I see this happen with such regularity that you can nearly set your watch by it. I'm convinced no one is in the wrong, per se. It's just a matter of communication, expectations, and general fear. So with that in mind, if you happen to be in a large guild getting ready to transfer to a roleplay server, here are some tips to make the transition smooth, easy, and friendly.
It might sound silly to start with a simple hello to an entire server, but a basic greeting has been a foundation of good relationships since forever. Just jump over to the official forum and say something like, "Hi, guys! We're excited to join this server. Don't be afraid to say hello!"
While relatively few players actually visit or talk on a server's forums, this is still a big step. After all, it puts a face to your huge, impersonal organization. You prove instantly that you're not coming around to ruin other players' fun. You want to be part of the community and thrive along with it. At least, that's the theory.
Expect some fear
It helps to get this locked firmly in your own mind. You're going to encounter fear and opposition. That server's raiding guilds will fear you're going to dominate the leaderboard. The roleplayers will worry you'll grief events. The PvPers will worry you'll make world PvP a nightmare. And so on. Every anxiety possible is going to spring up.
You need to have this in mind so that you're not surprised when you come across those fears. If you're taken aback by a cold shoulder, your own negative reaction will further those fears. Be ready to say, "Don't worry, bro, I got your back." Be friendly and positive when you encounter nervous players; don't react with shock and anger.
Appoint some ambassadors
I've had the chance to be a member of a few migrant guilds in my day. The best tactic I've seen for integrating all friendly-like onto a new server is to appoint a handful of guild ambassadors.
These folks don't need to stand in Stormwind shaking hands and kissing babies (though feel free to do so if that's your thing). Instead, the simple plan is for your ambassadors to go out and play the game alongside other members of the server.
Host raids. Get eight players together and then invite random strangers. Let the strangers win loot. Go into the BGs for Rated Battlegrounds and have some fun with members of the community. Host roleplay events in capital cities.
Again, the real strategy here is that you're trying to put a friendly face to your guild. You're making sure folks know that you're just a player, just like them, and you're out to have a good time. Obviously, be cool during these forays. But just get out there and let people get to know you a bit.
Some things to avoid
Of course, things will go more smoothly if you avoid some obvious errors. Still, this stuff comes up enough that maybe these hazards aren't so obvious. So here's a simple list:
- Don't spotlight pun names. Trust me, I laugh at brilliant names like Layonhooves. But when you're new to a server, it's probably best to keep Stabsalot and Masterblaster under wraps.
- Don't crash events en masse. Imagine you're sitting around sipping some tea and a hundred people start lurking over your shoulder. Now translate that to something like an in-game wedding. Huge numbers are intimidating, so split up for now.
- Don't smack talk. You will not earn any friends by bragging how awesome you are, even if it's true. Avoid things like "Ha, we came here to get server firsts. It'll be great because you're all newbs."
- Don't be secretive. The whole goal is to be open and available, not private and mysterious. The unknown breeds fear, which is what you're trying to avoid.
Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from how to control your character and camera angles when you're just starting out, to learning how to tank, getting up to speed for heroics and even how to win Tol Barad.