Starting Over in Phase 2

I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with/in WoW Classic in the near future, but one thing was clear to me after my last post: that I needed a change of scenery. So I logged into the European RP-PvE server Lava Lash and created a dwarf priest there.

It's almost silly how relieved I felt almost immediately, spawning into a zone that wasn't stupidly over-crowded. There were other players around, sure, but it wasn't heaving, and that was nice. I actually took note of the presence of other players again instead of constantly feeling surrounded simply being the default. I handed out drive-by buffs again! Remember when at the start of Classic, everyone was like "wow, playing this reminded me of how nice it felt to give and receive drive-by buffs"? You don't get that on mega-servers because even if you wanted to buff everyone you meet, there are just too many gosh-darned people.

My casual interactions with others also immediately felt better somehow. It's a bit hard to explain, because it's not as if people on regular PvE servers are unfriendly, but so many interactions there just feel incredibly... business-like, as if everyone's always busy following their personal check-list of things to do, without any interest in the people they are doing it with. On RP-PvE, you get the sense that more players are there for the experience of just existing in that virtual space, and while they have goals too, they tend to pursue them at a more relaxed pace where allowing yourself to be distracted for a bit isn't really a huge problem. I definitely found it noticeable that I saw quite a few higher-level players ambling around lower-level zones for example - presumably they were still doing something, but they weren't obviously chasing the new level cap.

Realising this honestly made me feel a bit stupid for rolling on the regular PvE mega-server to begin with. I've been through all this before! I know that mega-servers make everything but finding pugs and the auction house worse! I don't know why I thought it was going to be different this time. People just always talk about them like they're the bee's knees but they are not. Anyway, end random mega-server rant.

It was only while playing on Lava Lash that I noticed some of the changes that Blizzard made to Waylaid Supplies with phase two. They can no longer be turned in without being filled up for example, but you do have the option to just vendor them for one silver now. Also, they are no longer unique, which is nice, but I was surprised to see that you can own up to twelve of them. My first thought was "why would anyone need that many" but I quickly realised that there's method to the madness, as I got about half a dozen of them as drops in Dun Morogh alone, and all before I had the means to actually fill any of them up. That definitely made me feel grateful for the option to stash them away in my bank for later.

Levelling with the new 1-25 XP buff feels extremely fast, and even with all my casual ambling about, I hit level twenty in less than 14 hours of /played. I'm honestly not sure that's a good thing though, because being put on this levelling fast-track also means that you end up earning a lot less gear and money on the way. I'm still sporting several white/grey pieces at twenty when I'd usually have full greens by that point, and I couldn't even afford all my new spells initially.

I feel like there's going to be a huge chasm of economic inequality between those who managed to play at the level cap of 25 and do a bunch of quests for gold, and those who start now, because while the former are going to be much richer than anyone would normally be at their level, newly fast-tracked characters are having the exact opposite experience (being poorer than they would normally be at their level). That means that the best way to catch up is to rush to the new level cap, ignoring everything else, and hope that you can start earning gold and truly catching up at that point. This kind of thing is why I've never been a fan of "just make levelling faster" as a solution to anything...

Anyway, I don't know where things will go from here, whether I'll feel compelled to play this priest more or not. But at least it's been a breath of fresh air.


  1. I date the steep decline of Guild Wars 2 as a communal experience from the move from separate servers to megaservers. It was compounded by several other self-destructive moves by ArenaNet, not least the destruction of Lion's Arch as a central hub city, but it was primarily the breaking of the link between players and guilds and the server they were nominally part of that destroyed the sense of community throughout the whole game.

    Convenience does not equal quality of experience but try telling people that when they can't immediatley get what they want.

    1. I remember you talking a lot about server pride when you were really into GW2. Yak's Bend! I don't remember how/when things changed there though (and whether you even wrote much about it at the time).

  2. I've been on Crusader Strike EU RPPvP since the launch, and that's been fun overall, however the server has lacked that sort of specific vibe that RP servers tend to foster (I think because so many streamers went RPPvP for SoD for some reason, so a lot of those sorts of players/viewers followed). I also play with a few family members who are much more of the min/max type of player vs the more chilled/casual style. So, I have to keep up with them, which usually means playing the game in quite a sweaty way. I'm someone who also likes the more close-knit/chilled realms and taking my time, so the constant push to raid and min/max can get tiresome for me after a while.

    I ended up making a Paladin alt on Lava Lash EU who I just take my time on and play casually, embracing that sort of style that you only ever really find from RPPvE realms. My in game name is Dirt, so anyone reading this comment, feel free to say Hi.

    1. Yeah, I heard about that weird streamer push for RP-PvP. I guess they were hoping to get ganked less that way, but if this happens due to your audience it doesn't matter where you go; you just inflict the nuisance on a new set of people. 😅

      I hope you end up having fun on Lava Lash too!

  3. Yes, I've not been a fan of fast leveling in general, because it favors those who already have max level toons whereas those who get fast leveling on their first toons will find themselves more starved for gold than usual. That was my experience in the first Season that the Classic team put out, and when you're hamstrung by your inability to pay for training because you've leveled too fast you have to slow down and work professions (or do other gold making activities) anyway.

    I've found that Lava Lash-US is rather nice in terms of the population, and while you can't escape the try-hards there are significantly fewer of them on an RP-PVE server.