Not speaking for the team here, but I personally really like this idea. We tried to do something similar to this for pvp queues by giving the minority faction a special award for playing, but it wasn’t a lot, and I think this idea could use some expanding and additional development. We’ll keep discussing it!
This is significantly more touchy and this is kind of what I was referring to when I talked about us being leery of ideas that “directly damages or diminishes [players] ability to play the game”.
We did actually invest in developing tech to allow us to queue each faction independently and considered rolling this out in Season of Mastery. The idea here would have been to basically enforce some sort of specific faction balance (say, 60/40) and then force queues on the majority faction until the minority faction began to log in to compensate. Ultimately, we pulled back from this for several reasons:
- What if we get into a situation where, say, every PvP server is skewed towards the horde? Is it possible that players could get into a state where they are literally unable to log into any server at all just because they had the temerity to want to play horde?
- What happens if the population of a certain server or servers are such that there are never enough of the minority faction logging that the majority queue never goes down, or worse, the wait time actually continues to climb because the rate at which the minority faction logging in never matches or exceeds the rate that the majority faction is logging out? We could create an almost “infinite” queue situation on certain realms, and it would be completely arbitrary and not based on the actual hardware limitations of that realm.
- Is it worth the hit to the experience of those who just want to play their chosen faction to achieve some sort of contrived balance on PvP realms, that doesn’t guarantee “fair” world PvP encounters anyway?
That said, the work we did to implement this still exists and this might be a thing to consider rolling out in a future season or classic release if we felt that we could implement it in a way that would be beneficial to more players than it restricts.
Again, this logically makes a lot of sense. However, there are some details to consider:
- Looking inward as a player, would you voluntarily move to the outnumbered faction on a realm? If the answer is yes, can you honestly say that you feel that a significant number of other players would make a similar choice?
- Again, using the data we’ve gathered over the past few years, it’s fairly conclusive that players do not take advantage of FCMs or paid transfers to move to the underdog faction. It’s just not something that happens to a degree to move the needle in a positive direction, and offering that move as the only option that players have for free transfers is likely not going to be positively received by players who are unhappy with their current realm.
Again, speaking personally, I could see this being something that works with some serious caveats and differences from modern World of Warcraft. What if this was restricted to only people on your friends list or in a community with you? What if this only worked in instanced content? These are a few things that might be cool to explore. It’s definitely worth talking about more, but this is something we’d really have to think long and hard about.
So this is actually something the team has talked about a lot and we have some plans to investigate a way to “poll” the community about certain topics and to do so in-game. The current (very half-baked) ideas are something like an NPC somewhere in the world that asks questions about hot button issues that players can answer via a flavor text window (maybe once per account, with some restrictions/requirements so its not abused). The responses we gather could help us make better decisions, or at least help inform us about things that we’d like to have a bigger conversation about in this forum or in a live chat at some point. Regardless, the team really likes this idea and we plan to explore it more!
Thanks a ton for the thoughtful ideas and solutions. Keep 'em coming!