Because of the fever-pitch excitement, many players have questions with regards to how the beta will proceed. Blizzard has scheduled several closed beta tests, to be occasionally punctuated by network stress testing to check the integrity of the servers. Community manager Bornakk once again took to the Blizzard forums to address some of the questions still lingering in terms of the beta test, and how the developer will proceed moving forward.
Sep 1 Blindsight's How to Choose a Server Guide [Originally posted by Blindsight-Spirestone on the old Warcraft forums--it's my understanding he no longer posts, but this is a valuable and informative guide] Since it's a frequently asked question on these boards, I've thrown together a quick guide for how to pick a server. Server Datacentre Location - New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles First and foremost: Limit your search to servers that are as close to you (physically) as possible. Closer servers will have better latency, and thus deliver a better play experience. WoWWiki has a great list by datacentre: http://www.wowwiki.com/US_realm_list_by_datacenter Realm Type - PvP, PvE, RP, RP-PvP Now that you know which servers to look at, the next most important question is if you want to play on a PvE, PvP, RP, or RP-PvP server. RP vs. non-RP servers should be a simple choice: when interacting with other players, do you want to act "in character" replying to other players like they're living inside the world of Azeroth, or would you rather just play WoW like any other video game treating everyone else like a player at a keyboard? If you want to play on an RP server with active RPers: "Wyrmrest Accord and Moon Guard are very popular, but Moon Guard is very over populated." -Nok PvE vs. PvP is a bit of a tougher decision. On a PvP server, once you get to about lvl 20, in just about every questing zone you go to you can be attacked at any time by any player of the opposite faction (Horde vs. Alliance). If you like the idea of jumping other players while they're running around killing mobs/questing, this may be for you. If you don't like the idea of a max lvl player killing you in 1 shot when they ride by, then you may want to stick to PvE servers. Some people feel that PvP servers have a slightly more mature community since most children and/or immature players can't stand being killed randomly. Other people feel that PvP servers have a less mature community since it's full of teenagers who like to grief other players while they're just trying to quest. YMMV. Realm population - New, Low, Medium, High, Full The next major consideration for choosing a realm is the realms' population, both the total number of players and the Alliance / Horde ratio. This is a bit more complicated, and there are different ways of looking at the data. First, WarcraftRealms.com has a tool for taking a "census" of various realms, but it relies on data uploads from players on the server. Its data is only as accurate as the data it receives from player uploads, but it gives a pretty good baseline idea: http://www.warcraftrealms.com/realmstats.php?sort=Total Another useful way to look at population data is in terms of server age. Older servers tend to have higher populations. WoWWiki has a list of all US realms' creation dates: http://www.wowwiki.com/Timeline_of_the_creation_of_US_realms So that's great, but what does it mean? How does population affect the game? Here are a few points to consider: Empty servers: By far the easiest way of ruining the MMO experience is to have nobody to play with. Avoid servers with very low population. Queues: Very high population realms often have queue times. This could mean waiting for half an hour every time you want to play during prime time. During prime time (weekday evenings and weekends), check the realm status page to see if the server is listed as full: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/realmstatus/ Economy: Higher population realms have more robust economies. This means the auction house will have many more items listed and will be much more competitive. 10/25 Man Raid PuGs: Higher population => more things happening => more groups going all the time. Pick up Groups will form more frequently and will fill faster, meaning you can play more and sit in town waiting for groups less. This also, however, means (on some servers) that PuGs can be more picky in who they take along since anyone can be replaced quickly. A/H ratio: Depending on how you like to play, you may want an even ratio so that everything that involves opposite faction interaction (like world PvP) are more fair, or you may want to be on the advantage side of an imbalanced ratio so that your side is usually winning. The only disadvantage with being on the plus side of a wildly imbalanced population is that soon, world PvP zones (i.e. Wintergrasp) will only allow the same number of players (beyond a minimum level of 20 players) from each faction in at the same time, so if nobody from the other side shows up, only 20 from your side can get in.Frejya117 Sep 1
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