Features or Frills?

achievement_halloween_cat_01All is abuzz about the two most recently revealed changes for patch 3.2 to come: Raid lockout extension and Faction Change. Let’s look at a little depth what this means, so far…this information is parsed from the forums and MMO-Champion.com.

Raid Lockout Extension

It looks as if there will be the possibility to extend the lockout duration of a raid you are in by 1 week. By doing so, you will have the opportunity to spend more time on managing a certain hard-mode, or clear through a challenging dungeon longer. So far this is clear, but a few questions remain, which I will hope to answer here once it becomes more clear:

  • Can only the Leader of a raid extend it?
  • Does it apply to the whole raid at once? Must each member do it seperately?
  • Can it be extended only once for 1 week, or repeated?

The problem is that I can see people griefing their pug members if the answer to points 2 and 3 is yes. They could theoretically extend it continually for weeks, blocking a group of people from actually finishing a raid or instance. It is clear that the screen to request the extension also allows you to remove it, but probably within the same restrictions as mentioned above.

Faction Change

Ever wanted to join the other side? Well now you can. With an upcoming paid feature Blizzard is planning (but not 100% sure if and when) you can change yourself from one faction to the other, choosing a new race. I can see how this is a benefit if you want to play with friends on the other side, or if there is a horrible faction imbalance on a  server.

Some people have stated that perhaps your faction allegiance changes, but not your race. This however is severly against the lore, plain silly, and more than a bit unbalancing to the game itself. On a PvP server you’d go nuts because even your friends could become your enemies. Besides addicted, I can see people becoming paranoid because of WoW now as well. ^_^

On the flip side, it’s also another way for known Ninja offenders to hide their trail. Even websites like wowprogress will no longer be able to connect the 80 Tauren Warrior from a ninja guild hopping servers and becoming an 80 Gnome Warrior. I think this is a small concern however, for it will allow you to switch sides if you had the idea you really wanted to play something else, but did not want to start all over again.

People have been wondering why it is not possible to change from Gnome to Human, for instance. Well, crudely you could do it by changing from Alliance to Horde and back to Alliance. I have to say I am curious how this will work out, especially with pets, achievements and reputations.

Fact is, the greatest cost is not even the money, but the realization you might be forced to grind all your faction rep again.

It does offer some interesting Roleplay options and PvP options. I will leave most of such philosophizing to the real PvP jockeys, but it allows them not only to reroll FotM classes, but also races now, and even factions. This might even slowly drain the life out of the “nerf it, reroll” discussions, and the like. In roleplay, it allows you to play an infiltrator (not that you couldn’t before, but now you actually are) or a Human who changed into a Forsaken.

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