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Faction Changes Coming To World of Warcraft 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-still-won't-win-battlegrounds dept.
A Blizzard representative today announced that they're working on a service for players to switch factions in World of Warcraft, going from Horde to Alliance or vice versa. "There's still much work to do and many details to iron out, but the basic idea is that players will be able to use the service to transform an existing character into a roughly equivalent character of the opposing faction on the same realm. Players who ended up creating and leveling up characters on the opposite factions from their friends have been asking for this type of functionality for some time, and we're pleased to be getting closer to being able to deliver it." They also said there would be "some rules involved with when and how the service can be used."
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Faction Changes Coming To World of Warcraft

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  • Lame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tuxedobob (582913) <tuxedobob@macSLACKWARE.com minus distro> on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @03:47AM (#28525297)

    Yet another step closer to "everything for a price" and another step away from the original vision of the game.

    • by Canazza (1428553)

      Just wait, it's only one step away from starting ANY character at level 55. When that happens, I know it was the right choice to leave the game :P

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fractoid (1076465)
        Dude, have you tried to level a new character recently? It's a long, boring solo grind because so few players are still levelling. It'd be fun to do with a bunch of friends, but face it - the original, populated game that we played back in vanilla is gone. The real game starts at 80.
        • by tuxedobob (582913)

          Leveling in a new environment and doing new quests can be fun, don't you think? Like, say, making a horde character and doing horde quests if you've already done all the alliance ones.

          And you'll recall that last line was used 4 months after launch, except the number then was 60. I still don't buy it.

          • Re:Lame (Score:5, Interesting)

            by fractoid (1076465) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @04:30AM (#28525507) Homepage
            Yeah, the first time or two. I have two level 60 alliance, two ~70 horde, and three 80 horde. New classes are still fun to learn and master but there aren't many quests I haven't done multiple times and the pre-60 quests are nauseatingly familiar.

            And the last line I used was just as true back when UBRS was 'endgame' as it is now. The levelling process is basically a glorified tutorial in how to use your class. Disagree? Check most characters' /played time, I bet the average character at level cap has spent more than half of their playtime there.

            Long story short, there are still bits of the game I have yet to get sick of but I have to go through a lot of the boring repetitive bits to get there and that annoys me.
            • Not everyone..., I have 1 lvl 80 and thats it, a few low level other characters for AH and stuff, but the time spent playing, I have no time to waste to redo another character let alone 3 or 4 others to lvl 80...I do know the achievements might change (lose alliance if you go to horde)...but it would be nice to keep the overall achievements alone and just add to them, meaning you get achievements (sort of) just from switching factions.

              I always thought once you have a lvl 80, then ANY character you make afte

              • by eudaemon (320983)

                Agreed... once you've dinged 80, do you really need 80 levels to learn how to play another character? From 55 to 80 seems like plenty, frankly. Obviously there was pent-up demand for both starting at a high level and a new class w/o all the levelling: look at all the DK's floating around! WoW is lousy w/em.

                • by tnk1 (899206)

                  Actually, I found that going from a direct damage class to a pet class or to tanking would benefit from a tutorial. Not as much as simply reading builds and guides and practicing at top level would, but it is a decent grounding if you are new to those classes.

                  The problem is, you need groups to actually make the tutorials work, otherwise you are solo grinding to 60,70,80 and you learned nothing you can use in an instance since you spent most of your time in the solo grind mode and damage builds with almost

                  • However, it is quite interesting that you mention about playing for the end game...
                    I have to say , if you belong to a guild, and they need a certain class & spec,
                    and you volunteer yourself/account to get the missing link to a raid group...
                    chances are they will all be pitching in to lvl you at lightning speed,
                    as well, the respeccing at lvl80 anyways means you are stuck relearning how to play
                    for about 1 week, to use and know your character to the fullest extent.

                    Any guild will also pitch in to get your epi

            • by tuxedobob (582913)

              When it takes a few months to reach the level cap and it isn't raised for another 2 years, yeah, I'd sort of expect most players to spend most of their /played time there.

              Of course, that's not true for my rogue and the current cap, because I've been playing her since '04.

          • Re:Lame (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @07:11AM (#28526181)

            Leveling in a new environment and doing new quests can be fun, don't you think?

