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Posts with tag faction-changes

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

Patch 5.2 PTR: Clarifications on reputation changes

Draztal posted some clarification of the faction/reputation changes happening in patch 5.2, and how the work orders interact with them. A lot of people are at least somewhat pleased with these changes, since they're giving players a slow and steady non-daily quest way to earn rep.

The main points:
  • Each day, you earn 750 reputation with the first heroic, and 325 reputation with the first scenario.
  • There will be no valor rewards for the new dailies faction, only the raid faction.
  • Shado-Pan Assult reputation can be earned through Raid Finder, but after a certain point only boss kills reward faction rep.
  • Work Orders require you to be exalted with The Tillers and to have unlocked all plots.
  • Work Orders will be available for most 5.0/5.1 factions, but will not include the Black Prince.
It's necessary to repeat the mantra that these are all changes being done on the PTR and they could change. Now I personally wouldn't count on these modifications changing too much, they seem to be very fleshed out at this point, but still, anything's possible.

Draztal's full post after the break.

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Filed under: News items

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

Joystiq talks to Frank Pearce about the past and future of Warcraft

Our friend Kevin Kelly over at the Joystiq mothership got a chance to talk to Frank Pearce at Blizzard about the Warcraft anniversary, and he did us proud. Not only did Frank Pearce do some nice reminiscing about Blizzard, where they've come from, and how the massive World of Warcraft undertaking has changed them as a company (they've gone from 500 employees to about 4,000 in just the last five years), but he also touched on some issues we've really been wondering about over here at WoW.com as well.

Like, say, the reason we haven't seen a girl in the ads yet. Pearce says they're open to it, and he wants some names submitted, so we'll offer up Felicia Day as a no-brainer, and if you guys have other ideas, share away below. He also talks about server capacity, and says that at nearly every step, Blizzard has been surprised by their success. He attributes race and faction changes to thinking that realms were big enough on day one to bring everybody together who wanted to come together, but they later realized that wasn't what was happening. He mentions China and NetEase and says they wish the process there was faster. And finally, he talks, surprisingly, about the BlizzCon Vegas that wasn't, and seems to confirm that Blizzard was considering a Vegas show. Interesting. Where else did they consider holding the convention, we wonder?

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, Cataclysm

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

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)

Faction changes available in Europe


Since World of Warcraft's paid faction change service launched in the US at the beginning of the month, not a day has gone by when we have not received tips, questions, and complaints asking when the feature would be available in Europe. Well, European readers, the wait is over! So if you're eager to go from Gnome to Orc, all you need to do is head over to the account management page and be willing to pony up 25.00 Euros or 20.00 Pounds for the privilege. If you're the indecisive sort, remember you can only change your character's faction every 60 days -- but read the FAQ for full details. What the FAQ doesn't tell you, though, is that you should be prepared to lose your Argent Tournement standing if you make the jump -- so, to anyone jumping on the faction change bandwagon I hope you enjoy jousting!

However, if you're just wanting to change races within your current faction, this is not the service you're looking for. Blizzard has said they plan to make same-faction race changes available in the future and Ancilorn confirms this is the plan for Europe, as well.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Europe

Argent Tournament gains will not transfer between factions


Just a heads up for you faction transfers, though you've probably already realized this if you have made a transfer: many of your faction reputations will transfer over just fine, but not so for any Argent Tournament progress you've made. Argent Tournament reputation and gains will not transfer over if you change factions. Kisirani says that Blizzard couldn't think of a way to do it technically, and so (as we understand it), anyone who transfers factions will lose all of their current Argent Tournament standing, and have to make their way back up through the ranks to Champion. Many other reputations have changed just fine, and you can find a list of all the changes as you cross over from one faction to another on the faction change FAQ. You will bring items over with you -- any seals earned on one side are still valid on the other. But if you want to grind out more, you'll have to go through the ranks again.

Seems like a bummer for faction changers (especially those who didn't know about the problem before they did the transfer), but on the other hand, I don't believe Blizzard would have let this go if they had any way to fix it. Short of just granting ranks to all players who transfer, assuming they have no way to track where players were at in terms of which cities they'd champion-ed for, I don't know what other solution there would be.

Update: A little more information: you also lose all of your Silver Covenant or Sunreavers rep as well, so you'll have to re-earn that from the beginning, too. As players have said in the thread below, it's not a huge loss, but it's an annoyance for sure.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Items, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling, Factions

WoW Insider Show Episode 106 with guest Phil Kollar


Our podcast was on the virtual airwaves yet again last Saturday, and in addition to WoW.com folks Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington and of course Turpster (whose birthday was September 7th, so happy birthday to that guy), we welcomed Phil Kollar, former 1up editor, current Game Informer associate editor, frequent Twitterer, and World of Warcraft guild leader (he's running a guild called In Defense of the Genre over on Area 52, as we talk about during the show), not to mention all-around fun guy. He helped us talk about the latest news in Azeroth, including more Cataclysm discussion, the latest on the faction changes and how they're going, a quick mention of the changes to jousting in the 5-man ToC, and what it means that a guild took down Yogg-Saron in blue gear.

