Advice for a returning player, pls...

Oceanic General Discussion
Hi guys,

TL;DR version: used to play, then didn't, now n00b. Worth getting back into? If so, Frostmourne?

Otherwise:

It's been quite awhile since the wife and I last played (had a kid in the meanwhile, even). Considering getting back into WoW for something to do after the munchkin falls asleep. However, it's not all quiiiiite as I remember it.

Now that I've gotten over the initial shock of "geez, these graphics are starting to look a bit dated...", and am now at the point of "...but that's ok, we're after the gameplay, anyway. But... what menu is that, I don't remember that button being there, and how do I get from X to Y again? Everyone's speaking acronym-only, here...", I've got a few questions I'm hoping some of you kind people could help me out with.

1. Server: We pretty clearly need to shift servers (on Stonemaul, long story). Have always been PvP, but not too committed either way. Played some battlegrounds back when they were first added, but it's been so long I'm not sure what impact that should have on server choice. Not entirely sure what the pros and cons are to server population, either - I would assume higher population is better... have heard good things about Frostmourne from a scan of these forums, though (although maybe overcrowded?). Any additional thoughts would be appreciated.

2. What's the balance of player experience/attitude like, these days?: I used to be a little more hardcore, the wife was always more of a casual gamer. These days I think we're both going to have to be annoying casual gamers. After 30-minutes back in-game, I'm feeling like a total noob again, and I imagine she'll be worse. Are we jumping back in at a time where everyone still playing is pretty hardcore? About to commit the equivalent of a hapless elderly couple wandering back on pitch to play against only seasoned professionals?

I assume we probably just need to spend some time playing through the low levels again to refresh the memory, and maybe find a good guild (don't have any RL friends still playing, though). Still, I'm not exactly sure we'll have the time or skill level to contribute helpfully to raids (if they're like I remember them) or other content I'd imagine guilds are more oriented to, etc - is there end game content that will still be fulfilling? Is it likely to be overly bland trying to get through early game content, if everyone else is now deep in the end game? Essentially - reckon it's worth us getting started with this game again now after so long away, or is it better to (1) wait for MoP and see what happens, or (2) investigate a younger MMPORPG, or (3) !@#$ noob?

Cheers
Can't really answer #1 since I haven't been on many servers. Dath seems fine from what I can tell.

The cataclysm normal dungeons to 85 are fairly pedestrian as is the questing. You might find the early cataclysm heroics to be a bit stressful if you're still getting used to things at 85, but the 4.3 dungeons are a lot simpler.

Once you hit 85, there's actually a neat new thing for you. Blizzard came up with LFR, which is basically a watered down version of raids which you can queue for, much like LFD. Obviously its nowhere near as difficult or as organised as a normal raid, but it lets casual players experience the new raid content, which is kinda cool. Also a nice way to get geared up to squeeze in a little raiding in before Mists of Pandaria.

I don't know about rogues specifically, but there's going to be some more changes coming in MoP. Waiting might help you avoid relearning stuff twice, but possibly it might be easier to learn it in two smaller chunks. Hitting 85 now also lessens the distance to go when MoP hits.

As for younger MMOs, Guild Wars 2 is coming out in a few months. It has some fairly innovative mechanics and stuff, and is oriented more at casual players and PvPers instead of raiders. It also lacks a subscription fee, which makes it pretty nice for people with limited amounts of time to play. Its quite different from WoW and might not be your cup of tea, but if you're looking for a non-WoW MMO, its definitely worth a try.
Thank you very much for taking the time, Azimi - all of that information was very useful. Given limited time and energy these days, it's helpful to have more of an idea of where to maybe direct it - will definitely have to try and gear up well enough to have a run at an LFR or two, at least. By the time GW2 comes out, should have a good idea of where to set up shop. Thanks!
GW2 Looks good but it's a free-to-play MMO. Most of the time they're good for fillers but don't have what it takes to keep you interested over a longer period of time.

In regards to servers, Frostmourne is a good one to start at but you have to keep a few things in mind; Frostmourne population means unless you are top tier it's impossible to get a start in anything other than a subpar guild, nobody will even look at you; Frostmourne population also includes a ridiculous amount of trolls and people who in general want to scam you; the internet is becoming more and more anon/troll based with people who are willing to grief you on a daily basis just for giggles.

If you decide to go with a smaller server you are generally smacked with less progression and pvp based gamers which means it's harder to get into even an average bracket simply due to lack of experience, this complies to both PvE and PvP flavours of the game.

As far as picking the game up now or waiting for MoP I would highly suggest you go for it now and try max out. The end game is a completely different beast to what the other expansions provided; leveling itself has changed significantly also. You won't be stuck thinking "where is this random mob... north east.... left... behind big rock... wrong left.... aah... no.... yes!” Blizzard holds your hand considerably more these days and questing has changed from being challenging to more interesting from an RP sense. If you don't like RP then questing is horrendous, on the flip side dungeons are more rock'n'roll throw on some music and kill a bunch of stuff with gear > skill attitude until 85.

Depending on how public, how serious and how much you get addicted, your current server may not be a problem. If you’re not getting serious you don’t really need to go to a high pop server for PvE. For PvP on the other hand you really will need to go somewhere for numbers. Arena is very much team based and until you get a good group together you’ll be adding and removing chumps who talk a lot on a regular basis before you find someone worth keeping. The top oceanic server for PvP related gaming is surely, Frostmourne alliance. If you don’t mind playing a US server then the best option is by far Tichondrius (Alliance/Horde) with a sub-option for Blackrock (horde), as both of these servers have a large oceanic player base.

My advice would be to stay where you are. Get a feel for the game, level up with your lady and just have a crack at as many aspects of the game as you can within your timeframe. There is absolutely no reason to rush off to a high pop server right now, because until you put in good amount of time you’re not going to see decent PvE/PvP content and you could be wasting your money if you don’t end up enjoying end game and decide to hit up Guild Wars 2.

Good luck in the future mate, hope you and your Mrs. have a good time.
1. Frostmourne will have log in queues once MoP is released so I wouldn't move there. Check out http://www.wowprogress.com/realms/rank/oc for estimates on population and Horde:Alliance bias. You want to find a higher population faction realm. I'd recommend going Horde on Thaurissan or Barthilas.

2. There's a good mix between casual guilds, progression guilds, and hardcore guilds. LFR has been a huge success for casual gamers in its ability to introduce those players to the content and provide useable gear. Most of the hardcore and progression guilds have cleared the content now and typically only farm 1-2 nights per week. Newer and more casual raiding guilds are still working on heroic progression.

I expect it will be hard for you to get into heroic progression raiding at this stage, but honestly at this stage of the expansion it's not really worth worrying about as there is another gear reset coming with the release of MoP.

All the newer content is restricted by ilvl of gear. If you open your character sheet you'll see an arrow down the bottom right corner. Expand that out and look for your equipped/max ilvl. Your max ilvl is what will determine your eligibility to enter LFG and LFR.

To speed up this process I recommend spending a bit of gold (hopefully you have a bit floating around) and buying the ilvl 377 PvP gear. Although some players frown upon this approach, it will streamline your entry into the current content.

To get into HoT heroics you need an ilvl of 353 (these instances drop ilvl 378 items) and to get into LFR you need an ilvl of 372 (these drop ilvl 384/390 items).

It's worth seeing the content while it's current before MoP is released.

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