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Why won't Blizzard let me change my race?


I want an Orc. More specifically, I want my Blood Elf Death Knight to become an Orc. I know, I should've chosen the right race to begin with, but he's now Level 80 and it's too late. I don't want a pretty boy Death Knight, which was obviously a bad idea to begin with considering they infest Dalaran and the rest of Azeroth like metrosexual cockroaches, but I made a mistake and I regret it. I seriously want to change my character's race. I'd consider rerolling, but it's a Death Knight.

Paid character customization is nice and all, but it won't let me change my race. At first I was fine with it because I thought it would create all sorts of problems from quests to factions to racial mounts... but then Blizzard drops a bombshell of an announcement: faction changes are coming to Azeroth! Implicitly, this meant being able to change races, too. Nethaera squashes that idea with a resounding 'No'. Players could only change to the opposing faction's race, which is weird. No, really, it's weird. I mean, I'll be able to transform my Horde Blood Elf Death Knight into an Alliance Draenei but I can't make him an Orc? Why not?

Some would say it's to prevent min-maxing. Alex pointed out that PvP players in particular would convert to Humans for the extra trinket slot or to Forsaken for the Will of the Forsaken. That creates the potential for upsetting racial balance in factions where everyone would be Human or Undead. Maybe. So why are there more Blood Elves than any other Horde race? Or maybe Blizzard is afraid of other races falling into disuse, with all Horde rolling Blood Elves. Maybe. I mean, I'm sick of my Blood Elf. Maybe it's just me but I really wish I'd rolled a race that isn't overcrowding Azeroth.

The thing is, faction change, no matter how you put it, is way more complex and has deeper implications. Yet Blizzard insists on putting out the service despite all the potential complications -- going so far as to announce the service long before it launches. From a company that might as well trademark the ironic use of 'soon', that's a rather uncommon move. Faction change has more impact on the play experience than race change, so why can't race change be part of character customization? I can't for the life of me figure out why race change isn't allowed but faction change is. Surely Blizzard isn't acknowledging that racial bonuses are compelling enough to forgo all other races? With all character options suddenly becoming limitless, why is same-faction race change so taboo? Break that wall down, Blizzard. I want my Orc.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

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