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Faction Changes Coming To World of Warcraft

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-still-won't-win-battlegrounds dept.

Role Playing (Games) 209

A Blizzard representative today announced that they're working on a service for players to switch factions in World of Warcraft, going from Horde to Alliance or vice versa. "There's still much work to do and many details to iron out, but the basic idea is that players 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." They also said there would be "some rules involved with when and how the service can be used."

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Lame (4, Insightful)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525297)

Yet another step closer to "everything for a price" and another step away from the original vision of the game.

Re:Lame (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525313)

Just wait, it's only one step away from starting ANY character at level 55. When that happens, I know it was the right choice to leave the game :P

Re:Lame (2, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525333)

Dude, have you tried to level a new character recently? It's a long, boring solo grind because so few players are still levelling. It'd be fun to do with a bunch of friends, but face it - the original, populated game that we played back in vanilla is gone. The real game starts at 80.

Re:Lame (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525431)

Leveling in a new environment and doing new quests can be fun, don't you think? Like, say, making a horde character and doing horde quests if you've already done all the alliance ones.

And you'll recall that last line was used 4 months after launch, except the number then was 60. I still don't buy it.

Re:Lame (4, Interesting)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525507)

Yeah, the first time or two. I have two level 60 alliance, two ~70 horde, and three 80 horde. New classes are still fun to learn and master but there aren't many quests I haven't done multiple times and the pre-60 quests are nauseatingly familiar.

And the last line I used was just as true back when UBRS was 'endgame' as it is now. The levelling process is basically a glorified tutorial in how to use your class. Disagree? Check most characters' /played time, I bet the average character at level cap has spent more than half of their playtime there.

Long story short, there are still bits of the game I have yet to get sick of but I have to go through a lot of the boring repetitive bits to get there and that annoys me.

Re:Lame (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526871)

Not everyone..., I have 1 lvl 80 and thats it, a few low level other characters for AH and stuff, but the time spent playing, I have no time to waste to redo another character let alone 3 or 4 others to lvl 80...I do know the achievements might change (lose alliance if you go to horde)...but it would be nice to keep the overall achievements alone and just add to them, meaning you get achievements (sort of) just from switching factions.

I always thought once you have a lvl 80, then ANY character you make after that unless you answer "no start from beginning" should be like the death knights and start at lvl 55
this would make alot more alts, and alot more fun, for those having spent too much time already leveling a character.

Re:Lame (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526181)

Leveling in a new environment and doing new quests can be fun, don't you think?

No, not really. Instead of slaughtering 50 Murlocks for their eyes for Count Hurburk, you slaughter 50 Murlocks for their fins for Grunt Gruggrug. Instead of delivering this important set of papers to Councilman Elebuk, you deliver this package of food to Guard Urgel. Instead of...

Re:Lame (1)

centuren (106470) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525931)

Dude, have you tried to level a new character recently? It's a long, boring solo grind because so few players are still levelling. It'd be fun to do with a bunch of friends, but face it - the original, populated game that we played back in vanilla is gone. The real game starts at 80.

And I'd like to think it still includes a bitter divide between factions. Fostering the rivalry has always been part of the fun. By your argument, why not let the two factions communicate and raid together? Perhaps that would be all right for those that feel the merit of the game is entirely end-game raiding, but why make the game environment and lore suffer?

After all, if you don't feel the faction divide and find yourself wanting to play on the other side with some friends who are already finished with levelling, it's really not the horrible grind you make it out to be. After all, there are all the lvl 80 friends to whisk you through every instance and throw gold your way.

Factoring in the popularity of alts within a guild, many of those end-game players will levelling toons anyway, so I really don't see a long, boring, solo grind, if indeed you're doing it to play with friends.

So really, you can enjoy experiencing the quests from the faction you haven't been a part of before. You can power through everything with the help of your geared 80 friends. You can level your new toon while your friends are leveling their alts.

And, of course, there's the classic (obviously biased in this case) approach of "friends don't let friends roll alliance" and make them come to you (if only to let them salvage their dignity). ;)

Re:Lame (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526747)

Plenty of people on both sides do communicate together. I remember on dark iron we had a faction-shared teamspeak for horde and alliance. Oftentimes spies would come up during pvp and pve events and try to ruin our moment, etc. It was a pvp server, so it was all in good fun.

Meanwhile, as the OP said is correct. This is blizzard trying to channel more money because they are losing people. Sadly, it's been working to a point but I hope they hit critical mass real soon. I'm guessing starcraft 2 will be that point considering there won't be lan support [arstechnica.com] .

Re:Lame (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526775)

I dunno about that one.

I stopped playing after TBC and recently re-reged to see what changes had been made in WotLK (new account too). I've found it stupidly easy. I'm almost unable to finish quests before they go grey. My highest level char is now 50 after 2 weeks, with over 500g. It's almost stupid now.

The game sucks because it's too easy, absolutely no challenge and filled with emo kids and arrogant wankers who play all day.

The issue with WoW is that it's become too big to keep the game interesting.

Re:Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28525367)

Just wait, it's only one step away from starting ANY character at level 55. When that happens, I know it was the right choice to leave the game :P

So I guess the fun in the game is being forced to grind. WoW players would make excellent Sweatshop workers.

Re:Lame (1)

Kartu (1490911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525397)

Erm, so what's wrong with not having to lvl 1-55 for the fiftienth time?

Re:Lame (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525655)

Because the game is based around a level system. If the level system is dull or a chore, then the game is fundamentally broken. Putting in grind just for the sake of being a grind is just sloppy game design.

Re:Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28525839)

It's not as easy as that. Levelling from 1 to X is fun the first 1-2 times. Only after that it becomes a chore.

Re:Lame (1)

Erie Ed (1254426) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526647)

WoW is a chore, hell if your in a top tier raiding guild then it's a job. I'm so glad I broke this addiction to this crappy game.

Re:Lame (1)

bFusion (1433853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28527301)

Recently, though, the game has become based around end-game raiding and experiencing things like the Argent Tournament and other world events. Blizzard seems to be focusing *mostly* on new content. I don't see an issue on letting people skip the low-level grind if they've already done it before.

Hell, they're already doing this with Bind on Account gear. After the 3.2 patch, there will be shoulders AND a chest piece that will increase XP gained by a total of 20%... this makes the grind a LOT faster... I expect to see more gear like this in the future that will allow an experienced WoW player to level alts faster.

