Whither Mania?

I am a bad blogger. I left you guys for almost two weeks with no posts. Now many of you kept the conversation going in the comments — which I suppose just goes to show that I myself am rather extraneous to this whole process — but I did promise you some hefty Cataclysm summaries and analysis when I got back.

Unfortunately, you’re not getting any of that today.

Instead, I wanted to talk about a question that’s been looming large in my mind the past two weeks, and especially since Blizzard announced the launch of their Faction Change service yesterday.

In brief: Should Mania — my orc hunter, my main character, my only (at this point) level 80, and incidentally the eponym of this blog — should Mania change her race?

Now I admit this pondering is a bit premature. Although Blizzard has mentioned that they will eventually support a race change within the same faction, right now you can only change races as you change factions. I play characters on both sides, but I consider Mania to be Horde and I’d be pretty uncomfortable changing that.

(Technically you can switch factions and then switch back again to change races within a faction, but there’s a 60 day cooldown on faction changes so I’d be stuck as Alliance for two months. Better to wait, I think, and see how fast they can get the Race Change service done. And there’s a better reason to wait, which I’ll get to in a second.)

But why would I want to change Mania’s race? Don’t I like being an orc? And hey, don’t I roleplay? Isn’t race a rather important part of a roleplayed character’s personality and history?

(Somewhat off-topic, but I was curious what Too Many Annas, one of my favorite RP blogs, would have to say about faction changes. And indeed, I was not disappointed — she is already discussing it.)

It’s true that the majority of my characters have carefully-planned RP histories and personalities. And yes, these are usually deeply entangled with their race. But Mania, oddly, is the biggest exception to this self-imposed rule.

Mania was my first character (well, the first one I didn’t delete two days later) and at the time I was more interested in finding a class that I liked than I was with building a character. I picked Horde because I prefer misunderstood evil and underdogs both, and I chose orc because I couldn’t see myself furry (Tauren) and I didn’t like the female troll voice. Female orcs did look a bit vapid and tusky, but at least they have gorgeous athletic bodies — very appropriate for adventurers. I really wanted to be undead, but of course there are no undead hunters (yet!).

Mania does have an in-character history that I can whip out when it’s appropriate, but her personality is straight me. I don’t have to work out her motivations or reactions because they are mine. And truthfully I’ve never been fully satisfied with her backstory. It helps frame some of her (my) personal eccentricities, and explains her fascination with Thunder Bluff, but it doesn’t quite feel natural to me. Honestly, I’m just not a very good orc.

Now, of course, I have other choices for Mania. Through the (eventual) Race Change service she could become a blood elf hunter … and I actually rather like blood elves, for all that they’re common as dirt and the females are so thin they can’t wear properly protective armor. Or, if I wait long enough — until after the Cataclysm expansion adds new race/class combos, and long enough after that that Blizzard allows changes to the new combos — she could become undead. An undead hunter just like I always wanted.

I don’t really know if it’s worth it, though. I could just start a new undead hunter, and that hunter might end up as a new main for me, at least for awhile. (I’d lose my pets and mounts and achievements that way, though.)

On the other hand, if I still have my slime by then … well, just imagine: an undead hunter with a slime. Can anything be cooler?

[edit] I’ve just realized that I used ‘Mania’ in the title of the last two posts, once referring to me and once to my character. Sorry about that –that’s got to be confusing for you guys!

79 thoughts on “Whither Mania?

  1. Gutler

    When i started playing WoW i picked tauren for my hunter because i liked they way they looked, now that i raid alot ive become somewhat of a min/maxer so as soon as race change comes out my tauren hunter is gonna become an orc (because they have better racials for hunters).

  2. Mania Post author

    Nimizar: The slime did come with me on my realm transfer. I figured since he copies to the PTR fine a realm transfer would work out, and indeed it seems to have. A race transfer is probably more complicated, though, so I might try it with another character with a retired pet first.

    Trowa Barton: I turned on random avatars for people who don’t have their own — largely just to see what they look like. :> If you really hate yours, you can ask me to turn them off, or set up a custom avatar for yourself at http://www.Gravatar.com.

  3. Bellerophon

    I agree with Tsani, i could see if it were easy to switch faction, then if player A rolled need on fancy-such-and-such epic, player B would switch factions just to beat the snot out of player A! As it is i’m waiting to hear tells from lvl 1 players that I stole their drop/kicked their lvl XX ass, etc.
    And i was thinking of switching my Nelf, but i see about 10 comments saying the same thing. i think i will try out a Worgen druid first, i already have the name saved, well, i have a toon, that i never play, so i shall use “Rebirth” and find myself transformed :P i have three spaces on my main server, 1 for a Worgen druid, 1 for an undead hunter, and the last is undecided. (but lets not kid ourselves, it will probably a hunter!)

