World of Warcraft Shadowlands: Free gender changes, flying requirements, and six-month sub mount

    
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World of Warcraft Shadowlands: Free gender changes, flying requirements, and six-month sub mount

With World of Warcraft: Shadowlands’ beta set for next week, it’s starting to feel like there’s some actual hype building behind this next expansion. We’re learning all sorts of interesting facets to this next era from Blizzard and other sources, such as the fact that the studio is going to drop the fee to change your character’s gender in the barbershop.

“As we were adding things up in Shadowlands, we realized, ‘Gosh the only way you can change your gender in World of Warcraft is to go through this paid service.’ And we felt like that’s not the right message,” said Executive Producer John Hight.

Another big change with the expansion is the fact that unlocking flying in the afterlife will be unlocked through Covenant renown instead of grinding out multiple faction reputations. “What we’re going to do to to unlock flying in Shadowlands is that this is going to be based on renown, so as you develop your renown with your covenant, that will effectively unlock Pathfinder,” Hight said.

And Blizzard is certainly trying to rope in the faithful to commit to a six-months subscription package. As it has done in the past, the studio is offering an exclusive mount for buying a half-year package: a mechanical dragon known as the Steamscale Incinerator. What’s interesting is that players in certain parts of the world will also get a panda cub pet as well with the deal.

Source: Eurogamer, Wowhead, Icy Veins. Thanks Utakata!

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Anthony Clark

I stopped buying expansions when they started restricting flying.

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Ben Stone

So pretty much all of them except Cataclysm?

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Bannex

Shadowlands is at least 6 months out. Ouch.

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agemyth 😩

This alone doesn’t do much to move the needle on ActiBlizz being the bad guys, but HEY this is a great thing to do no matter how I look at it.

Now I’ll be tempted to try dipping a toe into living as a male worgen on my #2 character. Poor female worgen don’t get to look as cool. They may have added the goblin and worgen new models since I last played, so maybe that helped a bit.

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Bannex

I really can’t wrap my head around the idea that a video game company that funds their own games can be considered “bad guys”.

I mean I think of drug cartels, terrorists and fringe hate groups as bad guys. These guys make pretty good vidyagamez same with ubisoft.

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agemyth 😩

Big corporations are indeed bad guys. If you don’t already know that I won’t be the person that manages to make it clear for you.

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Bryan Turner

Maybe I’ll get to fly for the first time in 10 years, because there’s no way in hell I was ever going to jump through all those hoops.

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Greaterdivinity

Now do the other services like race and faction changes!

This is a good change, period. One less paid service for a subscription MMO.

Though I’ll say the people getting OUTRAGED by this move because they feel it’s some perceived social/political slight are all bloody idiots of the highest order. And precisely why we can’t have nice things. (been seeing them pop up in comments sections and forums, sadly)

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Totes McGoats

Even if you think this is dumb (it kinda is), free gender changes are useful for all so I don’t see the problem.

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Utakata

Wait, folks are complaining about a services they no longer have to RMT for? o.O

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Greaterdivinity

Depressingly, yes. Some people view this as “pushing a social/political issue” upon others.

It’s truly mystifying how some people can take something that’s pretty much objectively a good thing and still find a way to be outraged and offended by it. Humanity is truly capable of wonders beyond comprehension.

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Totes McGoats

“As we were adding things up in Shadowlands, we realized, ‘Gosh the only way you can change your gender in World of Warcraft is to go through this paid service.’ And we felt like that’s not the right message,” said Executive Producer John Hight.

Shouldn’t they allow free name changes too by that logic?

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styopa

There is no accommodation that doesn’t trigger further expectation/demands/calls for more accommodation.

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Totes McGoats

I don’t want accommodation just free stuff. But my point is valid, is it not?

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styopa

Oh, absolutely, and I like free stuff too.
I just think that “that’s not the right message” comment suggests there’s some virtue signaling behind this and while sure, while you and I like having it just because it’s free stuff, I rather expect that if they believe that this will ‘score them any points’ with the Alphabet Brigade, they’re probably sorely mistaken.

My guess is that the next push will be insisting that it’s cruel and reductive to suggest gender is a binary thing.

I personally couldn’t care less; if it gets us more free stuff I’m all for it. I just suspect their POINT in offering it in the first place will only engender (see what I did there?) more complaints.

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Schmidt.Capela

My guess is that the next push will be insisting that it’s cruel and reductive to suggest gender is a binary thing.

I might dislike EA, but I do have to praise what they did in Sims 4 regarding gender identity, even if belatedly. For every sim, players are able to independently choose the physical frame (i.e., if the sim’s body is built like a male or a female); clothing preference (if the sim prefers to dress like a man or a woman when autonomously dressing); whether the sim is capable of getting pregnant, impregnating others, or neither; and whether the sim uses the toilet standing or sitting. Also, any and every piece of clothing is available for all sims regardless of their physical appearance, and those clothes don’t change depending on whether the sim looks like a male or a female.

Half of that wouldn’t be relevant for WoW, of course, but it would be nice to have a toggle for whether the armor you’re using should look like the male version or the female version (with some kind of breast covering added to topless male armor when worn by female characters).

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Dug From The Earth

The question is, will earning renown for your covenant be as tedious, boring, and frustrating as the past expansions tasks for unlocking pathfinder?

Thoughts of Suramar come to mind, with time gated/locked progress for earning reputation, and the necessity to do super annoying and frustrating content to earn said rep.

And what if you switch covenants? Does your renown progress transfer? Does it reset? If it resets, then no one in their right mind is ever going to switch.

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jealouspirate

One important change is that renown, unlike reputation, will have catch-up mechanics like AP/Azerite. So if you come to the expansion later on it should be much faster to unlock flying than it would with a typical rep grind. Or if you’d rather wait and take your time the catch-up mechanics will speed it up for you. It sounds like a good change to me.

I do think the question of switching covenants is important, not sure how it will affect pathfinder progress yet.

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Dug From The Earth

if thats true, thats pretty cool.

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jealouspirate

It is true! Exact details are still scarce, but there’s an article about it on wowhead here:

https://www.wowhead.com/news=316832/pathfinder-will-be-based-on-covenant-renown-instead-of-reputation-in-shadowlands