5 Tips for Transferring Servers


This is a guest post from @katagirl, Matt’s fellow guildie and a WoW Twitterati

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for over two and a half years. In this time, I’ve transferred to different servers twice.

Choosing to transfer to a different server is a big decision, because unlike a haircut or a mini-pet – this will cost you some hard earned cash (or much begged, depending on your persuasion).

There are two different circumstances in which you might be considering a transfer: either you’re transferring with friends, or you’re transferring alone.

With Friends

This was how my first transfer happened. I was leading a social guild on an underpopulated server, and it was difficult to get groups together for anything. The economy was shot, too. Our group was small, but we’d been playing together for a long time. We made the decision to transfer to a higher population server after a lot of discussion. Out of the fifteen of us, six decided to make the move together.

By far, this is the easiest way to make a server move. You’ve got friends to make a new start with.

Off Server recruited/Getting a new start

This is how I got hooked up with Matticus and gang. I’d been following Matt’s blog and twitter for a while, and started having discussions with him when he started pitching the idea for Conquest. One night, I shot him a note that I was really tempted to transfer over and join him. He got a little excited about the prospect of a holy paladin – so we chatted on GTalk, then on Vent. This transfer was going to be a shot in the dark, so I had a lot of questions. Eventually I made the decision to transfer, and I’m glad I did.

When you’re considering a server transfer:

Do your homework

If you’re thinking about moving to join a guild, learn everything you can about them. Stalk their website, their vent. Chat with players and officers. I spoke to both Matt and Sydera the first evening I was considering Conquest. I also spent time listening on their vent.

If you’re moving for a change of scenery/better pvp/better economy, create a character. Watch the Auction House for a few days. Troll trade chat and notice the guilds and trolls. Realm forums are also good, as many guilds will recruit there. Find two or three guilds that may match your playing style and whisper a few random players from each to see what they think about their guilds.

Have a backup plan

One of my biggest concerns about transferring to join Conquest was that once I got here and things got going, my raiding style and personality would not mesh with the others and I’d be miserable. During one of our conversations, I brought this up to Matt. He assured me that if I got here, and it didn’t work out – he’d personally help me find somewhere that fit better. That’s a sign of a good guild leader – he wasn’t stuck on himself enough to assume that everyone would be absolutely happy there. I still checked out the recruitment forums and chatted with a few recruiters in trade chat before I made the decision to transfer. To be honest, Matt’s willingness to make sure I was taken care of even if I decided Conquest was not for me was the one thing that finally cemented the decision to transfer.

Don’t be afraid to be afraid

If you’re a millionaire (and if so, let’s be friends), a server transfer is no big deal. If you’re in school or just making it on ramen and lettuce salads, it’s something that may impact you a little more. It’s perfectly fine to take time to make your decision. Don’t let anyone push you into making a decision on the spot. It’s your fifteen bucks, and you need to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

Ask for advice

Sometimes, you’re too close to the situation to see things clearly. Find a friend (one who isn’t involved in the decision, or has any bias) and talk them through what you’re thinking. They may come up with a problem or a suggestion that you would not have thought of.

Don’t jump in with both feet

This should go without saying, but only transfer one character at a time. Make sure you’re happy with where you’re going before you send two more alts to join your main character. One transfer fee is easier to swallow than two or three.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to you. It’s not a life-ending decision if you decide to transfer somewhere and your plans fall through. There are great players on each server and good guilds. If you’re still unhappy, you can always transfer back in three months.

Image courtesy of gerard79

11 thoughts on “5 Tips for Transferring Servers”

  1. If you’re coordinating transfers with friends and family, do it together or your transfer options may go away.

    My sister and her husband decided to transfer servers around the time Wrath hit and I didn’t transfer with them. The huge influx of returning players resulted in enormous queues on the new server, triggering Blizzard’s transfer lockout. So I didn’t get the first few levels on the road to 80 with them. Fortunately the transfer limitation lifted and I’m now happily playing with them but it could have been worse.

    This applies doubly to the free transfers Blizzard opens up to reduce server populations. If you’re going to consider it, make the decision ahead of time and jump on it. I’ve heard about guilds taking a couple of days to discuss and vote on the issue, start transferring and Blizzard yanking it out from under them when half their members have moved and the other half are just getting around to it.

    As soon as the transfer goes through, reserve your name on the old server by creating a new character with the same name. This prevents clowns from impersonating you or you simply losing that (hopefully) carefully chosen character name. If you transfer back you can simply delete the level 1 character.

  2. I am also a player who transferred to Ner’zhul to join Conquest.

    The most surprising thing to me was just how important a social network is in WoW.

    During the year and a half on my original server, I build up an extensive list of contacts, friends, acquaintances who’re great for a quick blast through a dungeon, tradespeople for all the items I need, etc. I earned the respect of those people and built up my reputation server-wide.

    After the transfer, I was totally stripped of all of that.

    Luckily, the guild I transferred to join has been an excellent fit and most of my needs can be met without looking further than our guild forum or gchat. However, we run a very lean roster with little excess (which is a very good thing), and I play a lot on the early morning East Coast times, which is nearly dead in the guild.

    I just realized, my comment here isn’t really a Tip for new xfers, but rather a reflection on what it was like to transfer. So in the form of a tip….

    Dont underestimate the value of your social network, and be patient once you transfer because it’ll take time to build your reputation and friends list back up.

    Amavas last blog post..Phoot >>> Bang

  3. A group of friends and I finally made the transfer from an American server to an Oceanic server a while back, because we’re Aussies. The thing I found the most annoying was that it wasn’t just US$25 for any of us – we all had multiple level 70 characters at the time (one guy had five chars), so transferring became a ridiculous expense. Emailing Blizzard to ask if there was anything that could be done did nothing (more annoying because it wasn’t an issue of us rolling on the wrong servers – servers in our timezone weren’t available on day 1 when we started playing, so there was nothing we could have done about it, and our US server was medium population, so there weren’t any free transfers available).

    Blizzard really needs to think about the cost of transfers, they seem very unfair at the moment.

  4. I am convinced that until they allow guild transfers the queues aren’t helped much by offering free transfers.

    Once you do find a good guild, would you want to leave? (even if the queue is like 500 every time you try to log on).

  5. servers that start with the letter A or appear near the top often blow.

    and good players migrate off them, as well as terribads looking for a free ride.

    take aggramar. Terribad. started there, and I moved off and am rocking content. (moved pre wrath secured a good guild spot and I’ve stuck it out on aggy since vanilla.)

    where you move, and whom you move with… hey a few friends never hurt.

    helps a ton.

  6. no permission to edit content, guess I waited too long 😉

    especially if they don’t suck and make contacts…. a good caliber player is limited by the people around them, sure they can shine, but in a shithole … well. shining won’t get you clears.

    If you move with good people. To a server that shows promise, and has decent progression *wowjutsu is your friend*
    you have a much better chance.

    look to take some retard who doesn’t know his class, is specced horrid, and keyboard turns? you will doom yourself.

    helps a ton.

  7. Two Qs on transfering back to your old server:
    1. Do you have to pay again?
    2. Can you still transfer even when the Server is locked for transfers?


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