Wild thing, I think I love you

We now interrupt the writer’s insane giggling over the upcoming Engineering Changes (Dalaran based Engineer-only Auction House! Whee!) to bring you this late breaking announcement from MMO Champion;

MMO Champion has posted a nice blue comment from Nethaera, and it goes something like this

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 http://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.


I think I need to go and change my fur.


23 thoughts on “Wild thing, I think I love you

  1. This will be a godsend for several people I know. In my friends and family guild, we have several people with stranded max-level horde toons because they decided they wanted to play with family members who have taken up the game, playing alliance. I have a couple of 80s, and a couple more on the way, on the Alliance side. I have 2 brothers-in-law that I like and wouldn’t mind playing with, but their 80s are Horde.

    As others have said, if you don’t like the idea, don’t take advantage of the service. Just because you don’t know anybody in RL on the opposite faction you want to play with doesn’t mean that there aren’t many other who would love the opportunity to switch to play with friends. Spending a few bucks to switch a toon rather than spending a couple of months levelling a new character from scratch seems like an excellent tradeoff to me.


  2. Who would do this? A friend of mine, who had played alliance, had a 70 human mage back in TBC, rerolled horde. that’s where is main is now, where he spends most of his time, where his friends are. he does miss the mage, though. So he opened a second account and started RAF’ing a UD mage up. it isn’t worth it to transfer the old mage, since his new one and my baby shammy should probably be 60 at least by the time this change goes live, but that’s who’d use this.


  3. I’m slightly surprised Blizzard have done this – it seemed like the last, uncrossable line, although they’ve clearly been moving towards it for a while with the paid character customisation and the addition of PvE to PvP realm transfers. It makes total sense though – the reason someone had for choosing a faction or server three or more years ago may well have changed, and they want to keep as many subscribers as possible.

    Personally I’ll never move my main – my shaman is just a great character, I’m in a fantastic guild, and the Draenei always seemed like an alien cludge to me. But I’m getting increasingly tempted to have a high-level Alliance character, as the “Blood Elf faction” (previously known as the Horde – seriously, the server population stats are depressing) becomes less and less recognisable as anything related to Warcraft I (aka Warcraft: Orcs & Humans). Probably a Dwarf, probably a warrior, or perhaps some sort of healer again. I’ve a fair few high level characters, so the option of moving one rather than re-rolling from level 1 would make it still more tempting.


  4. I think I’m going to love this. As someone who started out horde, went to alliance, and is now playing Horde again for the cuteness factor of the taurens, I have some alliance characters at level 70 that I would love to bring over to the horde side. Or heck, someday I’d even consider going Dwarf or Human on my “main” – Someday, if things quiet down horde side and I run out of things to do.

    I’m not really worried about achievements going poof or anything. My motorcycle maybe…That would kind of suck, but other than that, meh!


  5. I’m not sure if I will or not. Hard to say. I’ve *always* wanted to play horde – hell, my first character was horde, but all my RL friends started ally; so I went that way. Since then (back in patch 1.5ish) I’ve wanted to do the horde thing, but haven’t wanted to level from scratch again as I’ve 3 80 ally’s already; not gonna do it again. It’s not just levelling (which is a big deal) but all my sweet, sweet stuff.

    I almost garauntee that the “questionable” items will just be lost – as you said, B3, roughly equivilant. They’ll err on the side of not transferring everything rather than transferring too much. They don’t need to be fair here – fair is a word that honestly should never be used anyways. The transferee is getting something otherwise impossible, so losing some faction specific stuff while switching is the price he pays for that choice. I’m sure they’ll clearly outline what can and can not be transferred.

    However, we’re all talking about it now, my close friends and I, just moving en masse over to horde. Not sure if it’ll happen or not. If they don’t, I’ll still absolutely move one of my other toons (not my druid main) Fortunately, I’ve never made an effort to get shiny faction specific stuff on my alts, so there’s nothing I’ll care about losing there.


  6. This facilitates friends playing with each other, especially when there’s a population bulge at the level cap. No more “level an alt to play on the other side” nonsense. It’s a brilliant *option* to offer. (If you don’t like it, don’t do it. Simple)

    Then again, I’m of a mind that you should be able to change your class and server at will (with no cost) for similar reasons; to make it easier for players to jump in and *play* the game, rather than grind for months so that they *can* play. Instant level capped characters and free respecs are also on my shopping list. It makes sense for a microtransaction game to use this sort of thing as a revenue stream… but WoW? It’s double dipping, since I consider these things to be core game design elements, not frippery.

