Tobold's Blog
Friday, January 12, 2007
Move or stay?

World of Warcraft is undergoing a period in which server populations change a lot. People resubscribe for the Burning Crusade, and server get overcrowded until there is a free server transfer, a server split, or people are paying for a paid server transfer. Great migrations, WoW style. So a lot of players will pose themselves the question whether to move or whether to stay.

The main disadvantage of moving to a different server is a social one: You don't know anybody on the new server. If you are in a guild you like, and the guild didn't decide to move as a whole, moving would mean giving up your guild and friends, in the hope of finding a new guild and new friends. Of course if your guild just exploded in a huge fight that might actually be an advantage.

People who just resubscribed after a prolonged absence don't have that problem. Sad as it is, but WoW guilds are often very fast-living, with a high turnover, and if you haven't been online for a couple of months, either you've got kicked out, or nobody remembers you. You might as well move to a different server. The same is true for people who didn't join a guild, or who joined one of the numerous phantom guilds which don't really play together.

The main advantage of moving to a new server is that you avoid login queues and lag. But there are other advantages as well: The economy is different on newer servers, with less inflated prices for trade goods, and more lower level items still being traded in the auction house. Interesting especially if your character isn't level 60 yet. Very new servers also have a higher percentage of the population below level 60, so finding a group below level 60 is easier.

So if you are offered a free server move, and you have no social ties to a guild or friends, moving is probably a good idea. I'd stay away from paid server moves, unless you have real-life friends on the server where you want to move to.
Making the decision to leave a guild can be a tough thing. Oftentimes people will stay in a guild even though the situation is crappy (just like in a lot of RL relationships). The risk/reward/work involved in finding another is daunting to people.

I remember how hard it was for me to start my guild back in early '05 when I had to leave behind the group I'd been gaming with for 3 years because they didn't share the same vision as I did - but ultimately it's been all for the best.

The funny thing is that the old group quit gaming together - for many of the reasons I'd predicted they would (which is why I started Se7en Samurai) - however, they still maintain a website forum that they meet and talk to each other on a regular basis.

So it's kind of funny that way. A lot interweb relationships come and go, but some persist even though the orginal basis for that relationship has vanished.
I'm in a similar situation. I started on a PvP server and now have two level 60's, plus a large group of friends there, but I really don't enjoy the world PvP aspect. I'm a big fan of the battlegrounds, but I don't enjoy being slaughtered countless times by an opposition MC raid group when I'm trying to get into UBRS, etc.
With the amount of people concentrated in Outland, I suspect it will become like STV, which was basically unplayable. I'd spend more time in the graveyard than questing.
I'm seriously thinking about a paid transfer to a PVE realm, but as already mentioned... It means leaving friends and cutting all ties.
I'd move my Ally characters off Rexxar in a second if it was ever offered. I haven't played them in over 5 months according to the guild manager, but when I popped on to respec my hunter to his 2.0.1 build, I checked the AH. Stuff that is 10-20 gold on Garona's AH is 150-200g there. And it's always been that way. Being able to gear your alts (or mains) from the AH should be feasable without having to sell your soul...

Plus, as you said, I have zero ties to there. The one person I played with consistantly left the game. Why not leave?
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