Monday, June 29, 2009

Changing Sides Of The Conflict.

Traitor! That's what they would scream after me, as I nonchalantly dropped my Horde colors, went to the Alliance stronghold closest to me, and pledged my allegiance.

Blizzard has announced that they are working on a way that one could change their character from one faction to roughly the equivalent character of the opposing factor on the same server. I can only imagine the work that they are doing trying to make this possible. What would you have to think of when doing this change? Well, here is what I think needs to be thought through.

  1. Faction. Your goblin reputation, and any other reputation you can gain without thought to which side of the conflict you are need not change. What needs to change is the factions you have with your main cities and settlements outside Vanilla WoW. Orc could be Human, Undead could be Dwarf, Troll could be Gnome, Blood Elf could be Draenei, and Tauren could be Night Elf. I thought this out by pairing up the main group of each faction, the hardest reputation to grind of each faction, the druid groups, the expansion groups, and the last two naturally went together for their easy reputation grind. All the other relevant factions trade out equally well, such as Horde Expedition for Alliance Vanguard. All that is left unspoken for is the Wintersaber Trainers reputation, which would disappear if switching to Horde, or have to be ground out if switching to Alliance, since their is no corresponding reputation grind on the Horde side, yet.
  2. Quests. What a tangled web this is going to be. I guess the easiest part are the starter and secondary areas. They can gauge what was done, and kind of match that to the chosen side. Quests done for neutral NPC's such as goblins would not need to be compared, just marked as completed. Quests that grant faction reputation for both sides would have to be marked completed. Dungeon quests that are normally not available for the other side would have to be traded for the equivalent ( Leaders of the Fang for The Defias Brotherhood). To have to compare zone to zone, quest to quest, I just cannot fathom the amount of work they'd have to do to make the switch even. Crossroads compared to Redridge Mountains? Silverpine Forest compared to Wetlands? Once you get to the expansions, it's not so hard. Let's face it, we all had our poo quests. So one of us got dog poo and the other got an outhouse. The zones are pretty equal there. It's the earlier, growing stages that are really going to cause the problems. And what about quests that give special perks. What Alliance hasn't saved their Furbolg costume from Ashenvale? Sorry, if you go Horde, it goes poof!
  3. Gear. Some gear you just can't get unless you are on the right side of the fence. Any gear obtained from a quest that was not your faction would have to be traded for gear from the equivalent quest. If that type of gear wasn't offered, the equivalent Bind on Equip item would have to suffice. Things that are race specific, like Blood Elf Bandit masks would be sitting, unusable and not equipped, in their inventory.
  4. Professions. A profession is pretty much the same no matter where you go. Cooking, on the other hand, is different. Up until recently, Alliance could not get their hands on the recipe for Dig Rat Stew. Horde could buy all the Alliance quest recipes on the neutral auction house, but Dig Rat Stew was bind on pickup, and therefore not available for cross trade. It still is bind on pickup, but there's a fella in Bael Modan that will sell it to you, if it sounds like something you'd want to eat. So, if you were moving from Horde to Alliance, all the recipe quests that were faction specific should be unlocked, regardless of whether you had the recipe or not, because you can purchase these alone, right? As far as other recipe quests, regardless of salability (is that a word?) those quests should remain open when sides are switched.
  5. Aesthetics. When this change is made, are we going to be able to revisit the character creation screen? I would hate to have an exact number for number model trade. Take this example. I have the Orb of the Sin'dorei. When I changed my undead priestess' hairstyle, I used the orb and she had a different hairstyle, too. I hate the face that corresponds to the one my undead has. She looks so sour as a blood elf, but so content as her undead self. Are we going to be able to have a sex change, too? Maybe our undead priestess wants to be a hunky night elf priest.
  6. Name. Delgada really fits my undead priestess. It would never go with, say, a dwarf or a gnome. There is nothing "delgada" about them. I would definitely want to be able to rename my character.
  7. Associations. This is a given. Bye Bye Horde, hello Alliance, or vice versa. Guild and friend lists are a clean slate.
Now that I have taken the time to sit down and write this out, I can see where Blizzard has been making preparations for this to work.

  • Sprite Darter Hatchlings can be farmed for by Horde.
  • Dig Rat Stew recipe available for purchase to Alliance.
  • NPC in Un'Goro soon available for Horde to get special mount, for a quest grind.
  • Homogeniezation of expansion content (Horde quests are equivalent to Alliance quests)
  • Thunder Bluff Blimp (quite like tram to Ironforge, am I right?)
  • Reputation rewards on opposite sides are just differently named and modeled (Charged Wand of the Cleft vs Gnomish Magician's Quill).

Any comments? I'd be happy to debate, or agree with you on this one. Am I happy about this? I am neither happy nor outraged about this. If you are trying to play with someone who rolled the opposite faction and are able to join them without the mess of a re-roll with this, great, I am happy for you. Does this make it easier for people who PvP to switch sides of the conflict for better racial abilities? I foresee a great number of changes to undead for PvP players. How about for PvE? The change from a night elf rogue to a orc rogue would be very satisfying for the new ability to wield axes, wouldn't it? Well, I'm going to let you all comment below.

Thanks for reading!

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