            No, not really. Instead of slaughtering 50 Murlocks for their eyes for Count Hurburk, you slaughter 50 Murlocks for their fins for Grunt Gruggrug. Instead of delivering this important set of papers to Councilman Elebuk, you deliver this package of food to Guard Urgel. Instead of...

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Kierthos (225954)

            Good lord, no. I've played mostly on the Alliance side, but I've created a few Horde characters. And every time, I wonder, "Why did I stop playing my old Horde character. OH YES. THE BARRENS."

        • by centuren (106470)

          Dude, have you tried to level a new character recently? It's a long, boring solo grind because so few players are still levelling. It'd be fun to do with a bunch of friends, but face it - the original, populated game that we played back in vanilla is gone. The real game starts at 80.

          And I'd like to think it still includes a bitter divide between factions. Fostering the rivalry has always been part of the fun. By your argument, why not let the two factions communicate and raid together? Perhaps that would be all right for those that feel the merit of the game is entirely end-game raiding, but why make the game environment and lore suffer?

          After all, if you don't feel the faction divide and find yourself wanting to play on the other side with some friends who are already finished with lev

          • by poetmatt (793785)

            Plenty of people on both sides do communicate together. I remember on dark iron we had a faction-shared teamspeak for horde and alliance. Oftentimes spies would come up during pvp and pve events and try to ruin our moment, etc. It was a pvp server, so it was all in good fun.

            Meanwhile, as the OP said is correct. This is blizzard trying to channel more money because they are losing people. Sadly, it's been working to a point but I hope they hit critical mass real soon. I'm guessing starcraft 2 will be that po

        • I dunno about that one.

          I stopped playing after TBC and recently re-reged to see what changes had been made in WotLK (new account too). I've found it stupidly easy. I'm almost unable to finish quests before they go grey. My highest level char is now 50 after 2 weeks, with over 500g. It's almost stupid now.

          The game sucks because it's too easy, absolutely no challenge and filled with emo kids and arrogant wankers who play all day.

          The issue with WoW is that it's become too big to keep the game interesting.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by knight24k (1115643)

          Dude, have you tried to level a new character recently? It's a long, boring solo grind because so few players are still levelling. It'd be fun to do with a bunch of friends, but face it - the original, populated game that we played back in vanilla is gone. The real game starts at 80.

          You're kidding, right? I have 3 80s and could level another if I wanted to in a month, probably less if I really pushed it. I have done 35 levels in a weekend. Leveling is so insanely easy now that I can get to Outland in less

      • by Talisman (39902)
        I started playing WoW from Day 1. I leveled, the old-fashioned way, a Warrior from 1-60 (and with the original Hit% bug with Warriors, I can not exaggerate how painful that was), then over the next several months, a Rogue, a Druid, and a Shaman, all the 'intended' way.

        By then I was *so*sick* of doing the same quests over and over, I decided to start dual boxing.

        Lo and behold, the game was new again.

        Used my 60 Warrior, who was very well geared by this point (BWL gear) and used him to level up a Mag
        • Re:Lame (Score:4, Insightful)

          by node 3 (115640) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @05:55AM (#28525855)

          It's a business. Period. Their customers are the players. If the players want 55 free levels, faction changes, name changes, welfare epics, and on and on and on, and are willing to pay for it, either through a direct fee (name changes, faction changes) or by virtue of continuing to pay their monthly fee, they will keep getting it because at the end of the day, Blizzard, and every other major game manufacturer cares about one thing and one thing only: MONEY.

          This is a fundamentally incomplete view of reality. While there are certainly people at Blizzard for whom the company is only about money, there are also people who are there because they want to make great games.

          In order for a company to be truly great, it has to make a place for those types of people. I don't know first hand whether Blizzard is such a company, but looking at their products, it would appear to be the case.

          On the other hand, companies that are only "about one thing and one thing only: MONEY", as you put it, are soulless places that I think should not be encouraged to exist in such a form.

          That's not to say that money isn't important, but when you choose what you want to do in life, what your passion is, you don't choose to do that simply because of the money, but because it's what you love. By stating that businesses are solely about money, and nothing else, you make it just that much more difficult for the truly great companies to exist.

