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WoW devs have chalked Season of Discovery’s faction balancing up as ‘ridiculously great success’ Dot Esports

Senior World of Warcraft producer Josh Greenfield has declared the Season of Discovery’s faction-balancing changes to be a massive success, with the split between Alliance and Horde players on most servers reportedly “better than almost any period in WoW history.”

The war of the factions is as old as WoW, with players often gravitating to Alliance over Horde or vice versa for any number of reasons, ranging from racial and class preferences to how they may be buffed or nerfed, or even just for roleplaying. When Season of Discovery launched, Blizzard implemented new features to try and balance the system’s biggest problem—imbalanced numbers—and two months later, the devs believe it’s been runaway success.

One of the struggles Blizzard has had in the past is some servers tend to be more Alliance or Horde-oriented, which means it’s harder for players to join groups, participate in active communities, and have access to a flourishing auction house. The devs implemented a simple strategy to stop this from happening; if one faction on any given WoW server was grossly overbalanced, they would lock that faction, and people would have to join either the opposite faction or another server altogether. By doing this, the developers balanced the Alliance and Horde server ratios so there was roughly only a five- to seven-percent difference.

This close proximity in player numbers is the main reason Greenfield sees the change as a success, with the WoW dev celebrating on X (formerly Twitter) by writing: “It’s better than almost any sustained period in WoW history. So yeah, we are over the moon.”

It’s not been without hiccups, of course, with some players reporting they were often locked out of regions and factions where their friends were playing. Despite this, the balance lock appeared to have been a huge success and is likely going to stay into the future—at least according to the initial statistics Blizzard is looking at right now.

With SoD Phase Two launching on Feb. 8, it will be interesting to see if we’ll continue to experience faction locking and if the servers will remain somewhat balanced.

Hayley Andrews

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