Pretty enjoyable show, if you ask me, but then again I always enjoy sitting down and podcasting for you all. You can listen in at the links below, and/or subscribe to the show on iTunes (where we can always use some nice reviews letting us know what you of what we're doing). I also tweaked the audio a little bit before this show, so hopefully it will sound a little better as well. Enjoy, and we'll talk to you next week!

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
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[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Podcasts, Podcasting, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Humor, Raiding, Bosses, WoW Insider Show, Cataclysm

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

Race changes confirmed



The possibility of changing your character's race was indicated at BlizzCon 2009, during one of the panels. But then the news about it really got hot when Faction changes were officially announced, because eagle-eyed players noticed the following damning question in the new program's FAQs: Can I use this service to change race on my existing faction? The answer was confirmation enough for most folks: No. We will be releasing a Race change service in the near future for this purpose.

But, this wouldn't be the first time a bit of miscommunication or other confusion has occurred. The final confirmation of upcoming race changes came today, confirmed by Neth again in an official forum thread. All she was actually doing there was referencing the original thread about Faction changes, which had already said Race changes were coming. The announcement even showed up on the official Warcraft Twitter account. So this isn't exactly a brand new thing. Still, it's nice to have it confirmed all over again.

Race changes, of course, subtly differ from Faction changes because you'll still stay Alliance if you're Alliance, or Horde if you're Horde. Race changes might be performed for aesthetic reasons -- you might just prefer the look of a sexy little gnome. Still, I bet most Race changes will be to get access to "better" racials. Especially if racials do get revamped in Cataclysm, a lot of players will see the grass a little greener on the other side. Every Man For Himself, anyone?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Forums

The Queue: Crossroads


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

This queue is certified Panadaran free.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Today's reading music The Crossroads by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Every time I'm in the Crossroads I think of that song.

Yokumgang asked...

"Why can't we bandage while bleeding?"

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Filed under: Warlock, Instances, Raiding, The Queue

WoW Insider Show Episode 97: Chasing silhouettes

Good times as always on our podcast this past holiday weekend -- while Turpster was away, we Americans took over the show, and declared our independence the only way we know how: by talking about the most popular stories in the World of Warcraft this past week. Adam Holisky, Alex Ziebart, Michael "Belfaire" Sacco and I answered your emails, and then chatted about Blizzard's addition of faction changes to the game (and who'll go for it), patch 3.2 and its extendable raid lockouts and universal armor tokens, Exodus and Ensidia and how Blizzard has dealt with both, and of course, that sneaky Cataclysm trademark and what it might mean for Blizzard's future releases.

Whew! If it sounds like a full show, that's because it was. It even went on longer than usual, so you can enjoy the extra-long WoW Insider Show at any of the links below (including clicking on the iTunes link to subscribe directly there). We won't be back next Saturday -- instead, we're setting up for a special Thursday evening show this week at 6pm Eastern, so those of you who can't make it on Saturdays can instead tune in on Thursday night to chat and listen live with us on the Ustream page.

Enjoy this past weekend's show, and we'll see you on Thursday.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Podcasting, Virtual selves, Humor, Raiding, Making money, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Show live on Ustream this afternoon

Over 200 years ago, our forefathers put forth a document that not only declared the Independence of one of the greatest nations in the world, but also sundered the connection between the old country of Great Britain and the new United States of America. Now, all this time later, Turpster and I do the WoW Insider Show together, and basically undo all that work those smart guys did way back when. This week we'll have an especially good one, as Adam Holisky, Alex Ziebart, and Michael "Belfaire" Sacco are all coming on the show all together. Just in case you thought they were all the same person (some sort of former Blizzard CM/blog posting/contributing editor maniac), we'll prove you wrong.

And there'll probably be fireworks as well: we'll be talking about faction changes, the changes to raiding in patch 3.2 (including the extended lockouts and the new universal armor tokens), Blizzard and how they're dealing with raiding exploits, and oh yeah, something called Cataclysm. Plus, we'll answer your emails and chat live with you on the our Ustream page. It all starts off at July 4, 2009 3:30 PM EDT. We'll see you there.

Oh, and next week, since both Turpster and I will be out of town (for summer vacation, of course), we'll have another special midweek show for those of you who can't tune in on the weekend. Thursday, July 9th at 6pm Eastern, we'll have a live show going on, so mark that on your calendar and we'll see you then as well. Both shows will end up on the iTunes feed as usual, but if you want to tune in and listen live, please do.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, WoW Insider Show

Faction changes coming to the World of Warcraft


As if the Engineering changes today weren't enough for you, Nethaera has just announced a major bombshell:

Blizzard is implementing a faction switching service.

There is no immediate indication if this will be a free service or a pay service, however based on their past name change, character appearance, and server transfer services it likely will carry with it a small fee.

People have been talking about the ability for characters to switch races and factions for a long time. It appears to finally be here. Neth mentions that "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."

She goes on to say that this will be carefully orchestrated to limit the impact in gameplay, and that they don't have all the details worked out yet. There are a lot of things to work out in this – mounts, quests, tabards, pets, achievements, etc... You don't really want to see a Blood Elf Paladin riding around on a Human Charger.

Stay tuned for more information on this very cool change as it's released.

The full announcement after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: News items

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