Blizzard announced that cross-faction World of Warcraft gameplay is in the works on Monday. Both Horde and Alliance players will be able to create premade parties for dungeons, raids and rated PvP matches.
The official World of Warcraft Twitter also made a post announcing the feature. It included a short video originating from the Mists of Pandaria cinematic trailer.
It's happening. 👀
Cross-faction dungeons, raids, and rated PvP will begin testing soon.
— World of Warcraft (@Warcraft) January 31, 2022
Horde and Alliance cooperation
The development of this new feature is guided by two goals. First, to focus on organized instanced gameplay. Blizzard also wants to make this an opt-in feature, offering World of Warcraft players a choice on whether or not they wish to overcome the faction divide.
The new system would allow Horde and Alliance players to directly invite members of the other faction to a party. As for premade groups, they will be open to applicants of both Horde and Alliance as well. The group leader will be able to restrict same-faction applicants if they wish to do so.
Meanwhile, World of Warcraft guilds will remain single-faction. The same will be true for heroic dungeons, random battlegrounds and skirmishes.
When a party is created, opposite faction players will remain unfriendly in the “outdoor” location. However, players will be able to talk to each other via party chat. Once party members enter a raid, dungeon or rated PvP match, they will all become friendly. This means they’ll have the ability to trade loot, get shared in-game achievements and help each other out in a fight.
This cross-faction feature will apply to legacy instances and become available at all levels. However, some of the older instances such as Trial of the Crusader, Battle of Dazar’alor and Icecrown Citadel will not be available at the moment, according to Blizzard. These and a handful of others will have to be reworked for cross-faction gameplay.
World of Warcraft cross-faction gameplay
Blizzard acknowledged that this cross-faction feature may cause some unease due to the foundation of the game.
“Alliance and Horde separation… is a pillar of what makes Warcraft, Warcraft,” the announcement stated, referring to an answer from BlizzCon 2019. However, the announcement also noted that Horde and Alliance members have worked together since Warcraft III.
“For every Jaina, there is a Genn, and that seems unlikely to change any time soon,” Blizzard stated. “But why shouldn’t players be able to make that choice for themselves, especially in cooperative settings where the story revolves around coming together to overcome dire threats?”
World of Warcraft players will be able to test this cross-faction gameplay out on the 9.2.5 PTR. “We are planning to test and release it as part of a subsequent 9.2.5 update,” Blizzard added.
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Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!