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Before the release of Burning Crusade, Ironforge was generally chosen as a home base due to its more central location north-south-wise in the continent of the Eastern Kingdoms and it had a direct flight path to Menethil Harbor which was the only Alliance port on the continent at the time.

Some other possible reasons Ironforge is popular:

After Wrath of the Lich King, the Stormwind Harbor was built with a direct steam ship connection to Valiance Keep in Borean Tundra, Northrend, so more Alliance started basing in Stormwind City. Although Ironforge still has a good population, you still have to fly to Menethil Harbor to board the steam ship to Valgarde in Howling Fjord, Northrend, so it is slightly less convenient.

A majority of players now base in Dalaran as it has portals to all the major cities, just as in Burning Crusade era players tended to base in Shattrath City for the same reason.

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