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Tips for finding a good server
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Okay this is probably going to sound like a stupid question, I know, but it's becoming frustrating. Is there any guidelines or tips for finding a decent server? By "decent" I don't just mean highly ranked, I mean with decent people and not imbalanced one way or the other, because my experience thus far is there is no way to tell.
I've done research a few times on servers, but there doesn't seem to be any way to REALLY find out what a server is like. Asking on the realm forums or rolling a toon on the server and asking how the realm is in Trade will typically get the response of "This realm sucks don't come here" or similar, no matter how high on Wowprogress the realm is ranked. There has to be a better way.
For instance, I'm currently thinking of going back to Alliance on some toons, or possibly rerolling entirely. Finding a server where Alliance isn't outnumbered by Horde and where Alliance is decent at raiding seems to be like finding a needle in a haystack; most realms I have looked at always give the same answer: Either Horde outnumber 2:1, or Alliance outnumber but Horde has much better raiding guilds and players, and Alliance is pretty much terrible. This seems to be consistent across half a dozen servers I've looked at as potential transfers.
Is there some kind of trick to doing more research into finding a decent realm, or what?
EDIT: What makes this more frustrating is I will check the potential realms on Wowprogress first, then I check their timezone (no use going to a Mountain or Pacific server) and if both of those check out I'll investigate further. But typically on Wowprogress either there are dozens of more ranked Horde guilds than Alliance guilds (indicating huge Horde-favored imbalance) or more Alliance guilds but doing research and asking on the realm in question, people will say that Alliance sucks for progression and Horde is where the raiding is, although Wowprogress shows otherwise.
IMHO, the best way to determine alliance:horde ratio it to run auction house scans on both sides and compare number of items listed.
As for the progress - you won't find anything better than wowprogress
I honestly don´t think there is a difference at all except for faction balances. You are taking an extremely large number of people (4 million in US) and throwing them pretty much at random on different servers... people are people.. the numbers are so large that statistically its purely random.
Just make sure your faction isn´t completely outnumbered
The most important thing is to find a good guild. When people say they are on a great server, it usually means they are in a good guild and play with nice people in that guild, so the majority of their gameplay they are experiencing nice people.
When people cite /tradechat as an indication of how bad the behaviour of people is in wow, I always point out that these are the degenerates.. most players are in guildchat.
I guess the issue is verifying the information. For instance, I once found a well-progressed server that had a good ratio, and Wowprogress showed a good number of progressing Alliance guilds. I rolled a toon on the server to investigate further; AH showed good economy, Trade didn't seem too trolling, so I asked nicely that I was considering a transfer and wanted to know how Alliance raiding was; I cited that I had looked on Wowprogress and the realm forums to show I had done my research and wasn't asking blindly. The replies I got from nearly everyone who responded was that Horde had much better progress than Alliance (despite Wowprogress indicating otherwise) and Horde was better at PVP and typically dominated there (this was in Wrath so talking about WG); basically Horde was better in all regards despite research indicating the opposite.
So either Wowprogress was incorrect (certainly a possibility since if I'm not mistaken it requires you to go and update your ranking manually) or people were just trolling for the hell of it.
The difference in what you want to do, is a deciding factor.
If you plan to re-rolling then you may want to go on a new player server. The body of players leveling will be much greater. You will actually see people as you level. Not sure how many of Cata purchases were new players, but if most of them are thrown into one of the new players servers then you can enjoy helping their newbish efforts.
Now if it is for transfering a toon then it depends on whether you PvP or PVE, casual or hardcore raiding. Hardcore look for raiding guilds success...casual and your more incline to look for high population. If it's community quality in general, I have be told though I can't say first hand, that a RP server maybe your thing.
What you can do is create level one toons and enter the major cities and log on during the times you usually play and just observe everything. Who search the major dungeon/raids to see how many people are in them. Read the chat for general feel. Who search certain guilds to see guild activeness.
This post was from a user who has deleted their account.
Thanks, those are very good suggestions. I'm contemplating a re-roll because I'm getting bored with raiding on my main, but on the other hand I enjoy raiding. On that front I'm kind of torn because part of me says look for good progression guilds to see the content, the other says raiding is raiding as long as you enjoy it, progression be damned.
It brings to mind the old saying:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven
. I've said this before, I think, but sometimes I wonder if it'd be worth it to go to a low-progress server and get into the best guild there (the rationale being that if you have raided with average guilds clearing content on a good server, you can easily get into the #1 guild on a not-so-good server), rather than go to a high-progress server and be part of just another average guild. For instance if I've raided in an okay guild on, say, Illidan (I have not, just naming the #1 server in the US) and done say 9/12 current content, I should be able to go to, say, Wymrest Accord (very low ranked on Wowprogress) and jump right into the #1 guild there; the progress will be much slower but I would get the recognition of being in the top guild on the realm, and really who cares about the larger scheme of things across servers? Your own realm is what counts IMO.
This post was from a user who has deleted their account.
I would honestly say that, given the nature of WoW, it'd be better to be a big fish in a small pond unless you were so good as to be in a Top-ranked guild in the US/World. But that's just based on observation of the typical WoW player; if you're in the #1 guild on a lousy server you're still going to get the respect and awe of almost everyone on that server; sure not to people on other realms, but on your own realm (aka the people you will deal with 90% of the time) you'll be seen as amazing even if you're just average in the grand scheme of things.
My words of wisdom:
a) if you're looking for a server with (mostly) sane, level-headed players, go with RP or RP-PVP servers. Servers that strongly enforce, officially or unofficially, RP conventions are often more level-headed than most; I'm not saying that there won't be the occasional or Thunderfury spam in Trade Chat, but the frequency will be far, far less. Although you don't
to RP, you must respect others who wanted to, though.
b) a caveat to (a) - Moonglade is (in)famous for ERP, and you may be discriminated off the bat merely for being there. And Emerald Dream is known for its drama. I strongly recommended The Venture Co. - an RP-PVP server with medium population, (slight) Horde majority.
c) the drawback to RP and RP-PVP servers, however, is the fact that guild and raid progression in these servers often take a backseat; if you want pure performance, you will need to go elsewhere.
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