Blizzard planning on letting players change factions

From Blizzard:

We wanted to give everyone a very early heads-up that, in response to player requests, we’re developing a new service for World of Warcraft that will allow players to change their faction from Alliance to Horde or Horde to Alliance. 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.

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 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.


So I guess this means that a gnome could become a blood elf and vice-versa? Probably not, but I’m sure pre-defined mappings will exist. For example, you won’t see a Night Elf paladin.

Discuss. Does this destroy the immersion factor or not? Or, does it really even matter in the grand scheme of things?

Folks on the Blizzard forums are already QQ’ing about population imbalances, among other things.

WoW - the business that just won’t quit growing. Props to Blizzard.

99% of wow players probably don’t care about immersion at all. I’d be more worried about it causing serious server balance problems. That and people using it to race reroll (any dps dk that is alliance but not really attached to their server would be very tempted to race change to orc probably). If they don’t let you pick the race, it will suck because for pretty much every class there is one or two races that are way better than the rest. if they do allow you to pick the race, well, the orc thing will happen. damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Really surprised that they would do this though. it seems like a huge headache, but i guess it is just another paid extra for blizzard.

I think you could also say that 99% of WoW players aren’t min-maxers enough to care a lot about what racial bonuses they have. They play what looks cool to them.

With so many other things that they could be doing, it just surprises me that they’re focusing on this.

Server backend programmers do not do the same job as game designers or game functionality programmers.

I know that, but still that doesn’t mean that this won’t be a royal pain in their posteriors.

Gotta hand it to them - you never know what to expect.

My guess is this will be a huge moneymaker for them, at least the first couple of months after it goes into effect. It’ll probably have some legs, too – you could level up an alt on the other side to see their quests and stuff, and then switch back over to your friends when you reach the endgame, for example.

I wonder how much this will cost.

I remember the uproar (on my server at least) when Sony started allowing name/server changes in EverQuest 1. People weren’t as anonymous as they seem in WoW (probably because there is so much less direct conflict/competition compared to the first few years of EQ.

I don’t think of WoW as an immersive or overly competitive experience; so while I might not like certain aspects of a plan like this in some games (like say a PvP Team server circa 2002 in EverQuest, where this would have a direct impact on a server population), I don’t really see a huge issue in a game like WoW. Although there are some faction/pvp aspects to be considered in WoW, I don’t know enough about how it all functions now days to know whether or not it would ruin the game in that respect.

From my limited (and out of date) experience, this would more than likely enhance the game rather than ruin it for the average player.

Maybe so, but just recently they introduced the gender change and now this…

You’d be surprised. I’d say pretty much anyone who pvps more than casually does care because the racial bonuses are often significant. Human free pvp trinket? gnome anti snare thing? orc everything?

The biggest issue that I see - will it allow you to have toons on both sides? The potential for griefing would be huge…

I assume they wouldnt go that far, but switching all of your toons on a server seems a little much too…

Especially on a PvP server …

If you have to pay by the character I’m sure Blizz won’t refuse the payments.

You can’t transfer a horde character to a pvp server where you have an alliance character though.

wait, there’s other servers now?

You can already have characters of both factions on PvE servers, and I’m sure they would put in a limitation that you can’t do it on pvp servers if you have multiple chars there.


My guild always complained about the other faction’s racials in PvP, and I bet that was pretty standard in WoW. The thing about that is, it was something to bitch about to your guildmates, but not something worth switching sides over (and I’m sure this will cost money).

One thing it most definitely does:

Opens things up for a new faction. If you can transfer from Alliance to Horde, there’s no reason you couldn’t also transfer from Alliance to, say, the league of outland races or somesuch. A Naga/Murloc/Ogre faction might generate some interest (Need a more anthropomorphic race in there still, though…)

99% of people who make it to level 80 at least. My sister was kind of into the immersion thing when she started, but now she min-maxes with the best of them. If they cap it so that you can’t join a server with more than 50% or so of the race you want to switch to (and maybe can’t leave a server if you’re on the unfavorable end of the ratio) that part should work out, if limit the usefulness. I think it would be more interesting to have a City of Heroes-esqu quest where your character can switch sides without changing races, but that might be a bit much. Curious what they do about equipment limited to one faction. Maybe a complete equipment wipe?

Hopefully with this announcement means that we can get a plain old re-race as part of the cosmetic makeover. I made my priest back when Dwarves were the shit with Fear Ward back in the day, and I would like to be able to switch to a Draenei.

My bet is that they’ll just switch it to equivalents on the other side. Maybe wipe clean quest items and suchlike that don’t have a clear equivalent.