Tuesday, February 2, 2010

From Bloodlust to Emberstorm and back again, a Warlocks Tale

Everyone comments on a game to game comparison. In Warhammer Online people often compared servers to servers due to population balance being such a huge factor in that game. Very seldom do you hear about server or Battlegroup discussion in WoW other then the offhand comment during the closing days of an Arena Season. For those that don’t know WoW has clustered servers together to enable cross server PvP for some time, these are called Battle Groups.

I was recently given, well not given because I paid, but I was able to experience two separate servers on two very different Battle Groups as the same character. My original server was on Frostwolf which resides on the Bloodlust Battle Group, often referred to as BG9. Bloodlust is home to the best Arena Teams in North America, arguably the world. With the ability to transfer from PvE to PvP and transfers only costing $25 all the servers on the Bloodlust Battle Group have been bursting at the seams for some time now. For anyone just starting to get into PvP this is not the place to be, because of that some of my friends transferred to the Emberstorm Battle Group because it was newer and not as competitive.

What does all this PvP talk have to do with someone leveling a now 70 Warlock through Dungeon Finder? Well that’s simple the Dungeon Finder pulls people from your Battle Group, which means the more populated your Battle Group the faster you will find a group via Dungeon Finder.

As soon as my friends playing on Emberstorm found out that I was playing again they began hitting me up to join them. I wanted to level a Warlock to 80 using Dungeon Finder though so I waited. On Thursday of last week I finally moved him over to their server on the Emberstorm Battle Group, and I immediately regretted it. You can probably already see where this is going.

The Bloodlust Battle Group has North American servers along with Oceanic Servers, this provides a great balance of round the clock players. Since Bloodlust is also the most popular place to play, everyone has alts on it. That means that on average when I was on Bloodlust before I would wait 5-10 minutes for a group, with the longest being 25 minute wait. I had logged in at 4:00AM PST one morning and got a group in 10 minutes. Bloodlust made Dungeon Finder fun because of the amount of people.

On to Emberstorm. The first night, last Thursday night, after the transfer was complete I queued up for Dungeon Finder. During prime time, 8:00PM PST, I was shocked to find out it was a 60 minute wait as DPS to get a group. I figured the count had to be off so I waited for awhile doing some quests, by the way I hate quests. After about 45 minutes I logged off and read.

I tried again Friday night, and to my dismay I got in a 45 minute wait. I did however join a group slightly sooner, though they had already completed half a dungeon. I was only able to find time for half a dungeon Friday night. Saturday I was at a friend’s playing poker so no gaming that night but Sunday didn’t improve. I wasn’t able to even get a group Sunday night. I would have transferred back Friday night but I didn’t want to spend 25 more dollars to go back where I came from and then transfer back to Emberstorm when I finally hit 80.

I was home sick yesterday. Too sick to work, just enough energy to play WoW, perfect. I logged in and was again greeted with a 45 minute queue. That was the last draw. I logged off and began researching servers. I knew I wanted to be on Bloodlust but I wasn’t sure I wanted to go straight back to my old server. You see I’ve always played on PvP servers and with the new ability to transfer from PvE to PvP it made sense to me to transfer to a PvE server on Bloodlust to prevent any chance of being ganked while leveling up.

After 20 minutes of looking I found my new home, Senjin. I paid my $25 and went and took a nap. I woke up two hours later, logged on, and was thrilled to be in a 15 minute wait for Dungeon Finder.

A lot of work and money went in to what should have been a no brainer. The more people, the easier it is to group. So if you are planning on making an alt may I suggest a PvE server on the Bloodlust Battle Group. You will get the benefit of the most populated group without the needless ganking. I think Blizzard should really just consider making all their servers into one huge super Battle Group.

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