I play on a PvE server, which is classed as “normal” on the Blizzard listing. I initially chose a PvE server because PvP scared me. You mean I could be killed at any time wherever I am by a cackling 10 year old and then he could camp my corpse?? Yeah, pretty gutless of me I know. I didn ‘t chose an RP server because I thought that it would be full of hard-core nerd morons. You know, the type who don’t just play Dungeons and Dragons, they dress up, go outside and swing swords at each other while playing Dungeons and Dragons. That’s not weird. That’s scary. And I figured that they would all be speaking like morons in chat. Here’s how I imagined such chat going:

“Oh veerily I besooth thee to place thine hand on thoust sword and cast down this dragon with me to rid the land of this great evil that has plagued us since the time when the three maidens of virtue …”

You get the drift. But lately my dear readership of hard bitten rogues and mutant cat herders, I have found life on my server growing a little stale. You log on, do your dailies, maybe run a heroic to get some badges, butcher the auction house, and a couple of times a week run some raids. It’s become hum-drum, tedious even. And it’s not just myself that has this impression. Most of my guildies and friends that I have made on that server feel the same way. Then the other day I logged on to WoW.com and the first article was from their Roleplaying writer, titled something like, “So you Want to be an Evil Killer Death Player”, or something like that. Whereas in the past I had viewed such articles with scorn and contempt, this time I still viewed it with scorn and contempt but I actually read it. And it got me thinking – would an RP realm be more rewarding from a game play point of view? Surely there you wouldn’t just be logging on and going through the motions. So I decided to roll a new toon on an RP server. But then I thought that if I was going this far I might as well go the whole way and go for a PvP server as well. No point in being a chicken twice over. But which server? Ah yes, that was the question.

I had heard that some RP servers were in a terrible state of decline, with horrible lolzers trolling up the chat and making fun of the poor roleplayers, (it wasn’t me I swear). So I couldn’t just choose any server, I had to do my homework. So I read around the net trying to get information on servers when I cam across this thread on the official Blizzard forums. I started reading it and then I got to this bit:

“The Smoking Blade

The Smoking Blade is a player-run tavern in the Dwarven District of Stormwind which is open almost every evening and functions as a hub and a meeting place for Role-players. Shady characters might get some useful contacts there and get hooked up for criminal role-play. The tavern is run by the Old Town Syndicate guild.”

This blew my mind. Player-run taverns? You mean I could go in there and get contacts from shady characters in a corner whilst sipping a lager? This sounds cool. I read on and then I found this under the Guild section:

“Dwarven Rifle Squad
Keywords : w-pvp, military, political, internal RP
Alignment : Lawful

A regiment of Ironforge Army; these dwarves value their ale and have a passion for shooting hordes (or anything else, for that matter). The Squad act as guards of Ironforge and are actively involved with Ironforge Senate/Tinker’s Court and allied to the Gnomish Artillery Squad. One of the server’s oldest and most actively w-PvP guilds.”

And this got me thinking. What is the purpose of my own guild? Well, we want to raid. And we have a guild bank. And I designed a Tabard, even though it sucks. And … holy shit, we don’t have a purpose. We just log on and say “grats” a lot in guild chat …

And this blew my mind a little bit. So I thought I may as well give this RP-PvP server stuff a try. So I pressed the ‘Change Realm’ button on the log-in screen. Exciting stuff. Up came the list and I scrolled down to the Defias Brotherhood. There they were. I clicked on it and up came the page. Oh crap, what to play? I hadn’t thought about this. I knew that I wasn’t going to play a rogue, (sorry dear readership), and I didn’t want to start in the Human or Night Elf starting zones as I’d done those before. Horde wasn’t an option because I knew one thing for sure – i wanted to know my way around in a PvP server. And I didn’t feel like playing one of those weirdo space aliens, so it had to be the starting area near Ironforge – I’d never done that before. And I chose a gnome. I can feel your inaudible gasps now, but let me explain. This is an RP realm, right? I wanted to be a nasty gnome, the kind that will bite your hand off if you pat him on the head. A sarcastic little retard that hates anyone taller than him. And thus it was inevitable that I made him a Warlock into the bargain. I stay with the DPS theme. I don’t like tanking and I find healing outright boring. I want to be the guy taking them down.

So I rolled him up, designed his hair and entered the world …

We’ll leave out completely what it’s like to play a Warlock, as the point of this is what it is like to play on an RP-PvP server. The whole way through the starting zone I only ever saw a couple of players, and they didn’t bat an eye at me. True, one of them was a paladin and I can’t see paladins with their holyer-than-thou attitude coming over to chew the fat with an evil warlock death bringer. But the interesting thing was that I was making an effort to get into the character that I was playing. Who was he, what was he doing there, what were his goals, his strengths and weaknesses? And it slowly dawned on me that I was having fun. In a lowly starter zone. Just going up to an NPC to get my armor fixed I was imagining my way through the scene. The only times that I had been having fun in the game were in the big-end raids, and even then it was more of a chore than anything. This for some reason was cooler.

I made my way to ironforge and slunk around after leaving my imp behind outside the gates. Nobody was talking in a funny way, people were going about their business. And I wasn’t about to break my role-playing cherry by blindly going up to someone. I was a noob again. It was on the train to stormwind that I had my first RP expereince. I was on the carriage and a shadow priest jumped on with me. I had my imp out at this time.

“Does your imp always do that?”
“What, staring at me like that?”
“Yes, it’s un-nerving.”
“It freaks me out but what can I do? I need him.”

And so on. Then we were getting off the train, the prick patted me on the head. I immediately threw insults at him, calling into question his parentage amongst other things. He laughed evilly and said gnomes were there to be stepped on and hurried away.

Well, this gnome ain’t there to be stepped on. Mind you, I haven’t got to the PvP bit yet.