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Posts with tag paid-faction-change

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

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: The high cost of playing

I support World of Warcraft's paid services. I think they're good for the game. I think a lot of the options that the services provide extend our interest in the game, allowing us to play when we might have otherwise lost interest. What I do worry about is how expensive everything is when you start to add them all up. I suspect I'm like the average player who has more than a few max level characters at this point, which means wanting to avail of paid services on all of them could get a little pricey.

Let's take character transfers, for instance. If I wanted to transfer all my characters to a server where my friends play (why would I want to move just one?) it would cost me a hefty sum. Add to that the fact that my wife plays wherever I play so we multiply that hefty sum by two. Imagine if I wanted to change my characters' races to those combinations that were previously unavailable come Cataclysm... how much would that add up to? It doesn't take an accountant to see that it could cost a small fortune.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

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

Breakfast Topic: Paid services


With the Azeroth-shaking announcement of paid faction changes, it seems like one of the last barriers to character re-customization have been broken down. Who would have thought that we could switch allegiances four years ago? The World of Warcraft has certainly come a long way since it launched. One of the big changes back then was allowing players to transfer realms -- initially disallowing PvE-to-PvP transfers but that restriction was eventually lifted. That was shocking news then, but then Blizzard opened the door for names and even gender changes.

What we're essentially seeing is Blizzard's own clever version of microtransactions. Sure, we can't buy powerful items like those in free-to-play games (which will soon become endangered in China...), but we can pay real money to cater to our vanity or convenience. I've paid several times for server transfers, name changes, and even character re-customization. My wife grumbles whenever I shell out real money for those things, but I'm sure she'd pay to morph her former main, a Troll Priest, into a Blood Elf in a heartbeat. Even Matthew Rossi would pay good money to turn his Human Warrior into a huge-like-Rossi Draenei. There's only one problem, though -- they can't. Race change is one thing Blizzard hasn't given the go signal to... yet.

Anything's possible, though. Years ago, Blizzard unequivocally said that they would never allow PvE to PvP realm transfers. See how that turned out. What other paid services do you think Blizzard lacks? You probably already know that I'm all for race change as part of character re-customization. But how about paying for levels? I mean, despite all the changes they've made to make leveling easier, I abhor it. I'd gladly shell out some cash to get a high-level character right off the bat. What other paid World of Warcraft services do you think the game needs or players want?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

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?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: Is Blizzard doing faction change the right way?


Blizzard can pull off some real surprises sometimes. This whole thing about Paid Faction Changes came totally from left field, and even though we know players have been asking for it I don't think any of us really expected that it would happen. For the precognitive among us, did you think they'd do it this way, though? For one thing, was the demand for such a service so huge that Blizzard opted to devote precious developer time to making it happen? It's definitely not an easy thing to pull off.

Despite Blizzard answering some concerns about the future service, there are still more questions relating to Achievements, quests, reputation, and more. What happens to faction-specific mounts? Lore nerds are boggled by the story behind a possible change -- can everything really be explained by some Goblin invention? That seems like such a cop-out, doesn't it? Wouldn't it be better (and cooler) to implement a long and epic quest chain to change factions? Sure it would be confusing to see Orcs hoisting the Alliance banner or Humans yelling 'For the Horde!', but wouldn't it be easier to implement?

Lore-wise, it makes more sense, too. It's not uncommon to see particular races switch allegiance. It's much stranger to transmogrify from, say, a Troll to a Gnome. What are your thoughts on this planned service? Are you happy to have it as a paid option, which would be quick and painless (although your wallet may say otherwise) or would you prefer a long-winded in-game quest chain? Maybe you have some ideas on how it could work. Sound off!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Faction Changes Q&A


Perhaps the biggest news in the past week -- aside from 'Cataclysm', that is -- hasn't been Patch 3.2 itself but a service Blizzard has apparently been working on for some time. Paid faction changes. We received quite a number of tips about it and even saw our story make a cameo on Attack of the Show. Players have been asking for something like this for a while, and there have been incidents of entire guilds rerolling from scratch to defect.

Of course, with the shocking news comes a lot of questions, so Nethaera hops on over to the forums and answered a few concerns that players had. The biggest bummer for me was that I couldn't change race within my own faction! So... let me get this straight... I can change faction and become a totally different race but I can't swap my Blood Elf Death Knight into an Orc? Blasphemy! Unfortunately Blizzard doesn't think choice of race isn't something you can regret unlike faction choice. Anyway, more answers after the jump...

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Forums

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.

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Filed under: News items

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