  4. URIKI THE TROLL HUNTER

    I say dont stick with what u like and for all those ppl gonna change there ppl to worgen you have no originality dont u think everyone is gonna reroll worgen (DEATH OF GNOMES)

  5. ivanator

    Love the tallstrider

    Since I will be old enough to work when cata comes out ill probly change ivanator to a goblin id love to see my core hound look at me and say ” finally I can fit him in my mouthes wonder if he will still taste like hamburegers” I am a tuaren u see.

  6. Aubri

    I’ve been contemplating the same thing, Mania, although I have some RP-ishness to throw into my change.

    I’m alliance; always will be. As such, like everyone else, I fully plan on changing about 90% of my characters to Worgen :) Although I kinda had a story behind it for my hunter.

    I’ve spent MONTHS camping rares, as I’m sure a lot of hunters have. However, in the RP fashion, since my character has been away from society for so long, she’s starting to go feral :) I actually have a planned-out skit that I and some guildies are going to do involving her getting turned into a Worgen! I really can’t wait for it :)

    However, what I AM going to miss, is Gift of the Naaru. (I’m obviously a draenei.) Having a second HOT to toss on my pet is definitely not something to just mildly throw away. However, my need to become a Worgen is slowly inching its way higher on my priorities than GotN…really sucks in a way, but I guess I can deal :)

  7. Nimizar

    @Regash: ok, I can definitely understand someone not liking the existence of the services at all. Adding this kind of thing really is a purely mercenary decision on Blizzard’s part (i.e. helping them to retain subscribers that may otherwise quit). We’re at least fortunate that Blizzard realise the potential downsides and price things high enough that choosing to use them instead of just rerolling can still be a difficult decision.

    @Tsani: yep, avoiding flavour of the month races is something the blues have brought up explicitly on the forums when discussing the possible downsides to offering race changes

    These services aren’t something I’m ever likely to use (all of my high level toons are safely ensconced in a casual Alliance guild and have been since before TBC came out) but I do think it is smart of Blizzard to offer the option.

  8. Rikaku

    Trowa:
    Yes, but Races will largely work the same way. keep in Mind that when you race change, even on the same faction, it’s not as simple as changing your race. There is still a “reset factor” that can come into play. Such as if you are a Draenei and you are exalted with Exodar (as you start off with some Draenei-only quests and rep (ie Tabard of the Hand]), if you change to NE, some things will be reset. Obviously you would most likely lose that tabard as it is draenei only and they’d have to reset/take away the quest chain you did as it was Drae only and now you’re a NE. This same quest-issue is why teh AT reset is in place.

    Thus I would assume Race Changes will bring about the same “problem”.

  9. Amke

    Mania: If you feel strongly by the time race change is available I say go for it! She can still be named Mania and you can always change her back (for a fee) if you decide Undeadness is not for you.

    I have been lurking around this site for awhile and I love your posts and I believe you have at least lamented not being able to get an undead hunter before. Not to mention your obsession with Skeletal Warhorses.

    This Race/Faction change thing doesn’t affect me though. The toons I actually play are pretty much set in cement…the ones I don’t I have no problem deleting and starting over. I will be re-birthing a favorite (but not ever used anymore) Undead female as a Hunter. I am an alt-aholic and can’t find a good Horde Hunter for me. From my experiences at the launch of BC I’m expecting Worgen and Goblin starting areas to be nutlog crazy, even with the phasing. (I didn’t roll a dk until at least a month or two after Wrath and it wasn’t so busy. I have no idea how it was at launch) but I’m hoping that means I can roll an Undead Huntress without much bother. Then when that mess has at least subsided I can experience leveling a Goblin (Huntress if my Undead Lady does not work out). /excited

  10. Sphynx

    Orc -> Undead could be explained in a rp manner too.
    How many plague ridden zombies and similar has Mania killed so far. Aparently the plague is infectious…

  11. Sho

    My suggestion:

    Wait till race change to undead is available.
    It is what you want. It does not require you to give up all the work and love you have put into Mania (as opposed to just rerolling an undead hunter).

    I, myself, will have to reroll undead hunter because I couldn’t afford a race change. I will loose my ghost wolf and my hydradile, and that’s sad, but I have no choice due to me being a poor bastard and undead hunters is what I have ALWAYS wanted since I started playing.