          • by Jack9 (11421)

            It's a business. Period. Their customers are the players. If the players want 55 free levels, faction changes, name changes, welfare epics, and on and on and on, and are willing to pay for it, either through a direct fee (name changes, faction changes) or by virtue of continuing to pay their monthly fee, they will keep getting it because at the end of the day, Blizzard, and every other major game manufacturer cares about one thing and one thing only: MONEY.

            This is a fundamentally incomplete view of reality.

            • It's an easy statement to explain. GP said Blizzard was only about making money. Parent post said "No, there's also people who care about making great games". Because the GP left out this extra motivation, their post reflected "a fundamentally incomplete view of reality". It was incomplete because there were bits missing

              Simple, really.

          • by poetmatt (793785)

            It only takes a single ceo or upper management person with a greed streak, as is commonly the case, to make bad business decisions to subvert all the good work the other people who are success driven and not profit driven, do. Unfortunately, that whole thing is usually called corporatism/capitalism.

          • by argStyopa (232550)

            You're the one that's either naive or misunderstanding.

            The PEOPLE can be about making great games.
            The COMPANY - as any company - is about making money. Perhaps not solely this, but this is the essential nature of it as it is a business. If they weren't about making money, they'd be a NONPROFIT, because it would be stupid to pay taxes if you don't have to.
            Hell, they could go the L Ron Hubbard route and be a RELIGION, it doesn't take much time on the WoW forums to see that it would be staggeringly successfu

          • by Talisman (39902)
            You're referring to the individual programmers, artists and game designers. I know many in the industry, and yes, they love the design aspect of gaming. But Blizzard, the corporation, only cares about game quality to the extent that it positively affects their profits.
      • I think the whole level-based paradigm is a flawed (if ubiquitous) way to build an MMORPG, and I hope Blizzard manages to do away with it in their new MMO. It makes no sense to design a game so that all the fun comes after you've completed a long, gruelling level grind. An MMO should be fun and allow rich interaction with all or most other players the entire way through. Wow may still be the best online RPG at the moment, but Blizzard really needs to get out of their current rut, a Red Queen situation in w
        • > I think the whole level-based paradigm is a flawed (if ubiquitous) way to build an MMORPG

          I used to think that too, but

          1) I don't see to many other RPGs doing it, aside from UO, and, um, who else?

          2) Levels provide a direction / goal for the player (along with virtual power.) Without levels, how do you make the game interesting? It's solvable, but that requires a helluva lot of more work -- its just easier to fall back on what worked in the past.

          --
          WoW (TM) is the McDonalds of MMORPGs. (TM)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fractoid (1076465)
      And yet, if you're Alliance and all your friend are Horde, it's yet another reason not to quit. See how those things go hand in hand?
      • by tuxedobob (582913)

        If all your friends are horde, why did you roll alliance? See, when I started playing the game, I asked my friends what server and faction they were on, then I made my character. Of all the reasons people want to change factions, I imagine that's the least common of them.

        • by AuMatar (183847)

          I take it you only have 1 set of friends? And that they all still play WoW, on the same faction they originally rolled? The first half of that is rather sad, the second is pretty unlikely.

        • Here's a scenario for you: You start with your friends on Alliance side, your friends quit, you're alone. You reroll on another server, meet people there who also rerolled (to see the other side of the fence), realize they are on your original server too with their mains, only that they're on Horde side.

      • by Canazza (1428553)

        It's not like it's HARD to level up a character any more. You play for one, maybe two more months and you'll get there. 5 days of play time can get you to max level (that is 120 hours) If you only play 3 hours a day, you can easilly level one level every 3 hours, meaning you can level in about 80 days, and that's WITHOUT power-levelling.

        A proper attempt at power levelling can give you 1 level every 2 hours, and if you play 4 hours a day that's you at level 80 in little under 40 days.

        Not only that but if you

        • Re:Lame (Score:5, Insightful)

          by fractoid (1076465) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @04:37AM (#28525529) Homepage
          3 hours a day for three months may not qualify as 'hard' but it certainly qualifies as 'far more time than I should have to waste doing something I'm already sick of in order to get to the bit I would find fun'.

          Secondly, because 90%+ of a server is at level cap, large parts of the early game are unavailable because it's impossible to find instance groups.

