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After raiding for the past 3 years and recently starting to enjoy battlegrounds and duels (too sad I couldn't try out arena before cataclysm^^), I would like to focus on PvP from now on.

With the release of the new expansion I expect many people to quest and therefore world PvP to become more vivid again.

How much does leveling on a PvP server affect one's PvP skills? What should I consider to get the most out of it? Would it be a good idea to transfer to the low populated side of server with an extreme faction ratio in order to expose oneself to as much "trouble" as possible?

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5 Answers

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Leveling on a PvP server is little different from leveling on a PvE server; most "overworld" PvP is dead, and when it does happen, it's more likely to be level 85's ganking lowbies in Stranglethorn vale (because they can!) rather than two groups spontaneously forming to, say, kill all the quest NPCs in Tarren Mill.

Perhaps more relevantly, the types of combat you're likely to find on a PvP server outside of instanced PvP is not going to be representative of instanced PvP. Put another way -- ganking and getting ganked won't be particularly helpful in making you a better PvPer, because the battelgrounds and arena that represent the PvP endgame in world of warcraft don't revolve around 1 on 1s and ganking.

The truth is that despite the population of a server, it's still relatively uncommon to run into other players except in areas that encourage close proximity (whether due to daily quests, or anything else).

In my experience on a PvP server during the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, the places most likely to run into PvP was "Isle of Quel'Danas", The southeastern plateau in Terrokar forest with the Skywing(skyband?) daily quests, and the naxxramas meeting stone.

I would go so far as to suggest that it's not worth your time. Conceivably, you'd get just as much PvP experience fighting consecutive duels outside of Ironforge or Orgrimmar.

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thx for the comprehensive answer and the inside on world pvp during BC and WOTLK, which I didn't experience. –  Dave Nov 8 '10 at 2:03
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I agree. In a world pvp situation, it's dependent on who sees who first, and who reacts fastest, and best. I'm actually really good at world pvp, but mediocre at arenas. Reacting first after running into someone, reacting to an unexpected attack, seeing someone before they see you...I'm good at those things. But I tend not to be able to out-move the hardcore pvp'rs. In my mind, the best thing about world pvp is that it makes the world more interesting. –  Satanicpuppy Nov 8 '10 at 21:20
    
@Satan, not sure how any reaction time is going to help when an 85 air drops on you while questing in STV. –  Nick T Apr 5 '11 at 2:49
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Its really all about your teammate selection and your ability to farm tokens. Then get the characters you want to get into various arena ranks where they are not vulnerable. This means a lot of practice inside arena and now/ soon bgs.

Frankly I find Arena taken more serious on pve servers since progression alts, through away re-gemming / enchants are much easier to obtain and common.

World PvP is dead, if your going to join a group like <Boat Camping Jerks> and world camp zones. Thats not going to do much for your PvP skills or ranking.

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I agree, that world pvp is dead ATM. I hoped that would change with cataclysm.. Did you experience world pvp during the leveling phases (~first 2 weeks) of BC/WOTLK?, was it more vivid than long time into the expansion? –  Dave Nov 8 '10 at 2:07
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@Dave For about 2 weeks, the population was very dense, because BC only had the one level 70 zone (Hellfire Penninsula) and again in Wrath when the scores of newly minted death knights again got bottlenecked there. Within the Wrath leveling zones themselves though? Not so much. –  Raven Dreamer Nov 8 '10 at 2:38
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Leveling on a PvP server will most likely make no difference to your PvP skills. The reason I say this is because world PvP is only ever indulged in by those holding a massive advantage, be it numbers (2 or more on 1), level (80/85s versus anyone else) or other scenarions, i.e. ganking someone already fighting mobs. Actual PvP on a PvP server is really quite rare.

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World PVP is often non-consensual PVP--because one side knows they will loose and the other knows they will win. In battle you don't want fair fights--you want to destroy the other side taking no looses yourself.

This is very different from a sport, where a good game is the point. BGs, Arena's and the like start with the premise of a fair fight, where as the EVE maxim of "If its a fair fight someone screwed up" is true for open world PVP.

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Now and before cataclysm I would answer this question the same way. I am honestly surprised no one has even broached this subject actually. I am 100% confident that IF you want to level a toon (no matter the class) and your end game goal for that character is geared with pvp in mind and be very very good at it, then the only real way to level on any server regardless of its rule set. I strongly suggest level doing battle grounds.

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