Flash back to six months ago. There were people swearing up and down that the Blood Elves would ruin the Horde with their silly antics and their overly-pretty looks. Many on the Horde side had misgivings that we'd be dealing with a slew of switchers who were just rolling Horde to play pretty characters, but otherwise would bring little to the table. I remember seeing forum postings saying that Blood Elves would be outcast and unwelcome, and even a couple of "boycotts." Many other people were complaining about the "space shaman" that the Alliance were getting. Well, okay, most of the complaints were about the male models -- I don't think anyone on the Alliance side disliked the female Draenei models. Then of course, there were those who were just as unhappy with the changes to the Blood Elf models made towards the tail end of the open beta and swore they wouldn't roll one due to the larger chest.
Flash forward to now. My guild has one Blood Elf paladin who is approaching endgame: an old guild mate who re-rolled. We also have a host of Blood Elf alts in various stages of being run up through the ranks. None of us are even batting an eyelash at any of them. There again, none of these are new players to the guild, so we aren't dealing with any potential switchers. Another of my guild mates is doing the faction grind to get her undead a chocobo... err... thunder chicken... whatever those things are. The forums are no longer ablaze with "Blood Elves suck!" or "Just say no to space squid!"
I know for me, despite misgivings, the Blood Elves have largely been a blip on my personal radar. I have a Blood Elf hunter (stereotypical, had to do it) who is all of level 19, and has been collecting dust for some time now. I saw the content and experienced most of the new quests, which was pretty much what I set out to do. None of it has made me want to level a Blood Elf to endgame to take the place of my Troll/Tauren/Undead characters. And that's even including the Blood Elves having some extremely awesome racials that I'm sure will eventually make me level one.
Have the Draenei or Blood Elves totally changed your gaming landscape? Have you noticed a lot of faction switching, or did you switch to the other side yourself? Did people really boycott, or were prejudices eventually left behind? For those of you who rerolled or switched, have you been treated any differently?
Just curious, since there was so much fire and vitriol about the new races before Burning Crusade went live.
[many thanks to Sean]