Blizzard announced today on their official forums that in an upcoming update for World of Warcraft, characters in the Horde and Alliance factions will finally be able to play together.
World of Warcraft has been a staple for Blizzard Entertainment and the MMORPG scene for over 17 years now. Though the game has changed in many ways since its inception in 2004, one constant has been the division between the game’s two warring factions, the Horde and the Alliance.
The update is not currently available, but it is believed to release as part of the upcoming 9.2.5 update, planned shortly after the next major patch, Eternity’s End, which also currently doesn’t have an exact release date.
Blizzard has recently been reexamining a lot of WoW‘s key features, and have been working to address community concerns and requests. In an interview with IGN, game director Ion Hazzikostas stated that Blizzard is in the process of redefining what the game has been for over a decade.
A lot of this change seems to come from necessity. Although the game is still widely popular, as time goes on the player base also moves away to other games and activities. Making the game fresh again with small, redefining features can certainly entice players back into its world, and correct many of the problems that drove them away in the first place.
For now, the planned changes appear to be rather minor. Players will only be able to group with characters of the opposing faction during dungeon instances, and not in the open world. Players can invite opposing faction characters to their party if they are already friends with them via the Blizzard BattleTag or RealID systems, or if they are a member of an existing cross-faction community. Also, when using the Group Finder tool, players can search for characters of both factions, or just their own. While in a party, they’ll be able to directly communicate, trade items, and earn achievements while inside the instance.
Guilds and all other random matchmaking activities will remain the same for now. Also, there are a handful of dungeon instances with specific faction components that will not allow for cross-faction groups. These include the Battle of Dazar’alor, Trial of the Crusader, and Icecrown Citadel.
What do you think of this change? