Sunday, September 5, 2010

What factors come into play when chosing a realm to play on?

In order to decide which realm I'd like to start the guild on I need to answer a few questions first.  I've done some research on the web and found various reasons for playing on particular servers.  The main reasons people choose the realm they play on are as follows:

  • They know people who play on said realm, usually being either friends, family, or both.
  •  The server is in the same time zone they want to play in or even located in the same city they're in.
  •  The realm has a population they like, whether it be low, medium, or high.  Realm population can effect how long you have to wait for battlegrounds, instances, or queuing to log into the server.
  •  The realm has a really cool name.  This is probably the least important thing, but at the same time, its what guides a lot of noobs to pick a realm.  I admit that its what guided me when I first started playing.  
  •  The server has a good, fair, or poor economy.  This factor can be very important.  While you don't want to pay 20 gold for a low level green item, it can benefit you if you are the seller of the items. 
  •  How is the community on the realm?  Is it drama-prone with constant bickering in trade chat?  Is the trade chat filled with references to all things "anal"?  Does the server have a cool vibe of helpful and kind people?  How is the QQ on the realm?  
  •  What type of realm is it?  Normal?  PVP?  RP?  A mix?  This is another basic area that highly influences one's choice in server.
  •  As mentioned above briefly, queues also influence a players choice of realm.  Do they have to wait a long time to get into a Battleground, Instance, Raid, etc.?  Are there enough players around their level to group with for harder quests?
  •  Success in both raid progression as well as PVP progress are also a factor for some players.  Have the guilds on the server progressed through the deepest, darkest, and nastiest raids?  Do the Horde or Alliance constantly win in Wintergrasp or other Battlegrounds?
  •  Does the Battlegroup the realm belongs to have a good reputation for hardcore raiding, PVP, or positive people?
  •  Are there a lot of noobs or lower level characters?  (After all, a person with a level 50 character can still have no clue how to play the character).  This can be good and bad, it all depends on perspective.  Do you want to help teach and mentor new players in the game?  Would you rather only play with people who know their characters inside and out?  
  •  Each different type of server also has its own issues.  For PVP: How nasty is the ganking, camping, and so on?  For RP: Are there a lot of guilds and players that actually roleplay or is it an aside?
  •  How are the other guilds on the server?  Are they elitist and arrogant?  Are they made up of a rude bunch of brats?  Or are they easy-going, helpful, nice, and respectful of everyone?
  •  One might also want to know how many guilds on the realm are recruiting and what kind of guilds are recruiting.  
  •  Are there a large number of people complaining about lag, constant resets, login queues and other technical problems? Some realms just aren't as stable as others.
  •  Players might also be interested in how old the server is.  Older realms might just have more experienced players. 
  • Another thing players might want to look at is how mature the server is.  Some say PVP realms attract rambunctious younger players, while RP realms attract more quiet and mature players.   
Whether these points factor into a persons decision on which realm to pick or not will vary from player to player.  There are lots of players who value a realm with high raid progression and care less about the average age or maturity of players.  Its going to be different for everyone.  The key is to find people who have similar needs in order to make the guild work.

Looking over the list, I can come to a basic conclusion of what sort of things I'm looking for in a realm and then go from there.  Knowing people on the server whether it be family or friends will not effect my decision.  When I first started playing it did because I had family and friends playing on certain servers.  I even bought the European version so that I could play on the EU realms with some of my European friends.  But now my closest friend is probably going to quit WoW when Cataclysm comes out and I'd rather not play the game with family anymore (too much drama... perhaps a story for another time).  I have other friends who play on various other servers, but my hope is to recruit them to the guild and persuade them to at least make an alt to play in the guild.  My hope is to make some new friends with the new guild, so I'm not depending on my other friends.

The server timezone and location don't really mean a lot to me either.  I'm fairly flexable when it comes to timezones.  I'm in Edmonton, which is in the mountain standard timezone.  While I think it would be cool to meet and play with some others from the same city, its not a high priority.  With that being said, I do plan to advertise the guild to people in some facebook groups and one of those groups is specifically for my city.

Realm population is one factor I am considering.  I'd rather not the start the guild on a full, high, or low populated realm.  Full or highly populated servers often mean waiting in queue to just log into the realm.  I'm looking for a medium to high population which will weigh more on the Horde side.  Most of the realms I've been interested in for this guild have around 60 percent Horde, which is fine with me. 

The realm name really has no influence in what realm I pick now even though it was probably one of the main things I was interested in when I first started playing the game.  I would also find myself picking random realms with the odd technique of closing my eyes and then picking whichever realm my cursor stopped on.  Kind of a goofy way to pick a server, but it worked for me at the time. 

The economy of a realm does carry some weight for me, personally.  I like to use the AH to its full extent.  I like to be able to buy low and sell high.  Its always nice to have some money in your pocket for goodies like mounts, vanity pets, and gear.  While economy is important to me, I don't focus on it too much simply because the economy of a realm can go in waves just like it does in the real world.  By the way, I thought I'd mention that economics aren't all that interesting to me in real life. Its odd that I'm fascinated by the economics in the game though.

Community is a huge factor in my decision.  I don't want to play on a realm that constantly has people bickering, making fun of others, being judgmental of others, complaining, or making up childish jokes about all things "anal".  Besides being more of a boob chick than an ass chick, I find respect and maturity to be very important to me.  I can't stand ignorance and while there will likely be some of that on every realm out there, I'd prefer to be on a realm where its minimal.  People saying things like "That's so gay," or being racist and/or prejudice in anyway make me want to stay away.  The "ignore" function can come in handy when necessary.  I really want to be part of a community that helps one another and not only respects one another but also understands the meaning of common courtesy.  Call me an idealist but its what I want.  To quote John Lennon, "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."  :)

A Battlegroup's reputation, a realm's raid progression, or how bad-ass their realm is for PVP, really have no influence on my decision.  These things simply aren't important to me probably because my game play doesn't focus on any one of these factors.  As for there being a large amount of noobs on the server, I'm perfectly fine with that.  While noobs can sometimes be an annoyance, one has to remember that they were once a noob as well.  Part of me likes to mentor and help out new players while I also want times to just solo and not have to worry about showing a noob how to do something.  I think its the difference between teaching someone to be independent or dependent on you.

I usually pick normal PVE realms to play on.  When I was a noob, I tried playing on a PVP server and during one of the world holiday events a high level player ganked me and I was only level 7.  After killing me the first time, the high level player camped and waited for me to respawn, then when I did, he killed me again.  It was very frustrating.  I have more experience now in the game but even so, I still carry that memory in the back of my head that makes me want to avoid PVP servers.

For Demoniac, I want to be able to make alliances with other guilds on the server.  Therefore, it is very important to me what kind of guilds are on the realm.  I think it would be ideal to group up with another guild for things like instances, raids, etc. to help each other out.  I would rather not be around guilds who think they're all that and a bag of chips.  Arrogance and Elitism are complete turn-offs for me.  I've been on a realm (Khaz Modan) where there were some very arrogant players who were constantly criticizing other guilds in trade.  I want no part of that.

With all these things in mind, I need to determine which realm fits closest with my needs. 

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