again alongside fresh players, possibly including their own alts.
I appreciate that many people might say that they don’t want to play on these realms alongside existing characters, which is fine since I’m not proposing that this applies to all fresh realms, just to one.