Are older servers just different?

I was amused to find out earlier this week that my WoW guild is one of the oldest in Europe. I’m not sure how they knew, but it sounds plausible. It was a day 1 guild (ie. formed on the first day the server went live) on a day 1 server (opened on the day the game went live in Europe), and it’s still going strong. Credit for this goes mostly to a variety of guild leaders and officers but also to all the players who have ever been part of ARC.

(‘grats to us, and now we just have to sabotage the others.)

I hadn’t really thought much about Argent Dawn as a server until some friends of mine transferred over a couple of months ago. They were astounded by the differences they found – partly because of moving to a RP server and partly due to the server having an older community.

- They felt as though everyone knew each other, all the guild leaders did too. It’s not that we don’t have a lot of new guilds too, but some people have been around the block a few times ;)

- They felt as though the server had a very specific need/greed custom in groups. Which is true, it drives me nuts but people on AD like it if everyone passes on loot and then rolls on it later. Dates back to original WoW, before need/greed was implemented.

- They were amazed at how many raid groups we had. ie. raid groups which included players from more than one guild. This is a common trend in the day 1 RP servers, I’ve no idea if other servers with older communities do this also. It dates back to 40 man raids, and people wanting to stay in their friendly RP guilds whilst still raiding. And a few very talented organisers.

- They found the standard of PUGs to be higher than they were used to (again, this is plausible to me, I don’t see any of the real horror players I hear about)

I’m not sure at what point a server becomes ‘mature’, it would be interesting to compare notes or figure out some way to study server communities changing with age. But there is definitely a different feel to an older server than to the manic jostling for status in a new server.  On a newer server, the whole game can feel like an extended PUG. Sometimes that’s fun, it’s a chance to get to know new people and make your mark. Sometimes it is a nightmare. Older servers feel more settled. But does that make it harder to fit in if you don’t know anyone?

Do you notice the difference?