Faction and Race Changing, Lodur’s Thoughts

Faction and Race Changing, Lodur’s Thoughts

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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

Sig

Image courtesy of Marvel.com

Priests, WotLK, and Wyn’s Thoughts

Priests, WotLK, and Wyn’s Thoughts

crying-woman 

My first reaction to the news was utter, stunned silence. Anyone who’s ever been on vent with me (or listened to a certain blogcast) knows how rare that is. There were no words to encompass my shock and depression.

“Why?” I will be asked. “Racials were so stupid. We were the only class that had to worry about what race to roll to THAT extent. This will make things much easier.” Perhaps. But I am a Priest-class enthusiast. I have two level 70 Priests. One Human, one Troll. I have a handful of Priest alts just to experience the flavor that their new spells give. (Starshards is so Pretty!!) I am not a role-player, but I would find it impossible to not spend so much time with someone without learning a little about their personality, and I somehow don’t think any of my Priests will be the same without abilities shaped so directly by the life-experiences they had before I met them. How can you be a faith-leader for your faction, a student of the Light and Shadow, without developing a few personal opinions?

And so it is with a desperately heavy heart, a crinkle in my nose, and tears in my eyes that I say farewell to Hex of Weakness and Shadowguard. Admittedly, Renwein will not miss Feedback – we didn’t use it much – but Wynthea will no longer mock Paladins and less-gifted Priests as they attempt to dispel the curse preventing their heals’ full value. No more will I have a funny little purple satellite for company, which had a clever habit of proc’ing Shadow Weaving and Blackout when I was Shadow-spec’d. Maybe I’m taking it too hard. I probably am. I just looked forward to levels 10 and 20 so much with each new race…. and now it won’t matter. My lowbie Priests will be deleted, since they serve no purpose.

Frankly, this latest blow to my class-pride hits a little harder because of how I feel about Priests’ role in general. Go dig up your classic-wow handbook. The one that hasn’t been updated, that still comes with the game. See where it describes the classes? It talks about Priests being the premiere healers in WoW. That’s why I rolled my first one 3 years ago. It’s why I’ve stayed with the class for so long. Other classes can do other things – Paladins and Druids can also tank, all the other healing classes can Melee DPS, and Shammies and Druids both can caster-DPS as well. Sure you can go Shadow – but Blizz has pigeonholed Shadow Priests into raid utility and mana-return. (In my opinion, if Shadow Priests were supposed to be competitive on DPS, Mind Flay would have a 40 yd. range like everyone else’s bread-and-butter spells. Among other things.) Shadow Priests have to fight tooth-and-nail for every scrap of damage and respect they get. Holy Priests…. well, we were what the class was originally designed to be. That’s why classic Tier sets were all Holy-based. Priest was synonymous with healer.

But now, Druids are gaining a circle-of-renew. Paladins if glyphed properly will be able to AoE heal. Shamans have raid-wide utility, in addition to the original work-horse AoE heal. And Priests? The spell we and our raids have come to depend on is being given a 6-second cooldown. (That’s right, all the new patch notes show that that abominable nerf that went away on the Beta realms is BACK and going LIVE.) Take a look at the new Priest Healing spells: we get TWO.

Divine Hymn – You recite a Holy hymn, causing the closest 10 enemies within 0 yards to become incapacitated for 20 sec., and heals the closest friendly targets within 0 yards for 4506 over 6 sec. 20% of base mana, 1.5 sec cast, 3 min cooldown.

and our 80-point talent: Guardian Spirit – Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit increases the healing received by the target by 40%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect but heals the target of 10% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 sec.

All our other talents are focused on increasing the amount healed by spells we already have, or the speed with which they are delivered. (oh, wait, that got nerfed a bit, too.)

In the rush to make every spec viable, and to homogenize the capabilities of the classes to avoid any specific requirements for any given raid…. Blizzard hadn’t stripped Priests of what made us special – our flexibility as healers – but added those utility spells to the other healers. This latest news goes further – rather than leaving us with our level 70 spells in a level 80 world, it actively takes away MORE of what makes us unique.

I will continue on. I am still very excited about a lot of things coming up in Wrath. The scenery continues to be beautiful, and Dalaran is the best-developed capital city ever. But now, my unbridled enthusiasm for the xpac is tempered by a sense of loss. I reveled in being the strongest, most adaptable healing class, and the class which, in my opinion, required the most fore-thought, planning, and knowledge of game-mechanics of all. I’m sad that both of the sources of my loyalty to the class are eroding. Perhaps it’s a good thing I’ve familiarized myself with Death Knight mechanics.

Luv,
A very depressed Wyn