Normal or PvP ?
At the moment, I have twelve level 90 and two very close to 90 (one level 87 and one level 88). There are Horde and Alliance, and they are on different servers, PvP as well as PvE realms.
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While I was speaking with some other players, I found out that many of them don’t really know the difference between a Normal, a RPPvP server and a PvP server. Obviously, when they had to choose a server, most people have followed Blizzard’s recommendation and just clicked on a server where they saw “recommended” beside.
On the other hand, when you start playing, you don’t know the servers from each other. You don’t necessarily know which one has good reputation, which has a bad reputation. It will demand that you go on Google and check the different servers and that will be a lot of work for a less than useful result.
One of the things that is important, though, is whether you want to play on a Normal — PvE– PvP or Role Playing Server.
And what does all that mean? What are the differences between these servers?
On a Normal server, you usually play in PvE (Player versus Environment). That means that you will be questing, fighting mobs (monsters) and so on. The name of your character is written in blue and when it is, you are in PvE mode and players from the opposite faction cannot attack you.
There might be encounters with the opposite faction, though. It can be on a battleground, of course, but also if you are on the opposite faction’s territory, get attacked by a guard and defend yourself. Then you will go automatically into PvP mode (also called “be flagged for PvP” (PvP = Player versus Player). Your nameplate will become yellow or red for the opposite faction and green to you and to your faction. You will see a symbol for Horde or Alliance, depending on your faction, on the side of your portrait in the left upper corner.
It will stay that way in five minutes, unless you have more encounter and defend yourself again.
In this case, and as long as you are flagged for PvP, you can be attacked, and killed, by players of the opposite faction.
When the five minutes have gone, the flag disappears, and you are off the PvP-flag. This includes death-time. For example, if you have been on a battleground and came back. You will be flagged for PvP for another five minutes. You appear where you were before the battleground and there, there is someone from the opposite faction, higher level than you, who thinks it is fun to kill you and to stay around to kill you again as soon as you show up (this is called “camping a corpse”); all you have to do is release your spirit, go back to your body but do not resurrect yet. Just wait the five minutes out. You can keep an eye on how long you have left on your portrait. When the five minutes are gone, resurrect, and you are in PvE. You can quest on without worrying about the camper from the opposite faction.
Role Playing Servers
An RP server is a server where Role Playing (RP) is important: There are more restrictions about the name you can use, for example, and you have to immerse yourself more in the game and in the role.
It is not authorized to give your character non role playing names, like: “Killerouge” or “Wetfart” or things like that. Other players usually report these names to Blizzard, who will ask you to change the name of your character or eventually do it for you.
One could say that RP is like any other server, but on an RP-server, you might think that players take the game too seriously, but you must not make fun of them.
When you are speaking in /say (so it is readable by anyone around), it is expected from you that you are in IC-mode (In Character mode). So you are expected to spell correctly, to use commas and periods and not to be using abbreviations. It isn’t very well seen if you write: “wat u say, dude?” in /say.
Role playing servers can be “Normal”, meaning that they are PvE, like I described above, or they can be PvP. We’ll come to that in a minute.
PvP and RPPvP realms
On a PvP server, you are only safe (blue name) in your home-countries. You can see that they are your home countries because their name, on top of the minimap on the upper-right corner of your screen, is written in green. It is the place where your characters are “born”, the place where the main cities are: Orgrimmar, Stormwind, Undercity, Ironforge, etc., and the places where you are questing until around level 15 or 20.
The rest of the countries will be either “contested territory” or “enemy territory”.
Contested territory, the name of the country is in yellow on top of the minimap, doesn’t belong to any of the two factions. They might have villages or small cities here and there and there are neutral places, where the quest giver will speak and give quests to players of both factions, but they don’t belong to a faction.
Your nameplate turns green for you and red for players of the opposite faction. You can be attacked by them and you can attack any player of the opposite faction.
Your PvP flag will only go off when you have been on your home territory more than five minutes.
On a PvP-server, it is “free for all”. There is a lot of PvP and you can expect to be attacked pretty often, even by players of a much higher level than you.
On an RPPvP realm (Role Playing PvP), the rules for Role Playing, as I described above, applies. Besides, it is expected of you to be more fair-play than on a PvP realm: Don’t attack people fighting mobs, or in difficulties, don’t kill players lower level than you. In short: Be fair as much as possible.
Of course, if you are not, it isn’t forbidden and you won’t risk being banned or anything, but it isn’t really appreciated. In this case, people will expect you to go on a clean PvP realm.
So what is your game play? You prefer to be very much inside the game and live as an orc or a dwarf (RP)? You prefer a more average game play (Normal)?, you think average if for easy and not realistic, and you prefer to fight your enemies (RPPvP or PvP)?
These are the things you’ll have to take into consideration when choosing the server, you are going to play on.