HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

You Play on a PVP Server So Suck It Up

You have entered Contested Territory

You have entered Contested Territory

There is an attitude out there in the World of Warcraft player community that goes like this: If you play on a PVP server and get ganked you deserve it.

Frankly I am sick to death of hearing this response, no matter how it’s phrased, and here is why.

Once upon a time, 3 years ago in fact during the Halloween event of 2006, I walked down the road to EB Games and picked up this MMO I had heard some of the guys at work talking about – World of Warcraft. My partner and I had just finished watching the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy over a rainy weekend and somehow as a spur of the moment thing we decided to go out and buy a copy and give it a whirl.

At that point in time I may have played the occasional Age of Empires map or gone through some of the Heroes of Might and Magic campaigns but playing games was something I enjoyed only if I had nothing better to do. I didn’t buy my own copy of World of Wacraft right away. I decided to just use the 10 day free trial, expecting to get about as much play time out of this game that I had out of other computer games. So I let my partner choose the realm during the character creation process. And he chose to play on the realm that his work mates played on.

This is where I first heard the concept PVP and PVE. I had no idea what this meant in reality. We made the choice that we were going to play horde of Frostmourne because my naive boyfriend had been told that PVE is stupid and nerdy all the good people play on PVP.

Perhaps it was fate, I’m not sure, but Frostmourne was so full, with horrendous log in queue times, we were unable to create new characters straight away. I wonder where I would be if I had ended up playing as an Undead Rogue on Frostmourne as I originally intended. Things would be so different I’m sure! So while we waited we went to the server Blizzard recommended: Barthilas. And created some Alliance characters. So we could still tinker around temporarily.

Tiantha the Warrior and Lutherin the Mage were born. And we had a blast blundering around in Elywnn Forrest getting freaked out while stealing candles off Snobolds in a spooky cave we didn’t think we could ever get out of. One night we were wandering about and came to a crossroads between Elywnn Forest, Redridge and Duskwood. We accidentally crossed the border into Redridge and the alarming message came up on the screen:

You have entered a contested area.

We were scared! The spiders were huge and level 19 to boot, we scampered back to the relative safety of Elywnn wondering what the hell a contested area was.

My first experience with ganking was when I was about level 23 and had wandered into Redridge Mountains because that is where the Westfall quests took me. While successfully looking for a necklace at the bottom of the lake I swam back up to the  surface to find the town being demolished by 2 horde who were sitting on the roof of the Town Hall obliterating ever player and NPC in their range.

It was pure chaos and I was terrified. I tried running to the Inn thinking I could hide in one of the upstairs rooms but I didn’t stand a chance. I was one-shotted before I made it  to the front door. Eventually some level 60 alliance players arrived and the horde ran off through a mage portal while the rest of us picked up the pieces of a shattered town.

So this is what contested means.

Perhaps I should have realised that this point that ganking was entirely senseless and that things would not get better as I leveled. I didn’t. All I could think of at that point was the awe I had for these level 60 horde and wished I was at max level so I was that powerful.

A few weeks later I ventured into Stranglethorn Vale for a quest and it was a nightmare.  In fact the ganking was so bad, I got tired of being picked on and spirit running, that I ended up not completing my quests in STV and surfed the net for an alternative questing zone. I then hitched a ride over to Desolace which was basically deserted and quested there instead. I wrote Stranglethorn Vale off as a bad area to quest in and still didn’t realise that ganking would be a part of life while playing on a PVP server.

By the time I had entered contested zones I was still a complete noob (I played a Warrior and chose to wear the cloth armor I looted because robes looked waaaaay prettier) but I had found a guild and also convinced my brother and sister to start playing as well. We played as a group and it took months to get up to level 40. There was no chance we were moving to another server or rerolling. It just seemed much easier to cope with the ganking than spend months doing that leveling again. From scratch. Besides, apart from me, the others all really liked the character classes they had chosen.

I get really sick of hearing people say, “you choose to play on a PVP server”. When you first start up this game with absolutely no comprehension of what the hell PVP or PVE is you get suggested a server from Blizzard and you just choose it. In my case there was no “choosing” whatsoever.

Before you know it you’ve made friends and found your niche on a server which has begun to feel like home. So, yes, you can pay extra money to move off to a PVE server but when you are a social person who has become attached to the people you’ve met in your travels you stick it out to stay with your friends and suffer the PVP because most of the time the trade off is worth it.

That does not mean we can’t get cranky at the stupid futility of teenage gankfests those few times they get really out of control. It is also my experience that the people who spout “tough luck” are either people who have never ever played on a PVP server OR are the types of people who find it hilarious to gank people at the drop of a hat and camp them.

15 Responses to “You Play on a PVP Server So Suck It Up”

  1. I guess I came in the opposite way: I knew EXACTLY what PvP meant, and after playing for years on XBOX Live, I knew the sorts of a-holes that exist here in the electro-nether.

    So I stayed away from PvP.

    Though to be honest, there are times where I’d LOVE to be able to retalliate. THough, more often than not, I’d love to gank the ever-loving-**** out of a fellow Allie.

    .-= SlikRX/Balthazario’s last blog … Raid for the Cure – no silly song title here =-.

