World of Warcraft Adding Faction Change Option

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Blizzard is preparing "a new service" that will allow World of Warcraft players to change their character's faction from Alliance to Horde or vice versa, the developer has revealed.

"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," the studio wrote, noting "there's still much work to do and many details to iron out."

"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," Blizzard added, explaining:

As with all of the features and services we offer, we intend to incorporate the faction-change service in a way that won't disrupt the gameplay experience on the realms, and there will be some rules involved with when and how the service can be used. The number of variables involved increases the complexity of implementing this service, but we plan to take the time needed to ensure that it lives up to expectations before officially rolling it out. We'll go into much more detail on all of this here at www.WorldofWarcraft.com as development progresses. In the meantime, we wanted to let you know that because this type of functionality requires extensive internal testing well in advance of release, you may be seeing bits and pieces of the service in the test builds we use for the public test realms moving forward.

The insanely popular MMO rolled out a paid character re-customization service late last year, allowing its 11 million-plus subscribers to modify a "character's gender, face, skin color, and other cosmetic features," but not their race, class, or faction.

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From The Chatty
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    June 29, 2009 2:46 PM

    Won't this lead to possible balance issues on realms? Or perhaps correct it?

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      June 29, 2009 2:50 PM

      The two servers I've ever played on were heavily lopsided towards Horde which certainly made things a lot more interesting being I was Alliance, so it probably isn't much of a concern and, I'd imagine, there won't be enough people, per server, going this route to have much of an effect.

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      June 29, 2009 3:05 PM

      PvP servers generally favor the horde however I'm fairly certain that every single PvE server has an alliance advantage. Honestly the only thing I see this accomplishing is butchering the horde population on PvE servers.

      I pretty much gave up on my horde characters since the population on many servers is horrible, especially if you can only play during an off-time. I could have gone back to a PvP server since they often have obscene horde numbers but I absolutely hate WoW PvP.

      This seems incredible short-sighted on Blizzards part unless the faction change will also accompany the ability to play, as in group, with the other faction. Now that would be awesome and I would immediately go back to my horde characters.

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        June 29, 2009 4:20 PM

        If you're on a PvE server, why would it even matter what the horde/alliance populations are?

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          June 29, 2009 11:29 PM

          Realm BG queues are effected. Also Blizzard has been moving a lot more towards open world PvP.

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      June 29, 2009 3:24 PM

      How much does it really matter? Aren't battlegrounds across groups of servers now (At least that's how I remember it being)? Maybe on a PVP server, I guess.

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      June 29, 2009 4:10 PM

      Not really, with the upcoming changes to wintergrasp and world pvp pretty much dead otherwise I don't see it being a problem.

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      June 29, 2009 7:39 PM

      They will probably cap it so if it is say a horde heavy server, that ally to horde will be disabled for a while...