With the steady decline of Blizzards good will towards their greatest game I think it’s fair to look towards other people to manage and regulate the WoW experience. There’s plenty WoW private servers out there and it seems to me it’s high time someone went over the basics of playing on one, since your experience will probably be a lot better and most importantly smoother if you know what you’re getting yourself into.
The best way to go about it seems like going over a few common questions about what playing on a private server is all about, then to recommend a few servers I find particularly enjoyable.
Are WoW private servers legal ?
Short answer, yes they are. For a long answer you have to be particular. Blizzard doesn’t allow you to download the server software part of the game but they say nothing about playing on servers not run by them, likely to avoid having to add exceptions if they ever lease that part to other companies. So to sum it up, yes you can play on a WoW private server as long as you don’t run the server as well.
Is it possible to get banned from Blizzards servers for playing on a private servers ?
Technically yes, as Blizzard can ban you at their discretion, however it’s actually very hard for blizzard to find out who’s playing on a given private server and most importantly to link you with an account on their servers. So unless you go about announcing that you’re playing WoW on a private server on blizzards servers or forums you should be fine.
Why go through all the trouble if you can just play on Blizzards servers ?
Well, that’s the rub. There’s plenty of reasons, you might be banned on blizzards servers or you might be interested in playing a previous patch, you might not want to pay for their service since you found it lacking … reasons could be as many as there are players, however most people think that Blizzard isn’t doing a very good job with WoW anymore, so they don’t feel like supporting them anymore.
What kinds of WoW private servers are there ?
Well to be honest, there are quite a few different ways to answer this one. The obvious distinction is the one Blizzard uses, there are PvE, PvP and Rp servers and mixes of them. Most servers also group themselves depending on the patch they’re running, mostly going off the expansion, for example you might have servers dedicated to the current patch, but mostly they’re running TBC, classic or Wotlk since players prefer these quite a bit.
Are WoW private servers free ?
Yes and no. It honestly depends on the server. Most of the WoW private servers are free to play on, however they might offer a real money in-game shop letting you get an advantage in game for real money. This might range from conveniences such as instant max level characters and certain cosmetic items or they might offer full gear and even custom equipment letting you get and edge in PvP.
As far as finding a server that’s going to work for your playstyle it’s all about matching your wants with what’s available. To do that you’re going to want to find a wow servers list, which is a neat compilation of servers and their particulars so you can at a glance find the ones that are interesting to you. I can recommend the https://serverlist101.com/wow-servers/. With this information you should be able to play for free on a WoW private server without fear.