Balanced factions are a very important factor in making TBC enjoyable and to make sure we keep healthy numbers we are once again considering a few perks and features for the disadvantaged faction (which tends to be Alliance in this expansion). Here is the list of currently planned additions:
Racial abilities play a major part in the choice of race/faction for many people and often force them into picking ones that they do not necessarily want to play but feel compelled to due to their advantages. With Racial Swap you can pick whichever race you actually want to play as, and then by talking to a special NPC you will be able to swap your racial spells to another race’s, provided that race also supports your class. For example, you can play a Human Warrior and trade your racials for Orc ones if you’d like (but not Blood Elf ones since they cannot be Warriors). This feature has a significant cooldown (currently 14 days) so make sure to carefully consider your choice. Additionally, to make sure that swapped racials do not cause confusion in PvP (where knowing your opponents’ racial abilities is key), enemies in Battlegrounds and Arenas will visually appear as members of the race they picked racials from (so an enemy Human Warrior with Orc racials will look like an Orc in PvP instances).
Another element of faction disbalance many people consider is the disparity between the specific Paladin seals. To make sure both factions are on equal footing with that we’re once again making both seals available to Paladins of both Alliance and Horde.
With the addition of Dual Spec as the server feature we decided to make it a bit more appealing to pick Alliance by offering it to players of that faction for free (as opposed to the default one-time cost of learning)
Even with Dual Spec it’s sometimes necessary to reset your talents. While the overall maximum respec cost cap will be reduced, Alliance players will be able to reset their talents entirely for free and experiment as much as they want!
To make the start of the adventure a bit more comfortable, the cost of learning Apprentice Riding for Alliance players will also be removed!
Just like on our previous TBC realms, as a last resort we will be able to enable a Faction Queue, meaning the ratio of players between the factions will not be able to exceed a given threshold. When the factions are imbalanced, players on the dominant faction will have to wait in queue until the ratio goes back to the balanced state. Ideally we wouldn’t want to use this unless the balance really goes out of control, but the option for that exists if we need to.
For players annoyed by having to wait in queue or those who wish to try something different, there will be an option to switch to the less populated faction for free!