Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Starting on a new server?

A reader wrote me about the interesting problem of what would be the best choice of server to start a new career in World of Warcraft on. Would you rather start on a brand new server, or on an old one that is around for 2 years?

Good question, but I didn't have a good answer to that. I know that whenever a new server opens up, there is a rush of people starting new characters there. But that has certain disadvantages: Right now most of the new characters are blood elves or draenei. And more importantly, a large percentage of the players that start on a new server don't stay there. Once the shine of the new has worn off, they either go back to their old server, or they start on the next new one. On the positive side a new server gives you the opportunity to start with a fresh economy, and with lots of other low-level people to group with.

An old server is more stable population-wise. And apparently Blizzard has managed the hardware upgrades and server migrations so well that few old servers have problems with overcrowding. On the old server I'm playing the Burning Crusade hasn't caused any queues. The advantage of an old server is that there is lots of money in the economy, so you can make money easily by for example selling copper. The disadvantage is that generally there are few other low-level characters around, although of course right now that isn't so bad, due to some people having started new characters of the new races. And once you reached a higher level, I don't know how easy it is to get into a good guild on an old server, and really be accepted.

So, what would you advise? What other advantages or disadvantages do you see between starting on a new server versus starting on an old one?
I have often thought of starting on a new server where the gates of AQ are not open yet, since I missed that event on Shadow Council.
My recommendation to a new player would depend on one factor. If they have friends or coworkers who play, they should roll on thier older serer, because this game is about time with friends and you may have an in, to a decent guild down the road.

If you are starting over completly with no contacts in the game, roll on a fresh server and make your own destiny. Become a part of the server's history, instead being a cog in an old wheel.
I would agree with Cyndre's comment.

I chose server and faction based upon friends and family already there. I've been pleased overall with the decision. It makes progression easier when there's someone around if you need them, whether higher-level help, or just in-game questions. And having been in PUGs, and also parties of people I know in RL, there is just no comparison.

In contrast, I did a rather brief foray onto another server where I just knew one other person who didn't play much. The difference was rather drastic. There really is something to be said for having a social net, and getting a "Hello" when you jump online...
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I would start my new character on an older server first. I would get a feel for the community that exists and would be prepared to delete and change servers until I found one with a pleasant atmosphere. One thing to consider is that starting on an older server has another advantage: you can usually make a paid character move to a less populated/newer server if you change your mind. I am not sure if it works in reverse.
New servers can have problems with items/auction house.

The AH can be bare and prices high until loot drops. Bag prices are very high the first few weeks/months.

On Duskwood, when first opened, there were several GM's placing many greens in the AH it was so bad.

My current server, which was new a few months ago. Is still suffering from over price AH. It can take six to seven months for new server to settle down, because that when transfers become available

If you like to buy gold, the gold farmers are not in full swing on new servers. Gold prices are high until demands are met.
I suspect, but not sure, that older servers get more attention from Blues than some of the newer servers unless they are Default servers.

Example :
Aman'Thul (Default Oceanic PvE server)-FULL : No noticeable lag at 300-500 ms.
Hydraxis (US PvE server) - RECOMMENDED : Laggy at 1000-2000 ms
Astonidas (US PvE Server that was on Default setting pre-BC) - 300-500 ms

All 3 were at Draenei starting area.

Price fluctuations can be 50-50. New servers may have lower prices than older servers or vice versa.

Chances are old players will roll on new ones. Or players who have connection problems will stay on new servers because of less lag issues.
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