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I HIGHLY recommend you play on the Epic servers (aka the PvP servers), here is why.
Wurm is one of the most grindfest games I have every played. You will need to grind skills for hours, days, and weeks in some cases to get them to a point where you can really start doing some cool stuff or making certain hings without a high fail rate. But to do even this you need materials to grind with which you need to harvest that can be slow process also because of how low your harvesting skills are. To top it off grinding in this game is very boring. It consists of repeating the same mouse action over and over on some item. I like Wurm a lot but if you are a casual player this game just doesnt work.
I have a job and a wife and I about quit Wurm before I decided to give the Epic servers a try. I can't stress enough how much of a benefit the skill gain bonus is there. You get skill gain at twice the rate AND the skills operate on a curve. So if your skill is about 10.5 on Epic, you can effectively building and craft as if it were 20. This curve then flattens out at higher levels but it makes starting out sooo much easier. Add to this that raising skills in Wurm already slows down dramatically from diminishing returns the higher you get, and and if you combine the 2x skill gain plus the "curve" feature it probably results in your effective skills raising at about 4x times the rate of the normal servers for the lower to mid skill range while keeping the 2x skill gain for the higher levels. Fighting skill doesnt get the curve features but does still get the 2x skill gain also. Faster skill gain means you can do cool stuff and have fun much more quickly.
Also the PvP servers are not very dangerous. People on your own servers are usually of your own kingdom (faction) and will not attack you, Elevation server is a different story though since its mixed kingdom. In my 4 months on Desertion server raiders have only come once while I was on and killed me but never got my gear. Honestly just knowing you could be attacked though adds a fun element as it makes your building decisions more meaningful. On Freedom (non-pvp) servers it really doesnt matter if your wall is stone or wood or shrubs. On Epic it matters and it adds a fun strategic building element. Lastly even if I were to get ganked 20 times and lose all my mid-level gear each time I would still be way ahead on the Epic servers due to the time saved from the 2x skill gain and curve. There are also other features of Epic like the missions and epic creatures which only spawn there...
So just wanted to let people know that who are thinking of trying this game. I think whether you are a hardcore or casual player you will have a much better time on the Epic servers.