Currently we live on Azgalor, a medium-pop PvP server out in the middle of nowhere. From what I’ve gathered, nobody can actually remember how we ended up on a PvP server, because, well, almost none of us actually LIKE it. Being on a PvP server, I mean. We have a few people who do PvP a little bit, but they only want to do it intentionally, in BGs or Tol Barad or what-have-you. We have a couple of people who love love LOVE PvP and will quite happily gank the ever-living daylights out of any hapless Hordies who happen to pop up on their mini-maps. More power to them, I say, and send them off with my blessing to go forth and conquer in whatever way seems best to them.
Based on the responses in the forum thread, though, most of us are not thrilled about living on a server where you get to enjoy paranoid-looking-over-your-shoulder all the time. The blue post sort of brought it to a head, specifically the mentions about guards getting nerfed and even more specifically the idea of an item that will dismount flying players.
There haven’t been any decisions made yet, but I think we mostly recognize that if we’re going to move, NOW is the best time to do it. My best guess still puts us at getting Mists somewhere mid-August, which leaves two months, give or take, to reestablish ourselves on new server. Since most of us (myself being a notable exception) are major altoholics, we have a little bit of time to spread out the notoriously-expensive (in my opinion) cost of moving characters, or alternatively, level up new alts to replace the ones left behind.
I am ALL FOR this plan. I’d love to see it happen, like, tomorrow.
But in the meantime, we’ve started the conversation of “where do we go, if we go?” and it got me pondering about the process of selecting a server. It’s not a choice that you very frequently have to make, not nearly as often as the eternal and ongoing what-class-what-race-what-spec discussion. I remember when I first started playing WoW and was presented with the GINORMOUSLY LONG OMG list of servers to choose. I went O.O and looked at my friend Krista, who was guiding me along in the process.
“Don’t worry about it. We’re on [Server Name]. Go there.”
/collapse in relief
And for the new beginner, it is almost always that easy. You are going to play where the friends who got you into the game are playing. Or you’re going to randomly pick one out of the air. You might pay attention to Blizz’s intro of “Pick PvE if you want x, pick PvP if you want y”, but mostly, if you’re new, it’s just a crap shoot.
It’s when you have some experience under your belt that you realize, hey, the server actually matters. It may even weigh into a choice as to whether to change guilds, if you’re considering it, especially if you are thinking about moving to a guild on a PvP realm and you really, really hate PvP.
Things like “is it in my timezone?” and “what’s the Horde-Alliance ratio?” are honestly important questions. Even more so if you’re moving not just yourself, but an entire guild. What about the economy? How big is the population? Do we want to RP? What’s the server’s raiding progression? And so on and so on and so on.
It is also a startlingly awkward question to even approach. There really isn’t even a good way to go about trying to answer it. Sites like warcraftrealms.com and wowprogress.com can be helpful in a limited way, but in the end can’t really give you a good idea of what a server is like. I’ve rolled many baby Kias and barring the big-name high-pop servers like WyA and Kil’jaeden and Moonguard… most WoW servers don’t have a lot of distinction between them. So it can be really hard to know whether you’re going to end up on a server where you can’t get a random to save your soul or the AH is dominated by one particular individual or the Alliance is completely incapable of winning Warsong Gulch or whatever. Nothing really can, short of rolling an alt…
Kia’s Brain: So. How many Baby Kialesses have you rolled?
Kia: Just two, so far. One on Medivh, because a number of us are Twitter-friends with people from Waypoint. But then there’s also the Effers on Azuremyst, and Nymphy, the darling, invited us, so I’ll rolled another Baby Kia there, too. Plus, of course, the Baby Kia I rolled on Wyrmrest Accord a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t really see us moving to RP server. There’s not enough interest.
Kia’s Brain: And you’re doing… what, exactly?
Kia: Just… poking around. Looking at the AH prices on raider-y stuff like gems and Lavascale Catfish and Dragonscale Leg Armor. Looking at the people standing around the Dwarven District bank and the Trade District AH in SW. Watching trade chat to see if there’s lots of stupid anal jokes, how many PuGs are being advertised. Waiting to see how many guild invites just randomly pop up on my screen unannounced.
Kia’s Brain: I HATE those.
Kia: I know, right? Seriously rude.
Kia’s Brain: Seriously.
Kia: I think I’m rather glad that I’m ultimately not going to be at all responsible for making this decision. I’ve rolled Kias on many servers…
Kia’s Brain: …pretty sure this new one makes seven servers that Kialesse the nelf hunter exists on…
Kia: …eight, but who’s counting? Anyway, it’s still a crap shoot no matter how you go about it. There should be a better system.
Kia’s Brain: You say that about life in general.
Kia: Well, am I wrong?
Kia’s Brain: No.
Kia: So there you go.
Kia’s Brain: So what you’re saying is… you have no helpful information to aid others in this quest for Server Nirvana.
Kia: Yeah, that’s probably about accurate.
Kia’s Brain: You go, girl.