Having been born and raised on a PvE server, the horror stories of Life in Stranglethorn Vale never really held any meaning to me. The Isle of Gank'danas was only something to read about and laugh at.
Well, it sure was time for an education.
Allow me to sum up my findings from my first weekend on a PvP server...
Warning to Horde
Let it be known. I generally shant initiate combat on you, Mr. Hordie. If we're questing, I'll just try to ninja your quest mobs, same as I would if you were an Alliance player who declined my invitation or was behaving like a turd on /trade. I steal, but I dont keel (to stretch a rhyme out of "steal" and "kill"). If we're waiting for the same rare spawn, know that I'll do whatever I can to tag it before you can, and I'm damn good at it, but I won't kill you. Sorry for this, its just how we roll.
But, lemme warn the Horde, so as to save you the time of waiting with the other surprised players standing in line at the complaint desk.....
If you attack me first, know that I'll carefully weigh the time required to execute revenge versus the satisfaction to be gained from said revenge. If there's a creative way for me to get you back, that won't take too much of my precious time, trust that I'll be waiting, deep under the water, with my Hydrocane equipped, and I will strike at the moment most entertaining for me.
And, please, pretty please, with sugar on top, don't get between me and my minerals. Cobalt is fair game, you get there first, you win. Saronite might get you in trouble, depends upon how angry the behavior of your Hordie friends has made me over the previous 15 minutes. Horde near Titanium is Kill on Sight. I do not apologize, you have been warned.
With no idea what to expect, I set off into the world shortly after the server transfer was complete.
The Horde like to start you off slowly. At first, nothing. Just quest around, and see lots of friendly Alliance toons around. Ok, this is warm and fuzzy.
Then eventually, you come across some Horde questing in the same area. Ok, ok, seems to be a mutual respect amongst people leveling. Leave eachother alone, because we're all on a mission.
Then, in a cave in Howling Fjord, waiting for a named quest mob to respawn. GF calls out that she's got a rogue on her, while I'm clearing out some unnamed trash in the room. Ok, nice and nifty, usually when NPC mobs attack one of us, there's plenty of time to finish what you're doing and then go over and help eachother. Nope. Dead, nearly instantly.
Ah, our first gank, a Horde Rogue. And, like the brave warrior that he is, as soon as I get him to about 50% health, he vanishes and runs off. We finish the quest, and on the way out, he saps me and runs away. Very nice, thank you. You've given me a taste of what's to come.
Generally a mutual respect throughout the lands, Alliance and Horde questing amongst eachother, no real problems.
Sometimes Bubbles on Defensive mode will start attacking a Hordie that's right near a quest mob I'm killing. As long as I notice quickly, I'll get her back at my side quickly.
There's also the new changes since 3.0.2 that have you automatically targeting new mobs as your current mob dies, so I've inadvertently targeted and fired upon Horde. Sorry guys, but if I notice and correct it quick enough, they rarely turn and spank me.
The occasional gank here and there. Usually from a solo Horde player on me as a solo Alliance player.
Sometimes its near a quest objective, in which case, I can sort of agree with the mentality, since if they kill me off, it'll give them access to their quest a little faster. Ok, ok. You win.
But there's a few doozies who clearly make PvP servers what they are.
Sea Bulls Need a Little Action
The Sea Bulls are a pretty randy bunch. But it would seem that their Sea Bull bars are all sausage fests, and they can't find their way to the all-girls dorm across the water. So I gets me some fish and lead them over to carve off a slice.
Until Mr. Hordie thinks its cute to kill my Sea Bull, and then, him and his 3 buddies come and kill me. Luckily, I held them off long enough for the GF to finish her quest and get her Sea Bull some booty.
These guys weren't too bad though, as they left me alone when I came back.
The Cheap Shot
I head on over to solo Ragemane's Flipper in Zul'Drak at level 76. At the end, Ragemane is dead, Bubbles is dead, and I'm at less than 1,000 health. Every single ability on cooldown, including deterrence and lifebloom. Happy at having finished the quest efficiently, I swim past 4 Hordies who showed up to complete the same quest. Frikin undead priest feels compelled to smack me with a single Mind Blast which finished off the job Ragemane started. F. U. you spineless cheap-shotting worm.
Of course, true to the philosophy of gank or be ganked, I did the only thing that possible to reclaim some self respect. Corpse run, rez, and swim deep deep underneath where Ragemane spawns. Wait for the 4 of them to engage the mob, then start shooting their tank from the depths, straight up the pooper. Me and Ragemane took care of him quickly, then the healer who so thoughtfully Mind Blasted me earlier. At this point the two DPS'ers figured out what was going on and turned on me, killing me rather efficiently, only to get killed by Ragemane shortly thereafter. I'll chalk that up as successful revenge since they had to start over.
I just might learn to like this PvP stuff.
Sholazar is the new STV
And then, my night turned to sht.
Finish off Zul'Drak quests, and fly on over to Sholazar Basin. NOTE TO SELF: don't fly over Lake Winterchill. Wasted 20 minutes (A) figuring out how to get at this one node of Rich Saronite without being able to fly, and (B) figuring out how to get the F out of the zone.
Back to Sholazar.
Get 4 quests all in the same area with some Venture Co. folks digging in the dirt.
Fly there, land, start killing goblins and such. Then a silly horde unstealths, stunlocks, and kills me without my even being able to move or attack once.
Ok, ok, you got me, fair and square.
Run back, rez, start questing.
Again with the instadeath, only this time there's 3 of them.
Run back, rez, questing...
Uggy, now there looks to be 10 Hordies, spread all over the camp and they're killing all Alliance they can get their hands on.
Ok, so I fly over to a slightly different quest, finish that up, come back to the area. Looks clear.
Start questing, and the pack of 10 comes back, killing everything around them.
Strangely enough, after I got over the initial wave of emotion and desire to crush their windpipes IRL, it became a bit fun. Land real quick, kill a mob, loot a quest item off the ground, mount up quick enough to avoid the incoming Horde wave. Lather rinse repeat until quest is done.
But, facing a pretty strong desire to ding 80, wasting time like that gets old in a hurry.