For the heck of it, I decided to try out Mercenary Mode. You can queue either Ashran or random battlegrounds, but you need to go talk to the NPCs first in order to get the Mercenary buff. They are located right outside the battle part of Ashran, near the honor vendors. The orc is for battlegrounds, and the blood elf is for Ashran. You get a 30-minute buff that allows you to queue for the other side, like so —
It’s the little gold coins.
Now, I don’t know if this buff is visible to other players or not, that is to say, whether they can tell you’re actually the other faction or not. No one commented on it when I was in, but they might not have been looking either. Your name and guild remain the same, so I suppose they could have looked me up on the armory if they felt like it.
I wanted a cow 😦
So here I am waiting in the AV cave! It was admittedly a bit weird, for one thing my transmog no longer matches because the Horde coloration is reddish-orange, not green. It was also weird not being able to Shadowmeld, and not being able to ride my Vicious Warsaber which is my usual ground mount.
I was curious to see what my hair looked like under that helm, but —
It turns out that we actually won this AV. So I won one game and lost one, same as when I queue normally — except that the queue was instant. So I have to say that I enjoyed Mercenary Mode, and will probably keep doing it if queues are long because there’s really no reason not to. Of course, it doesn’t actually solve the problem, but maybe it’ll help even things out.