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Building an Empire 101 - 1. Server selection

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Hi everyone and welcome to my blog

A lot of probably donít know me, since Iíve been absent from WoW for almost a year due to boredom and starting a new job.
Here is the link to my last update before I quit:
The Milestone Thread
I returned to gaming when Diablo 3 was released; it was fun, but it lacked the depth I require. I thrive on mental challenges. When driving to and from work I need something to keep my mind busy. Iíve found that WoW has in the past been the perfect place to let my mind wander seeking new opportunities for min-maxing and economic schemes. For a while the new job filled that gap, and then Diablo, but now I need a new fix so WoW is back on the table.

Iíve been contemplating returning for a while, but Pandaland never appealed to me. Neither did raiding nor PvP, all I have drawing me back in is casual levelling a bit of instances, but primarily the game of gold.
The easiest thing in the world would be to reactivate my accounts and continue managing my empire while raking in gold. At my retirement I made 25k-30k gold/day profit or about 4k / hour of time /played.
The chase is more thrilling than the prey. The quest to build the empire was fascinating, but running the kingdom became stale and like so many rulers before me I grew bored and content.
I will now start from scratch from a new server and levelling all the way up. Since I only have limited time for playing I expect this to be a long running project and I want to document the journey. This diary of my journey towards a new empire is mostly for my own sake, to keep it fresh and interesting. I intend to provide a weekly update to this blog, but like so many other promises to myself this may not hold.

Selecting a server
Before taking my first steps into our virtual world again I had to do some research. I intended to do a small amount of research, but @Hacez made me realise just how important it is to make the correct selection. After all, if I choose incorrectly I will either have to restart from scratch or pay an obscene amount to move all my characters. was recommended to me by @Sterling to check server population. It is apparently yet another awesome tool made by @Erorus.

PvP or PvE
PvE servers are pretty neutral, while PvP servers contain some advantages and disadvantages.
PvP servers will result in ganking while trying to level, to some this is fun but for me this is incredibly frustrating. On the other hand the market for PvP gear is much larger on a PvP server. I also suspect that PvPers are generally more competitive and therefore more likely to pay a premium for a small improvement. So in the end it comes down to whether I can live with being ganked while levelling for the prospect of a better market.

Should I choose a small, medium or large server? Small servers are no fun, so that is out of the question. A very high population server is necessarily an advantage over a medium population server. On the high population server there will be very big fish with vast resources and endless number of farmers. I managed to increase the price of Elementium Ore from 22g to 38g through a month of aggressive purchasing on my previous medium server. This will be almost impossible on a high population server, so understand the limitations before thinking bigger is better.

The overall level of progression on a server is a lot more important than the size of the server. 50000 noobs do not have the same buying power as 10000 raiders. So choose a server with a high level of progression rather than simply a high population.

Faction balance
If the faction balance is completely skewed (like EU-Stormscale or EU-Silvermoon) for example, then there is very limited opportunity to trade on the opposing side. This is not a problem until your kingdom matures and you want to rule the other faction as well. But it is unfortunate not to consider it when making this choice. There can be some advantages to a skewed balance. If one side doesnít contain any raiding guilds, there is the opportunity to move raid BoEs across and gouge that market.

Additional requirements
I want to play Horde, since my last chars were Alliance. So I am looking for a server with a good balance of Horde vs. Alliance. If it is skewed I want it in favour of Horde.
Additionally, there can only be one Wind Trader on a single server, so that influenced my choice as well.
No matter how perfect the Russian server is; donít go there as you will miss out on so many aspects (unless of course you read/write RussianÖ)

Scout before you commit
Once you have found a few potential servers, check the realm forum and check the AH. Your realm may be the unofficial Hungarian server, in which case may want to stay away. The AH may be devoid of ore (=no farmers) or devoid of epics (=no raids). @Hacez emphasized the aspect of proper scouting, which may change your mind in the last minute.

Iíve done my research and I am ready to commit. Iíll be creating my new lvl 1 character on server: Ö
Iím not going to share what server I am on as it is most likely on the same server as someone else who frequents these forums and I intend to spill the beans in this blog, so I donít want to give potential competitors an edge.

Next time
I have hopefully levelled a bit and started to make a bit of gold to feed my levelling. At low levels I just need enough to get by, but I hope to try a few things out from the guides on these forums.

Updated August 20th, 2012 at 01:40 AM by Nilaus

Tags: empire, nilaus


  1. Belrandir's Avatar
    Good to have you back. One note on PvP servers: I love pvp servers and the feeling of fearfully looking over your shoulder in stranglethorn, but it doesn't matter anymore. Nobody is leveling, and if they are it's mostly in dungeon finder. I just created a new character on a super-high pop realm and I haven't very many alliance or horde and I just dinged 71.

    Even for a carebear like you, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
  2. Mithrildar's Avatar
    Blog looks great and I admire how you can restart on a new realm, having to level up a ton of new toons for a reasonable amount of proffession slots, I would never be able to do this myself.


    Apperently this is going to change with 5.0.1, Blizzard has been working on merging the low level zones of multiple realms to get a decent amount of people in them, should be a ton of fun on PvP realms (or not :P).
  3. Belrandir's Avatar
    That's a good point Mithrildar, PvP servers are going to be more pvp-focused than ever in MoP. There may be some additional pvp while leveling due to the cross-realm zones- but more importantly I think we will see an increase in max level world pvp simply by being out in the world. Also you will be seeing real changes between pve and pvp servers, such as guards on pvp servers much weaker than their carebear counterparts.

    This could lead to an increase in opportunity on pvp servers, as they matter more than they have in years, but if you dislike pvp they might be more painful than ever.
  4. Nilaus's Avatar
    Thanks for the comments.

    @Belrandir, I was thinking along the same lines as your argument, that it would only be a problem while leveling. Once that was done I would reap the benefits of a PvP server. But then @Mithrildar came in and ruined it with news about world PvP (read ganking), so now I am not so sure.

    @Mithrildar, do you have a source of this information? I only just started following WoW news again, so if this was released some time ago it eluded me.

    I actually tried to do a server transfer of my 1 char and I am over the gold limit for transfer at my level Either I have to invest or level to the next bracket. Either way this leaves me time to get a confirmation on whether PvP servers will be horrible or not.
  5. Mithrildar's Avatar
    @Nilaus , amazing feature imo, together with alts finally helping with your progression (achievements) and more BoA stuff this should make levelling alts more fun for me.
  6. Taroniel's Avatar
    I've leveled my druid from about 40 to 70 only by tanking instances. Doesn't mean I haven't been ganked and corpse sat, on numerous occasions, which is incredibly frustrating, however.

    I even contemplated moving to a PVE realm, but alas, I'm on a PVP server, so I can't *move* there other than starting from scratch.

    I'll have to see how annoying PVP in Pandaria is to make the decision.

    P.S. Even on Russian servers you are bound to find at least one or several gold makers (I am a very small fish among them). If they don't read Stormspire, doesn't mean they don't have the background to massively undercut you, bot AH or have most recipies on several professions.

    But...them not reading Stormspire is a huge plus - Russians have always stayed away from English-language resources, not just in the WoW topic, probably, thanks to the lack of excellent English language education (5+3 years at best, mostly).
    Updated September 16th, 2012 at 07:43 AM by Taroniel