As I’m sure you know by now, one of the long awaited features has been implemented. Faction Change is here! I know a lot of people who were waiting for this for a long time. A few of my guildies had high level horde toons that they are swapping over to alliance and bringing into the guild. I also know a lot of people that I follow on Twitter have gone through the switch or are considering it as we speak. I also know a lot of people who have been dreading it, afraid that faction balances would be blown away or that guild ninja looting will skyrocket. Others are using it a point of recruitment. Trying to get their real life friends to swap factions and join their raid groups.
So I’m here to offer my opinion on this one, first though lets take a look at the facts.
Faction change is a one way change to the opposite faction
You can only choose a race that your current class is available to (example Horde Shaman hopping over to alliance will have to be a Draenei)
- Can only faction change one toon at a time
- Character has to be minimum level of 10
- PVP real restrictions do not apply
- Can faction change once every 60 days.
- Every time you want to faction change, you have to pony up the $30 bucks.
There’s several more, hit the FAQ page for all the details, these are just the “highlights” if you will.
Personally I like the idea of faction changing, I mean with the technology they are implementing it makes perfect sense. If I can change my gender why not my faction? It’s all just shifting pixels and databases around. I think people who fear it are unfounded. Honestly the argument of “what is going to prevent them from joining my guild, looting the bank and then faction changing?” is kinda moot. People have been doing that for a long time before faction changing, you can always hot foot it over to wow.com and their guild watch articles to see that for certain. If people are going to do it, they are going to do it, regardless of faction change. I look at the faction change as a chance for people to start fresh, but also as a chance for people to bring favored toons with them to play with their friends. I have a good friend who plays horde side, we’ve been talking about the faction change for a while and I would love to have him come over to alliance on my server so we can both enjoy the game.
Now for the real meat of this article, race change. People have been asking for this since Burning Crusade. The ability to change your race, but keep your class and faction. With the announcement of the new class race combination, there was renewed interest (there was a pretty big roar when Gnome Priest was confirmed). Me personally, I want to make my blueberry a Dwarf Shaman when Cataclysm comes out (or 4.0 if they do it then). I made my toon a female back when it was first offered because I kept getting stuck under the platform for The Lurker Below, and well… I got tired of it. Enter sex change and no more getting stuck on terrain. Being a Dwarf though would fit me more, and would fit my naming scheme better. Basically I’d be a happier Shaman. My interest in this sparked a conversation with the officers of my guild. Swapping your character race could have an impact on your raid. I’ll use myself as an example here.
Draenei currently have a few racials that are beneficial to a raid. First on the list is Heroic Presence. This racial grants all players in the group with the Draenei a 1% hit bonus. This might not seem like a lot but when you are hovering around the hit cap, that 1% can make all the difference in the world. Second on the list is Gift of the Naaru. This is a free Heal over Time that all Draenei get. The amount healed increased with attack power or spell power values. On fights like Vezaxx where watching your mana consumption is critical, this spell can help save the day. It costs no mana, has a 3 minute cooldown. So, if I race change to a Dwarf, my raid loses 1% hit for one group and a free heal. That 1% hit can be a bit of a bitch to lose, but in my opinion a raid shouldn’t be dependant on it. If I’m not on for a raid the raid doesn’t have that 1% hit anyways. So why gear expecting it? Yes it makes things easier on that one group, but still. I think this holds true for all the races. I don’t feel the vast majority of the racials are make or break for a raid, and with the potential revamp of racials coming (confirmed by the devs at blizzcon) there may be other more beneficial racials available soon.
In the end I don’t think either will have such a large impact on the game as a whole, I do however think that it will have a huge impact on individual player experience. It’s kind of like work, a happy employee is a productive employee. I don’t really think it should matter if a player wants to play a different race or swap factions as long as they are happy.
What do you think? Are you pro or con faction change? Pro or con race change? Do you think it will be largely game impacting? What are your concerns or the something you look forward too the most? Any racials you think a raid relies on?
That’s all I have for today. Until next time, Happy healing
Image courtesy of Marvel.com