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The Ins and Outs of Moving Servers (or Factions), and Taking Your Business With You

Update: The original source for my information, the blog post, missed a key piece of information….the character moving a guild needs to be GM for 7 days.

The need or desire to switch servers and/or factions can come from many things, your guild fell apart, you’re moving to meet friends, you’re moving to avoid drama on your sever, or your guild is moving to find better recruits are all common reasons for leaving your current home. The average player doesn’t have a whole lot to worry about except where to land and who they are leaving behind. Players deep into the auction house sub-game though have a lot more to worry about, specifically bringing over a lot more gold than the character cap currently allows, but potentially needing to bring significantly more items than standard banks can handle alone, especially if you only want to bring over one character. As I have mentioned before, transferring a guild bank, even a level 2 bank (the minimum for this service), can increase how much you can take with you by magnitudes, opening your horizons to all new gold making opportunities, but providing even more complication to the matter. This post will mostly be focusing on moving with a guild bank, but the principles can be applied to simple character transfers as well.

The way the services are set up you bring the Guild Master character along with the guild, so you’re basically paying $10 to bring the guild bank over (along with perks, levels etc., but those aren’t important in a bank alt) because the guild master character gets subjected to the character transfer process. If you’re not transferring with your main character’s (or characters’) guild, the best option would be to transfer control of the guild you’re bringing along to one of the characters you are transferring; most players won’t want to pay an extra $25 to bring a bank alt along, so this setup brings the most bang for your buck. Before you do anything else you must make sure that you meet the following requirements:

  • The guild being transferred is level 2 or higher,
  • The account with the Guild Master on it has been secured with an authenticator for at least 7 days, and,
  • The Character must be Guild Master for at least 7 days

Once you’ve completed these steps, or while you’re waiting for the 7 days, start packing. While a whole guild bank may seem a near inexhaustible amount of extra storage compared to the old transfer limits, you still have a finite amount of space, which you may find will run out quickly. Your number one priority when packing for any transfer should be items essential to your main focus in this game (raiding, PvP, RP’ing etc.), if your main purpose it gold making great, it makes many choices easier! When you’ve packed all the items you need for your main characters to continue functioning, your next focus should be items you have already stockpiled for a future patch or event where you expect to make a hefty return on your investment, and stock and inventory you have for your day-to-day business and sales. Once you have done this this you want to do some research, compare your old realm and your target realm for the prices of your current inventory. Any items, inventory, crafting stock, back log etc. that are cheaper on the target realm, you will want to sell off before you make the move, you can buy them cheaper at the target realm and come out ahead gold wise. Your final step will be to find items on your current server that are cheaper than they are on your target server, these are the items you will flip at the other end, or use in your crafts to maximize your profits.

If you are at the gold transfer limit even with the 1 million gold transfer for guilds, finding items to flip on the other side can be a great way to move the extra gold, but sometimes it isn’t enough. If you are more concerned about preserving your current gold (over 1.05 mil) you may wish to find big ticket items that may not net you gold, but will keep value and allow a near 1:1 transfer (if you can find big tickets you can flip, all the better, but don’t rely on that). Excellent items that fall under this category are vendor parts for the Vial of the Sands and the chopper (don’t worry, choppers require the same parts for each faction, and the items or learned mount converts if you faction change to the faction appropriate one) as they have universal value, though you’ll only want to explore these particular items if you can make these, or else you’re stuck with expensive parts on your hands and no way to move them. Other recommended items are BoE armour or weapons, rare mounts such as those from the TCG whose values seems to remain steadfast across servers (double check though!), rare pets or low supply pets like the ToC pets (double points for cross faction pets if you’re faction changing), and vanity items such as The Haunted Memento (which is particularly excellent since while they don’t get bound they are no longer available so their supply is only going down). Be sure to do thorough research with all your items though or risk getting burned on the other side.

When you think you are ready run through a quick checklist on your old realm before you go to the battle net site:

  • Check every character’s bags and bank for potentially valuable items, not matter how insignificant that character was (don’t forget about those BoA items!). Send every last copper once you’ve looted the character to a transferring character if you have space, a copper saved is a copper earned!
  • Check the guild and guild bank of every character. There may be valuable items or gold left over that nobody claimed. Characters that are Guild Master’s can’t be transferred except through the more expensive Guild Master Services, so disband any guilds you won’t be taking with you that belong to characters that you will be transferring, this saves you time at the site going back to correct errors blocking your transfer.
  • Completely empty the mailbox of all characters being transferred, as mail will stop you from completing your transfer.
  • Say your farewells in person if you can to any friends or guild mates you’re leaving behind and keep them polite and civil. Don’t burn those bridges, you never know who might show up on your realm next, or if you might be coming back.
  • Adding your transferring characters to the guild before the guild gets moved (move the Guild Master character first in multiple character moves!) can help streamline the process for those extra characters, getting you that much quicker into your new home!

I’m personally waiting for these services to move out on my realm, since the recent mass exodus from my guild has me looking for a new one, and staying on my current server would most likely mean a progression hit. I still haven’t decided if I should look for a guild first and then move to the server, or pick a server based on economy, progression, and lack of Wind Traders and once I’m there find a guild, and I still haven’t gotten my authenticator ordered! Despite all that I expect things to go relatively smoothly, though it’ll mean parting with some alts I felt had promise, but I just can’t justify the expense for a sub-75 alt. Like the last time I made a transfer (without the luxury of a guild bank to move) I was set back $75 for my Paladin (my main), my Druid (my main alt), and my DK (my level 75 enchanter/alchemist). I also ended up bringing over a level 60 rogue at a later date, mainly to bring some BoA’s over and hopefully get a jump start on another crafting alt, well oops, he’s still only level 61; lesson learned, don’t pay to bring alts over you can’t use immediately.

Blizzard recently added two more battlegroups to the list of eligible realms and at the rate they are going all the US realms should be eligible within a week (note that an eligible realm means you can transfer away from it, not too it, or so it seems). Has anyone had a chance to test these features out yet? If so I want to hear about it!

About the author

Eric Dekker

Gamer. Student. Nerd. Author of The Golden Crusade. Find him on + and Twitter.