  2. adgamorixNo Gravatar says

    I’m pretty sure the included manual had at LEAST five whole words dedicated to the description of PvE vs PvP. There might have been seven (and now I’m compelled to find out….). Of course if you didn’t have a gaming background you probably didn’t know what those seven words meant – so I can see where you’re coming from.

    In reality though, this is why I love my care bear PvE realm. I can flag up if I want to, or I can head over to WG and get some PvP in. I wouldn’t mind a few more zones like WG, but there’s something to be said for the comfort in knowing that I can just walk away from the KB for a few minutes (or quest in peace) without having to look over my shoulder.

    Then again… – that’s my partner in crime. He sums up our PvP mentality beautifully.
    .-= adgamorix’s last blog … Gear, glorious gear =-.

  3. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    @Adgamorix What Lath didn’t mention in her article was that I actually did end up transferring off one of my characters to a PVE server. She’s still on Caelestraez (which I still can’t spell). And when you’re on a PVE server it just makes more sense – you don’t get attacked by opportunistic fuckheads when (a) your back is turned AND (b) your health is low. I also find that players are more willing/eager to join battlegrounds and Wintergrasp on PVE servers.

  4. AneaNo Gravatar says

    I was just like you – when I first started playing, I rolled on the server that the game recommended, Alexstrasza. Luckily, it was a PvE server. I didn’t know what PvP or PvE meant either – probably the fact that I still play today is owed to the fact that I rolled on a PvE server originally. If I had rolled on a PvP server, I’m sure that the first time I got ganked and camped I would have thought, “Well, fuck this” and just uninstalled the game. I have little patience for all that crap now, but certainly wouldn’t have put up with it then.

    I don’t like the mentality either, to be honest. Player versus Player combat is one thing – ganking and camping and douchery is entirely another.
    .-= Anea’s last blog … The beginning of the end =-.

  5. lissannaNo Gravatar says

    I’m on Elune. It’s a PvE server. You can come here if you want. ;)
    .-= lissanna’s last blog … What’s up with 3.3 Resto druids? Changes explained =-.

  6. I’m on a PvP server, and I have never “gotten” the lowbie camping mentality. I’m not getting honor for it, and oooh I’m such a big bad priest because I can kill someone 40 levels below me. *shakes head* It’s entirely different when I’m in a zone where people are still green to me, although I still don’t usually get “camping” others unless they’ve done something completely jerk-faced. (I’m looking at you, Night Elf that rounds up 50 mobs in the Basin and then shadowmelds on me as I’m trying to mine a saronite node.)
    .-= divinebubbles’s last blog … General: Healing Meme =-.

  7. ShawndraNo Gravatar says

    This is very much my feeling on the server I am on. I rolled on a PvP server because that is where all of our Star Wars Galaxies guild went. I went tripping merrily along, rolled a warrior, and the minute I hit Stranglethorn, the fun ended. It was horrible. My husband continues to tell me to “suck it up” and that we always had huge PvP events in SWG, but you can hardly call camping with me twirling swords during a dance number PvP.

    Rolling on a PvP server doesn’t automatically mean you are hardcore. All it means is that you are in for some ghastly leveling experiences.
    .-= Shawndra’s last blog … Unicorns =-.

  8. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says


    When I first started playing, I joined a pvp realm, I didn’t know much about it myself but one of my good mates who was also going to play told me about how if you play pve you are a carebear and you’re not getting the full game experience.

    I’ve had some particularly horrid experiences with PvP when I was a noob, or even just when I was playing my priest and didn’t know how to play the class as well.

    However I still agree with my mate who got me to roll on a PvP server. It’s part of the ingame experience, without which you wouldn’t really have the full experience of the game.

    Being on a PvP server you realise that you need to treat the other faction with a certain amount of respect.

    You’re going to cause an “incident” if you steal herb or mining nodes while someone is fighting mobs, or tagging someones quest mob when they have been obviously waiting for it to spawn for ages. If it were a PvE server, you’d just do these things and who cares, not like they can do anything back to you, hell they can’t even /w you and abuse you for doing it!!

    The only time that a problem really occurs on a PvP server, is when the balance is uneven, when they are significanlty higher level or much better geared/skilled than you. Or if they have the advantage of numbers.

    But then, these are the great equalisers, I remember many an epic battle, where I’ve been outnumbered or a group of friends and I have taken down much higher level members of the opposite faction. These were probably some of my most fun experiences in wow. I still remember my first raid, it was world pvp when I was on Kil’Jaden, around 30 of us were camped inside an alliance town defending against maybe 5-10 horde who were ?? lvl. They were destroying us, but every one which we took down was a great victory to us, no matter the cost.

  9. VokNo Gravatar says

    I penned a draft of something similar the other day – yet to see the light of the blog though. I like PvP, though I suck at it. I hate griefers. HATE. I just don’t see the point.

    Started a rant there – remember this ain’t my blog, tis yours, thought I’d best delete it =D

    I’ll leave it at I agree
    .-= Vok’s last blog … Times Are A Changin’ =-.

