PvP Servers

It has been quite some time since I’ve had to bother with the issue of PvP servers, but Shintar’s latest experience with a “classic WoW” server really sums up my thinking after the years:

The truth is, I’ve never had the urge to initiate combat with the opposite faction, so if I’m being honest I’m just making myself a punching bag for other players by going along with it. All that ever happens is that I get attacked by people who are several levels above me, in twink gear, or in a group. Sometimes things get turned around and they are the ones who end up with egg on their face, but that’s a cold comfort when compared to the amount of my time that ends up getting wasted by corpse-running and having to re-do quests. I’ve put up with it because there were no other options at the time, but weekends like these really make me wonder whether it’s worth it when I could be having fun with something else where other players aren’t able to ruin my enjoyment every step of the way. My free time is really too precious to me these days to waste it on nonsense like that.

Is there excitement on PvP servers? Sure. Although I would more describe that as anxiety, considering I’ve only ever gone on ganking sprees after being ganked myself. So, really, that would be what I say to anyone asking if they should pick a PvP server: “Do you want to spend your time ganking mostly helpless players over and over? If not, then don’t go to a PvP server.” Those rare moment of cooperation and peaceful coexistence do not make up for the time you spend getting killed in the middle of a quest. They really, really don’t.

Posted on January 28, 2016, in Miscellany and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Oh I always played on a PVP server. Again now while trying classic WoW again and I still don’t regret it. An don’t for a minute go thinking I’m some ganker, I never do that, I won’t even initiate combat against other my level. I only fight in self defense. That alone is a thrill enough for me tho. To have someone trying to kill me but end up being killed by me as they try is a real confidence boost. :)
    It also adds to the tension in the game world and makes playing more interesting if there are “enemy players” that you can spot and have to make judgement if they are neutral, hostile or friendly. You never know.
    One of the better experience was when I tried to get an elite quest done alone in STV on this classic PvP realm as alliance. a horde priest at the location was in same situation as me and thanks to him I managed to get it done and he managed to make me understand that he needed the same kill through emotes so I helped him back. Sure that can happen on a PvE realm too but its only 10% as likely on a PvP realm.

    Since dawn of WoW it always felt like the PvP realms where the only place that the best players were. I can’t remember any PvE realm fighting at the top of raid progress during the early expansions. It might have change some in later years tho. But its some kind of feel that, players growing up in a harsher environment become more skillful, because it’s a requirement to survive there.


    • I will admit to some fond memories of random acts of Tauren kindness and, as you said, the random tension of just walking through a zone and never knowing who might be on the other side of the hill. Hell, considering that I met the people I did in-game – with whom I have ended up hanging out with IRL – I owe quite a bit to PvP servers.

      But the PvP server experience in the aggregate? Almost never worth it to the average player IMO. At least, not worth it to me anymore. I enjoy battlegrounds and the like, but a PvP server just feels so unbearably hostile these days after playing more cooperative games like GW2 and the like.


      • random acts of Tauren kindness

        I think that was part of what got me… that they were tauren. I saw them coming up and thought: “This is probably going to be OK, nobody rolls a tauren to be a jerk.” They started by shooting the mob I was fighting at the time and I thought: “Typical, they are even helping!” Then they killed me.



  2. At release, PvP servers in WoW were a lot of fun for a lot of people. Taking over an NPC town and holding it for as long as you could was a fun server mini-event, especially since different towns had different level guards, layouts, etc. Fights between raid groups entering a dungeon were also pretty fun, especially if both groups understood that it was a side activity until it was time to start the raid (we were lucky that on our server all of the major raid guilds would play ‘fair’ in this regard, rather than gate-camp to grief).

    That said I have no idea why someone would do it today, since all of the sandboxy stuff that made PvP fun back in the day has been removed.


  3. I like PvP servers because:

    1. It allows types of fights which are not possible in instanced, or balanced PvP, such as escalating brawls, NPC intervention and uneven fights.
    2. It makes factions matter – I never felt as close to the Alliance as I did while levelling in WoD, because we were outnumbered 4 to 1 on our server, and we had to band together while questing to see off the Horde.
    3. It adds a layer of danger and a sense of ownership of territories – ie. housing zones in Archeage could be labelled as either Harani or Nuian depending on the composition of the settlers there. As a Haranyan I had to be quick and stealthy to get things done on my plot of land because my housing zone was populated by numerous Nuians who had “immigrated” to the area.

    I’ve been on both sides of the coin – during MoP I was a dedicated ganker that frequented Halfhill and ganked people in the surroundings around the neutral tavern while waiting for Arena or Rated BG queues. In Archeage I was the nervous lowbie who tried to make runs quickly and furtively to avoid bandits and pirates. I am equally happy to be either the hammer or the nail. I see it as part of the rule set I have voluntarily decided to be a part of. That being said, it’s not for everyone, and I can see why a large majority of people opt out of it. And like Syncaine says, it’s not enough just to slap PvP on a server (although for me it is) – open world PvP can be enhanced by giving it a purpose and incentivizing it. Open world PvP in AA is much better than that in WoW, because people in AA are fighting for land, or for plunder, or to defend their trade routes, while in WoW they fight just for the hell of it.


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