World of Warcraft has always been known for, well, being in the warcraft universe. The one with the Alliance and Horde. Two cut-throat factions that hate each other, but sometimes come together for the greater good. It seems that now, the drums of war have stopped ringing and the Orcs versus Humans aspect of Warcraft may be coming to an end.
In the upcoming 9.2.5 update, Cross-Faction raiding, mythic+ and PVP is coming to World of Warcraft.
How Will This Update Work?
Logistically, this update is going to be pretty complicated for Blizzard. So much of Warcraft is built on there being two factions. Take for example, the Battle of Dazar’alor. This raid has two different stories depending on which faction the player is on. Another great example is Icecrown Citadel. So to counter this, Cross-Faction grouping will only be allowed in certain dungeons / raids, at least for now.
When in a working raid or dungeon, players will be able to do everything like normal. Trading gear, sharing food or spamming the train toy. The only difference is that a Draenei and Blood Elf will be raiding together.
Furthermore, the World in World of Warcraft will still follow Warcraft rules. Even if grouped, Horde and Alliance players will still be combative to each other in open world content. Random Battlegrounds, Skirmishes and LFR / LFG will all be same faction as well. This is due to the random nature of it creating less competitive pressure and removing the opt-in nature of this change.
Speaking of which, the opt-in aspect is the biggest part of this update. If someone is a proud Orc who wants to kill every Human on sight, they are still allowed to. If someone is a hardcore Alliance raider, that is their right. But if someone in the group of players has a friend on the opposite faction, no longer do they or their friend need to make an alt. That is the type of player this change is targeting.
What about Guilds / Why WoW Cross-Faction?
As of now, Guilds are still staying the same faction. This is mostly due to the identity of guilds. Now, if guilds want to party with a few players from the opposite faction for activities, they still can. The opposite faction players just can’t join the guild.
All in all, this is one of the biggest and most exciting changes for World of Warcraft. In recent years, this change seemed needed after massive groups of players had to be on a certain faction to find players. For instance, every Race to World First Guild is on Horde. Their racials are simply put better for raiding and the majority of the hardcore raiders are there. This isn’t to say there aren’t good Alliance raiders, but rather that it’s easier to find a group on the Horde side of things.
Also, as mentioned earlier, story wise and logistics wise this makes sense. In the story, we are at a point where the Horde and Alliance have not been in conflict for an entire expansion. At the end of BFA as well, Thrall and Jaina also promised they need to break the cycle of war. This isn’t to say all is peachy clean between the Alliance and Horde. Night Elf players have not forgotten Teldrassil, but if there was ever a time to do it narratively, now is it. Plus it just straight up sucks for the majority of players to have two geared characters to play with all their friends.
For more details on the upcoming change, check out the original article by Blizzard.
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