Re:Lame (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526487)

They aught to do it like how they implemented the Death Knight class (slightly more restricted). I've maintained for a long time that if you have a level 80 character, you should be able to start any class (of the same alignment) at 55. It's up to you to learn how to play the class. If you don't, your guild or PUG groups will find out fairly quickly.

IMHO there's no reason why one should have to spend weeks leveling up a character to fill a gap in one's guild.

Re:Lame (2, Insightful)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28527621)

IMHO there's no reason why one should have to spend weeks leveling up a character to fill a gap in one's guild.

Remember back when you started your first character? Did you find it easy or difficult to find players for group quest or running instances? I only started playing after TBC was out for a while and I hardly did any quest that required groups since finding players to work with was almost impossible. While I can appreciate starting at level 55, I can also see the benefits of keeping a population stream working through all the levels (even if some are going to speed right through them).

Re:Lame (1)

redcaboodle (622288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526997)

The fact that you start with a lvl 55 char with next to no money, having to do the starter areas to raise your profession. It's ok if you level your profession while you play, but spending days running areas where you only meet grey - but still annoyingly aggressive - mobs while you try to get your gathering skill up to the level appropriate for the outlands is a major pita. For the herd-players that may not be a problem, for a solo it's a real fun-killer.

I am waiting for a third faction: scourge. The DK starter quests are real fun, except the one where you get shot of your stupid flying mount. Arthas may make my fist itch, but he's still a lot better than those crusading idiots. RP-PVP ing as Scourge, now that'd be something to look forward to.

Re:Lame (1)

Talisman (39902) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525671)

I started playing WoW from Day 1. I leveled, the old-fashioned way, a Warrior from 1-60 (and with the original Hit% bug with Warriors, I can not exaggerate how painful that was), then over the next several months, a Rogue, a Druid, and a Shaman, all the 'intended' way.

By then I was *so*sick* of doing the same quests over and over, I decided to start dual boxing.

Lo and behold, the game was new again.

Used my 60 Warrior, who was very well geared by this point (BWL gear) and used him to level up a Mage, Priest and Warlock through instance grinding.

FAR more fun than mindless quest grinding.

Then TBC hits. I role a Paladin and get him to 55 with my Warrior leading the way.

I then realize I can 'solo' most TBC instances if I triple box with 1 Tank (my Warrior), a healer and an AoE class. So I start triple-boxing.

Game is new yet again!

Use this arrangement to get all my toons to 70. Did every quest in Hellfire and Zangarmarsh, then all the rest of the XP came from instance grinding. I left the remaining quests from higher lvl zones for gold because by this time the XP -> gold from quests implementation was in the game.

So now there is Refer-a-Friend triple XP, the 10% XP shoulders, zone buffs when towers are captured for more XP, festival buffs, etc. etc. etc.

Blizzard knows how much leveling sucks, and they are giving people many ways to make it less painful, but even with all this, IT STILL SUCKS.

I don't play anymore, but I never saw any problem with giving people who obviously know the game and their class a huge break when it comes to leveling. Say 10 free levels for every 60 toon you have on your account, or something along those lines.

I do not need, nor want to do any more Azeroth or TBC quests again, ever.

As for the "original vision" of the game, the original vision, as with every single video game produced by large companies, is to make money, and WoW did that incredibly well. It's a business. Period. Their customers are the players. If the players want 55 free levels, faction changes, name changes, welfare epics, and on and on and on, and are willing to pay for it, either through a direct fee (name changes, faction changes) or by virtue of continuing to pay their monthly fee, they will keep getting it because at the end of the day, Blizzard, and every other major game manufacturer cares about one thing and one thing only: MONEY.

Re:Lame (3, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525855)

It's a business. Period. Their customers are the players. If the players want 55 free levels, faction changes, name changes, welfare epics, and on and on and on, and are willing to pay for it, either through a direct fee (name changes, faction changes) or by virtue of continuing to pay their monthly fee, they will keep getting it because at the end of the day, Blizzard, and every other major game manufacturer cares about one thing and one thing only: MONEY.

This is a fundamentally incomplete view of reality. While there are certainly people at Blizzard for whom the company is only about money, there are also people who are there because they want to make great games.

In order for a company to be truly great, it has to make a place for those types of people. I don't know first hand whether Blizzard is such a company, but looking at their products, it would appear to be the case.

On the other hand, companies that are only "about one thing and one thing only: MONEY", as you put it, are soulless places that I think should not be encouraged to exist in such a form.

That's not to say that money isn't important, but when you choose what you want to do in life, what your passion is, you don't choose to do that simply because of the money, but because it's what you love. By stating that businesses are solely about money, and nothing else, you make it just that much more difficult for the truly great companies to exist.

Re:Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28525973)

please mod parent up.

The idea that everyone does everything for money is usually stated by people who do not think this of themselves. Many people act out of passion for what they believe to be art (in a very loose and open definition). If you listen to the blizzard dev's and follow their work, it is not hard to assume that at least some of the people working on WoW are not, at least primarily, focused on profit.

Re:Lame (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525983)

It's a business. Period. Their customers are the players. If the players want 55 free levels, faction changes, name changes, welfare epics, and on and on and on, and are willing to pay for it, either through a direct fee (name changes, faction changes) or by virtue of continuing to pay their monthly fee, they will keep getting it because at the end of the day, Blizzard, and every other major game manufacturer cares about one thing and one thing only: MONEY.

This is a fundamentally incomplete view of reality. While there are certainly people at Blizzard for whom the company is only about money, there are also people who are there because they want to make great games.

Incomplete view of reality? Can you begin to explain that statement? There's no contradiction in the 2 viewpoints. Making a great game has little to do with motivations. They have the money to make great games because of their priorities, but also because of their thoroughness in every aspect.

Re:Lame (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526781)

It only takes a single ceo or upper management person with a greed streak, as is commonly the case, to make bad business decisions to subvert all the good work the other people who are success driven and not profit driven, do. Unfortunately, that whole thing is usually called corporatism/capitalism.

Re:Lame (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526693)

I think the whole level-based paradigm is a flawed (if ubiquitous) way to build an MMORPG, and I hope Blizzard manages to do away with it in their new MMO. It makes no sense to design a game so that all the fun comes after you've completed a long, gruelling level grind. An MMO should be fun and allow rich interaction with all or most other players the entire way through. Wow may still be the best online RPG at the moment, but Blizzard really needs to get out of their current rut, a Red Queen situation in which new content does not augment the old, but entirely replaces it in practice.