    It will be interesting to see how many people change and how often repeat customers change. I wonder if that data is mineable outside of Blizzard databases…


  7. When I decided I wanted to play a mage again and brought back my old alliance mage I had two good options that I considered: A) transfer her to a server with handful of my guild friends who wanted to play Alliance or B) transfer to Kael’thas and see if I could hook into the Sidhe Devils community. I chose option A because Bear made a great post describing what he was looking for in new members and I realized that I wasn’t going to have the time or dedication to commit fully to Kael’thas. If I had known then what I know now, transferring her to Horde on my main server would have been the best option for me. As much as I enjoy WoW and playing other characters I just don’t have the time anymore to play multiple characters on multiple servers and invest the energy into the various communities. However having another high level character on my main server that is already set with professions and reasonably close to max level in a class that I enjoy…that’s going to be huge.


  8. Hmm… For years, I’ve been a dedicated horde player. On the other hand, being able to switch factions might inject some new life into the game. As my guildies quit the game for other things, and my guild dies a slow, lingering death, it would be neat to meet some new people and see the game from a different angle. It will also give me the opportunity to move my heirloom gear and my Blizzard bear to the other faction.

    I’ll probably do it with at least one of my toons.


  9. BBB;

    fair. if you accept the switch, you accept that you’ll have no faction specific anything yet and you’ll have to start from scratch with all the new factions/tabards/rep/quest lines for achievements/etc. it would be a purely personal choice to just join friends and/or start over. people would do like you and switch a high level toon just to have one – but i highly doubt any mains would switch.

    for you gold making gurus out there – when this option gets more viable and actually starts to come to fruition – time to start a new level 1 fake guild bank just to hold a couple tabs of runecloth…….


  10. My druid is a Night Elf, and has been a part of my life for a large number of years. I just can’t imagine taking her horde… but, I can see where some people would really want this service…


  11. I know a friend in my guild will be happy about this. He leveled a Priest on Horde in Vanilla WOW, then moved to Alliance to raid and now has 2 80’s on alliance. Really wants a priest on alliance with the rest of his characters where his friends are but can’t cope with leveling one to 80. Its a great idea, i think implementation will be a total pain though, I’m glad i dont have to think of and resolve all of the issues


  12. YES!!!! No longer will I have to lvl that horrible, huge, ugly, smelly, Death Cow of mine just so I can get some heirloom gear and start an orc shaman!!!


    And as for the Engineering changes, I’m not complaining, especially considering I finally lvled up Engineering after nearly 2 years of switching between proffessions.


  13. Hmm, I see what you’re saying, but I make friends easier on the Horde side because they’re like-minded people. I don’t play with RL friends, so that’s not an issue for me.


  14. If you can’t imagine doing it, you won’t. I really, really doubt people would pay the money and lose “whatever” just to switch for a guild. Maybe. I think much, much more likely is the scenario like b3 lays out. I actually leveled up Alliance side because of two people. They quit, and everyone else I know played Horde. Of course, when I switched to horde side, it was creating a new toon and soloing by myself while they raided, and I eventually leveled up… but if I could have paid money to switch over that alliance toon, instead of just deleting him, I would have.

    I play with friends, not allegiance to a made up concept of alliance/horde.


  15. I wrote a post on this. =) I see what you’re saying, but I guess I’ve invested more emotion into my faction choice than a lot of people. I think my opinion differs because I love the lore and the feeling I get from my Horde, and I can’t imagine moving just because another guild has better-geared members.


  16. Hokie, the applicable quote here is “a roughly equivalent character”.

    I take that to mean they’re saying up front that if you want to do it, you’ll be able to do it, but they know up front that it ain’t gonna translate even up.

    In fact, it’s a big assumption on my part that any gear that is faction specific, like Reputation Quartermaster rewards, would be converted to the opposite faction version IF there was one.

    The only thing that is said is that if you’ve got a class of a certain level, you could have that character vanish, and a character of the same class and level appear on the other faction.

    Name, race, gear, any Achievements or reputations, professions, all are subject to total speculation.

