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.
Here's our podcast from last weekend, when both Amanda Dean and Adam Holisky tuned in to join Turpster and I and talk about the biggest stories of the past week in Warcraft. Unfortunately, it was a bad day for Skype, so we had some rough tumbles with lag and audio problems, but we did manage to get in some good insight about Matt Low's thoughts on why you probably shouldn't play a Priest, the incoming lore reasons on why those new race/class combos are possible, Adam's challenge to Blizzard and their veiled release information, and what our faction transfer survey came up with in terms of conclusions. Despite the technical issues, I'm told it was still a pretty good show, so tune in below to hear it for yourself.
This week, we're going live at a special time (and yes, apologies to the guy who last week that we were switching around times constantly -- this is only because I'm embarking on a cross-country move later in the week, and the rest of the year we should always be found on Saturdays). We'll be live this Wednesday evening, September 16th, 2009 6:00 PM EDT right over on our Ustream page. I know that's probably a little late for you EU folks, but the last few shows have been earlier than usual, so this one's for the Americans getting home from work. And of course if you can't make that time, we'll definitely have the show on the iTunes feed later on for your listening enjoyment. See you then.
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.
It all starts up tomorrow at September 12th, 2009 3:30 PM EDT right over on our Ustream page (or you can tune in on the embedded feed right after the break), so do be sure to join us if you're available. And of course, as usual, we'll probably have a little music during the preshow, and a little fun during the aftershow (where we turn off the recording and just chat with the kind folks in the chat channel about whatever comes up. See you there!
Last week I posted a poll to try and figure out some of the numbers behind the newly implemented faction transfers, and now that we've got quite a few votes in there, it's probably a time to look at what we got and see if we can make any sense of it. The most conclusive data there is the answer above: about 18.6% of our reader polled said that yes, they had made a faction transfer already. That sounds high to me -- maybe it's because WoW.com readers know about the faction transfer service that more of them may have taken advantage of it. But if it's true that 19% of players did take advantage of the transfer service, then 570,000 of the around 3 million US players have switched factions, making Blizzard $17.1 million in gross revenue alone, just in the last week since it's opened.
The other questions were a little hairier -- I tried to ask people not to answer if they didn't fit the criteria for each question, and there's no way to tell for sure that's what happened. Also, lots of people wanted to see the answers without voting, and unfortunately, our voting system doesn't allow a clear way to do that (I have since checked with our tech guys, who say that the solution we came up with, voting without choosing an answer, did not affect the poll). But after the break, we can try to suss some conclusions out of the data anyway.
I've been thinking about this ever since the faction changes went live: obviously, Blizzard will never actually release the numbers on how many server transfers or faction changes they do, just because they are notoriously guarded about the information they release, not least because riots are pretty easy to incite on the forums (imagine the reaction if Blizzard officially said that Alliance was the more popular faction). But I wonder nevertheless: how many players have transferred their characters over from one faction to another already? And lots of people seem to think that the vast majority of transfers are Alliance to Horde (not to mention I've heard many anecdotal stories of people flooding back to the Horde), but is that true?
Obviously, we don't have access to all of Blizzard's audience, and our polls are definitely much less scientific than the data Blizzard gets to look at (you better believe they're tracking transfers and faction and race choices with a close eye, just as they're tracking server populations 24/7), but just for the heck of it, we'll ask. After the break, we've got a few polls designed to give us a very general look at how transfers are playing out so far. There's a lot of anecdotal experiences flying around since transfers went live, but I'd like to know, a little more objectively, just how things are panning out.