Re:Lame (2, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525319)

And yet, if you're Alliance and all your friend are Horde, it's yet another reason not to quit. See how those things go hand in hand?

Re:Lame (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525407)

If all your friends are horde, why did you roll alliance? See, when I started playing the game, I asked my friends what server and faction they were on, then I made my character. Of all the reasons people want to change factions, I imagine that's the least common of them.

Re:Lame (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525549)

I take it you only have 1 set of friends? And that they all still play WoW, on the same faction they originally rolled? The first half of that is rather sad, the second is pretty unlikely.

Re:Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28526141)

If all your friends are horde, why did you roll alliance?

Idiots roll Alliance.

Re:Lame (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526199)

Here's a scenario for you: You start with your friends on Alliance side, your friends quit, you're alone. You reroll on another server, meet people there who also rerolled (to see the other side of the fence), realize they are on your original server too with their mains, only that they're on Horde side.

Re:Lame (1)

bFusion (1433853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28527357)

Well I have two very good friends that started playing before I met them, they are unfortunately Alliance on a different server, meaning that even though we WANT to roll together, they'd have to change servers AND factions to play with all of our other friends.

Re:Lame (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525409)

It's not like it's HARD to level up a character any more. You play for one, maybe two more months and you'll get there. 5 days of play time can get you to max level (that is 120 hours) If you only play 3 hours a day, you can easilly level one level every 3 hours, meaning you can level in about 80 days, and that's WITHOUT power-levelling.

A proper attempt at power levelling can give you 1 level every 2 hours, and if you play 4 hours a day that's you at level 80 in little under 40 days.

Not only that but if you get the 'recruit a friend' thing you each get 3x the experience when you party together, meaning that anyone can get to 80 in under a month.

couple that with mounts at level 20 (easilly reachable in 4 hours) next patch - making it alot easier to get around and thus, faster levelling.

the whole game is based around making things easy for new players at the moment, Blizzard got a right bashing by reviewers regarding the last patch and the lack of low-level content that they're trying to remedy it by, essentially, letting people skip low-level content.

Re:Lame (4, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525529)

3 hours a day for three months may not qualify as 'hard' but it certainly qualifies as 'far more time than I should have to waste doing something I'm already sick of in order to get to the bit I would find fun'.

Secondly, because 90%+ of a server is at level cap, large parts of the early game are unavailable because it's impossible to find instance groups.

Lastly, there's the quality issue. The lowbie content is just not as good as the later stuff. In the four years between launch and WotLK, Blizzard's team has learned a HELL of a lot about MMO design. The quests in Northrend are far more varied and interesting than the ones in vanilla content. It's like being made to read all of Dickens' schoolwork before you're allowed to read Oliver Twist.

Probalby why they are accelerating it (2, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526409)

They continue to make it faster to gain the lower levels. I imagine this will continue, as the level cap raises. Seems like the over all idea is that it takes the same amount of time to max out, regardless of what the max is.

to that end they've already reduced the XP it takes, increased rewards and so on. Next step appears to be ot make transportation available earlier. Mounts are going to be made available at much lower levels.

They seem to do a good job of refactoring the game to keep it fun for new players. At least if they aren't, I'm at a loss as to why their subscriber base keeps growing.

Re:Probalby why they are accelerating it (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526483)

Its seems that they have 'target time' in which players can reach max level. Is max level is raised, part of leveling process needs to be changed to keep time spent reaching max level the same.

Which makes sense because player who joins game later has to catch up with population at level cap where the content is, and after several expansions it would be quite frustrating trying to catch up

Now, if they simply abolished concept of levels ...

Re:Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28526867)

I am levelling an alt right now. It is not too bad because of the world event that is happening, which will usually give you a buff which adds 30% to your DPS at low levels. I also am set up for dual boxing, and can borrow a friend's level 80 to do group quests and instances, so it is not that bad. It would suck without dual boxing / helpful level 80s to do instances and group quests for you.

Re:Lame (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28527139)

I have been levelling two alts right now, one for mindless relaxing because it doesn't need a perfect spell rotation to do raid DPS, and a healer.

With the exp changed, its a nice break to level an alt in the old world, and get to level 65 without setting foot in Outland. Its also a nice change of pace to finish up all the quests in Outland which should end someone up at level 72-73 before starting in Northrend. The added levels make the final push to 80 easier, although if one just uses gear found in quests along the way, they won't be as geared as someone who started at 58 or 68 in Hellfire or Borean Tundra. That's always easily fixed by a trip to the AH though, and/or a couple account bound items such as the shoulders and a weapon.

Faction changes are understandable, but there are some head scratchers. A lot of people have a ton of mounts. How will Blizz devs handle the faction specific stuff? Turn kodos into elekks? Similar with race. Its obvious what druids would end up as if they jumped factions, but what about other classes.

Finally, I play WoW because RL friends do. Once you hit 80, you are pretty limited in what you do. You can do dailies so you can earn faction and gold for some armor pieces the 20,000 gold mount, 5000 gold epic flying, and skill up a profession. You can raid the same two raid zones over and over again, both in 10 man, and in 25 man every week, as well as the small raid zones like VoA, OS, and EoE. You can spend your time in the same BGs and arenas and grinding PvP gear. Finally, you can run the same seven heroics. This gets old after a bit.

There are other MMOs out there with a lot of interesting content. EQ1 and EQ2 come to mind. Yes, they have less population than WoW, but almost everyone knows their class and is able to function in a group. Content is also plentiful.

Re:Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28525657)

Really? 3 hours a day? 5 days a week?

That's pretty hardcore for anyone with job, family and other hobbies. Maybe if you don't have any other hobbies and you replace all your evening activities with playing.
1-2 hours every 3rd day might be more appropriate formula to count "casual" play hours.

So I think your 1-80 leveling curve is more like 4-5 months, perhaps more.

After that, you can start playing with everyone else - and during that time you've been spending your time alone grinding quests in content no one else wants to play.
Not even Blizzard really cares about the old content - I don't really see the point of starting anywhere lower than lvl68 currently.

