WoW To allow faction changes

3 07 2009

Recently, Blizzard announced that they are working on a way to let players change their faction. There is no note about this being implemented in 3.2, however it does show some very interesting things in terms of the way the Blizzard Franchise has been developing. It has been noted that Blizzard has more than likely finally hit their cap in terms of playerbase, and at this point it can only stabilize or shrink, with little or no chance of seeing massive improvement in terms of actual userbase: [thanks wow economics for putting that piece together ] . The point is that Blizzard realizes that there is little more they can do to bring in new players, and most people who will be picking up the game are just players that they managed to loose somewhere along the way. With that in mind they are no longer gearing their patches or design ideas towards picking up new players [which shows with wanting to get players to level 80 as soon as possible] they are also gearing the patches more towards picking up alts and getting them to Main level gear etc.

But now they’ve stepped into an area that Blizzard said over and over again that they just weren’t interested in doing:

And Ya' Done

And Ya' Done

The interesting point [by the way the thread on the WoW forums was updated yesterday], is not so much how will this affect gameplay, as at this point with the removal of Shaman’s and Paladins as unique to either horde or Paladin, there is very little other than racials [which are also thin in terms of difference] that separate the factions from one another. What’s more confusing to me is how they plan on dealing with issues like Loremaster etc. because as an Alliance player etc you have no access to any of the early Horde quest or vice versa, so how are they going to deal with what quest you have completed and which ones you are on? Will you get to re do the wrathgate from the other factions perspective? I suppose this is a small question, but the other ones I have seem from a programming stand point seem easy enough to deal with.

The race’s themselves will just be based on what your class currently is and what it can become on the opposing faction, The reputation for each faction has a very clear counterpoint on the opposing faction, so there is no real worry there either [I imagine if you are an ambassador to the alliance, this will make you an ambassador to the horde, etc. ]. The clear issue is that Blizzard is stoking the fire while it can. It understands that a lot of its players are burned out, and some have even threatened to quit over the lack of LAN in starcraft II. So Blizzard may be willing to make compromises to try and bring back old players and try to keep the game as fresh as possible because the problem right now is that unless you are in a reasonably well of raiding guild [we’ll assume that each server has 10-20 of these guilds with close to 30 players / guild] on an average server that population is somewhere close to 9-12% of the overall population, than you really haven’t seen any new content since you hit 80. And that is really starting to take its toll on a great many players, because unlike BC, Blizzard is taking their sweet time to release new dungeons so that the guilds out there downing Yogg Soron right now don’t just run right to Icecrown to farm the Lich King next.

It should be interesting to note weather or not this service actually gets used, as it could really shake things up on PvP servers, where faction imbalance could make your life a miserable hell. Have to keep an eye on this one 😉

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