Friday, March 5, 2010

How to Kill a Server

Blizzard in its infinite wisdom made the decision to turn my Alliance server, Darrowmere, into a PvE server from a PvP one. Considering that the decision came down on March 3rd, with no advance notice/warning or any attempt to poll the population it was a surprise to everyone.

The response to Bornakk's blue post (full thread here) has been mixed at best.

As part of our continued efforts to balance the World of Warcraft player population across all realms, we will be converting one of our lower-population PvP realms – Darrowmere -- to a Normal PvE realm. For players on Darrowmere, we will be offering Free Character Moves to alternate PvP realms both before and for several weeks after the conversion takes place. This will allow us to continue to support healthy communities on the realms and help new players transition easily into the community.

The conversion will take place on Tuesday, March 9, with the Character Moves opening on March 3 and lasting until April 6. Upon being converted to Normal PvE, Darrowmere will be given the “New Players” flag to ensure an influx of players over the coming weeks.

The following are the destination realms for Free Character Moves off of Darrowmere:
Alterac Mountains of the Nightfall battlegroup is an Eastern time zone realm

Auchindoun of the Retaliation battlegroup is an Eastern time zone realm

Malorne of the Vengeance battlegroup is a Central time zone realm

Vashj of the Whirlwind battlegroup is a Pacific time zone realm

Having only been on Darrowmere for a little over a year (a free transfer moved me there in the first place), coupled with the fact I play on a few different servers, I don't have the long history and huge group of in game friends many of the original players to the server have, but I do feel their loss as guilds are breaking up and the diaspora began yesterday March 4th.

Trade chat was filled with the guilds and individuals making their goodbyes and telling which server they were transferring to. It reminded me much of Fiddler on the Roof when the inhabitants are all forced to leave their home town. The goodbye's, the look me up when you get moved, the few guilds that have decided to ride it out encouraging people to stay and recruiting - it was so sad.

Reading the Server Forum was no better. As one poster stated going from PvP to PvE won't be that big of a change for end game raiding guilds, especially as with the current looking for group cross realm, the need/use of summoning stones is pretty much gone and world PvP is all but dead on most PvP servers. In general PvE servers tend to have higher populations with RP having even higher. The few PvP servers in the Whirlwind Battlegroup (Darrowmere and Vashh) are all fairly low population or heavily unbalanced Horde:Alliance rations from 1.3:1 to 4:1.

Many view PvP servers full only of the gankers or wanna be griefers, roaming Azeroth looking for lowbies to kill and corpse camping. I've been killed by those types, but in all the time I've played I've never been camped. I don't think camping is nearly as common as people believe. Not being a ganker/griefer and not always embracing the "red=dead" philosophy, I've received alot of flak from guildmates over time. Generally I leave an individual alone if they're questing, but do on occasion go on killing sprees - lol! I will defend myself or make a tactful retreat if need be... choose your battle is my philosophy!

I just liked the added tension and need to be aware when leveling/questing of the "potential" to be killed by the enemy. I mean Alliance and Horde are in opposition, so I've always found it strange to be questing 20 feet away from someone that should be an enemy to my faction. It really changes your play style if you know you might die, versus only worrying about NPC's and pulling to many mobs.

  • Racing through Elwynn Forest dodging trees, being chased by a Mage and Druid team was exhilirating.
  • The pirate jumping out of the bushes at me near Tarren Mills.
  • My rogue guildie saving my butt in STV, while he was on a gank the opposition spree
  • Locking down whole zones with the guild on a raid through Arathi Highlands
  • The back and forth wars between Tarren Mills and Southshore
  • Traveling through Ratchet, Booty Bay or Wintergrasp should be all about being aware!
  • Everyone should experience STV on a PvP server. It's just a right of passage in many ways.
What does a rogue do on a PvE server? Kill the bank and AH NPC's? Camp the Crossroads? (my rogue is level 2 bank alt)

So with a heavy heart, last night I moved the gang to Vashj, as that was the only PST server available. My Alliance guild is still debating where to move to, and will make their decision this weekend. As half on EST/CST and half on PST it won't be an easy decision. I feel for some of them that have played together for years, as they may lose many ingame friends.

I do hope they'll chose Vashj, but thoroughly understand wanting to play on a server with a better chance at a healthy population during the time you're on than not. Why I went with the only PST server available.

The move wasn't an 'easy' choice. I did check all four options Forums and finally made an alt on Vashj. Read trade for an hour, checked the AH (better economy than Darrowmere sadly) and spoke with a few individuals. No one was very encouraging about the move as many started on Vashj and have watched their own population dwindle as people transferred off for greener pastures. Raid progession is still far behind most servers and WG is owned by the Horde 18 to 20 hours a day. Hmmm already feels like home - lol! Darrowmere has had these same problems so hopefully this change will infuse new blood into Vashj.

My last toon (Ziboo) made her way through both Stormwind and Ironforge her goodbye view (considering each serve is identical its amazing how 'different' they can feel!) It was sad as the majority of players were bands of roving Horde killing NPC's. It was a ghost town.

It really felt like the world was coming to an end - all it needed was a coyote and a few tumbleweeds to get that desolate feel.

Oh well! Here's to a fresh start on Vashj! Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. That would suck! Best of luck on the new server and btw...STV....rite of true, so true. PvE'ers will never know!