Re:Lame (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525987)

> Not even Blizzard really cares about the old content

True and valid point. It's like the old world areas kind of froze when you moved on to BC, WotLK, etc. Nothing new in politics, events, etc. There are quest lines they never seemed to finish up (such as returning some note to someone after Deadmines. I don't remember the specifics.) They did add some new stuff to Dustwallow Marsh ages ago (new quests, new flight point, etc.) but that's it. I have to agree with the others - if it wasn't for the refer a friend, I'd be tired of it. I'm using the program to level a rogue (one of the few classes I haven't played) solely for PvP purposes. That's going quite quickly (level 1-61 in a couple of weeks) otherwise, I'd be gone.

Re:Lame (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525699)

the whole game is based around making things easy for new players at the moment

The game has always been about making things easy for new players, that's why it's so popular. And I really doubt Blizzard give a shit about what reviewers think of them.

Re:Lame (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526069)

Games should never be about "hard", "work", "having to do" or "being allowed to not do". They're all about fun and etertainment. If I can't have fun with a game the first evening I'm playing it, and every evening or other time of day that I play it, it's not a good game.

Re:Lame (1)

bFusion (1433853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28527387)

I've been leveling a character recently, and I just hit 60 with 2 days and 19-something hours.

Granted, I was trying a paladin, so it was pretty much easy-mode. But it's entirely possible to blitz through old content to get to the newer stuff.

Re:Lame (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525359)

...another step away from the original vision of the game.

Is it? Surely it'll keep people playing if they can switch and join friends rather than starting from scratch. I'm fairly sure that the "original vision" was closer to "get lots of people addicted and bringing in monthly subscriptions to make us lots of teh moneyz" than "get lots of people playing, but then lose them because we're too dogmatic in our rules and won't change anything to make it more enjoyable for the masses".

Re:Lame (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525459)

Considering some of Blizzard's own past statements, I don't think the original vision was simply to sell subscriptions. The first couple months of the game were pretty crazy considering they sold... what was it, their goal for a year within one month?

Re:Lame (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525589)

Honestly I don't think they had an 'original vision' at all. They just wanted to make a really, really big War3 hero map. Then they started making it better a bit at a time and look where they ended up!

Re:Lame (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525669)

The danger is though, as you make things easier, you end up trivialising the gameplay. Playing through doom with cheats makes it easier, sure. Does it make it as compelling and interesting a game? I don't think so.
*shrug*. Not that my opinion will influence Blizzard or anything, but this is another step from them just selling level whatever characters outright.

Original Vision? (1)

K3ba (1012075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525469)

Given the original vision of this and every other MMORPG is to see how much money they can syphon from the customers, this is totally in-line ;)

How so? (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526455)

At this point, all the fees they have are related to meta-game type things only, none are related to in game content. You pay to access the game, you don't pay a special fee for access to raid content. Likewise they offer you the ability to transfer to a new server to play with friends, not the ability to buy gear. They sell a change of appearance, not a bag of gold. Now they are going to offer the ability to change sides.

The idea seems to be that if you make a meta-game choice you later dislike, you aren't stuck with it. You can change your mind. In the game world itself, you have to do everything in there with the tools available. This purchase system is only for things that you don't control in game and that really don't have an impact on gameplay.

If they were selling in game items and such, yes I'd dislike it. However they aren't, they are just saying "If your friends play on a different realm or a different faction, you can pay to switch over and go play with them."

Also the fee seems to be as much based on making people think about it and only do it if serious as making money. I'm sure they don't mind the extra cash, but notice that they also impose time limits. You can't transfer characters all the time, there's a 30 day limit. If it was only about money, they'd let you transfer as often as you liked to make more fees.

This seems to work. Because of the fee and the time limit, you don't see people jumping servers often. It is reserved for those that have a real reason.

Original Game (1)

WorkingDead (1393377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526721)

In the old RTS game there were neutral hero's that any race could acquire. I wish they would use their already existing reputation system and incorporate neutral races that could go to either faction through in game mechanisms or questing. They might even be able to finally use the language system into something fun. They could do the same thing as they did with the Death Knights and start them out at a higher level. I think that would be more in tune with the spirit of the original game than paying Blizzard a $15 indulgence for the Horde/Alliance to absolve your character slaughtering their faction for the past 80 levels.

Meanwhile in SWG (1)

Feef Lovecraft (1231264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525325)

I'm not hugely impressive really look at the lumbering old Star Wars Galaxies (6 years old soon) that not only enables you to switch faction (2 week waiting period) but also enables you to completely change your career, bored running around with that glowstick just go speak to a dude and become a Officer or a Smuggler. It's not perfect but it beats grinding up an entirely new chracter.

More is Less (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525357)

Still not sure how I feel about this. While on the surface it will provide a new level of convenience for playing the game, it conversely takes away from the 'value' of the conscious decisions made when creating a character. Every time Blizzard does this the game just feels more and more watered down. The very things they are doing to cater to the very casual players are the very things that are making the game less special and easier to leave.

Re:More is Less (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525625)

Nah, it's ok. How many times have you chosen a character at the beginning of a game not having any clue what you actually wanted? No reason to force people to do it; as long as there are enough limitations that changing is a serious decision, so people aren't switching one way in the morning then the other in the afternoon, it should be ok.

Re:More is Less (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28525721)

I agree, more is less. I never bothered to reactivate my expired account recently much more when I read the patch 3.2 changes. Everything is dumbed down, sure it would be good for my alts but it constantly reminded me of how important the hard things are before for me. Now those are just dumbed down so everyone can get to 80 while leaving 2 expansions like ghost towns. Even so they are continually making the game so that one could potentially have everything. One of my gripes are with fishing which was greatly dumbed down in 3.1. Before you have to make fishing trips, travel several maps for important fishing pools and make nice profit. Now everyone could fish just by sitting beside a fountain and go to Wintergrasp to fish most of the important fishes there. WoW is now on its decline. I'm the last of my RL friends to quit.

& new grass is being given to the other factio (0, Offtopic)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525365)

This grass is exceptionally green.

Interesting option to offer but really desired? (3, Interesting)

ran93r (671906) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525375)

Some of my guild have on occasion mused about switching faction, still under the "grass in greener" assumption that the opposing side has less asshats or are better at pvp. Be warned, the asshats are everywhere.

Re:Interesting option to offer but really desired? (2, Funny)

boaworm (180781) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525601)

Some of my guild have on occasion mused about switching faction, still under the "grass in greener" assumption that the opposing side has less asshats or are better at pvp.

