We all know that the factions are unbalanced, and not just slightly. Many people have offered numerous suggestions, such as to buff Alliance racials, or to nerf Horde racials, or whatever. The time to do that sort of thing was roughly 13 years ago, and maybe Kil'jaeden Mythic. But at this point, that ship has long sailed and it's not worth trying to chase it down.
The Problem is pretty clear. Upwards of 70% of the playerbase who actively plays dungeons and raids are Horde, and the inverse is true on Oceania, this isn't an 'Alliance v Horde' thing, both sides are suffering in certain regions, but for the most part, Horde overwhelms in EU and NA to a huge degree.
This has been like this for a while, but is getting worse tier by tier. We recently saw many guilds on Ravencrest EU transfer to Horde. This isn't because Horde racials are better. It's simply a snowball effect, more people are on Horde, so I go horde. More top end players are on horde – the average player wants to get better, so they go Horde, so then their friends go Horde, and then everyone ends up being Horde except the few diehards who remain loyal to a withering entity. Pugging on Alliance is kind of sad, much less groups and lower quality of groups too.
Looking at Raider.io and filtering by faction (Jan 3rd 2021)
Sire Denathrius Heroic:
Horde: 1577 Guilds (78.2%)
Alliance: 439 Guilds (21.8%)
Sire Denathrius Normal:
Horde: 13425 Guilds (67.8%)
Alliance: 6373 Guilds (32.2%
That's not ideal, Heroic is still pretty difficult for many players so it's not unsurprising that it is Horde dominated, Sire Normal being only 32% Alliance is concerning though. Of course this doesn't take into account PuGs afaik, but ultimately I highly doubt that there are enough PuGs on Alliance to cover this huge guild deficit.
Mythic + "I only do Mythic+, Raiding figures don't apply to me."
Unfortunately, it does, and even worse than for the raiders. Since we're dealing with players, that includes Pick up Groups, not just raid guilds.
I won't bother covering the super top end, players with 1.5k+ score, but as you can imagine it's roughly 85% Horde.
How about the Average Joe, though? He does a few 5s, 6s, 7s and maybe even an 8, he might have completed a 10 or two but he finds it pretty challenging.
Players over 750 RIO:
Horde: 108387 (73.9%)
Alliance: 38282 (26.1%)
Players over 500 RIO:
Horde: 267165 (70.4%)
Alliance: 112520 (29.6%)
Okay -..not great either, but what about the players who do +2s or +3s, they don't really care about the game in the same way the top end does, or pushing their character to the limit.
Players over 50 RIO:
Horde: 884783 (65.8%)
Alliance: 460143 (34.2%)
Even at the bottom rung of M+, Horde dominates by a large margin.
What's the Soluton?
Changing racials wouldn't work, if anything it just sends the snowball shifting in the other direction, it only delays the problem and probably wouldn't have a huge effect.
A complete faction merge would be odd and difficult to work out, it would also make little sense in the old world, a Night Elf questing in Silverpine helping them defeat the Worgen? Right. I don't think this is a big enough reason for them to not merge the factions, but there is some desirabilty in having a small split, you can't go to Orgrimmar as a Human without being cut up for example. This still keeps the story intact, as we are still hesitant to work together in the lore, we distrust one another, we won't let one another in our cities, but we can work with you for this dungeon, or I can join your guild, or do this raid with you, for the greater good.
I thoroughly believe Cross-Faction restrictions being almost completely loosened would be the answer. This would not be a complete merge.
What would stay?
Horde/Alliance only questing hubs in the Old World Content.
Horde/Alliance only cities.
Warmode (to an extent)
What would change?
Players would be freely able to create or join a Community or Guild without care for faction of the leader or the players within it.
Players would be able to join or lead groups that are cross-faction for Pick Up Groups in the Raid or Dungeon premade finder.
LFR and LFD would be made crossfaction, this probably won't decrease queue times but it would make it in line with everything else.
Battlegrounds would be made random in which team you join. Mercenary mode already exists, so the idea of fighting for your faction being taken as a serious thing is kind of thrown out the window, especially with many of my BGs in the expansion so far consisting of 10 Horde vs 8 Horde and 2 Alliance grouped up due to Merc Mode. This would also decrease average queue times for Horde players, as they would no longer have to wait for the Alliance to actually sign up.
One example from Battlegrounds with Merc mode was at the start of the expansion, I was queueing as Alliance despite being Horde and noticed I queued with a rogue a few times in a row, we got talking and added to bnet, we wanted to do more Battlegrounds together but due to the lack of grouping, we couldn't, and had to rely on the queue gods to matchmake us together, this never happened, and a social opportunity was lost due to this restriction.
- Warmode: Warmode should probably stay the same but if you join a party with an Alliance leader as a Horde player, you just represent the Alliance for the amount of time you stay in that group. Alternatively Warmode can stay the exact same as it is now, and it wouldn't be an issue. If you care about that sort of thing, go ahead.
Some common counter arguments I occassionally see:
What about the WAR in Warcraft?
Ultimately I believe this to be a little silly, considering every expansion we end up grouping up in one way or another to defeat the big bad, the whole going back to being enemies yet again is getting tiring and a little dull.
There are also plenty of things for us to fight, just listing a few, there were wars against the Qiraji, the Scourge, the Burning Legion, the Sha, Mogu and Mantid, the Iron Horde and now the Jailor.
Is Shadowlands not 'War' enough because we're not fighting each other? I don't think so.
Factions are Important for the game.
I agree to some extent, which is why I wish to keep them for the Old World Content, yeah it would mean you couldn't level with your Human friend in Redridge, but that small amount of inconvenience would be so worth it for the huge gameplay benefits at max level.
Edit: Despite my tag, I play Horde, due to the snowball effect, this isn't "lol alliance mald".
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