First!! This is an excellent point, Allegory:
Take end game raiding. Present the player with two choices: you can either 1) go through the raid as you have to now and receive your loot, or 2) skip the raid entirely and simply receive your loot. Probably the first few times the majority of players would pick option 1, but after having been through the raid maybe three time I'm almost certain most would pick option 2. When people are only experiencing content because they are required to do so to gain something else and they would honestly rather not do it, then that means your content is a chore and not fun.
I used to play World of Warcraft. A lot. I did a lot of raiding, and I did a lot of Heroic dungeons. Even when I didn't need the gear, I still went back to older content and ran it with people because it was fun
; working together with other players, as a team, to accomplish something more than you can do on your own. And for that matter, Karazhan was just plain awesome as an environment to play in. The Burning Crusade dungeons and raids were fun content. :D
But, that was back in WoW: Burning Crusade though. In Wrath of the Lich King, the content wasn't as good. None of the dungeons were enough fun that I wanted
to go back to any of them; the only reason I ran them was for the points I could buy raid gear with. A couple of the raids were OK and tolerable, but most of them were ones I would gladly skip after having been through once or twice. It wasn't fun, and that's why I quit playing.
Content is worthless if it isn't fun.
And now, expanding on that: PvP.
When I got bored with instances and raiding, I turned to WoW's PvP. I did battlegrounds, I had an arena team, I did city raids and open-world PvP zones. I tried leveling a character on a PvP server. It just wasn't my thing. It felt like a chore: I had to muck through the lower levels of the Arena ratings in order to earn the points to buy PvP gear that would give me a decent chance against someone else who already had PvP gear (without it I was more or less a free kill, even in good raiding gear). Yes, I enjoyed some parts of it, but I enjoyed it the most when it was actually a decent fight. When my arena team wiped the floor with the other side, because they didn't have gear or know what they were doing, it was boring. When my BG got its **** kicked because the other team had better gear and was much more coordinated, it was boring. And, quite bluntly, getting trampled by a gank party when I'm trying to level was also boring. Snare/stun/stun/stun/dead. Twiddle my thumbs while I wait for them to leave/try to find a place I can rez out of LoS, whatever, I just want to finish my quest and go turn it in. Wasting time because I was ganked in the middle of a fight against a tough quest boss was just boring for me.
With the instanced PvP on the PvE server, I had a better chance of having a good, even match, and when I wasn't in the mood to deal with it, I wasn't forced to deal with the chore
of open world PvP when I didn't want to be.
PvE can be just as challenging and entertaining as PvP is, and (this is directed at comments I read earlier in the thread) choosing a PvE server over a PvP one doesn't mean someone is a crappy player, a carebear, or a wimp. It just means that they don't
enjoy the open world PvP as much and don't want it interfering with the other things they choose to do.
James2nd, I am looking at you specifically here. ("you have your carebear server to keep you nice, safe and cozy" and "I am LoLing because they were too weak to play PvP") (And to a lesser extent, HoundDawg: "there's no sugar coating that (like you'll find on the PvE servers)" What about the sugar coating of "You can die as much as you want with no penalty"? That doesn't sound very warlike.) I agree that a PvP server should be an all-out, no rules gank fest; that's the whole point
of having a separate PvP server in the first place. In fact, all of the RP servers should probably be PvP as well - that'd make more sense than an RP PvE server. Aside from that point though, your post is full of crap. "Only the strong survive"? No, anybody with the time and patience to work through getting ganked survives. "Strength" has little to do with it; if you die five times or five hundred, it won't matter, you can still get to the level cap and collect the best gear with only a bit of time lost. I'm sure if I were to insinuate that you only wanted to play on an open world PvP server so you could avoid
fair fights in PvP, gank people weaker than you, and that you're too incompetent to be able to raid in PvE, you would be offended. You do the open world PvP because it's fun
. Fantastic. I don't
do it, because I don't
have as much fun with it. That should really be the whole end of the discussion, without any of this other crap about being a weaker or a stronger player.
If you like open world PvP, roll on a PvP server. If you don't, roll on a PvE one. If you're in the middle, you have to decide which way would bring you the most fun.