          Lastly, there's the quality issue. The lowbie content is just not as good as the later stuff. In the four years between launch and WotLK, Blizzard's team has learned a HELL of a lot about MMO design. The quests in Northrend are far more varied and interesting than the ones in vanilla content. It's like being made to read all of Dickens' schoolwork before you're allowed to read Oliver Twist.
          • They continue to make it faster to gain the lower levels. I imagine this will continue, as the level cap raises. Seems like the over all idea is that it takes the same amount of time to max out, regardless of what the max is.

            to that end they've already reduced the XP it takes, increased rewards and so on. Next step appears to be ot make transportation available earlier. Mounts are going to be made available at much lower levels.

            They seem to do a good job of refactoring the game to keep it fun for new player

            • Its seems that they have 'target time' in which players can reach max level. Is max level is raised, part of leveling process needs to be changed to keep time spent reaching max level the same.

              Which makes sense because player who joins game later has to catch up with population at level cap where the content is, and after several expansions it would be quite frustrating trying to catch up

              Now, if they simply abolished concept of levels ...

        • by drsquare (530038)

          the whole game is based around making things easy for new players at the moment

          The game has always been about making things easy for new players, that's why it's so popular. And I really doubt Blizzard give a shit about what reviewers think of them.

    • by IBBoard (1128019)

      ...another step away from the original vision of the game.

      Is it? Surely it'll keep people playing if they can switch and join friends rather than starting from scratch. I'm fairly sure that the "original vision" was closer to "get lots of people addicted and bringing in monthly subscriptions to make us lots of teh moneyz" than "get lots of people playing, but then lose them because we're too dogmatic in our rules and won't change anything to make it more enjoyable for the masses".

      • by tuxedobob (582913)

        Considering some of Blizzard's own past statements, I don't think the original vision was simply to sell subscriptions. The first couple months of the game were pretty crazy considering they sold... what was it, their goal for a year within one month?

        • by fractoid (1076465)
          Honestly I don't think they had an 'original vision' at all. They just wanted to make a really, really big War3 hero map. Then they started making it better a bit at a time and look where they ended up!
    • How so? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @07:58AM (#28526455)

      At this point, all the fees they have are related to meta-game type things only, none are related to in game content. You pay to access the game, you don't pay a special fee for access to raid content. Likewise they offer you the ability to transfer to a new server to play with friends, not the ability to buy gear. They sell a change of appearance, not a bag of gold. Now they are going to offer the ability to change sides.

      The idea seems to be that if you make a meta-game choice you later dislike, you aren't stuck with it. You can change your mind. In the game world itself, you have to do everything in there with the tools available. This purchase system is only for things that you don't control in game and that really don't have an impact on gameplay.

      If they were selling in game items and such, yes I'd dislike it. However they aren't, they are just saying "If your friends play on a different realm or a different faction, you can pay to switch over and go play with them."

      Also the fee seems to be as much based on making people think about it and only do it if serious as making money. I'm sure they don't mind the extra cash, but notice that they also impose time limits. You can't transfer characters all the time, there's a 30 day limit. If it was only about money, they'd let you transfer as often as you liked to make more fees.

      This seems to work. Because of the fee and the time limit, you don't see people jumping servers often. It is reserved for those that have a real reason.

    • by Endo13 (1000782)

      Yet another step closer to "everything for a price" and another step away from the original vision of the game.

      WoW is on its way out. Blizzard is just doing everything they can to get as many subs as possible for the last few months. There won't be another expansion for it. Next year this time, WoW will have less than 2 mil active subs.

      The reason for this is basically two-fold:

      1. Diablo 3 is going to have multiplayer through battle.net only (no lan support) and battle.net for it will be a fee-based service. Only Starcraft 2 users won't have to pay for it.

      2. They've got a new MMO in the works. It'll probably hit beta

      • by brkello (642429)
        Are you the person who keeps making all those "Obama is not an American" e-mails as well?
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      I could never figure out why the Night Elves were Alliance and the Tauren were horde, since both races seem to have a back-story which pretty much sums to "we just want to be left alone." Frankly, I always thought they made a huge mistake by not "borrowing" an idea from Everquest and having a couple of the races available for both factions in the first place.

