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WoW Classic SOD: How Forced Faction Balance Affects The Season Of Discovery In Hidden Ways?

Posted: Nov 24, 2023

Classic Plus, also known as WoW Classic Season of Discovery, will be officially released on November 30. This means there are a lot of new things waiting for us to explore. In this guide, I will mainly discuss the following:

  1. Everything about the new 50/50 Forced Faction Balance changes coming in Season of Discovery.
  2. All the implications of this change from the PVE scene to the PVP scene.
  3. Which faction actually benefits the most from a balance server?

Before you really explore WoW Classic Season of Discovery, you’d better prepare enough SOD Gold, so that you can unlock more unknown progress faster!

WoW Classic SOD: How Forced Faction Balance Affects The Season Of Discovery In Hidden Ways?

Forced Faction Balance Explained 

First, let’s talk about what Forced Faction Balance actually means. 

By now, you may have seen the news that was posted in the WoW forums about the forced faction balance. The short version is that when the developer was developing the hardcore servers, they improved their technology to the point where they can put far more players on a single server. 

So, their idea is to launch Season of Discovery with as few servers as possible. With fewer servers, the idea is that the ecosystem will be healthier and we can avoid having imbalanced PVP servers.

Except the developer knows their player base all too well, they realized that even just having two PVP servers would still create a scenario where one becomes a Hord server and the other becomes the Alliance server. They’re going to try to avoid that very likely and toxic situation by stepping in and doing forced faction balancing. 

Their goal is to get as close to 50/50 balance as possible. At launch, this means a dynamic queue where the faction with greater numbers will be temporarily limited for making characters. Meanwhile, the lesser faction will still be immediately able to create characters.

What Do The 50/50 Servers Look Like?

Though this will just be the first method the developer uses to enforce faction balance, there are some additional methods they may switch to after launch if things get out of hand. So, the first question is what will the 50/50 servers actually look like?

The first result of the forced 50-50 faction balance is that PVP will be a non-stop unavoidable experience. In practically, any neutral zone, like Stonetalon Mountains, there will be players looking to kill you. Flight pass will be camped. Quest will be disrupted and raids will be completely blocked. Then, Ashenvale is going to feel much more like Wintergrasp. There will be non-stop PVP and running back to your dead body. It’ll basically be a replay of Phase 1 of Classic WoW, but with even more PVP. 

If you don’t want to fight players every step of the way in Season of Discovery, this is definitely the time to roll in a PVE server. If you do choose to roll in a PVP server though, you’ll be able to earn much faster Honor for Pre-BIS Items, like the Sentinel’s Medallion. And PVP servers will undoubtedly be the fastest way to earn items, like the Trainee’s Outrider Wolf with 50% increased speed in Ashenvale.

Based on our knowledge of the new PVP servers, we’ve got to start preparing. I’m really looking to farm fast Honor to get all the PVP rewards, so I plan to roll in a PVP server. With proper planning, I hope to turn the PVP servers from a nightmare into a complete gold mine.

The biggest prep you can do is to join a very active PVP guild with planned events. The Guild I plan to join will have hundreds of active PvPers. Then, I plan to bring a 10-man raid group to this PVP guild to get the best of boss rewards. Numbers really do win in classic. And being part of a big and very coordinated PVP guild on your server will be a huge advantage even if you’re mainly a raider.

WoW Classic SOD Forced Faction Balance

Raiding Challenges 

On top of prepping your guild situation, you should also make sure to add key items, like the Chronoboon Displacer, to your shopping list. That brings us directly to raiding challenges.

With the 50/50 PVP servers, there will be a huge challenge to just entering the raids. Getting inside Blackfathom Deeps (BFD) is already a challenge on PVE servers, but now you’ll be forced to contend with other players every step of the way.

World buffs will be especially hard to maintain in a PVP environment and there are a lot of new world buffs as well, like the Boon of Blackfathom. That buff offers a 2% crit, 20 attack power, and 20% movement speed bonus. Then, the Ashenvale Rallying Cry offers another 5% damage. 

There are other data mined buffs, which may provide even more stats and they’ll definitely be contested throughout the game.

Horde Or Alliance 

Back to the Chronoboon Displacer, you’ll definitely want to have ready at all times to make sure you don’t lose your buffs on death. This is also where faction choice starts to matter as well. 

Horde players will have a significant advantage in the first phase. They’ve got proximity to both the Ashenvale PVP event and the raid itself.

The primary city for Alliance will be Darnassus, that is only about 5 minutes away from Astranaar, Ashenvale. It’s about the same as a flight from Orgrimmar to Zoram’gar Outpost. But the Horde get not one but two separate flight points in Ashenvale.

To make matters worse for Alliance, Astranaar is way further from BFD than the Zoram’gar Outpost where the Horde can fly in. That means Horde can block access to BFD a lot easier, which will be a huge headache for raiders. 

PVE Or PVP Servers?

That brings us to the ultimate question: PVE or PVP servers?

WoW Classic SOD PVE Or PVP Servers?

Alliance players learning about their tactical disadvantage are most likely going to sprint for the nearest PVE server. In fact, my recommendation to the most serious PVE players would be to roll in a PVE server. Leveling will mostly be fine for the first 20 levels. But from 20 to 25, it’ll be a real gank fest, especially in Ashenvale.

Then, the level 25 pre-bis farming will be a big struggle on PVP servers. Dungeons, like Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep, are must do’s for items, like Cruel Barb and Meteor Shard. It’s safe to say these dungeon entrances will have 20 to 30 players outside of them ready to kill. 

You also have pre-bis quest, like The Orb of Soran’ruk. For Alliance, that easy quest is now a nightmare. You’ve got to walk all the way through the Barons to turn it in and this is just the first of four-level roll outs. I can definitely see how hard it’ll be to level and gear up in the level 40 and brackets.

Just imagine a full 50/50 Stranglethorn Vale zone. We haven’t even gotten to the elephant in the room, either. That’s whether the 50-50 servers will actually end up balanced or not.

The big concern is that a 50/50 balance server doesn’t equal 50/50 PVP balance.

After all, a level 5 Gnome isn’t going to be very helpful for getting into your BFD raid. Just compare that to a bunch of level 25 hunters in full BiS

I wouldn’t be surprised if even on a 50/50 server it ends up feeling more like 7030, especially if one side has way more active rating and PVP scenes. 

No matter what happens though, we already know 50/50 PVP is going to cause a lot of action in zones, like Ashenvale. I’m personally very excited to get in on the action and I hope you are, too!


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