When does a new server stop being new?

| February 26, 2009 | 3 Replies

Answer: When it starts acting like an old one.

In late January 2009, I rolled up a new character on the Borean Tundra server, a brand new server that had opened on January 16. The server was just over a week old, and since it was closed to all new transfers for three months, I thought it would be a lot of fun to start over in brand new territory — a born-again newbie on a born-again newbie server. I was most looking forward to running instances at level, with other people my own level, instead of being innundated with “Paying 5G for wc run plzplz!!” in Trade and General. So, with an eye to being desirable for pugs, since I didn’t want to join a guild, I rolled up a blood elf priest.

This was not my first priest. I already had a priest on my home server, but I had not played her past level 34 and so long ago that I had forgotten how to play her, and I’d deleted her awhile ago.

My original intentions were to stay on Borean Tundra, at least until the AQ gates opened (I had missed much of that hoopla since I had been in the process of changing main servers at the time), or at least until it stopped being fun. I didn’t realize that “stopped being fun” would come first.

At first, BT was all I had intended it to be. The newbie zones were full. There were groups everywhere looking for healers, and I had more opportunities to pug any instance I wanted than I could do. I did at-level pugs for RFC, WC, SFK, RFK, and SM graveyard and library wings. I had offers to do Gnomer and DM but I didn’t end up going to those due to poor timing. I was counting every copper and silver; I didn’t earn my 35g for mount money until I was almost level 35, and that meant forgoing my own training for 32 and 34.

But shortly after I got my mount, I realized that the times were a-changing.

There were enough 80s on the server now that I could see massive changes in the economy. Suddenly, there were twinks appearing and prices on gathered goods were going rapidly upward. Within two days of getting my mount, I had 40g again. There were fewer and fewer “lfg RFC” and more and more “paying for RFC run!!!” in city chat. People weren’t as interested in running instances, even in their mid-30s, and more interested in just making the pell-mell push for 58, Outlands, 68, Northrend, 80.

In other words, it was becoming my home server, without my friends, my husband, access to my guild bank, and the earning power of my 80.

I went to BT for two challenges: playing the content thoroughly at level, and having to count my coins and make careful choices. These began disappearing rapidly at the mid-30s, and suddenly it wasn’t different anymore. So I transferred her “back” to Whisperwind, familiar names in chat, and an 80 hunter husband who’d rush her through whatever she wanted.

It was something of a letdown, but it was fun while it lasted.

Category: Blizzard, Gameplay

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  1. Blake says:

    I also joined this server the HOUR it came out, as usually do for new servers. I got my usual good names, leveled a few to there mid 10’s early 20’s and like you I was having a blast. I roll on these new servers because I am able to make new friends and basically “bring” back my memories of when I created my first character on the ‘then’ new server, Alexstrasza. This was around 2005 when it was first released and not to mention my first MMORPG. I was so confused about the game that I literally would just walk around for a whole day exploring new areas and being fascinated by it.

    I know what I just said really had no relevance to what you posted Ren, but I think the reason why I go onto these new servers is because I miss the old days of pre-bc and I want to experience what I had missed by leveling at a fast pace.
    Back when WoW had just came out, no one NEEDED to level fast and bring down the economy, everyone was exploring a new game. Well thats just my opinion =)

  2. Hatfield says:

    I just started in the game last year and was automatically suggested to go to what I’ve since learned was a server that’s been open since 2006. I was noticing the other day on my main (my first and only 80, a blood elf hunter) as I picked up “The Summit of Storm Peaks” achievement that I’m going to be Loremaster of Northrend before I’m even close to being Loremaster of the old world or Outland content. I still have whole Outland zones I haven’t even gone into yet because I went to Northrend straight at 68.

    So I was hoping just like you mentioned Renata to try and start an alt on a new server to see the game that I’ve missed (wish I could tell you I had real-life friends that could run me through but we’ve all hit the marry and have babies phase and schedules just don’t work). But it looks like I’ll only have a couple of months to actually experience the old content with level-appropriate groups before it all goes end-game. A good read and interesting part of the podcast; I actually did roll an alt on BT but after the first time I saw a queue I didn’t even try again.

  3. Mark says:

    I enjoyed your article, and I enjoy the WorldofWarcast podcast you co-host. I wish your podcast was more consistently broadcast. The sporatic 3 one month and none the next is discouraging for someone looking forward to his bi-monthly fix. Still, I’m grateful when it’s there. I’m wondering if you guys might address the generational and mentality gap within the WoW gaming community. For example, whether there’s a server that seems to cater more to adults and less to children, whether some types of servers (i.e. RP vs PvE, etc) are more or less inviting to civilized, literate gamers vs. hostile vulgararians.

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