This isn’t going to be a normal format article, I want to be a little deliberate with this topic as it is quite special to me. As many people are probably aware, the attention span of a human nowadays is so low tha- oh look, a butterfly! Because of this, even gamers now find it hard to focus on one game for too long until a new, flashier, easy to fit in most overhead storage one appears to tickle their fancy. Doubtless one of the worst games for the attention deficit-stricken in all of us is World of Warcraft.
This isn’t to say the game is boring, because it isn’t. I can always log onto the game and find something to do; be it a nice raid, leveling up one of my alts or grinding out that rep for my Ambassador title (got it a few days ago, hell yeah!). But to some it is a tedious endeavor that they cannot endure. For that I have a simple solution… the private server.
Private servers are home or server run and are fully customized to fit the player. They are very numerous, ranging from thousands of players to some that only have 40 or 50 in a whole server. Many types of servers exist, ranging from the completely unmodified “Blizzlike” servers to the epitome of ADD, the “funserver.”
Funservers are what I like to call the four year-olds’ playground. Most funservers start you off at level 80 with little to no gear; you then buy the gear that suits your personality (the best because you’re ub3r l337 enough to buy free gear). Then it is free reign, you can go terrorize one of the unpopulated cities, or participate in what makes most private servers so enjoyable, events.
Events are the bread and butter of a good private server. They envoke a bit of comradery as you fight side by side with your horde brethren in a RP deathmatch, or maybe a bit of competition with a mad dash to the finish of a climbing obstacle course. These events are fun and can result in rewards for your character to dominate in PvP. Unfortunately this is where the glaring problems with private servers start to show.
While private servers are very fun, they are also VERY glitchy. Usually 35-40% of a class’s skills do not work properly, either from a mechanical standpoint or a balance standpoint. Clipping can be an issue as well considering most of the “arenas” the World PvP is made in is created in a zone that was not meant to be played around in. This can lead to falling through the floor, getting stuck in walls, or my favorite private server glitch, the “you’re f*cked fear”. Most private servers have clipping issues with the fear skill… any fear skill; they usually lead to certain death, even while traversing a small bump in the ground.
Glitches are abundant in private servers, and that isn’t the only thing one has to worry about… there’s also Blizzard’s mighty e-peen, the banhammer. As many WoW players may know, Blizzard keeps a tight watch on your WoW folder, checking if any foreign files have been wandering about making a mess of things. One thing always checked is your realmlist, the file that allows you to connect to a private server. Just change one bar of text and “waboom!” its like another universe!!
Blizzard may love the UCM your make for Warcraft and Starcraft, but that isn’t taking food out of their mouths… like the billion dollars they make per year is leaving them starving on the street holding a sign “Lookin for Change, PST if you have any”. Private servers take away from the one thing WoW has that Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo don’t… a monthly fee. You are playing THEIR game without paying, how can you be so greedy!! This wouldn’t be so bad, but Blizzard loved to put their client up for download… everywhere. This basically means one thing, WoW is free. Install it, go on a private server and you will never pay a penny to play, way to go you little hacker you!
This doesn’t pose a problem for anyone that doesn’t have a retail WoW account, but if you do, you are treading a fine line. If you are like me, you put every single of your Blizzard games on your Battle.net account so you don’t have to rummage through that laundry hamper full of games you know you have. And with an account like that, where my WoW account has seen some year, my Diablo 2, Starcraft, Starcraft 2, Warcraft 3 with FT… getting that banned would not only be a blow to your wallet, but to your heart.
To wrap this up, private servers are like hookers, they are good for a bit, but afterwards you might not only be left with a dent in your wallet… but you might have the clap too. Thank you for reading, bringing fun back into your old games, one venerial disease at a time.