Anrie likes is an avid sci-fi, and fantasy, and video game fan.
The gaming world was set abuzz when World of Warcraft launched again on 27 August 2019. Loyal Blizzard fans, past players, and new ones were all ready to jump into the original Azeroth.
The servers (realms) were so full that the company had to launch new options to allow everyone a chance to play. This means that players are now spoiled for choice.
Like everyone else, my friends and I had to struggle to figure out the best realm for us. Through all the back and forth, I learned a lot about choosing the right one. So to help you, here are some top tips for new and existing players.
Why picking a server is crucial?
Overall, one of the most critical choices you can make in the game is to pick a server. Whether you enjoy the gaming experience or not can depend on this factor.
First, if you're used to Retail WoW, you probably used to cross-realm play. But this isn’t how we roll in Classic. There is no cross-realm play or zoning, not even in dungeons or battlegrounds.
This means that when you are choosing a server, you're choosing a particular group of players.
Second, you don’t have many options for changing your realm. You can either create a new character or pay for a character transfer.
Now let’s jump into all the factors that you need to keep in mind.
When you first open the game, a screen will pop-up for realm selection. You’ll see that the heading for one of the columns is “Type.” Each of the servers will fall under one of these categories.
The options to choose from are:
- PVP (Player versus player)
- RP (Roleplay)
- RP-PVP (Roleplay player versus player)
But what does this mean?
Luckily, it's not as complicated as it looks.
Normal servers are probably the best choice if you’re new to the game. Generally, it’s great for levelling and focusing on PvE content. You can still indulge in a bit of PVP, but it's optional. So it will happen less often than on other servers.
PVP servers are one of the favourites. World of Warcraft simply isn’t the same without these players on player battles. These servers will keep you on your toes as players can kill you in most of the zones without a penalty.
There are significant pros and cons to this type. On the plus side, you get the chance to engage in unique, fun, and exciting social interactions. Some of my best memories are of teaming up with my friends to tackle some enemy players.
But occasionally, you also need to deal with some unfortunate consequences like a high-level character wiping everyone in a zone.
RP is a whole other ball game. These are the perfect servers for you if you want to get seriously invested in the story. On these realms, players are encouraged to stay in character. Believe it or not, but this can be ridiculously fun if you get into the spirit of things.
Social interaction is the name of the game here. You often get to know other players well and have the opportunity to take part in a variety of in-game events.
However, it can be tricky to play along if you are new to the world and the story.
RP-PVP servers have similar communities but with world PVP elements. The PVP is optional, though, so you can turn it on and off by right-clicking your character portrait.
Besides all of this, remember that you can't transfer a character that you made on a non PVP to a PVP server.
Things were a bit hectic at launch, as you can see in this photo. More players were signing in it seemed than the Devs expected.
Besides this, Blizzard purposefully started with fewer servers to prevent populations dwindling too much later in the game.
Now things have balance out a bit. For example on the English servers in the EU region, there is currently one full, thirteen high, seven medium, and only two low.
The plus side of a higher population is that there is less chance of the server slowing down after a couple of months or a year. In general, there will be more players around, which gives everyone more opportunities for running dungeons and raids.
On the downside, it could mean that there might potentially be crazy waiting times if you login in at busy times like after a content release.
In my experience, I would recommend the high population servers as most of them are already less busy than at launch.
Streamers: Yay or nay?
One of the most significant debating points around Classic WoW was centered around streamers. Do you want to share a server with them or not?
Usually, if there is a streamer on your server, there will be increased traffic and potentially long login queues. To say this was a headache at launch was an understatement.
But on the other hand, this can help to keep a server alive when the population on others drop. And if you're up to it, you could get a chance to participate in these events.
Another possible issue could arise with competitive open-world content and world bosses. These players could get the upper hand quite easily thanks to their following.
Personally, I think this is one of those eccentricities that makes the game that much more interesting. Without a streamer like Asmongold and his posse, how else would you have seen a giant dragon boss being kited to Stormwind?
Horde vs. Alliance
Don’t make the mistake of choosing a server where one faction significantly outnumbers the others. No, it doesn’t mean that your side is somehow winning on the realm. Instead, it can make PVP so unbalanced that it’s virtually unplayable.
Queuing for battlegrounds, for example, will be a mission because there simply won’t be enough players of the other faction to go around (so to speak).
To find out more about the balance of different realms, you can check out this population report.
Preferably, you want to choose one that is as close to equal as possible.
You should weigh all these features when choosing a server. But no matter which one you go with, you should still be able to enjoy it. The experience will just be different when compared to others. You can always experiment with the servers before settling on a main one.
Don’t stress too much about it. It is a game, after all.
© 2020 Anrie James
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 24, 2020:
I'm not a gamer so I don't have much to share about this topic...my son is, though, so I'll share this with him.
Have a wonderful weekend