Yea, it’s a different thing. Personally, I’m on the fence as to which is more appropriate. On the one hand, Merc Mode means that Alliance still has fast queues but also the general pool of less able fighters (call it racials, skill, or whatever, the fact remains). So if you merc, you’re trading faster queues for a lower chance at winning. It means there’s still general incentive to be Alliance, even if it’s trivial.
With this system, there’s no positive to being Alliance. Horde can queue against Horde so they’ll always have fast queues and your team will likely be generally better. However, Horde should return to a more normalized win rate since they’ll be fighting each other now.
So I can see positives on both sides and am not firmly in one camp or the other, with respect to merc mode or same faction queues.
(I’m not suggesting you are either, just commenting on my perspectives.)
When we were doing AV War Games back in WoD we only did Alliance vs. Horde. I don’t know if we even tried to get a same faction thing going. It was a big thing for us on the BG forums, a rivalry with a Horde community who were premading AV at the time. It led to some fun times.
If they say that War Mode doesn’t support same faction AV, I can see how they might not have hooked that up. However, if Merc mode lets you do AV, I think the tech is there. They’ve had the race swap thing in for a while now. In the 8.2 raid there was a set of fights for each faction where you played as the other faction. My Human got swapped to Undead and vice versa. I think that’s how Merc mode works… you just sign up and you play as the other faction?
Anyway, I feel like the npc thing is a solvable issue. If Blizzard is gonna run with this, I think that they might as well do AV also. It’s odd that they aren’t. Or maybe it’s just something they can’t do immediately and are working on it?