Race and faction changes are coming to Wrath Classic
There’s a popular meme with a person seated at a table with the sign “change my mind,” and the Wrath of the Lich King Classic developers seem to have taken this idea to heart when listening to feedback about faction changes. The developers took a seat at the table and the players successfully changed their mind. Blizzard is reversing its earlier decision, and will now allow race and class changes in Wrath Classic.
But of course this change comes with some caveats. Race and faction changes won’t be available when the game launches on September 26 — adding the feature is a work in progress, and it will be available to players at some later patch. Name changes, which Blizzard always planned to include, will be available at launch. And just like the retail version of the game, race and faction changes will be a paid service, which means you’ll probably have to shell out $25 for a race change or $30 for a faction change, with similar restrictions.
And there’s one final — perhaps disappointing — change coming with this. The developers had been working on making mounts and achievements account-bound, but that had been designed to mitigate some of the progress lost when rolling a new character of a new race or faction. With race and faction changes going in, mounts and achievements look to remain locked to the character that earned them.
Why did the developers decide to include faction changes in Classic?
So just what changed their minds? The power of friendship. Creating a healthy social ecosystem where friendships can form and grow is a major goal of the Classic team. The team decided that being able to play with friends, regardless of faction, was more important than any concerns they had about players chasing “flavor of the month” racials. In their analysis, race and faction changes were similar to server transfers, which are available in game. We did have faction transfers in the original Wrath of the Lich King, as my guild switched from Alliance to Horde just before Ulduar, so this will match up with the original game experience.
This change also shows the power of constructive feedback. The players used the tools provided and made strong, cogent arguments without resorting to any of the negative behavior sometimes seen when players desire change. That isn’t to say that players will always convince the developers by using these methods, as the developers remain unmoved by arguments to reverse their decision on systems like Random Dungeon Finder.
I found it odd that the topic of faction imbalance wasn’t discussed by the developers in their reasoning for this decision. Faction imbalance has been an issue throughout both World of Warcraft Classic and Burning Crusade Classic — it’s possible transfers could accelerate any imbalance issues on a given server. However, we’ll have to see what happens.
More changes coming to Wrath
This isn’t the only change the Classic change the devs intends to make in Wrath. In the same post, the developers outline further changes including changes to raid lockouts, 2v2 Arena as well as further discussion of the LFG tool. It appears the nightmare of having to run Trial of the Crusader four times a week is an experience Wrath Classic players will not have to relive. The LFG tool is the most contentious change and the team is trying to set expectations for everyone in the weeks before launch. They have a challenging task of designing a Looking For Group tool that isn’t Random Dungeon Finder.
Are you excited about the ability to race and Faction change in Wrath of the Lich King Classic? Will this make it easier for you to play with your friends? Let us know in the comments.
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