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  • Home » Opinion

    Seri sez: Transfer or Treason? You decide.

    Posted on Jul 2, 2009 by: Jason Zimmerman
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    Hot off the press!It’s been a busy news week in Azeroth, with all the patch information coming from the PTR. However, perhaps the most interesting bit of news so far has nothing to do with the patch. On Monday, one of the CMs broke the news that Blizzard is working on a paid faction change service.

    That’s right… at some point in the future, World of Warcraft players will be able to transfer their characters between Alliance and Horde. I’ll give you a moment to process this, in case you hadn’t heard already.

    Ok, that’s long enough.

    HOLY CRAP.

    No, this is not a joke. The thread was actually updated on Wednesday to include some answers to common questions that came up when the accouncement was first made:

    Q. Will we be able to switch between the races on our own faction?
    A.. No. Players will only be able to switch to a race of the opposite faction.

    So much for my dream of being a sexy female Orc. Le sigh. One can only hope that once they get the kinks ironed out of the process that they’ll consider making this part of character recustomization. However, they’ve said in the past that they wanted to avoid people minmaxing their characters to the extent of declaring one race “best” for a given class. I guess I can see where they’re coming from, but it sounds kind of like an excuse to avoid balancing racial abilities to me.

    Q. Will I be able to choose the race on the opposite faction that I want to change to?
    A.. Yes, but you will only be able to switch to a race that has your class type available to it. So if you play a human paladin, you’d only be able to change to a blood elf paladin.

    Fair enough. Though I would love it if through some evolution of the overall game story arc the Druid class became open to additional races.

    Q.How much will it cost?
    A.. We do not have further information on this at this point in time.

    No surprise there.

    Q.Will I be able to switch back to my original faction but a different race?
    A.. No. You will only be able to switch back to your originally chosen race.

    Er… okay, I don’t really get the logic here but I guess that would prevent someone from using this service just to change their character’s race. Which, as mentioned previously, Blizzard doesn’t seem to want to do.

    Q.. How will the switch between reputation, gear, mounts, etc be handled?
    A.. We’ll have more details for you at a later point in time, though we plan to keep these as close to a reflection of the other faction as much as possible.

    I’ll be curious to hear more details about this down the road. I think anyone who has taken the time to grind a reputation with another race’s faction would not want to lose that perk, but how would they determine which race’s faction it would translate to? Lottery could be fun, but would probably irk some folks.

    Q.How often can you change your faction?
    A..We do not have any information to share on this at this point in time, however we will have restrictions on the frequency by which players can change their faction.

    Another no-brainer, IMO.

    Q. How will this affect the balance of Horde and Alliance on the realms?
    A.. We are taking great care in how we implement this new service in order to maintain balance between the factions on the realms but do not have any further details to share.

    This is an interesting question. On most realms, Alliance outnumber Horde though the exact ratio varies. Obviously, Blizzard doesn’t want to create further imbalance… it will be interesting to see if they decide to pair this service with server transfers to help *create* more balance between the factions.

    On a more personal level, as a Horde re-roll I have several characters from Alliance that I would have considered bringing over to the Horde once upon a time. Now, I’m not sure I would. I’m pretty happy with my Priest/Rogue, and my alts for the other classes I enjoy most (Druid/Warlock) are now 60+. The benefit of bringing the old characters over is that they would come with a good chunk of gold, reputations, old tradeskill patterns that are more difficult to obtain now, epic flight and level 70 raid gear to give them a head start in Northrend. Decisions, decisions.

    I can also see this having a big effect on recruitment, opening up the pool of potential applicants but also increasing competition for said applicants. This might hurt Horde more than Alliance, as we are generally the underdog when it comes to server population and raid progression.

    So, what do you think about this announcement? Is the freedom to move between the factions going to create more problems than it solves? Would you use it?

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