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Posts with tag faction-change

Free faction changes to begin on Barthilas

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One of players' least favorite aspects of play in World of Warcraft is undoubtedly queue times. While people generally seem to understand why they exist, no one really enjoys hanging out in a queue while waiting to hop into a dungeon, raid, or battleground. While there are multiple factors that contribute to queue times, according to Blizzard it's faction interest in PvP queues that tends to be the biggest influence--not just for servers but for entire regions.

Thus, in the interest of hopefully shortening queue times, Blizzard is offering free faction changes from Horde to Alliance for the Barthilas server. This small initial offering is just a beginning, meant to test the waters. They intend to expand the offer to other servers for testing as well. Presumably, if the opening of faction transfers successfully manages to reduce queue times, the program will continue to be grow.

The free faction transfers for Barthilas will open on Tuesday, May 27th, and continue for about a week. Whole guild transfers are eligible under this program, though guild leaders initiating the Guild Master Faction Change will be charged the initial fee and refunded within 72 hours. It will be interesting to see the potential effect this has on queue times for that server and battlegroup.

Filed under: News items

50% off character services in the EU this week

50% off character services this week
Several people have tweeted WoW Insider this morning to alert us to the fact that there is a fairly hefty discount on character services this week, and Blizzard has since confirmed it with a blog. A short look through the EU battle.net shop shows that server transfers, faction transfers, race changes, appearance changes and name changes are all 50% off. WoW Insider will keep this post updated with the sale's emergence in the US, which is fairly likely to occur later today.

Update: And that just happened, all character services are now 50% off in the US.

So if you're looking to try out a new home, a new race, a new look, a new name, or a new enemy, now's the time to get involved. It's really easy to do, just head over to battle.net, log in, and you'll be presented with your accounts, head through to the right one, select the service you require and you will see if your character is eligible. From personal, and very recent (darn it) experience, if you're looking to realm transfer you'll also need to empty your mailbox and make sure you're not in charge of any arena teams. Either that, or log in and out an awful lot!

What's more, it messes with your addons quite a bit, as the profile your character's using will reflect its new home. The same will happen with name changes, so ensure that you have addons with profiles wherever possible to avoid yourself a lot of reconfiguration. Enjoy your new perspective!

Filed under: Blizzard

Faction change? Travel back in time to experience the Pandaria starting quests

Faction change Travel back in time to experience the Pandaria starting quests
My main characters have been Horde for quite some time, but this week I decided to change things up on my priest. It's a bit disorienting to faction change after playing one faction for so long. So far I haven't flown into the wrong Shrine, but I know my day is coming.

While my faction change processed, I passed the time thinking about how much of a butthead Garrosh is. And what about the Alliance's arrival in Pandaria? I wanted to experience it. Well, Blizzard had me covered. As soon as I made my way to Stormwind, I received the quest to head out to Pandaria on the Skyfire. After zoning into Pandaria, I immediately fell to my death because the Skyfire disappeared from under me.

I assumed my quest had ended there because I'd already been introduced to Pandaria through the opposite faction. My slight OCD for quest completion pushed me to visit Wowhead, where I discovered that I could complete the Alliance-side starter quests after all. Woo!

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

5 things Blizzard has done I thought they'd never do

5 things Blizzard has done I thought they'd never do
Transmogrification. That's the first and biggest thing Blizzard did that I thought they would never do, frankly. I not only never believed they'd do it, I didn't want them to do it. I argued against it. And now it's probably my favorite part of the game, bar none. It turns out I absolutely love playing dress up with orcs. And while transmog is my number one choice for this list, it is by far not the only surprise Blizzard has given me over the years.

So what else surprised me? What else did they do that I didn't see coming? To be honest, there are so many that narrowing it down to five is a bit hard for me. I never expected playable pandaren, for one thing. That's not going on the list, but it did surprise me. I'm going to do five aside from transmog, because I natter on about that one a lot.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Get your faction change at 25% off through the weekend

Faction change sale 25% off through the weekend
Have you been wondering what life is like on the other side of the faction fence? Blizzard has offered faction changes for quite some time now, allowing players to flip factions at their whim. This weekend, Blizzard's holding a sale offering 25% off faction changes. Please note that a faction change isn't a realm change -- it's just switching from Alliance to Horde on your current realm.

However, this change does make things quite handy for cross-faction trading, plus it opens up a whole new side of questing and exploration to do. Before you jump to make the move, however, you may want to check out Blizzard's FAQ on the faction change service and give it a read. There are a few things that switch over when you change factions, like mounts and titles, and a few things that are wiped out all together, like Argent Tournament achievements.

If this sounds like a steal and you'd like to get in on the deal, better hurry -- the sale ends on Monday, July 16 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: Would you like to change factions without changing races?

Breakfast Topic Would you want to change faction, but keep your race
When I first heard that Blizzard was implementing faction changes, I was so excited. I want my gnome to go Horde! But it was nothing that fun (or complicated). Finding out I would also have to change races took all the fun out of it.

