An interesting bit of information came up while I was listening to the latest Instance podcast yesterday. The boys were talking about the blue post on the official Blizzard forums which deals with the possibility in the future of being able to transfer heirloom items between factions. This adds on to the current situation where if you pay a little fee, a player can transfer a character between factions. My own guild has seen a small influx of new alts coming in, all of them having been transferred across from the Horde.
So you can transfer toons between factions, you will soon be able to transfer heirloom items as well, and to top it all off we’re doing a big tournament together with the Horde up in Icecrown with the intention of going in together with them to take out the big baddie Arthus, who we all know is really just misunderstood and there is most probably going to be a tearful scene between him and that Jania woman when we finally take him out where he will profess his love for her as he lays dying in her arms … blah blah blah blah.

But we still can’t talk to the other faction. We can do funny emotes, but I’m not sure how many complicated battles between our two factions and the Lich King’s minions we can co-ordinate using only /point and /facepalm. In the wake of all these new developments that Blizzard said would never happen ever, not in a million years so just stop asking for it already, I think that it is time for one more change.

We should be able to chat to the other faction.

At the moment in Blizzards eyes, this is bad. If you even attempt to chat and get found out, this is a bannable offence under their terms and conditions. So whatever you do, don’t sit down next to an orc in a tavern in Dalaran and ask him to pass the salt. 5 years ago when WoW first came out this rule made some sense. The game was young, in its infancy even, and Blizzard wanted to make sure that it had room to grow and develop. And a major part of all of this was the battle between the Alliance and the Horde, and they didn’t want any snotty-nosed teenage punks ruining it for the rest of us. They wanted it to be a fair playing field with as little chance as possible of information being passed from one side to the other. And it worked, and in part due to this, five years later we have the biggest online game in the world.

But what we have now is a mature game, with mature goals, and even some mature players here and there, but this rule is holding the game back somewhat from where it could go. And it’s not in line with the current Blizzard policy of everyone being able to jump between factions. Not only that, but five years ago there weren’t programmes like Skype and Ventrillo that are widely used today, and even if there were they weren’t used. Today, if players want to exchange information between the two factions they can do it without any problems whatsoever. It won’t ruin Battlegrounds because players already manage to ruin them enough all on their own. Witness teams deliberating losing battlegrounds just to get quick honor points.

I think that being able to chat with the horde would enhance the game, particularly the role playing possibilities.

“You dirty Orc, you killed my brother!”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Yes, you did!”
“How do you know it was me?”
“The scar on your upper right eye that looks like a fairy! You see!”
“Dammit, I’ve been found out. Well cowardly curr, prepare to join your mangy brother in death!”

“ARGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGH” [the sound of swords meeting]

Blizzard needs to give its players some credit at being able to handle this. It’s time for us to take off those training wheels and wobble out onto the road. We all know what those kids were like who weren’t allowed to ride their bikes on the road because their parents were too scared of them getting hurt. They were pathetic shadows of kids, and spent most of their time inside playing computer games. Well, we don’t want to be like them Blizzard, so give us a chance already will ya??

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