Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Cure for the Common Ganker

I started writing this post about two or three times before I decided I wasn't going to write about pugs.  I could return to my regularly scheduled grumblings another time, but this post will be pug-free. 

(You're off the hook, Mr. "Gnomer-is-so-boring-and-I-spend-so-much-time-yawning-that-I-forget-to-tank.")

I was on Neve, working on some quests in Hillsbrad while waiting for the LFD queue, when a thought struck me.  "You know," I said to a fellow guildie, "this has to be the first time I've leveled in Hillsbrad without constantly looking over my shoulder."

Old PvP habits die hard.  When I first showed up with Neve in Hillsbrad, several months ago, I was completely unnerved by the Alliance characters just blithely passing me on the road.  After having spent my formative WoW years on a PvP server, I was used to ganking as a way of life.  If you were out farming for ore, you kept a close eye on your surroundings before you stopped and picked that nugget of Iron up.  Even when you got flying in Outland and Northrend, that meant you had to watch the skies as well as the ground.  You could be out questing at 3 AM server time --Stormscale is a Pacific Time Zone server and I live in the Eastern Time Zone-- and found yourself caught from behind while working your way through Stromgarde Keep.  After a while, you get twitchy when you go through different locales, wondering where the next attack is coming from.

Switching to a PvE server does help eliminate that inherent nervousness, but I think what really helped in the long run was leveling on the Alliance side.  No, I'm not talking about some great kumbaya moment about how we're all one great happy family, but rather going out and leveling in unfamiliar places.  Redridge Mountains.  Darkshore.  Dun Morogh.  Loch Modan.  Wetlands.  Westfall.  Azuremyst and Bloodmist.  All of those places are strange territory to this Hordie, and the lack of opposing faction toons finally allowed me to relax and enjoy the environment.

After that experience in low-ish level areas, returning to Hillsbrad on Neve was almost a non-event.  I saw a few Alliance toons heading up to Alterac, but since I didn't have the PvP flag turned on, there was nobody to worry about.

Except for the fellow Hordies who thought that Neve needed company or something to protect her from the big bad Murlocs.

Now, if I could only figure out how to attack people on my own faction....


  1. PVE servers are unsettling. I was on my gnome warlock doing the quest that sends you to the Barrens. I was passing Horde in the Barrens and they didn't seem to care that I was on their turf. I mean, at level 22, I passed an 80 spriest on my way to Ratchet. One tick of a dot would have killed me dead twice in the Barrens. And then I realized that I could run all around that Hordy zone. It's wrong. So very wrong. I almost ganked myself.

  2. @Anonymous: Gnomes are extremely gankable. Hell, I want to gank them even when I play an Alliance toon.

    If Blizz didn't try so hard to turn them into the Jar Jar Binks of WoW, I might tolerate them more.

  3. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do well on a PvP server. I guess PvE servers ARE the "easy way" out, but I'm generally okay with that. I'm glad you've had the opportunity to relax and take in the scenery a bit. I love the Draenei starting area (naturally). Rades was just doing the ending quest chain in Bloodmyst the other day and it was so fun to get excited with him. "Hey, you have told me about this quest!" he said. "They are all here cheering about ME!"

  4. @Vid: I no longer think of PvE servers as the easy way out, just a different way of looking at the game.

    Soul mentioned to me months ago about how pleasant it is to level in Stranglethorn on a PvE server, and I have to admit that the background sounds are very well done. When I was leveling Q there on Stormscale, I never got the chance to relax, because you never knew who was just beyond that next ridge.