Be warned, the asshats are everywhere.

Oh noes! We all know that all alliance players are 14 year old ninja-looting griefers while us horde players are all mature, outstanding intellectuals with a good set of social skills and lots of humor. That's why I spent 3 years grinding anything from flowers, deviate fish (Yarr!) and whipper roots, while the long-eared low-level elves I killed while grinding said consumables tried to get past level 30. And then said elves would make forum posts, complaining about immature horde players! How immature! :-)

Plz don't quit our game (1)

MasterNetHead (920728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525421)

That'll be a hard one to weave into the canon.

Re:Plz don't quit our game (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525517)

Oh, purleaze. And lo, did cometh the $MYSTIC_UR_GEM_OF_SOULRENDING. Either that, or the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter. I choose... Hordlepuff!

Re:Plz don't quit our game (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525545)

Nah, goblins will do anything at a price. And I'm sure they have a few stolen Gnomish autosurgeons... :S

Re:Plz don't quit our game (2, Insightful)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525565)

Time travel! It's the answer to everything!

Re:Plz don't quit our game (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526221)

Whenever something like this happens, a wizard did it.

New WoW service (-1, Troll)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525445)

I will provide a service (for a fee of course) to anyone playing WoW who wants to switch to my faction. I call my faction realz0rs.

the grass really is greener out here with realz0rs. You can interact with any number of different characters or environments. If someone pisses you off you can always PvP them. The graphics are astonishing, and the fps is nearly infinite. Here in the realz0rs if we need a break we play other video games... you remember those, they were other fun things you used to play before you joined the horde... you know like when people would come over to your house, sit on your couch, complain about their girlfriend and play sega soccer slam.... you remember don't you?

How this works is I come over to your house, collect my fee, beat the living fuck out of you for wasting your time on a boring piece of shit like WoW. Then I unplug your computer and throw it through the nearest window. When the swelling goes down enough that you can open your eyes again you will be shocked at the resolution of the new monitor I have given you. It will take some time to get used to as we have some different social customs here in the realz0rs, for example, calling strangers newfag is kind of frowned upon. A few PvP battles and you will learn these customs.

or maybe I have just lost too many good friends to this nonsense.

Re:New WoW service (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525559)

Yeah but the transportation options suck, there's no way to switch off 'hard mode' and they delete your character once you get to max level. Who designed this crap anyway?

Re:New WoW service (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526233)

Some bozo with a god complex, IIRC.

They are badly losing people... (0, Redundant)

emanem (1356033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525491)

...so they start screwing up everything good of the game.
I started playing in 2005 (in Europe it came in Feb 2005) and quitted 1 month ago after buying SF4 for PS3. I was mainly a PvP player, but I have done basically all the raid (even partially the new one, Ulduar).
I think vanilla WoW was very good, TBC was the most balanced arena wise, WotLK is the worst ever. No funny dungeons, raids or too simple or too long (couldn't they implement Naxx as 4 bg instances of 1.5 hrs each?).
Anyway, leaving the DK class and other still overpowered for months says long about the attention put into the game. This [warcraftmovies.com] was the game until 2 months ago...
WotLK has been no fun just waste of money and time.
Now that the boat is slowly sinking due to their greedy policies they are trying to save themselves introducing the most absurd concepts...what a missed opportunity not to do it...
Cheers,

Re:They are badly losing people... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28525535)

I've noticed something. We hear from people who have done the majority of the content that WoW has, they beat Vanilla, they beat BC, they made good progress in WotLK. But then the game changed and it was ruined! Because there isn't a single chance in the world that after you spent 4 years beating all the content, both PvE and PvP that maybe you just got tired of the game? For instance, I love pasta. But if I ate great big helpings of pasta for dinner 4 or 5 days of the week for four entire years, I bet I wouldn't like pasta as much. And no, its not because someone 'ruined' pasta, it because I got tired of something I did a lot of.

Re:They are badly losing people... (1)

emanem (1356033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525579)

Sir, you're missing the point.
I'm talking about PvP...the game is not balanced now and has been totally biased towards certain classes for the most WotLK.
I never liked PvE that much but I did it to see new things...I managed to have two characters at rank 11+ in vanilla WoW, I was around 2000 rating for all TBC, but WotLK is totally crap.
That's where they started to ruin the game...
Cheers,

Re:They are badly losing people... (1)

Cheesy Fool (530943) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526067)

The game has never been balanced for PVP. It is impossible to balance for PVP and PVE.

Re:They are badly losing people... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28526317)

You learnt to play a bit (rank 11, 2000 rating isn't anything special) when your class was the OP one. You've just failed to learn to play again now that things have changed and you aren't OP. Also, they're not badly losing people.

Re:They are badly losing people... (0, Flamebait)

emanem (1356033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526379)

Haha being lectured by an Anonymous Coward is really funny.
Nice try!
Btw I forgot one was 12 the other 11...and I had 1950 rating in 5on5 2000+ in 2on2 and 3on3...
I played mage for 1+ year, then rogue, after the big nerf. Never experienced to play the OP rogue.
I was one of the first rogues to play shadowstep spec in TBC...Always played aggressive combos (mage+rogue/lock+rogue/warr+rogue), never played the flavor of the month or easier combo like rogue+priest.
So please shut up...WotLK hasn't been balanced. And currently is not yet.
And yes, they're losing people...
A lot of people is still paying because of 6 months subscription plan. Just wait for 3~6 months and you'll have a picture of the current situation... The fact people doesn't login a lot anymore and they are merging server doesn't ring a bell?
Cheers,

Re:They are badly losing people... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28526565)

What's funny is that you feel the need to defend yourself against the AC with your nerd stats, not that you're getting lectured by one.
What I do know is that you have no idea whatsoever about the actual number of people logging in to the game. Feel free to let us know what they are if you actually do.

Re:They are badly losing people... (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526349)

I think WotLK was when a lot of people realized that the last glimmer of challenges and "player skill" in WoW have been patched out. It's been reduced to basically a complete skill-less game.

Now, it wasn't a hard game from the start. But it was good, quick fun. A bit like the fast food of online games. It's not really rewarding for a long time and getting anything ain't something you brag about because you know you could put a 6 year old there and he'd succeed (and if you don't have a 6 year old handy, slap together a script), but it was ok for the time.

