While I don’t know how meaningful the number will be compared to the number of players there will be at launch, having the sub requirement gives you a better idea that everyone who signs up is probably serious about playing. If everyone can make characters for free then there will be a lot of people that aren’t actually gonna play and meaninglessly inflates their numbers. This also presents the bullshit problem that somebody that never intended to play takes your name without having ever subbed. Which also introduces the thing that would 100% happen (and still probably will tbf, but less likely and slightly less sheisty in any case) that people will claim names to sell.
‡‡Shipping fees apply. Shipping fees and delivery times vary depending on location, size and weight of the item(s) and is only available within the province of the Canadian Tire retail location (“Store”) from which the item(s) was purchased. Bulk items will only be delivered within a 100km radius of the Store. Not available in Recontre East, NL. Conditions and restrictions apply. Visit https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/deliver-to-home.html for more information.
WoW: Classic is still in beta stage, so this is still unclear what final shape will the game have upon release. If any of the information above appears to be out of date or inaccurate we will try to update it as soon as possible. We will also appreciate your help with catching possible mistakes and fixing this guide for other players. If you have any feedback on it, please leave it in the comments below.

Some players have been surprised by these apparent flaws—even players who have been eagerly awaiting WoW Classic's release based on fond memories of vanilla WoW. In truth, it has been so long since WoW first released, players' memories may not always be accurate. Some details might be fresh, but others might be lost in time, and it's those lost details that could surprise players revisiting the original experience in WoW Classic.
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