  12. Rikaku

    Sho:
    I don’t wanna lose my ghost wolf, gezz or my spirit beasties when I re-roll Worgen hunter, but I look at it this way. At least you still have those pets regardless and now you can have the stable slots to fill with something else.

    But my big concern is that I will give in and race change my NE to Worgen Hunter and then have wasted my time getting heirloom…..oi.

  13. Rottingham

    I think that Blizz should put in an account bound stable slot, so thn when any of your hunters log in they can use the same pet. But if you tamed the beast on a lower level hunter, then it becomes that level when you use it on a higher elvel hunter. If you tame it on a higher level hunter, then It becomes the level of the hunter who is currently using it.

    Doesn anyone else agree that this would be a good idea?

  14. Rikaku

    Rottingham:
    I like the idea of account-bound pets, I dunno though, maybe it could work though if it were like a 500g heirloom stable. Then it could be like you could choose 1-5 pets to “stable” in the heirloom stable and send to a baby hunter?

    Rottingham, that idea would simply rule.

  15. Rikaku

    Trowa:

    Well it certainly wouldn’t be as simple as “Race_Nightelf” to type in “Race_Draenei”. It is well known that some things are racial. Take another example, humans. Their racial passive is 10% extra reputation. That’ll definitely come into play when you race change in the future. Blizz won’t just let someone have all that free rep unless you’re human.

    And again, somethings are racially exclusive, such as the draenei tabard. That quest chain isn’t even available to non-draenei. So if you had a tabard, I don’t think Blizz will let you keep it. Most likely if all you have are an Elekk mount, don’t think when you race change that your new NE (that isn’t exalted with Exodar) is gonna have an Elekk mount. They’ll be some Nightsaber (this I eblieve was even covered by a blue).

    Blizz will review race changes with just as much scrutiny as faction changes. There’s alot that goes into it, for the examples I just listed are just a few. Blizzard won’t let it be so desirable that people will just “Oh I’ll level as a human mage, get rep all over the place, and then switch to NE and enjoy my hardly-earned 40 exalted reputations!”.

    And obviously they’re not going to let race-changers keep items that were for “race only” if they’re not longer that race. Otherwise we all might as well change race over the course of a year, obtain every mount and item that we normally can’t enjoy and well…you get the idea XD

  16. Nimizar

    To get an idea of what race change will likely involve, consider what would happen if someone did two faction changes and ended up as a different race on their original faction (e.g. Dwarf Hunter -> Troll Hunter -> NE Hunter). (Note that Blizz changed their mind about allowing you to switch back to a different race when they decided they were going to implement same faction race changes)

    The main things that would change in that case:
    1. Racial mount swaps (ram -> raptor -> cat, cat -> skeletal -> ram)
    2. Reputation swaps (IF -> Darkspear -> Darn, Darn -> UC -> IF)

    For a same faction race change, just skip the troll step:
    1. Racial mount swaps (ram -> nightsabre, nightsabre -> ram)
    2. Reputation swaps (IF -> Darn, Darn -> IF)

    (Yes, I deliberately chose a troll hunter for the example rather than orc or tauren because trolls are the default counterpart race for dwarves when switching factions so the mapping ends up being fairly neat)

    Also note that humans don’t lose their 10% rep for existing reputations when they switch factions, so it is unlikely that that will happen for race changes either. There also isn’t any adjustment for the “more closely allied” reputation differences that apply within a faction for new characters (i.e. NE and draenei being more closely allied with each other than with the other 3 alliance races is reflected in the starting rep for alliance characters, as is the case for the Forsaken and Blood Elves on the Horde side). The rep cap for each faction makes it somewhat impractical for Blizzard to switch that kind of thing around so they just haven’t bothered.

  17. Comett

    My boyfriend and I got faction changes on two of our toons the day the faction changes came out. It was quite an expensive move, but 100% worth it. We both enjoy raiding, and we both have good DPS classes (and our mains) on Alliance; mine is of course a hunter, his is a mage. I also have a high level warlock, and he has a tank pally. On the Horde side, I had a tank/heal druid, and he had a healing/dps priest. So we were both looking forward to the faction change.

    It’s been the best choice I’ve ever made WoW-wise. Despite the general (and reasonably accurate) stigma Alliance has in the maturity of its players, my main, Whocat, has always been Alliance, she has always had her pet cat from Teldrassil, and she’s a fond follower of the laws that govern her race. She likes trees and she tends to stay away from magic (being a hunter and all, she follows the “laws of the land” over the “rules of magic”). As with you, Mania, she represents me, although she has her own in-game history.

    My warlock, meh, I really wouldn’t mind whether I transferred her or not, I only play her for kicks and gold. She’s quite fun to play but she doesn’t hold the same enthusiasm over me as my hunter does.

