Before Australian and New Zealand adventurers begin their epic voyage into the land of Azeroth, they must carefully choose the realm (aka server) on which their character will reside. There are dozens of different realms to choose from, and players should choose carefully as once they have chosen a realm, it usually becomes the character's only home. So, which realm will give Australian and New Zealand players the best playing experience? There are four main factors which will influence this choice:
1.) Server type
There are four different types of realms (servers), each of which reflects a different style of game play:
a) Normal - these tend to be the most popular realms for casual players, as they offer a more relaxed approach to World of Warcraft®. Players cannot be attacked by people in the opposing faction unless the player chooses to do so, although the player can still freely attack NPCs (Non Player Characters) of the opposing faction. Players are free to chat about whatever they feel like (provided it's not offensive) and can name their character however they like (again, as long as it's not offensive).
b) Player Versus Player (PvP) - these realms promote combat between the Alliance and the Horde. If you are in a territory which is hostile or neutral to your faction, you can be attacked by members of the opposite faction at any time.
c) Role-Playing Server - for those players who want to be totally immersed in a serious Role-Playing experience. Chatting is limited to game related topics, and players must act "in character". Character names must reflect the fantasy setting.
d) Role-Playing Player Versus Player (RP-PvP) – this combines the Role Playing server type with the Player Versus Play environment. Ordinarily a Role-Playing server type involves the Normal (or Player Versus Environment) realm type. RP-PvP servers provide Role Player’s with an opportunity to become involved in the combat style gameplay.
2) Server location and population
For the most optimal gaming experience possible, it is highly recommended that Australian players choose a realm designated as an ‘Oceanic’ realm (that is to say Barthilas (newest PvP realm), Aman’Thul (newest PvE realm), Jubei’Thos (PvP realm), Frostmourne (PvP realm), Khaz’goroth (PvE realm). Many of those realms are High population, which means at night times, or other peak hours they may become queued, which means you enter a line of people waiting to join the server, as people stop playing, you descend in the queue. Generally speaking a 200 person queue will take between 15 minutes and a half hour to depreciate enough for you to join. Blizzard recently released these Oceanic tagged realms, there is no advantage to an Australian player playing on these realms other than you will be playing with more Australians. The servers are still located in America, but generally speaking they have been strategically located for a better ping for Australian players. The little In-game clock also reads AEST time on one of these tagged realms.
3.) Realms that offer a good Australian demographic, but aren’t oceanic realms
As the Oceanic tagged realms were released only recently there were a couple of realms prior to their release that many Australian players deemed as unofficial Australian servers. These realms are Proudmoore (PvE), Blackrock (PvP). Both realms are well progressed into the game, and you may have difficult finding a foot hold in the beginning, they are also high population realms which often become queued at peak times.
It is generally deemed by the Australian WoW playing populace, that the smartest server to roll on is one of the Oceanic tagged realms.