Forbes Interview with Ion Hazzikostas - End Game Faction Imbalance
Forbes was lucky enough to get a
private interview with World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas
, in which they discussed his feelings on the upcoming Shadowlands launch, its future possibilities, and a very interesting question regarding the end-game faction imbalance between Alliance and Horde player populations.
Several topics were discussed, but we're only focused on the one, so make sure you check out the full Forbes interview!
Faction population imbalance has been a major sticking point for end-game focused players for many years, and while no real gameplay advantage between the factions has existed for several years, the advent of small scale Mythic+ groups and constantly fluctuating raiding populations have encouraged high-end players to consolidate into one factions (horde) just to benefit from the bigger recruiting population pool. Forbes Heather Newman (bold) brings up this issue, though the ever evasive game director artfully dances around the topic before acknowledging the disparity. Despite that acknowledgement however, he reaffirms that the faction divide is an integral part of World of Warcraft, and while the team is sympathetic to player desires, they have no current plans to announce at this point.
Let’s return to one of our perennial topics – faction balance in high-end dungeons and raids. Most groups for that content are Horde. There was that brief moment in the Shadowlands beta where everybody wanted to be dwarves to handle that bleed ability in the Castle Nathria raid. I think it lasted five seconds until it was nerfed.
That was one ability in one encounter, and all immunities got nerfed so that you wouldn't stack paladins. Dwarves are still great for immuning off bleeds in, I think, four different encounters in Castle Nathria.
Any chance we might someday be able to group with our Horde and Alliance friends, the way our faction leaders have done?
Oh Heather, look at that — it looks like we're out of time.
God damn it.
We are obviously aware that it's a problem. The challenge is, at this point, primarily a social one. There isn't a mechanical advantage to being one faction or the other.
But the division between Horde and Alliance has been such an integral part of World of Warcraft. We are grappling with reconciling that with the natural desire to play with your friends, or have more-ready access to groups. But we have nothing to announce at this point.
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