Character customization is a major initiative for Blizzard in World of Warcraft’s upcoming expansion, Shadowlands. But Blizzard is also changing some fundamental customization systems, most notably the ability to change your gender for free and at will.
In modern World of Warcraft, players interested in changing their character’s gender need to purchase a $15 appearance change on the Blizzard store. This is different from an in-game race change, and only allows players to change their gender or redo all their character customization at once.
Players who want to redo their hair and other aspects of their character can go to the in-game barber shop, located in most major cities in World of Warcraft. Starting in Shadowlands, players will be able to change their gender at these barber shops as well.
Executive producer John Hight revealed the change in an interview with Eurogamer.
“A long time ago, we had the ability for players to go in — it was actually a paid service — and change their character. Much of that is now in the barber shop in the game,” said Hight. “And 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.”
Hight went on to tell Eurogamer that this is not a change the studio can easily patch into the game, which is why players will need to wait for Shadowlands to be able to change their character’s gender for free.
Blizzard announced its plan to open the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands beta in mid-July, and said it will launch Shadowlands this fall. The studio also spoke about in-game Covenants, and we got a chance to check out the endgame zone, The Maw.