There’s no feeling worse than finding a new friend that shares your love for the gaming craze World of Warcraft only to have all hopes and dreams crushed by discovering they play for a differing faction. Since the online game’s 2004 release, gamers have had to choose a side, Horde or Alliance, to forever pledge their allegiance and servitude until the day they die–or at least stop playing. As the MMORPG continues its momentum and popularity nearly two decades later, Blizzard Entertainment announced a momentous change coming to the game which will allow Horde and Alliance members to battle alongside each other in dungeons, raids, and PVP modes.
Posting to Blizzard’s official World of Warcraft blog on New Year’s Eve, the company responsible for the most popular game in the world blew the minds of its devoted players with the announcement that the Alliance and Horde will soon be able to team up and play alongside each other. The game-changing updates are scheduled to release as part of the 9.2.5 update. To mark the big occasion, Blizzard put out an official statement saying, “There have been two decades’ worth of code and content crafted with the assumption that parties can only have players of a single faction, and while we want to make this feature available as soon as possible, the extent of the change means that it couldn’t be ready in time for the upcoming Eternity’s End content update. Instead, we are planning to test and release it as part of a subsequent 9.2.5 update.”
According to the newly posted guidelines, players will now be able to directly invite members of the opposite faction to their party via the gamers World of Warcraft BattleTag or Real ID friendship. Similarly, the premade groups in the Group Finder listings for various dungeons, raids, and arena’s will now be open to cross-faction play. It should be noted however that those not willing to set aside hostile feelings towards the opposite faction will still have the option to change their setting and turn off cross-faction play. Players guilds will remain single-faction, so players will still not be able to join the guild of someone on the opposite side.
Furthermore, random matchmaking activities like heroic dungeons, skirmishes, or random battlegrounds will remain as they were. The epic World of Warcraft news is definitely turning heads in the gaming community. Most fans seem to be ecstatic about the upcoming changes. After all, the limited cross-play abilities have often affected players negatively by limiting options of who they could play with. Blizzard likely has been keen on this hampering aspect of gameplay. It’s no secret that over the years, Blizzard has struggled to keep gamers coming back to the lands of Azeroth. In fact, Blizzard reportedly lost a staggering three million active subscribers in just three months in 2021.
While plenty of avid World of Warcraft aficionados are delighted about the coming changes to the game, there are plenty of gamers sounding off at Blizzard for the change. Tending to site the lore as the reasoning for anger with the new play format, many hardcore fans see the adjustments as a kick at the game’s lucrative lore detailing the hostility between the Horde and Alliance. In their defense, the conflicts of Azeroth date back much later than the cornerstone foundation of WoW. Deriving from the 1994 game Warcraft, the detailed lore depicts the battle that started it all between the Orcs and Humans. However, to draw criticism on the fans sighting lore as the sole reason not to adapt the game, many fanatics were fast to point out the countless times the Horde and Alliance actually teamed up to take on a bigger threat.
As for ruining the lore, Blizzard has proven time and time again to take deep consideration into planning the storylines strewn throughout the games 18 years in existence. Truly, it is a little heartbreaking to know one of the most distinct aspects of the game, choosing a faction and bleeding blue or red, will forever be changed. However, nearly two decades of running such a massive MMORPG like World of Warcraft needs a little evolution once in a while.