The rewarding moments ceased to exist with the advent of certain abilities that made even the tank scriptable. AoE aggro that can essentially not be broken. Now where's any kind of challenge left? That you can fire your spells and styles in the correct order to maximize damage (because you won't have to worry about aggro anymore, at least if the tank is at least as good as a small script)? Please, google the correct sequence...

I don't want to brag to others how much I accomplished, but at least I want to have the feeling that I didn't just waste my time doing something anyone can do. But that seems to be the appeal, and I don't care too much that people want to play that. To each what they like.

What bugs me to no end, though, is that other MMO makers dumb and water their games down in an attempt to attract the WoW players. Even EQ2, which started out as an insanely HARD game. And I mean insanely hard. I don't mind challenges, but EQ2 was like pulling teeth, without any kind of drugs, every single level was a battle, right from the start. After a few months it had a fairly good challenge level and was quite playable. In the meantime, it has been reduced to lalaland as well. And it's not any better for any other game that I'd know of.

So, IMO, essentially what keeps WoW afloat is that there are no real alternatives if you're fed up with EZ-Mode gaming. The rest of the games have been turned into copies of WoW, so you can just as well stay there.

Re:They are badly losing people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28527345)

Balancing the difficulty is not an easy thing. I sometimes too think that the difficulty is not high enough and that many players are not good enough and should go to *skillshop*.

In the other hand, may I remind you that Ulduar content is still not cleaned by the BEST guilds. According to Ensidia, it is not even possible in current gear to down the last HM remaining...

The day you down all bosses in HM - first pull, then maybe you will be able to come here and say that's too easy. But unless you are in the top100 players, we'll not see that message soon.

Re:They are badly losing people... (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28527475)

I think WotLK was when a lot of people realized that the last glimmer of challenges and "player skill" in WoW have been patched out. It's been reduced to basically a complete skill-less game.

So what you're saying is that all the people who claimed they were good are running for the hills because the game is being normalized to an abstract, where everything is essentially the same. It lowers the barrier for those who are hindered by specific mechanics, and raises it for others, who depend on inequalities. Those people who claim that skill has something to do with differences (as if they were elite), were always playing a different game anyway. This has nothing to do with skill, but I can hear your inner qq (couched in a "I'm one of the elite). A normalization of the game is what most mmo gravitate toward in all cases. This is certainly not a surprise, given the history of mmos and the persistence of WoW.

Oh Wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28525519)

Who gives a rats ass ?

City of Heroes - Going Rogue? (1)

MortimerV (896247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525523)

City of Heroes announced the same thing, nearly two months ago, with their Going Rogue expansion. [ncsoft.com]

Neat that WoW seems to be following in their footsteps. I like freedom in the games I play, and being able to switch sides rather than starting a new character from scratch appeals to me.

Re:City of Heroes - Going Rogue? (0, Flamebait)

psicop (229507) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525821)

Ugh. I hate responding to Score: 1 ...

No. It's not 'neat'. It's just another example of 'embrace, extend, extinguish' that masquerades as 'innovation' and 'it shits money'

When the news broke that Vivendi-Activision-Blizzard, et al were doing this, my response was "City of Warcraft: Jumping the Shark"

Freedom is a sandbox game. Where you're allowed to shape your character however and find your own place in the persistent world.(Pre-CU SWG)
It's not a partnership with Staples for an 'easy-button'. (NGE) Extinguishing competition by catering to the LCD of gaming is not freedom. It's the removal of freedom. (MxO, TR, Auto Assault)

In an actual RPG setting, sure. This is a good idea. (It's why it works in CoH) It's not about RPG anymore. It's "Counterstrike: Horde" or "Battleground:Moooo-dern Warcraft-faire"

In this case you're STILL making a new character. You just don't have to level it up. Unless they want to totally throw out the "Vision"(EQ) and remove race/class restrictions (GW), it's not 'neat'...It's basically doing what every other game was forced to do to compete and effectively poisoning it's own well.

The post below me asks 'Why would you have to change your character and simply not 'change factions'?'

1) It doesn't make sense otherwise in this setting.
2) You can piss off some people, you can piss off everybody, or you can piss off everybody some: Pick one.

Why would you have to change your character? (3, Interesting)

yogibaer (757010) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525611)

Why not simply change factions, with whatever character you have? It is a bit pointless to change character (or morph into another). The real social interaction (or call it Paranoia) would start, if - with the click of a mouse - yesterday's enemy could be today's friend and vice versa. Whole guilds changing sides would also be a nice touch especially in PvP mode. Again: With the click of a mouse, in the middle of a battle. All the cold-war amneties in mercenary heaven. "You do not pay me enough and I'll go rogue" is a whole new business model, a whole new industry waiting to be born. "Realpolitik" in the virtual world. Bliss :-)

Re:Why would you have to change your character? (1, Insightful)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525841)

EVE Online has had that all along...
Characters switching sides frequently sabotage their old corp or steal as much as they can :)

Re:Why would you have to change your character? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28526253)

Switching factions with a mouse click without adapting the character could lead to abusing some quest lines, do similar quests all over again and get multiple rewards / eq pieces.
At a first thought it sounds like a fun idea, but I guess it would create chaos and will be hard to balance properly.

Game code isn't set up that way (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526381)

For one there's the simple matter of races. Each side has races that are totally unique to it, there's no overlap. So to change sides necessitates a change of race. that is just how the game is set up. That's not the only thing, of course, but just a major example. the game was designed such that when you are on a faction, that is that. There's no switching back and forth. It wasn't made as some other games where you can declare allegiance, which can be switched. This is a long standing war and races have chosen sides that don't change. Game code reflects that. So it would be a major rewrite to implement that, not to mention a major shift in game mechanics that many players might not like.

Instead, they are likely going to implement a system that just does a conversion on your character data. Basically it'll pull your data from the database, change the necessary things so that you are on the other side, and then place your character back in the database. It'll probably be an offshot of the existing character transfer script, which deals with all the checking to make sure a character can be moved to a different server (which sometimes is in a different datacenter) without problems.

You also have to remember that the problem with what you describe is that games HAVE done that and in almost all cases they make a rapid run to the bottom and fail, or at the very least have few players. The problem is that humans are not nice and don't want to work together, especially when there aren't consequences, and even when there are. A short look at human history tells you this. Our democratic societies where most people enjoy rights are the exception, not the rule in history. Even today there are many societies where the strong dominate the weak.

