Thursday, September 11, 2008

Paid PvE to PvP Server Transfers

Today, Blizzard introduced paid PvE to PvP server transfers. Previously, if you had a character on a PvE server, you could not transfer that character to a PvP server. A character on a PvP server could transfer to PvE, but it was a one-way trip.

I am oddly mixed about this development. On the one hand, I've levelled a character on both server types, and the experience on a PvP server is very different. Unleashing hordes of carebears who think they're something special onto a PvP server, and letting them gank without having had the experience of being the gankee ... well, something inside me rebels at that thought.

There is a certain type of player on PvE servers who is very boastful about PvP prowess. The type of person who'll kill a lowbie Horde who's flagged accidentally, or gank an obviously-AFK Alliance Holy Priest sitting outside a raid instance*, and then start to brag about how "leet" they are. And you sit there and think, "So why aren't you on a PvP server? Oh, that's right, because you'd get beaten into the ground by people who know how to play." The PvP realms are going to plagued by this type of player.

*This was quite funny when three minutes later the entire Alliance raid boiled out of the instance, fully flagged, and proceeded to wipe out every flagged Horde who had hurt their priest. As I was not flagged, this brand of karma amused me greatly.

But on the flip side, the division was really hurting the raiding guilds on the PvE servers. For some reason--probably because Achiever/Killers tend to be very good players--the best raiding guilds have always been found on PvP servers. This has made it very hard for PvE guilds to recruit, as PvP people will not transfer, not even for a trial, because it's a one-way trip. More and more, high end raiding is coalescing around the PvP servers, and that is hurting the PvE servers.

I think the turning point came with the guild Juggernaut of Doomhammer. Juggernaut was one of the premier guilds on a PvE server, but they were having serious trouble recruiting for Sunwell. They managed to get Kil'Jaeden down to 30% before giving up. The entire guild rerolled on the PvP server Mal'Ganis as Juggernaut II. Juggernaut II blew through the raiding scene and downed Kil'Jaeden four months after rerolling.

Maybe if the high end hadn't been so slanted towards PvP, things would have worked out. If the best guilds were distributed evenly between server types, maybe the wall could have been preserved. But this change was probably necessary in order for high-end raiding to survive on PvE servers.

On a personal level, this change has affected me. Three months ago, I was invited to join a raiding guild on a PvP server. I liked the guild, but as it was a PvP server, I ended up making another paladin on that server. I've tried to level it, but my heart really wasn't in it. I managed to make it to 55.

The thing was that this new paladin wasn't my main, and that turned out to be really important to me. It wasn't the paladin I killed Ragnaros and Nefarian with, the character that I've been playing for multiple years, wasn't the character I played back when we had Seal of Fury, the character that was in Defender of the Crown, the character with all my keys and attunements and my Knight-Captain title, my 8/8 Lightforge, and the character I learned to raid with. Yeah, they're not exactly impressive achievements, but still, it was my main, and that ended up meaning a lot to me.

So I've been levelling this new paladin desultorily (also, paladin levelling is extremely boring, which didn't help) and had been slowly realizing that I didn't really want to play a new paladin. That I wanted to play Coriel. Then this change was announced. The first thing I did upon coming home was to delete the new paladin and transfer Coriel to the PvP server.

So in the end I'm not sure what to think about PvE to PvP transfers. I somehow don't think it was a good change, but it may have been a necessary change. And it has allowed me to continue to play my main into Wrath of the Lich King, for which I am very grateful.


  1. Why couldnt they have done this sooner?

    Now I've gone and leveled my replacement druid to 67 ...

  2. I leveled PvP and then got sucked into the PvE world by my RL friends. It was funny before arena started to see the idiots on the PvE servers not blinking stuns or not bleed kiting warriors and all sorts of oddities. Pallies weren't smacking the bandaging warriors while they were bubbled on PvE servers for god sakes.

    Anyway, my old PvP server died off and I don't have anew one so I guess I am chilling on PvE for now. =)

  3. I have a slightly different problem . . . which even the PvE to PvP cannot solve.

    many of my friends are on horde ... and even though i lvld a lock to 42 there, i still don't know why, but i keep going back to my main on the alliance side !

  4. This change sucks. So many people could of used this feature when transfers first came out. Also I spent hours of /played doing corpse runs because some 13 year old rogue wanted to get his kicks. Suck my ass blizzard.

  5. I think its a good change. I would also like to see Alliance->Horde transfers. And I'd like to transfer my mage to a warlock.

  6. I don't think the argument of the ganker while never having been the gankee holds up if you know how a PvP server works.

    For the most part we don't mind ganking too much, as long as there is no camping or harassment going on. If this happens a call usually goes out in general chat and the offending ganker quickly has high level players making his life a living hell until he leaves.

    If anyone uses this new transfer policy just so they can gank lowbees, they're going to quickly learn the rules and might not find it as fun anymore.

  7. It's sad and a slap in the face to PVP players.

    The bottom line is money. Blizzard will remove an artificial barrier that prevents them from obtaining continued subscribers and also to prevent them from leaving for Warhammer Age of Reckoning.

  8. I don't mind the change.

    My first "real" character was on a PvP server (UD Warlock). You were taught to always have your guard up, and always think of ways of beating someone if they jumped you (or, you jumped them). While you're doing quests and you see a rogue, and notice he made sure to refresh you detect invis. It more or less taught you situational awareness.

    I then started a character on a PvE server. And, that entire aspect of the game was removed. And, I liked it...a lot. I could actually do quests, and speed my way to 70 without worry. In some ways it made the game slightly more enjoyable as I was able to soak up the game/quest experiences.

    Though, I hadn't really ever thought about it before. I suppose PvP servers do teach you a bit more about how to play your character in various situations.

  9. This type of player have existed on PvP realms for a long time. They just don't stay long. :-P

    The culture of the server community is important on how things will shape up. In Mannoroth (US), the ganker never gankee can find a sweet spot because rarely higher levels come to the gankee defense. In Ragnaros (LA), a call for help against a ganker rarely goes unanswered.

  10. Awww, I didn't know you left Skywall.

    Best of luck on your new server!

  11. On the subject of Pve players coming to Pvp servers. Even if they have 70's, if they don't have arena gear, "real" pvp players will eat them alive. If they have arena gear, they know how to pvp, so they could have played on pvp all along.

    From a game enjoyment standpoint, I am totally a carebear, I only came back to a pvp server because thats where my friends are at. At the time I made the switch, being able to quest in peace was preferrable to playing with my friends. I have since switched stances.

    Also, as a previous poster stated, my PvE characters are alliance and my Pvp characters are horde, so a transfer wouldnt be any help.

  12. Not me, tried and true, blue, pvp-server veteran. Yes it's annoying getting ganked by skull players you have no chance against, but some of the funnest times in WoW have been random wrold-pvp battles that started out of nowhere. You're slogging through mind-numbing quests and BAM! the fun hits! Especially at 30's and 40's where level doesn't make as big a differance. Plus there's nothing like rolling up as a guild and raping some asshat that's ganking a guildie, or killing that 50-somehting running around arathi highlands/hillsbrad, you know why they're there. I've tried PvE servers, but right about level 25 when you meet the first player from the opposite side, and you can't attack them, and more often than not you wind up actually HELPING each other on quests... not my cup o' tea.

    So part of me is sad that they're doing this, but on the other hand, I know a LOT of people that had dead toons stuck on PvE servers, and people that transfered to PvE servers not thinking that they could come back and now actually can.