  10. SouvrayaNo Gravatar says

    I remember when I was completely new to the game back in October 05, and tried it out on a friend’s account. I played on Runetotem because I liked the name… :p Then I got suckered into buying my own copy and was told to roll on Defias Brotherhood, an RPPvP server, because it was most “real”. After my first foray into STV, I’ve never set my foot there again for levelling, I’d rather slug through other content instead.

    But all my friends, and my awesome guild, is on DB, so I can’t make myself leave. However much I would love playing horde on Moonglade…

  11. JaediaNo Gravatar says

    You know, I entirely agree.. I hate that attitude so much because the entire reason I’m on a PvP server is friends where there, I made a character, levelled it, made friends, no I don’t want to leave after 3 years here. Yet the ganking drives me insane!
    .-= Jaedia’s last blog … There Will Be Cake =-.

  12. CokesNo Gravatar says

    I play on a PvE server so the realm PvP is a bit more fun, less serious and usually happens at the meeting stone for the heroic daily :P I don’t think either side takes it too seriously. I’ll jump a flagged hordie just for fun but whether I win or lose I’ll jump into the instance right after to do my heroic. I don’t believe in griefing.

    The only *real* PvP I ever did was when I was playing Lineage 2. That stuff was hardcore. There were no factions and basically anyone could jump you. Atleast with Horde you kinda have a warning, Horde may gank you, Alliance cannot. With Lineage 2 *anyone* could be a killer. And they had a lot more means of griefing too. They’d camp respawn points and town entrances. Its horrific. Thats why I chose to play on a PvE server when I started WoW.

  13. BilboNo Gravatar says

    I have to say that I agree. When I started, about three years ago, I joined the server and faction my friends happened to be on – PvE, Alliance. About a year later, I learned a friend from college played WoW. When he realized where and what I played, it was a double-whammy – not only did I play on a PvE server, but I was Alliance. (Naturally he played PvP, Horde).

    He suggested that I start a toon on his server. I then suggested he start a toon on my server. I got a page-long rant about how bad Alliance is, how terrible PvE servers are, and so on and so forth. Having spent a year as Alliance on a PvE server, it was easy to realize how incredibly biased and misinformed he was. But he wouldn’t budge.

    So I started a toon on his server. I leveled up until the low 20′s and ventured off into contested zones. The experience was horrible from then on. I remember one night in particular, I was ganked in Hillsbrad then camped until I had to spirit rez and book it to another zone. Headed to Thousand Needles – ganked, camped, spirit rez’d. Headed to Stonetalon Mountains – ganked, camped, spirit rez’d. Then I headed to Ashenvale – ganked, camped, spirit rez’d. Within two hours, I had killed less than ten mobs and completed zero quests.

    I ended up abandoning the character when he “quit” the game. A few months ago he un-quit and said I should pick the character back up. Since he was on a new server and the character was level 30, I decided to re-roll from level 1, which gave me the chance to switch races as well. I leveled all the way to 60 being ganked less than ten times. All in all, I probably lost half an hour of leveling all the way to 60.

    Basically, I have three years of experience on a PvE server, and only a few months on a PvP server. I can say, however, that I’m still not a fan of griefing, at all. I haven’t killed anybody let’s say five levels lower than me or more and I haven’t ganked NPC’s in lowbie towns. Maybe it’s my PvE server perspective, but I’m just not interested.

    However, I recently transferred my Warrior there and am having a blast. I’m finding it to be a lot easier to find people to group queue for BG’s and people willing to add you to their arena team for a week to get points. Maybe it’s because the server is ranked in the top 10 overall in the US, but I’m also finding it easy to find groups for just about everything.

    Long story short (too late!) I definitely agree on the griefing side of the equation. If there was a rule that a high level player could not be the first to initiate combat with someone significantly lower than them (maybe 5-10 levels or more lower), I think that would work well. However, I am loving the general atmosphere. I’m more of a PvP-focused player and the general atmosphere caters to that.

  14. AndrooNo Gravatar says

    Haha that was such a cute story i quiet enjoyed it :P . I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since BC private servers on and off. But recently started retail when Cataclysm came out. Experience leveling a Pally on a PVP server was not rough at all. A lot of the times when i would come across an allie (i was a horde) we would greet and continue along questing. I do not know if it is the servers that we play on or if it’s just unlucky the times we jump on and the kind of people are on at that time. But there are times when max levels would come and just kill you for fun. There are many and weird reasons why they would enjoy this. If they kill me once, i can get over it. But if they kill me twice that’s when i would call in a guild member or a friend problem solved :) . But as long as i remember i was never an aggressive player, never aggravated members of the other faction or killed lowbies as a higher/maxed level toon. Unless they showed some sign of attacking first. Not once have i ever played a PVE server cause I’ve always been a PVP’er and would always love the the excitement of getting attacked out of the blue and best my enemy despite them having the upper-hand. All in all it’s only a game and we should just enjoy it how it is, sure it has it’s flaws but then again what doesn’t?

  15. agreed! nice way of puttin’ it man


  1. [...] here, you deserve to be ganked.” I personally can’t stand this attitude, and Lathere at Hots & Dots is pretty much spot on with my reasons [...]

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