Well, that's what you get in games, especially since there aren't permanent consequences in them. The griefers get powerful and stomp on everyone else. Life sucks if you aren't the elite. This happened in Shadowbane to an extreme.

So if you want a game with balance and rules, those rules must be enforced by the design and the game masters. The players won't do it themselves. The power gamers will oppress most people, and most people will up and leave to play something more fun.

That's one of the reasons why WoW works. You have instant and enforced allies and enemies. There isn't a case of "Anyone who is good joins this group, everyone else is excluded." No, everyone on one side is allied, period. The PvP system is controlled in a way that Blizzard wants it, it isn't a free for all.

If you want games like that, they are out there, but WoW isn't one of them and I don't think Blizzard wishes to make it so. They've got a model that works for them, to the tune of billions of dollars per year. I doubt they are anxious to radically alter that.

So I imagine this'll be quite limited in scope, much like the current realm transfers. You pay Blizzard a fee, and if everything checks out (in terms of what you can bring with you and so on) they execute the transfer. You then can't do a transfer for some length of time (30 days currently I think). The idea is if you play horde and your friend plays alliance, you can switch so you both play the same. The idea is not to radically alter the game.

They also may use it to try and balance out sides. Some servers have a big numbers imbalance, and it perpetuates since the side with more people has more new people join to play with friends. They could entice people ot switch with cost-free transfers and such. They already do this on high population realms. When too many people total are playing, they offer free transfers to new realms with low population for those that want to.

Re:Game code isn't set up that way (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526739)

I think what Yogibaer is asking is: why can't you switch factions and become an Orc who fights and quests for the Alliance, if that's what you really want? Or be a turncoat night elf who throws his lot in with the Blood Elves?

Re:Game code isn't set up that way (2, Informative)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28527205)

The lore does not accomodate that. An Orc who tried to join the alliance would be slain or at least ostracized. It's rare that the factions intermingle. They don't speak the same languages. They've slaughtered each others families. Etc.

That said, WOW does have other reputations that can be switched on a whim. There's a goblin town called Booty Bay that is at odds with a group of Pirates nearby. The default is that you're friendly with the goblins. But you can (and it's a blast) turn on the goblins and kill them all (including NPCs) and switch factions to the pirate side. You even get a pirate hat out of it =)

That goblin/pirate faction is probably the best one currently in the game, but they've tried it several times from several different angles. Eg. 2 different factions of centaur in Desolace, 2 different factions in Outlands that have independent banks and Inns and faction rewards, 2 different factions in Sholazar where you have to pick a side to do their quests.

So yes, there is the ability to switch factions in the game, but letting Orcs join the Alliance would pretty much decimate the faction lore and storyline, and allegiance/loyalty to your faction and race.

This is another reason they tend to charge for features like this - it's something they're only implementing grudgingly to help out players stuck apart from friends. But they absolutely do not want players to be changing race, faction, and class on a whim.

Being able to change your character dramatically on a whim make it feel like you're playing with Mr. Potato Head instead of playing with a long-lasting character who's worthy of investing your time and efforts. For an RPG, character progression is a huge part of the game.

Re:Game code isn't set up that way (1)

redcaboodle (622288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28527341)

Because you'd get lynched in the opposing factions towns before you can explain. Friend and enemy are well-defined in WoW.

It's bad enough with the DKs, when they ally with a faction. RP-wise they should get attacked, not pelted with fruit.

Re:Game code isn't set up that way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28527677)

I think what Sycraft-fu is doing is: answering Yogibaer's question.

And yet.. (2, Insightful)

leathered (780018) | more than 5 years ago | (#28525715)

EQ(II) has had the option to betray your faction from the get go..

So what other "innovations" can we expect from Blizz in the years to come; player housing, guild halls?

Re:And yet.. (1)

Jarnin (925269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526365)

WoW made the mistake of forcing players to choose a side from the get-go. The game is Player vs. Environment first, Player vs. Player second, and even though they've been adding more and more PvP content over the years with each expansion, you still have to grind through PvE to get anywhere in PvP. There's no reason why players of Alliance and Horde PvP factions couldn't group and raid together for PvE content, except that Blizzard doesn't want them to. I figure if everyone started out neutral and could group with anybody else in the game, you'd see a lot more grouping and raiding going on and a lot less PvP. You'd also see a lot less re-rolling on different servers or for different factions too.

What they really need to implement is some kind of Lackey/Sidekick mechanism like they have in City of Heros/Villains. Allowing players of different levels to group together makes a lot of sense when they're already limited to those in their PvP faction. Plus that would allow their older content to get more visits, since people might not feel forced to solo most of their way through levels 1-70.

Re:And yet.. (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526771)

Yes however this seems to be different. You will be transformed into another race I think. Which is kinda lamer than the EQ2 version. I loved the betray function of eq2 which allowed you to use the races of your opposing faction.

Re:And yet.. (0)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28527245)

EQ 2 isn't built on a pre-existing and long-standing storyline in the context of which faction changes makes no sense.

WOW is.

This is why they're going to make it a rarely-used (most likely for-pay) feature to help out people who want to join their friends. But it's not something the game supports in a fully-flexible fashion. Among other things, it would take a tremendous amount of changes to the pre-existing game and quests.

Even if they did decide to flip the Warcraft universe on its head and have humans on the Horde and orcs on the Alliance. Which we can only hope they never do.

Betray your faction (2, Interesting)

serano (544693) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526061)

I've always thought they should have a special quest that lets you betray your faction. At the end of that quest you are officially part of the other faction. Because of your betrayal, you wouldn't be accepted back into your original faction, so this would be a one-way switch.

No more subscribers? (1)

nordee (104555) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526225)

Interesting that they haven't been bragging lately about how many subscribers they have. I suspect their user base has peaked or is declining.

Yet again, they further homogonize the game (1, Troll)

Da w00t (1789) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526301)

Alliance had the Palladin class.
Horde had the Shamman class.

Then the Burning Crusade expansion comes out, further blurring Alliance and Horde by giving each of them what the other had, and they did not.

Now they're going to let you flip sides years after being stuck on one side? What's the point of having factions? Where's the lore of the hostility between the races?

More to the point: what's the bloody point?

