I don't try to hide the fact that I play on a (notorious) Role-Play server (Moon Guard, where all of Goldshire became a red-light district and had degenerated to a point where invisible GMs started monitoring the place).
When I queue in LFG, the people from other servers will comment on where I come from, expecting to wipe continuously, or will remark on the fact that I have raid-gear as an aberration to what they would expect from Moon Guard. My druid friend Lava and I really enjoy telling them made-up stories about how we just sit around being furries in Goldshire since we're from Moon Guard.
But outside of that notoriety the fact that this server has a large and vibrant community of Roleplayers serves me well. The place has a filled in, living and breathing feel to it.
There are in-character conversations and events all over the place. You might run into military guilds marching in the Dwarf district, or see detailed and fully costumed weddings behind the Cathedral. Warlocks and Death Knights hang out in basements in various parts of the city. Paladins and Priests debate loudly in the Cathedral Square.
Some guilds have occupied certain Inn's with a full-staff and intrigue bubbles under the surface, or story-telling circles are formed with an audience and tale-spinners. Others have left Stormwind to populate other places - Darnassus is a popular spot, but so are the abandoned buildings of Darkshire for the evil guilds, or even the far-flung town of Hearthglen for those who want a bit of space.
But surrounded by such vibrancy of one type, we can find ourselves detached from a resource of another kind.
For example, last night was a mess of no-shows, last-minute-emergencies and so forth, and we had to PUG a couple of DPS. The two people we picked up were both well-geared but one of them was putting out damage equivalent to the tanks on single-target fights (tanks were out-DPSing him on multi-targets) and both of them were so excited to be in vent they would not stop talking to each other.
The other one was pushing out good damage but had a bit of trouble on fights that required a bit of micro-management of pets. He could not remember to move his pets on Omnitron despite half the raid on vent telling him to, and wiped the group multiple times.
Most of the guild had them muted but I had to keep them on just to communicate with them. As we downed Magmaw, they were ecstatic - a Moon Guard PuG managed to kill a raid boss! I shuddered involuntarily.
Don't get me wrong - I'm sure they're good people, and I'm sure we had just as many wipes ("No we didn't, we two-shot Omnitron the first time." "Shut up, you elitist jerk, I'm telling a story." "No, u! lol nub" NO U! *descend into /trade*) and these guys were trying their best - it's just that when we've had these bosses on farm mode for so long, it's difficult to go back and re-train new folks on them.
We're used to target swaps, it's almost second nature to us, and it didn't help that the fight was buggy (Toxitron's adds kept going for Toxitron tank and would always hit him immediately which was not fun to try to heal through) or that DBM had no clue how to monitor boss abilities and was creating LUA errors all over the place despite the update or that the encounter wouldn't reset properly at all, starting and stopping abruptly all over the place.
Late last night an actual patch went through to fix Omnitron specifically, I think, so we weren't alone. But it didn't make things any easier. A few wipes later, six of us ran the first half of Ulduar getting achievements for alts in about an hour or so.
My brother transferred to Illidan for a while late last summer and PuG'd a heroic LK 10 kill. I sat behind him and watched the PuG raid rip H:ICC apart in two hours with barely any communication. Of course, being a part of that culture also has its drawbacks - and I have met plenty of very good players PuGing on Moon Guard.
However. Listening to them talk about the current state of PuGing on the server did make me feel sorry for them, I cringe at the horror stories of hours and hours to get a single boss down, and then calling raid as soon as one boss dies because no one had the stamina to go through it again on the second boss. And this is nearly five months into the expansion.
For a moment, I wished for a slightly higher rate of progression. Perhaps another server, where raiding was taken more seriously. And then as hearthed at the end of the night, I appeared in Stormwind, and /trade was full of people advertising for Roleplay guilds, selling utterly outdated Roleplay gear for ridiculous sums of money and female Night Elves inviting ERP and I smiled, comfortable in the knowledge that Moon Guard was home.