Are you a Night Elf who always wanted to play a Troll? Wish your level 80 Orc Shaman were a level 80 Draenei? Blizzard has announced plans to let players change their in-game World of Warcraft factions.
The “basic idea,” as WoW Community Manager Nethaera posted on the official forums, is as follows:
(P)layers 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. Players who ended up creating and leveling up characters on the opposite factions from their friends have been asking for this type of functionality for some time, and we’re pleased to be getting closer to being able to deliver it.
Of course, there are plenty of hurdles that need to be worked out here, especially when it comes to WoW‘s Achievement system: If I have all my faction-specific mounts on my Alliance character, and I make my Night Elf a Tauren, do I keep them? Do I get them all replaced with their Horde equivalent? That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too.
This is a pretty monumental change. It isn’t to say that I don’t understand why they did it, because I do – what happens if your (Horde) guild decides to transfer servers, but you’d rather stick around, only now all your friends are Alliance? It really is the logical next step: change your name, change your server, change your appearance and gender, and now change your faction.
Even so… this just feels strange. The two-faction rivalry has been at the core of WoW since it launched in 2004. Hell, it’s been the core of the Warcraft franchise since Orcs & Humans. So it’s an understandable move, but an odd one nonetheless.
This is going to wreak havoc on RP servers.