      If nothing else, being able to play Night Elf on Horde would have addressed the imbalance issues that the servers had until Blood Elves were introduced

  • Still not sure how I feel about this. While on the surface it will provide a new level of convenience for playing the game, it conversely takes away from the 'value' of the conscious decisions made when creating a character. Every time Blizzard does this the game just feels more and more watered down. The very things they are doing to cater to the very casual players are the very things that are making the game less special and easier to leave.

    • Nah, it's ok. How many times have you chosen a character at the beginning of a game not having any clue what you actually wanted? No reason to force people to do it; as long as there are enough limitations that changing is a serious decision, so people aren't switching one way in the morning then the other in the afternoon, it should be ok.
    • by furby076 (1461805)
      How conscience is the decision? When I first started the game I joined alliance because my friends told me to - but even if I joined the game on my own how would I know what is more fun? So I work my way to level 60 and figure alliance is OK> Now i want to try horde but to work level 1- 60 without any resources (after already getting those resources) is tiring. This may not be a bad thing and will give people a new chance. I can see a lot of new gnome Mage/Warlock/Rogues and a lot of Undead Mage/Warlo
  • by ran93r (671906) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @04:02AM (#28525375) Homepage
    Some of my guild have on occasion mused about switching faction, still under the "grass in greener" assumption that the opposing side has less asshats or are better at pvp. Be warned, the asshats are everywhere.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by boaworm (180781)

      Some of my guild have on occasion mused about switching faction, still under the "grass in greener" assumption that the opposing side has less asshats or are better at pvp.

      Be warned, the asshats are everywhere.

      Oh noes! We all know that all alliance players are 14 year old ninja-looting griefers while us horde players are all mature, outstanding intellectuals with a good set of social skills and lots of humor. That's why I spent 3 years grinding anything from flowers, deviate fish (Yarr!) and whipper roots, while the long-eared low-level elves I killed while grinding said consumables tried to get past level 30. And then said elves would make forum posts, complaining about immature horde players! How immature! :-)

  • by yogibaer (757010) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @04:54AM (#28525611)
    Why not simply change factions, with whatever character you have? It is a bit pointless to change character (or morph into another). The real social interaction (or call it Paranoia) would start, if - with the click of a mouse - yesterday's enemy could be today's friend and vice versa. Whole guilds changing sides would also be a nice touch especially in PvP mode. Again: With the click of a mouse, in the middle of a battle. All the cold-war amneties in mercenary heaven. "You do not pay me enough and I'll go rogue" is a whole new business model, a whole new industry waiting to be born. "Realpolitik" in the virtual world. Bliss :-)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      EVE Online has had that all along...
      Characters switching sides frequently sabotage their old corp or steal as much as they can :)

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @07:45AM (#28526381)

      For one there's the simple matter of races. Each side has races that are totally unique to it, there's no overlap. So to change sides necessitates a change of race. that is just how the game is set up. That's not the only thing, of course, but just a major example. the game was designed such that when you are on a faction, that is that. There's no switching back and forth. It wasn't made as some other games where you can declare allegiance, which can be switched. This is a long standing war and races have chosen sides that don't change. Game code reflects that. So it would be a major rewrite to implement that, not to mention a major shift in game mechanics that many players might not like.

      Instead, they are likely going to implement a system that just does a conversion on your character data. Basically it'll pull your data from the database, change the necessary things so that you are on the other side, and then place your character back in the database. It'll probably be an offshot of the existing character transfer script, which deals with all the checking to make sure a character can be moved to a different server (which sometimes is in a different datacenter) without problems.

      You also have to remember that the problem with what you describe is that games HAVE done that and in almost all cases they make a rapid run to the bottom and fail, or at the very least have few players. The problem is that humans are not nice and don't want to work together, especially when there aren't consequences, and even when there are. A short look at human history tells you this. Our democratic societies where most people enjoy rights are the exception, not the rule in history. Even today there are many societies where the strong dominate the weak.

      Well, that's what you get in games, especially since there aren't permanent consequences in them. The griefers get powerful and stomp on everyone else. Life sucks if you aren't the elite. This happened in Shadowbane to an extreme.

      So if you want a game with balance and rules, those rules must be enforced by the design and the game masters. The players won't do it themselves. The power gamers will oppress most people, and most people will up and leave to play something more fun.