    That being said… my Paladin is level 73, and stalled out because I’m healing on my Druid. I was leveling my Priest, Shaman and Paladin all in the hopes of healing at 80, and then all three stalled in the 72/73 range once my Druid went healing as a second spec.

    If this ever goes live, my Paladin is going straight to Horde side. Guarenteed.


  17. as much fun as it would be for that “throwaway” toon you speak of, to have a top level toon instantly on the other faction…..i just can’t see people switching mains. i mean, as a completionist, an achievement whore, and collector of mounts/pets/tabards – how the hell are they going to do that? if you’re exalted with stormwind, do you automatically get orgrimmar? if darnassus, automatically thunderbluff? etc… what about all the faction specific mounts and pets? what about racial abilities? if you’re a draenei do you automatically go blood elf or do you get to choose (as long as your class is one of the choices of said race…..)? can you choose to keep your original racial ability? what about loremaster and all the quest totals and such?

    i just see this as too much, too many variables for them to get it “right”, or “fair”.

    if people just wanted a sorta-higher level toon on the other side, for banking, or other reasons….DK’s start at 55. don’t tell me they’d be broke because if you can’t move thousands of gold over to the other faction then you shouldn’t be worried about banking anyways.

    i’m not trying to be a pessimist, but i just don’t see how they’d do all the other variables. the unintended consequences of the faction changes.


  18. Kay wont change…. she was my first toon, and I honestly expected to make an NE hunter, like the friend who gave me the game as a gift. She’d filled my ears about how awesome the pets are…

    But I read the classes and became fascinated with the druid right off… Alliance/Horde was never a question, I was going to play where my friends were. I still don’t know anyone hordeside on my server, for all that I’ve played with hordees here and there. I do have a couple of horde toons on Moon Guard, but honestly, I rarely get over there.


  19. Nassira, you’ve got a great point, and that’s the first thing I wondered…

    But you’ve got no freaking idea how often I, as a co-GM of a guild, hear the words “Hey I’d love to join your guild, my main is an 80 on Horde side, can I make a level 1 alt on Alliance and join you?”

    Seriously. I’ve had lots of people decide to join, all of whom had max level Horde, that had to start over at 1 on Alliance to take part. Some of them made it to 80 (or are still in the process) and some didn’t, they burnt out.

    Maybe someone won’t want to pay money to change faction, but at least if they’re serious they’ll have the opportunity, presumably to change factions, servers, AND bring their loot with them.

    Think about the implications of that for a moment. You always wanted to level a toon of the opposite faction, but what has stopped you was an utter lack of money and Bind on Account items to boost your enthusiasm.

    Now, if you’ve got a ‘throwaway’ high level toon, you can dump the appropriate Heirloom items on him, shovel over a bunch of gold and bags, and move him over to the other faction to play ‘Uncle Moneybags McDuck’.


  20. I do not like this change at all. I honestly believe that certain types of people play each faction for a reason, and I truly prefer Horde mentality. Of course, I’m speaking of majority here, but I don’t think it’s right to change faction. It was already a bit much allowing PvE to switch to PvP, and sex changes are…odd…but allowing people to change factions? Traitors. It’s a war. I feel that you’re supposed to choose a side. I wonder how the Role Players feel about this? I’d be interested to hear.


  21. Not sure I could ever be a NE. My hatred for the all of the a-hole NE hunters that annoyed the crap out of me while I was leveling still hasn’t waned.

    Though I might consider it if I had found a good guild with RL friends (most that I know do play Horde, but not on my server).


  22. Tauren 4 life 😛

    Yeah I probably won’t ever use this as I dislike most of the Alliance races (Dwarves are awesome though). Even though I started out as a Dwarven hunter (as I said….dwarves=awesome) and played him all the way to end game in Vanilla and up to Kara in TBC I pretty much retired him when my guild I had been in for 2.5 years dissolved. Ended up rerolling my tauren Druid and have been playing him ever since.. It helps that my core of friends from that guild had all rerolled as horde while I was out trying other games to see if I could quit WoW. So no real reason to go back alliance for me, and even though it would be nice to have an insta 70 hunter I could play by switching him to Horde, I simply can not bring myself to diminish the dwarfness.

    Of course all of that is based upon the assumption this is simply a race change. If (as I wish it was) would allow me to play my dwarf as Horde….SQUEE…… one can dream /sigh


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