I have always wanted (in any MMO with factions) the ability to change sides without having to change anything else. In the physical world, we have defectors, immigrants, and slaves who have become citizens. My Russian professor was an escapee from the Soviet Union. It was her lifelong wish to change factions, and she was so happy to be in the United States.

I know it is complicated design-wise, and I completely understand why Blizzard doesn't do it, but I think it would be perfectly logical that some residents of Azeroth would want to change sides. A human might want to live the simple life of a tauren. A blood elf may long to return to nature and attempt to fit in with the night elves. A gnome and a goblin might fall in love.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

How flexible is too flexible when it comes to gameplay?

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Way back in the days of vanilla WoW, your character was something you were stuck with, as well as your talents. If you wanted to unlearn your talents, you were certainly welcome to do so, as long as you didn't mind paying a lot of gold to do so. Once you made a character on that server, it stayed there. Once you chose your gender, hair and facial features, you were stuck with them. If you chose Alliance, that character remained Alliance for good.

Over the years, we've had a lot of small things introduced that allowed us a little more flexibility with the characters we love to play. You can change realms, factions, hair, gender, race -- you can completely change who your character is at the drop of a hat. Mists of Pandaria is introducing a host of new features intended to give the game some added flexibility by allowing characters to share achievements, mounts and pets across an entire account. This means that players are no longer limited to what character they play. You can switch between characters and still have the same benefits.

There's just one thing that Blizzard has never, ever wavered on, one last point of rigid inflexibility when it comes to the characters we play: class.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Did changing factions change how you play?

I've had both Horde and Alliance alts throughout my time playing World of Warcraft, of course. With the exception of the Forsaken, I've always viewed the Horde as more or less morally equivalent with the Alliance. Sure, there were some things that bugged me, like naming the capital city of the Horde after Orgrim Doomhammer, a guy who enslaved the dragonqueen Alexstrasza and who went along with Gul'dan even though the warlock in question murdered his best friend and best friend's wife. But these were minor hiccups, and I especially loved the tauren, having leveled both a DK and warrior tauren to level 80 in the Wrath years.

Ironically, although I was somewhat negatively inclined towards Garrosh Hellscream, it wasn't until I switched factions on my main to play Horde with a new guild (and an excellent one, to be sure) that I started really, really hating the Horde. Every quest I've gotten so far on my main or my two leveling alts Hordeside has involved murdering people and stealing their land simply because I could (or because a guy using an axe I outgrew 15 levels ago says I should).

But it's done more than make me dislike the faction I'm playing. Paradoxically, it's made me fight really, really hard for that faction. I PVP a lot more now than I ever did when I was playing a worgen personally offended by what happened to Gilneas. For some reason, being in the Horde makes the semi-military feel of battleground PVP seem more like it has a point to me, as if I'd expect to find myself there. I'm more aggressive as a Horde player. My paladin has run through Desolace and now Feralas with abandon, thinking nothing of doing quests that massacre entire Alliance settlements for the crime of trying to continue to exist. For all that I often decry the Horde and its current Warchief, I'm certainly also part of the problem, because I'm the one doing the quests. I am the unprovoked fist of the Horde, crushing innocents and stealing their homes. Granted, I'm not known for my stability, but I have to wonder if anyone else has experienced this.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Faction change cooldown reduced

On the heels of the race change being implemented, the faction change cooldown has been reduced to three days. This brings it in line with the cooldown time of the race change and server transfers (both at three days).

It's interesting to note the effect all this has: you can now more or less freely move around servers and factions without any major consequences. Three days off of raiding isn't a big deal, however two months off if you land in a bad guild after faction transfering your main is quite an issue.

There hasn't been any blue post about this yet, but the information is present on the screens when you undertake a race change, as pictured above.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard explains delay in Race Change service

Zarhym responded to a thread on the official forums started by, of all things, a troll. The poster wrote accusing Blizzard of lying about paid race changes being still in development, pointing out that faction change enabled racial changes, as well. Zarhym calmly explained that "the conversion tables for changing races within one's own faction are completely different from the faction change service." This means that there's a separate development time for it.

He also reminds everyone that "the only thing better than offering a service people want is making sure that service works when people want it." It's pretty much standard operating procedure for Blizzard, a company notorious for pushing back releases in favor of getting things right. It's interesting to note that Blizzard introduced faction changes ahead of race changes, perhaps because the former addresses more player concerns while the latter is merely a customization preference.

There's also a chance that Blizzard will allow the new race-class combos leading up to the Cataclysm, which would be perfect timing for the paid race change service, anyway. I was looking forward to swapping my Blood Elf Death Knight into an Orc, but since the announcement, I've been drooling over the prospect of an Undead Hunter -- a race-class combo I've wanted to play since I first launched the game. I've waited this long, I guess a little more of Soon won't hurt.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Forums

We Have a Tabard: Strange bedfellows


Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

For years Blizzard has claimed that there would be no chance for faction changes. They didn't use the word "never" but they did say there were no plans on doing it. Much has changed since the Blizzard/Activision Merger. Well, the time has come, and what has become of it. I honestly can't tell you if the impact has been good or bad, but there has certainly been an impact.