      That's one of the reasons why WoW works. You have instant and enforced allies and enemies. There isn't a case of "Anyone who is good joins this group, everyone else is excluded." No, everyone on one side is allied, period. The PvP system is controlled in a way that Blizzard wants it, it isn't a free for all.

      If you want games like that, they are out there, but WoW isn't one of them and I don't think Blizzard wishes to make it so. They've got a model that works for them, to the tune of billions of dollars per year. I doubt they are anxious to radically alter that.

      So I imagine this'll be quite limited in scope, much like the current realm transfers. You pay Blizzard a fee, and if everything checks out (in terms of what you can bring with you and so on) they execute the transfer. You then can't do a transfer for some length of time (30 days currently I think). The idea is if you play horde and your friend plays alliance, you can switch so you both play the same. The idea is not to radically alter the game.

      They also may use it to try and balance out sides. Some servers have a big numbers imbalance, and it perpetuates since the side with more people has more new people join to play with friends. They could entice people ot switch with cost-free transfers and such. They already do this on high population realms. When too many people total are playing, they offer free transfers to new realms with low population for those that want to.

      • I think what Yogibaer is asking is: why can't you switch factions and become an Orc who fights and quests for the Alliance, if that's what you really want? Or be a turncoat night elf who throws his lot in with the Blood Elves?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ukyoCE (106879)

          The lore does not accomodate that. An Orc who tried to join the alliance would be slain or at least ostracized. It's rare that the factions intermingle. They don't speak the same languages. They've slaughtered each others families. Etc.

          That said, WOW does have other reputations that can be switched on a whim. There's a goblin town called Booty Bay that is at odds with a group of Pirates nearby. The default is that you're friendly with the goblins. But you can (and it's a blast) turn on the goblins a

          • by daveywest (937112)

            Being able to change your character dramatically on a whim make it feel like you're playing with Mr. Potato Head instead of playing with a long-lasting character who's worthy of investing your time and efforts. For an RPG, character progression is a huge part of the game.

            But toons are no longer unique. Before the first expansion, the devs had invested so much time in creating unique and class-specific gear, most players were were individually identifiable just by visual appearance. As BC progressed, gear homogenized within each class. By the time I quit playing, I couldn't tell one warlock from the next. Everyone had the same set of PVP and arena gear mixed with an occasional Kara piece. There was no longer diversity. Everyone WAS MR. POTATO HEAD and we all looked the

            • by ukyoCE (106879)

              Totally agreed. I used to see tauren warriors walking around in their big orange PVP shoulderpads, and always thought it was my friend at first. IMO there's a lot to be said for gear discrepancy in keeping unique toons looking unique.

              However, realistically, that would mean having 2-3 versions of every BiS item for every class. Cause no matter what if 2 warriors get BiS for PVP, or for PVE, that means they're getting the same gear. Once you get to endgame I don't see a lot of options. At least nowdays i

              • by Graff (532189)

                What I'd love to see is that each gear set also has several design families which you can choose from and which continue from set to set. Lets say that warriors have two types of tier gear: dps and tanking. They should also be able to choose a design family within those gear types and the look of gear in each family would be consistant from tier to teir.

                For example, a warrior's tier 1 tanking set could have two designs: protector and defender. Each design would be colored differently and maybe have a dif

        • Because you'd get lynched in the opposing factions towns before you can explain. Friend and enemy are well-defined in WoW.

          It's bad enough with the DKs, when they ally with a faction. RP-wise they should get attacked, not pelted with fruit.

          • by BigGar' (411008)

            Yeah, I agree there about the DK's I kinda thought there should be at least a couple of additional quests to do for the King before being granted Friendly/Honored status.

            • It would be interesting if players could become outcasts to their own faction and become open to "attack on sight" by all alliance and horde and visa-versa; sort of like bandits. There would be a problem of how to handle NPCs (would they only be able to use goblin/neutral towns?). Still, it would be interesting and maybe even give folks a chance to get revenge on jerks that play for thier own faction.

        • by brkello (642429)
          He answered that question.
      • It would have been nice to see something more done with the whole Aldor vs Scryers issue. Here was another faction option that was orthogonal to the main - there could have been a form of contests between them.

