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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Coming home to PvP

I've waited for this opportunity for years. When my wife and friends decided to re-roll on a PvP server in early 2006, I had already spent weeks after weeks of sleepless nights grinding through the punishing decaying Honor system. I was a couple of weeks removed from the next rank but we had all decided to move on. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make in the game.

Over the course of the past years, I would pay my original characters -- an Undead Rogue and a Troll Hunter -- on our first server, the occasional visit. I missed playing them a whole lot, but I could never bring myself to play them seriously on a normal realm. I created a Blood Elf Rogue and a Tauren Hunter on our new home but it just wasn't the same. I missed my Ressan the Needler, a pet I'd had since Level 11. I missed my Rogue in a twill suit. I wanted nothing more than to bring over my original guys to where we were playing now.

Of course, up until two days ago, that wasn't possible. Their original reasoning, that it was easier to level on a normal server than on a PvP server, no longer held true. To be honest, I didn't think it was that big a deal two years ago. In fact, I relished it. I enjoyed the idea that there was real danger lurking everywhere, and that enemies could kill me -- and I could kill them in turn -- at any time. But the truth is, the dreaded griefing happened so occasionally I could count the number of times I got frustrated on one hand. Maybe even two fingers.

I remember when a Rogue 10 levels above me tried to kill my Shaman in Stonetalon. I almost killed her, but due to a tactical error, she managed to get a killing blow on me first. That was enough, though, and she didn't try to bother me again. A similar thing happened on my Hunter in Shimmering Flats when a Rogue about eight levels up tried to grief me. Even though I got killed, I gave that Dwarf enough of a scare at 5% health not to bother me again. That's just life on a PvP server.

I actually enjoy getting a chance to fight higher level players. It's challenging, educational, and I have nothing to lose when I get beaten. In fact, I should get beaten. If it happens otherwise, I get a good laugh out of it. Then there are those rare occasions that a max level character will grief grays. Then it gets really fun because I simply hop on my main and get them back. Back when I didn't have a max level character, I simply took a break from the game and grabbed a snack. If they were camping my corpse, they just wasted their time because I was out getting a Krispy Kreme.

I enjoy PvP so much that I tell my brothers to send me an SMS if they're getting griefed. When I get those rare text messages, I usually drop what I'm doing, log on and head over to where they are and have some fun. On our original server, there was absolutely none of that. It bored me. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to get griefed and neither do I bother anyone while questing. But I like having the option and I enjoy taking up the challenge.

So I managed to get two characters to 70. I figured I had paid my dues. I wanted my two Level 60 characters moved to my PvP realm. But according to Blizzard, there was no way, no how. Until now, that is. While it shocked a lot of people, it didn't surprise me at all because there really isn't that big a deal. In fact, when Blizzard allowed it for some Oceanic realms back in June to balance the population, I knew all bets were off and that it was only a matter of time. And boy, has the time finally come.

I logged on to my Hunter for the first time in months and began cleaning up his bags. It amused me to find that everything in my bags were Battlegrounds tokens, food & bandages, along with Engineering items like my (more or less) trusty Net-o-Matic and some bombs. That toon's only purpose was to PvP. He was a square peg in a round hole, and he'd been languishing in a normal server for years. Not anymore. My wife logged on her characters, too, but only so she could finally sell everything and hand my troll some cash for the trip.

Tonight, when the last of my wife's auctions finally sell and I max out the 5,000 Gold I can transfer, I'll finally be doing the one thing I'd waited to do for two years. I don't think I've ever been as excited about the game. In fact, I'd even gotten a little bored. If Blizzard did this to get people to play again, it's working. I'm deleting my Level 48 Hunter and Level 28 Rogue to make room for my original guys. When everything is cleaned up and ready, I'll be moving my Level 60 Hunter and leveling on a PvP realm. When I hit 70, I'll probably move my Rogue and level him, too. Hopefully all before Wrath of the Lich King.

I know I could get ganked. I know I'll have to watch the skies while killing Felboars in Hellfire. I know that meeting a group of Alliance that outnumbers or outlevels me is almost guaranteed combat. That's fine. I think it's going to be fun. It'll be just a little more dangerous, just a little more troublesome, and just a lot more fun. For me and my old toons, It'll be just like coming home.