If I haven't mentioned before, I play Horde. The first night that transfers came out, a number of my friends and guildies swapped characters over from Alliance. Good to see an influx of variety, but much attention turned to leveling forgotten alts. I don't know anyone who has transferred from Horde to Alliance. Given a better opportunity, I'm sure there are plenty who would make the switch.

Faction changes have had an interesting effect on guild on my server. A number of raiders from the top guilds swapped factions and joined forces with the top guilds on the Alliance side. The Alliance guilds have always been front runners in progression and this move has served to make them stronger. That's excellent for them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Factions, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

Officers' Quarters: From the mail bag


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.


Hello, fellow officers! This week I'm going to try something a little bit different than usual. I tend to focus on one topic that requires a detailed analysis. However, I do receive many more questions that I never feature in the column because they have a more straightforward solution (or, at least, because I believe they have a straightforward solution). So I would write a private reply to the e-mail but never showcase the question here.

I've decided to try an experiment this week and feature several of these e-mails with shorter answers. Even though they may not be the most complex situations, I think the answers will be helpful to other officers. Let me know what you think! Here's the first question.

Too Many Cooks

I was wondering if you could do an article on having too many cooks in the kitchen during raids.

My guild is brand new, 3-4 weeks old, and we run Ulduar 10 and ToC 10 as well as Naxx 25 and Naxx 10 for the new 80s. As of right now, I am my guild's GM as well as raid leader. I have plans in the future to add an official "Raid Leader" to create events and lead some raids although I plan on still leading a few because I really enjoy it.

Right now though, I have a few natural born leaders that attend my raids and it causes some problems.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

The Art of War(craft): Season 7 and the Battleground PvPer


The Art of War(craft) takes you through the paces of the myriad faces of World of Warcraft PvP. Zach, who writes this column, is tragically unfunny and has asshat blood running through his Asian veins. If you're looking for humor, head over to the musings of Christian or Allison. If you want some lore or news, Alex and Adam are your guys. If, however, you feel like bashing someone's face in and dropping The Flag of Ownership on their corpse, you, my friend, have come to the right place.

Season 7 started a while back, and we've now got Colby on the team to pick up on the Arena scene with Blood Sport. He covers all the basics of the latest Arena season in his debut column, so head on over and read up on everything you need to know. That's your primer. On today's The Art of War(craft), I'm going to discuss other things not quite covered by the basics.

First of all, what does a new Arena season mean to the Battleground enthusiast? I mean, who gives a shmoo? Arenas shmarenas, right? Well... not exactly. The sad fact is that Arena players are going to be playing the Battlegrounds, anyway, since the non-set pieces are purchasable with Honor points. While these items also drop off Koralon, the Flame Watcher, the fastest, most efficient way to obtain non-set Relentless Gladiator pieces is through Honor farming in the Battlegrounds.

That means successful Arena play, or at least the most conscientious preparation, requires Battleground participation. The converse isn't necessarily true. The gear disparity in the Battlegrounds is extreme, and it isn't uncommon to find players fresh from hitting Level 80 hitting the maps to grind Honor for gear upgrades. Gear isn't as critical, but it's a definite advantage. My view on the matter is that Arenas are a necessary, but fun, evil.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Breakfast Topic: The You that you can't leave behind


I have been playing a human warrior for almost five years now. So I'm looking at the new faction (and upcoming race) change feature with a different eye than some.

I've played other characters, of course... I have three Shamans now, a DK, a Paladin, a Warlock I occasionally log onto and stare forlornly at, and of course several other warriors scattered around various servers, two of which even hit max level... but in one capacity or another, I have logged onto that Human Warrior for the past five years and run five mans, done quests, raided, crafted, even occasionally fished on him. I've done every single instance in the game on him at this point. I even did Naxx 40 on him.

He's been a tank, he's been DPS. He was even just a "Hey, guys, what's everyone up to?" toon for a few months when I tried my level best to switch to Horde. (I'm sorry, guys, but as much as I love Tauren I can't really like playing Horde when I keep running into quests that have me poisoning prisoners of war, or even my own people. I'm the kind of guy who ends up with butterflies and halo's over my head in Fable, even when I start out determined to ravage the land as a force of pure destruction.)

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Alts

Faction change service now available [UPDATED]

Our tipline just lit up with news that the faction change service discussed so often recently is now available! At least in the US, anyway. One of our super secret to-be-announced new bloggers from the EU mentioned that he doesn't see it overseas yet, but Rogue specialist Chase Christian is already swapping his Rogue over. Hopefully Europe will have it very soon.

The faction change (accessed via your account management page), in addition to allowing you to flip from Horde to Alliance (and vice versa) also seems to include the ability to change anything else you could change through a character recustomization, such as a name change for the price of $30. We have some picture of the process incoming, so keep an eye on this spot. We'll have them put together for you in just a moment.

Update: And here are the images of the process. Enjoy!
Update #2: The faction change FAQ has some additional details you might find interesting. There are some mount/reputation restrictions when you switch over that you might want to be aware of before you drop your $30.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

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