There, I said it.
Free "One-Way" Faction Changes are desperately needed. ("One-Way" meaning that you can only switch factions to side with the small population.)
Almost all realms are imbalanced - they're a complete and utter mess. It's a worldwide WoW issue too and it's not just limited to NA or EU realms.
Blizzard designed WoW to be balanced and they're constantly making minor changes to keep this balance. Because of this symmetry, if something is not balanced it causes a domino effect on all other facets of the world.
- Tol Barad and Wintergrasp are brutal and almost impossible to join. 30 people can join out of 1000 waiting every 2 hours. And it doesn't even matter how early you queue. Nice.
- 30-120 minutes wait times to join a Battleground, only to find out you're outnumbered 15:10.
- So much wasted time and customer frustration. In some cases, even scaring them away from WoW completely.
- PVP growth rates (ie honor gain, collecting gear, etc) are imbalanced, giving an unfair advantage to factions with smaller populations.
- The imbalances have completely reshaped the culture of players: what they do, where they go, what items to make, what to sell items for, what to gather, which guilds to join, who to interact with, who or which areas to avoid, etc.
- Population imbalances effect markets and economies, completely destroying the value of gold and player professions on one side. They're probably doing more harm than gold farmers ever could.
In essence, you're penalized for wanting to join groups or find more friends. Blizzard constantly encourages socialization and joining guilds, but they don't show the fine print.
"Hey guys! Invite your friends! Join Guilds! Socialize! Oh by the way, you'll pay dearly for it."
If by design the World of Warcraft was supposed to be balanced for everything to work properly, why is Blizzard performing several _other_ balancing acts, but not where it matters the most? This is the one item that they're not doing anything seriously about. The only difference between this balancing act and the others is that there's potential profit involved. It's the only reason I can fathom that they're not opening up Free Faction Changes.
The "World" is definitely not working the way it was envisioned and designed. There are constant patchwork jobs for something that's NOT working as intended and yet there's an available fix nearby. Hell, Blizzard.. at least do an experiment to see if it actually works or not! Test it out on one realm, as a "special gift" or "anniversary reward". You'll shut me up (and the others) if it doesn't work.
I'd love to move all of my characters over to the other faction just so that I can PVP again. But there's no way in hell I'll be paying $600.00 USD to do it.