Re:Yet again, they further homogonize the game (1)

CrashNBrn (1143981) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526447)

I dont think there is a point. A game ought to be designed with limits from its inception - thus you would get a true diminishing returns curve, and a limited number that ever reach "max_level". Instead Blizzard repeatedly releases expansions adding another linear-curved level cap. They will continue to do so, so long as it is profitable (and no I am not saying they are all about the money).
It just doesn't have a point, you know the level cap will be raised again and again (and again). It has little effect beyond giving more grind for your buck (lengthening the game) and diminishing what "value" the previous level had.

Re:Yet again, they further homogonize the game (1)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526953)

A game ought to be designed with limits from its inception - thus you would get a true diminishing returns curve, and a limited number that ever reach "max_level"

So if I don't have 100 hours a week to devote to play time, I should automatically get crushed by the guy that does, because he's 5 levels higher than me?

It just doesn't have a point, you know the level cap will be raised again and again (and again). It has little effect beyond giving more grind for your buck (lengthening the game) and diminishing what "value" the previous level had.

If you ask me, it's really good to wipe the slate clean every once in a while by raising the level cap. Yeah, the guy that plays all the time will get to the new level cap faster than me, and get nice gear faster than me, but he still has to start over at the same level as me, replace all their gear again, and (even if only for a few months) the bulk of the population isn't supremely overpowered when compared to the casual gamer.

In my opinion, there *is* a nonlinear curve after you reach the level cap: you have to spend a lot of time playing to get minimal incremental benefits. A character in full top-notch epics isn't that much more powerful than an equivalently specced one wearing "welfare" epics (or whatever the 1337 hardcore people are calling epics you don't have to live in the game to get nowadays).

I think Blizzard has done a pretty good job of giving me entertainment at a fairly low cost per hour. But then I'm just somebody that plays casually for fun; I don't treat it like an important endeavor.

Re:Yet again, they further homogonize the game (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526793)

They have to homogenize. If the two factions were either perfectly balanced or not in competition with each other it would not be a problem. But because it is very hard to balance the factions if they are different, and because the factions are competing with each other for player, move to a more uniform factions is natural. When one faction has an edge over the other, however small, it is detrimental to both factions! This has been proven over the history of WoW and many other games.

Re:Yet again, they further homogonize the game (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28527339)

Their original vision was certainly to keep Shamans on Horde and keep Paladins on Alliance. But the reason they had to break that limitation is for class balance.

For instance, the Shaman class was TERRIBLE 1-60, and even up to 70. Look at how many new abilities and massive buffs they've had to give Shamans to get them remotely close to balanced with the other classes in the game. They could never have fixed the Shaman class as long as all the Alliance whiners kept insisting that Shamans are OP just because an overgeared one got a 2-handed windfury crit on a clothy once upon a time.

Compare that to Paladins, who have always been an invulnerable class, and now they got the damage buffs to go with it. Big surprise, they've been extremely overpowered and continue to need nerfs every single patch.

But if you look at the community, Paladins were all Q.Q and everyone claimed Shamans were super-OP. Penny Arcade even made a comic about how OMG A SHAMAN KILLED ME AND I CANT PLAY THEM SO THEY'RE OBVIOUSLY OP.

The reality behind this was that there were many more alliance players than horde, so the community leaned towards Paladin buffs and Shaman nerfs. Even though that's the opposite of what was needed.

Back to factions, the point of the faction changing is only to let people switch to play with their friends without having to level new characters from scratch. It will most likely cost money ($25 or more) and have other restrictions applied, just like the server transfers.

I would be extremely surprised if they make this something that lets you randomly switch back and forth from day to day. I'd also be surprised if the faction change doesn't have a huge downside to it, like losing all of your achievements and gear when you switch.

This is just retention (1)

WeirdingWay (1555849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526389)

They have a new MMO on the way. Title quite possibly to be announced at Blizzcon 09. Blizzard has earned the benefit of the doubt on how to keep people playing and adding content isn't the only carrot out there. Eventually everything short of buying gold/gear with real money will be available.

WOW ain't packing so much WOW anymore (1)

MikeyinVA (1450809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526811)

I was a late starter in WOW but I was playing last year and into this year. I enjoyed it to a point but then it got boring and the grind of it all got to me. But I loved the game overall and was only planning to take a hiatus. I've been gone longer than I expected and dreaded coming back and having to spend hours doing things but at least that was the way the game *used* to work. I'm reading that patch 3.2 they will be lowering first mount to lvl 20 and other mount lvls will be lowered to. What? Is Blizzard going to get to the point where you get a mount at lvl 1. Noobs need to pay their dues in sweat. I was broke, penniless and lost when I first started playing...now people are boo-hooing and getting what they want. This game is ruined. I've been looking at Runes of Magic as a free alternative...Free Realms...Perfect World...maybe I'll take up AOC of LOTRO. But someone really needs to redefine MMORPGs because the concept is getting old and played.

I want to have fun when I play a game (1)

Jsox (951873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28526933)

I honestly think that Blizzard has the right idea. The vast majority of content is in the end-game; the number of things you can do at Level 80 far exceeds what you can accomplish (or even set out to do) prior to level 80. There are areas you can't even access without a flying mount (required level 77) and plenty of raid zones you can't even dream of without first hitting 80 and getting some better gear (or maybe having friends to carry your weaksauce along). Level 79 and 80 are worlds apart. It's always been like this - It was the same when the cap was 60, and the same when it was 70. It was the same in EverQuest and I'd bet good money that to varying degrees it's like this in most popular MMOs. Personally, I've already leveled 2 characters to 80 - I will take no joy in leveling a 3rd if I ever want a 3rd 80. Blizzard is just making my life easier - cutting the BS grind and giving you more freedom. I honestly don't feel like I am a vastly better player or that I am "better" than any other player simply because I had to level my toons "back in the day" before they did things like making mounts faster, easier to get, and letting you switch factions. The game exists to be enjoyed, Blizzard is simply making it easier to try different things without having to hassle with grinding money/levels/whatever just to try something new.

Re:I want to have fun when I play a game (1)

MikeyinVA (1450809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28527005)

They should just cut out the first 60 levels then. What's the point now? People will zip through the game now and not even take time to appreciate all the terrain, mobs, etc. The experience. I like MMORPGs in part because I like to explore. If 10 years olds want to jump to the end, fine. But I think that's a problem in our society. That people want a Youtube version of a movie or a Cliff notes of a book. People need to slow down and "enjoy" things.
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