For the Horde? For the Alliance? For playing.

Blizzard plans to implement a new feature in an upcoming patch called ‘Mercenary Mode.’ It will let you join PvP matches fighting for the opposing faction.

Why the new feature? Blizzard wants to address the lengthy queue times to get into Ashran. One of the biggest issues with World of Warcraft’s PvP is the player population difference between the Alliance and Horde factions. Queue times on Ashran can regularly hit an hour or so.

Here’s what Blizzard shared about the upcoming feature.

In an upcoming patch, we’ll be adding a feature that allows you to act as a mercenary for the opposite faction in PvP. Whenever your faction is experiencing a long wait time to get into Ashran or unrated Battlegrounds, agents of the enemy faction will appear in your base in Ashran (Stormshield for the Alliance, Warspear for the Horde). These agents will allow you to enter Ashran or Battlegrounds disguised as an enemy player, and actually fight as the opposite faction.

When you compete as a mercenary, you’ll still earn all the same rewards you would have by winning or losing as your own faction (with the exception of faction-specific achievements). You’ll also have your race automatically changed into one appropriate for the opposite faction while you’re still inside the Battleground or Ashran. Perhaps most importantly, however, you’ll experience much shorter queue times, as our matchmaking system will be able to fill up groups much quicker!

Blizzard wants to maintain the “spirit of the core Alliance vs. Horde fantasy,” but it’s clear they are prioritizing shorter queue times. And, they should. Players’ experience should always come first. Faction populations are always skewed, and Blizzard needed to do something to help decrease queue times.

The feature will soon begin testing on the Public Test Realm, and Blizzard will be looking for player feedback to make tweaks.


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