The beta for World of Warcraft Shadowlands is live this week, making some very interesting changes apparent to the player base. With the new expansion, you will be able to change your gender at the Barber Shop. This feature used to be a paid addition to the game, but it looks like Blizzard has listened to player demand on this front. So at least you don’t have to pay $15 anymore for the cosmetic change.
The Barber Shop was first introduced during Wrath of the Lich King, but with very limited functionality. Players could shift around hairstyles and a few other options. Nowadays, players can change nearly every aspect of their appearance, including eye and skin color. So having all of these options, it didn’t really make sense to charge for a gender change, given that’s it just a simple flag on the server side for a model change.
You can already give yourself a new beard or haircut, so that’s cool and all. Now with players wishing to change their character’s gender, and being able to do it for free, will make barbershops in World of Warcraft Shadowlands much busier.
As Blizzard has made a considerable effort to make their games more representative, especially with LGBTQ+ characters, the potential for players who wish to change their character’s gender finally has an accessible option. There are likely many players out there who want to take advantage of this option when the expansion comes out.
That does leave one thing that a lot players have been wondering about. A lot of players have been more and more questioning of the idea that being a member of a specific race locks a character into a chosen path with one in-game faction or another. Many have wondered if Blizzard would ever enable the option to switch sides. Or at the very least, be able to choose your faction at character creation. This became an option for the Pandaren when Mists of Pandaria launched, but still isn’t true for the other races.
So maybe at some point, that will be an option, but not for now at least.