    My druid, on the other hand… I love my druid. It’s so wonderful finally being able to log over to a tank/healer when a group or raid needs it, and it’s great being able to share her herbing and alchemy skills around my other toons 83 I did prefer her old Tauren self, I love the Tauren as a race and Tibs makes a very skinny night elf, but I figure that she’s in bear/tree form most of the time anyway so it doesn’t matter :)

    As for you Mania, I would suggest you wait for race changes to be out. ^_^ What happened with my druid was that her reputation stayed the same (but the equivalent for Alliance), as did her mounts, pets, etc. However it appears that all of her quests have been reset… well, at least, I’m theoretically able to do the Alliance quests in Northrend. I haven’t tested this though, it’s bad enough questing on my warlock. And I’m not sure if you’d gain money for the quests you “repeat”.

  18. TlanWarrior

    Yes the quests get reset. But everything else, other then mounts and titles stay the same.

    My brother and I transferred 2 different toons (He did a 80 Dwarf Hunter who had I think been black listed from all the raiding guilds on my server, to a Tauan hunter, and I took a 37 Human Rogue to a Belf Rogue, hoping that by changing and getting new quests, I’d finally get another 80; which of course didn’t happen, but its fun being on a hawkstrider for once)

    So basically everything stays the same minus mounts, and titles. So in theory its actually an easier way to get to 75 pets, because the alliance pets stay the same, so basically for $60 you get free pets.

    Theres a list someplace in the FAQ or where ever where it will show your title changes and mount changes.

  19. Trowa Barton

    ya but just for the race change and tourny aspect i dont see them makeing them reset since u chose wich faction to champion its much diffrent going ally to horde

    obviously ur nightelf couldnt chose to do orgrimar but ur nightelf could chose gnomergane exador ironforge exct i think it will end up being more work for them to reset it just for race changes and as proof i give you the cower bug… a simple fix but it would take more work lol work theyd rather not deal with

    all of the other obvious stuff ya but i meen just the Race change and tourny lol

    now the real question is can u turn ur formerly twinks ( now fancybank toon) exp off grind him a sprite pet and factiontransfer with it :D

    obviously lower then required quest but technically available to bolth sides

  20. Silvart

    Test … my last post didn’t seem to have made it to the comments :(

    I am considering changing my tauren hunter to an undead one … but we’ll see :)

    Silvart on Proudmoore

  21. Ethgrì

    ♠ For now I just plan on turning my old hunter to goblin soon as it’s possible. Male BE’s get annoying to play after awhile. I’ll prolly do the same with my warrior, though going from huge to tiny might piss off healers. After all, how do you click something 3 feet tall in a crowd of enemies???

    ² I hope that eventually they make it possible to have races not bind you to a faction. I mean after all, it’s not like they can’t decide that the gnomes DO LOOK LIKE golf tees after all… I’m horde all the way, but a worgen would be cool. Ah well, maybe eventually.

  22. Bromber

    I really don’t see a RP issue with going undead (old raceRace + plague barrel = undead). All one needs to do is add how one transformed into undead to the back story.

  23. Makoes

    you’d think for the tournement, they’d just make the faction things the equivalent of one-another, for example: Darnasus=silverymoon, Irongorge=Thunderbluff, etc. soo, what ever factions you’ve chosen, they’d have a set equivalents, when changing factions.

  24. Nimizar

    @Ethgri: that’s what unit frames are for (Alliance healers have had to deal with this for gnomes for years).

    @Makoes: I expect they will fix the AT quest line mappings eventually, but in the meantime the service doesn’t pose any problems for those that haven’t started AT yet.

  25. Rikaku

    Ok that’s it. I’m sick of all these BM nerfs. I’m super PO’D.

    ” * The Beast Within now lasts 10 sec (Down from 18 sec) but now also increases all damage you deal by 10%. (Apparently at all time … Would have to check in-game)
    * Bestial Wrath now lasts 10 sec. (Down from 18 sec)”

    Doubtful about that “all the time” as the Beast within is the Hunter-only buff when you cast “Beastial Wrath”.

    So once again, BM’s are nerfed for no freaking reason. We’re barely competitive in the best of gear, this is just getting stupid.

  26. Kelwina

    They need to fix up the BM tree already. I don’t care if they make it more complicated than SV (and I think that tree is ridiculous), if I want to raid with my spirit beast, I should be able to without getting shunned by every raid group out there. And right after they say they want to make us less cooldown dependant, they make this cooldown even more important to use at the ‘perfect’ time.

    /end rant

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