        Not battlegrounds (that would be at odds with the "we're allies" aspect) but how about some sort of team sport? Ostensibly non-lethal. This would have allowed Orcs and Humans to compete together against the Blood and Night Elves. ;)

    • by furby076 (1461805)
      Nah. Chances are it will be 1) pay to change and 2) give you a 60 day restriction from changing again. So if every 60 days you want to spend $20 to change sides you can do it. In all honesty, at $14.95/month it would be better to have a second game account so you can spy on the enemy. Just pay a chinese farmer to get yu a level 80 toon and you can play horde/alliance at the same time to help you gank.

      BTW my assumptions do have a basis...to switch servers you have to pay a fee and can only do it every
    • by fractoid (1076465)
      That's what I'd really like to see - a 'defector' or 'freelance' option where my orc warrior could group with a bunch of Alliance or vice versa. Don't turn me into no stinkin' huuman though, yuck!
    • You'll end up with people joining a server and finding out that it is biased population-wise towards one faction (usually alliance). Currently you'd have to either reroll your toon or suck it up. Now they can get annoyed and instead of working through it they will be tempted to just switch to the majority side. Keep doing this and one side dominates completely and competition dies. I see this happen in on-line FPS games.

  • And yet.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by leathered (780018) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @05:17AM (#28525715)

    EQ(II) has had the option to betray your faction from the get go..

    So what other "innovations" can we expect from Blizz in the years to come; player housing, guild halls?

  • Betray your faction (Score:2, Interesting)

    by serano (544693) *

    I've always thought they should have a special quest that lets you betray your faction. At the end of that quest you are officially part of the other faction. Because of your betrayal, you wouldn't be accepted back into your original faction, so this would be a one-way switch.

  • Alliance had the Palladin class.
    Horde had the Shamman class.

    Then the Burning Crusade expansion comes out, further blurring Alliance and Horde by giving each of them what the other had, and they did not.

    Now they're going to let you flip sides years after being stuck on one side? What's the point of having factions? Where's the lore of the hostility between the races?

    More to the point: what's the bloody point?
    • by ukyoCE (106879)

      Their original vision was certainly to keep Shamans on Horde and keep Paladins on Alliance. But the reason they had to break that limitation is for class balance.

      For instance, the Shaman class was TERRIBLE 1-60, and even up to 70. Look at how many new abilities and massive buffs they've had to give Shamans to get them remotely close to balanced with the other classes in the game. They could never have fixed the Shaman class as long as all the Alliance whiners kept insisting that Shamans are OP just becau

    • by furby076 (1461805)
      I agree the paladin/shaman killed the original lore, but remember, these guys MAKE the lore..so they can change it with some story telling. But even if we agree that the paladin/shammy thing was a waste (on the story side i did think it was, but I do love shammies on alliance) the swapping factions is complete meta-gaming. You won't see humans on horde faction...more then likely swapping factions = swapping races...they should just let you swap races. If i still played wow then my human lock would become
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BobMcD (601576)

      More to the point: what's the bloody point?

      You're looking too deeply, my friend.

      It is a game (and a hobby).

      The point is to enjoy the time you spend doing it. This should help some do that without impacting other's ability to do the same.

      Does there need to be more of a point than that?

    • by brkello (642429)
      The point should be obvious. People have friends who play with different factions. If two people find they both play WoW, but are on opposite factions, they would have to level another character from scratch. If they are on the same server, one would actually have to buy a whole new account. Now Blizzard will allow people to switch so they can play together. It is actually a good thing as it allows people a way to play together.

      This has nothing to do with lore. There is no in game mechanism to switch
  • This is not good (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ITJC68 (1370229)
    As a WOW Player I think the reduction of time for the mounts makes sense. Walking around was the worst part of leveling. However leveling a "toon" from 1 to 80 should remain. That is how you learn how to play the toon. Especially if they are an entirely different class like cloth armor from plate. I have plate toons (Pally and DK) and I enjoy them at level 80 as well as when I was leveling them. Clothies have their advantages and I will be working on one for various reasons but starting at level 1 is good.
  • I always thought it would be cool if you could switch from Alliance to Horde and vice versa but the move would permanently set your PvP flag for your old side. So switch from Alliance to Horde and Alliance could always attack, without it turning on _their_ PvP flag.
  • Sounds like a sex change to me.

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