Faction and Race Changing, Lodur’s Thoughts

Faction and Race Changing, Lodur’s Thoughts


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)

  1. Can only faction change one toon at a time
  2. Character has to be minimum level of 10
  3. PVP real restrictions do not apply
  4. Can faction change once every 60 days.
  5. 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

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!
About Lodur

Lodur is the right hand shaman to Matticus on World of Matticus, and a recruiting officer of Conquest and Co-Host of For the Lore podcast. Read more of his works at WoW Insider.


  1. For guild leaders, its a huge bonus. Now we can recruit from both sides of the fence.

  2. I actually would prefer the ability to jump side, so that as a Tauren Druid I do a quest in a city and betray my leader and switch sides. Definately would be an interesting way of doing it 😉 then I could have that gnome I always wanted on Horde 😉

    It also makes wow more realistic in a way, people jump sides in RL why not in wow.

    I have seen an influx of Ally scum moving to Horde on my server and it has the potential to change the dynamic on the main cities. Even just general/trade is different and you can tell who’s a transfer 😉

    I also think that there should be more reasons given for NOT changing, I think a hard reset of a couple of the reps should do it or at least setting them back to friendly 😉 In reality you have jumped ship and taken up with another faction, you have no reputation.
    .-= Upyursh´s last blog ..Looking for Addon Developer =-.

  3. @Matticus But so can other guild leaders against you…

    Depending on the situation, I think there should be a payment/penalty for switching. On my old server, we had more NE Hunter’s than Horde, so say a Hordie transfers over, give them a penalty, but if an ally switches over, give them something for helping to even the odds.

  4. Infiniz: Yeah, but that’s always been the case no matter what.

    It’s up to GMs to make their guild appealing and to maintain that appeal. If a player gets a better offer from another guild, I’d probably encourage them to do it. It’s their 15 bucks to spend on the game. Yeah I’d be disappointed but I’d want them to get their moneys worth and have to have fun.

  5. Well you already know how I feel about it, since I faction changed my hunter to Alliance. Granted with all of my girls being unguilded right now, and with her getting so little love as Horde, it was nice to be able to bring her over to Earthen Ring to play with irl friends and members of the twitterati. 🙂

    I think some of the biggest cries I’ve seen about all this have stemmed from people that have had raiders jump ship without letting them know–but then that was already a problem with realm transfers (particularly with the 3 day cooldown) and just middle of the night stealth guild hopping.

    As for me? Well Adelinde is sitting pretty in Ironforge fishing up a storm, her little dwarven pigtails bouncing with every step. And I like it that way. <3

  6. I think it’s fantastic. I think the more choice in games, the better. Why limit ourselves to being stuck with a single race or faction for months or even years? It’s not mandatory and it’s hardly breaking any sense of “roleplay” because, lets face it, absolutely no one role plays now.

    Personally I’m planning on moving my Draenei Priest over to a Blood Elf Priest. I think it will renew my interest in the character!
    .-= We Fly Spitfires´s last blog ..What MMORPG Should I Uninstall? =-.

  7. @we fly spitfires

    actually there is a very very very healthy roleplaying population within world of warcraft. Many of our readers here actively participate in it. However, that said, it does open up many role playing possibilites.

  8. when they allow me to go to an eu server i’ll consider it.

  9. I think most people eventually level a character of the opposing faction just to find out “if the grass is greener”.

    But eventually whatever character you love, spend the most time with, is going to find some kind of circle of friends, a family, and you’re going to feel at home when you play that faction. Dalaran has two sides to the city and all that.

    A friend of mine plays and loves his Priest (Alliance). But since the guild we were in disbanded many many months ago he hasn’t found a new guild that suits him. But he also has a DK Horde alt on another server and he found a great guild there.

    He announced he was transferring his Priest over last night.
    .-= Cassandri´s last blog ..Carry Me =-.

  10. From the perspective of someone who re-leveled a brand new priest on Alliance to play with friends after hitting 70 on my Horde priest – yeah, totally for it.

    From the perspective of someone who loves the lore of Warcraft and hates the idea of someone who knows nothing about the history of the faction suddenly parading around as a level 80 – Heck no.
    .-= Fuyuko´s last blog ..Healing – Where Being Too Good Can Be Bad =-.

  11. Both my wife and I transferred characters and then switched factions in order to play with some other family on a different server.

    I’m planning on taking advantage of the race change option to switch from Troll to Tauren Priest, and a Draenei to Dwarf Shaman.

    I’m more than happy to pay the money, as I love my those classes but not as much a fan of the races.

  12. I like the idea of faction changes. With regards to recruitment, it will certainly open up the pool much like PVE->PVP transfers did. However, as I’m already seeing the posts from alliance guilds in the horde recruitment forums looking for players to faction change, I wish that Blizzard would have figured out some way of improving the recruitment forums now that faction changes are live.

    For anyone who was recruiting back when there was only one recruitment forum, they moved entirely too quickly for anyone who didn’t have hours each day to dedicate to sifting through them. I really hope bumping your post once a minute or two doesn’t become necessary again if you want even a chance of interested parties seeing it before it falls off the first (or 2nd or 3rd) page.

  13. Although the half of me that’s dedicated to lore and tradition screams WRONG WRONG WROOONG…

    …I like it. This could be the selling point to lure me back to WoW (if they release Emerald Dream)… the Horde population/scenery having turned me off shortly after Ulduar. I desperately need a change, yet I don’t have the heart to level up an Alliance character from scratch…. we’ll see. Depends on how well Aion goes :p

  14. I have to 75+ alliance priests, being able to change one to horde and change her race is a real godsend for me, she’s been lurking for a long time — since i stopped playing with the pally my 80 priest was committed to playing with. Agreeing to only gain xp with your friend sounds like a good idea at the start but really isn’t when you want to play That Class a lot more than your partner wants to play.

    So — i can transfer her to a hordeish self and go merrily along.

    Wkn-win for me.

  15. I have at least two female blood elfs who I’d love to change into a proper horde race. In faction changes I’m not too much interested. I might have been a year ago, when a good friend was playing alliance and I was looking for a guild.
    .-= drug´s last blog ..Looking for a guild =-.

  16. I like the ideas but I fear once the new race/class combo’s are released there is gonna be very few Draenai left in existence 🙁

  17. I pretty much agree with Hafengrim, even though I am a fan of my class I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to play as a different race and I’m more than willing to pay for it.
    .-= Faltryd´s last blog ..Cooking and Fishing. =-.

Speak Your Mind