I requested the faction change of Smaken, my level 73 Ork Hunter on Firetree (PVP), on Wednesday night. Yesterday, when I got home from work, it was done.
In the character listing for Firetree was Smaken, the level 73 Ork Hunter and next to his name was a icon showing both Horde and Alliance logos with an arrow. Clearly meaning, “Faction Change”.
I clicked it and could choose between Dwarf or Night Elf since they are Hunter supporting races. I went Dwarf and I feel a little dirty for doing so but at least I didn’t have to change the name. On the bright side, I’m not a male Night Elf.
If I was more awake I might have paid attention to the Horde Race listing and the gender buttons because I think I could have switched those around too but they might have been disabled.
I logged out, went to the account page and requested a transfer to Rexxar so he can play with all the other Dragons. I lthen wandered away from the computer to play with my three year old (Lego Indiana Jones) for a bit.
I came back to it a little later (I was installing some software for work in the background) and logged in to find Smaken, the level 73 Dwarf Hunter on Rexxar now.
I logged him in and puttered around to check his gear and stuff and make sure it was all there – it was.
Now, for people that think this is as simple as changing the name of the server in some database, they’re wrong. It is that simple, but it isn’t. There are a number of other checks they have to make and adjustments to prevent loose ends (this is one thing they don’t do so well, but they do handle it).
For a server transfer, it would go something like this:
– check name on other server
— if there is a collision force name change on transfer (they need the UI, process and code in place to do this by the way…)
– check outstanding mail
— if mail is still outstanding, change the name so it cannot be returned or it does not attempt to interact with someone that doesn’t exist
– check outstaning auctions/bids
— if there are outstanding ones, cancel them (I’m not sure if they say you’re shit out of luck or not, but I think they won’t let you make a transfer if you have outstanding auctions/bids)
— if they were really nice, they would cancel them and port the mail over to your other server, to do that they would need to adjust the targets and put in the new name you pick – again, I don’t think they do that.
For a faction change, you have to do a lot of that too but on top of that you have to adjust things like:
– flight points
– hearthstone bind points
– reputation levels
– abilities (racials and some faction specific abilities)
– faction specific rewards (tabards, trinkets, etc.)
– base attributes
– profession audit (a Blood Elf who has enchantment recipes beyond his base level because of the racial bonus that turns into a dwarf can’t use those recipes… how do they deal with that? They have to introduce disabling known recipes? Do they let it slide? Do they strip them from you?)
– mounts switches
– crafted items… I wonder if they bother doing anything for any of the items someone crafts? You know they get a tag line of “Created by CaptAwesome” – if that name no longer exists, I think they just switch it to ‘Unknown’ (which reminds me to make a character named “Unknown” so I can take all that credit).
Now I’m not saying that this process can’t be automated or isn’t automated, it most likely is, but they still had to design and test all this to make sure it actually worked.
Does that justify the cost?
No, not entirely, but their job is to make money and if people will pay it, then why not charge it? The way I see it is they’re saving you however many months subscription fee it would take to raise a character up in another faction, gear them, get their profs up and so on. In some cases, they might be shooting themselves in the foot by doing this because most people would probably just level up a new character on a new server.
From what I saw yesterday, I switched my two wolf mounts to ram mounts and my wyvern got switched to a griffon. My acheivements had some minor adjustments and my bindstone was set to Ironforge. That’s a bit of pain in the ass because I think I was actually bound in another zone and I had logged out in Un’goro (I think I was raising my skinning/leatherworking).
I didn’t check my reputations, but I suspect the paired race versions are swapped.
So now I have my high level ranged DPS character to play with. I was toying with raising a Hunter on Rexxar and tried several times but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’ve leveled way too many Hunters (Gorzal in three incarnations, Bozzrom, Sindaena (x2), Malken (PVP), Karrn (Smaken) and I’m sure I also tried a Draenai one as well) so I couldn’t get into leveling them up again.
55$ later, I have my high level Hunter. Do I think it was worth it? Yes. I wouldn’t have paid it otherwise.
Of course, now Lannister is broke again because I had to adjust Smaken’s talent spec to Survival, send him coin to train up the skills gained from that branch and I also had to send him the Cold Weather Flying money. I might have to temporarily respec him as BM to get rid of some of the exotic pets he has. I think I want to swap the tank pet I have (Scorpid) as well, but I’ll see if I can’t do that right from the stable.
I have three exotic pets and two normal ones and since I went Survival I can’t pull out the exotic pets. The pets are: Humar the Pridelord, Scorpid from Blasted Lands, Chimera from Azsharra, Core Hound from Exodar area (that was fun to get as an Ork Hunter on a PVP server), and a Terrosaur thingy. I think I’ll drop the Chimera and the T-Rex, maybe the Scorpid too and go with a Bear (Bjarn), Golden Eagle (if they can be tamed) and either a Wolf for the howl buff.
Shit, if I get him dual spec (which I might) I’ll likely be broke again.
I think I’m going to get him that Armored Bear mount too.