World of Warcraft Classic’s upcoming seasonal PvP servers will, for the first time ever, seek to maintain an equal balance between the warring factions of the Horde and Alliance.
The next season for the old-school version of Blizzard’s MMO, titled Season of Discovery, will bring some big changes to the 2006 version of WoW, including game-changing new abilities for every class along with new quests, raids, and mysteries to be found in the game’s world. It will additionally introduce new open world PvP events, with the war between WoW’s two player factions, the Horde and Alliance, looking to be a major part of the new season.
With that in mind, it seems Blizzard has deemed Season of Discovery to be the right time to try something different. In a forum post, senior producer for WoW’s server and live ops team Tom Ellis said the team has received “a lot of feedback” since the launch of WoW Classic in regards to faction balance on PvP servers. He laid out the plan for Season of Discovery’s PvP servers, and announced Blizzard would be adding some “extra seasoning” to PvP servers in that this time around they “have been designed to maintain faction balance as they grow.”
“Yes, this is actually happening!” Ellis said in the forum post. “However, there is a potential cost to this faction balance that we want to make sure you’re aware of: If one faction is significantly more dominant on a PvP realm, there is a very real likelihood that faction selection may be temporarily limited on that realm. That said, our overarching goal for Season of Discovery is for it to be a fun and smooth experience, and we are prepared to change course if necessary. Your requests for faction balance have been heard loud and clear. This is a new direction for us, and one that we’re excited to try.”
It’s a big difference from WoW Classic’s PvP servers up to this point. Since Classic’s launch in 2019, there have been numerous examples of PvP servers spiraling out of control, where one faction would make up the vast majority of a server’s population, essentially driving the other faction off the server via server transfers. It seems Blizzard is looking to avoid that kind of scenario this time around, but warns that playing on a balanced-faction PvP server can be a “double-edged sword.”
“There are awesome and fun new challenges that await, but also the potential for hindrances that you may not expect,” Ellis said. “Your favorite farming spots might be a bit more spicy than you’re used to!”
Ellis encouraged players who aren’t “committed to the challenges and difficulties of PvP” to consider creating a character on a non-PvP server for Season of Discovery, where there will not be any faction balance restrictions.
In addition to forced faction balance on the game’s seasonal PvP servers, Ellis said Season of Discovery’s launch will be similar to how Blizzard handled the rollout of the game’s Hardcore servers, with a smaller number of servers overall but with each server instead featuring increased player capacity. However, if the season proves popular, more servers will be added as needed, Ellis said.
WoW Classic Season of Discovery begins on November 30. In addition to Season of Discovery, Blizzard will re-release a Classic version of WoW’s Cataclysm expansion next year, along with the first expansion in a new trilogy of expansions for the modern version of WoW Blizzard is calling The Worldsoul Saga.
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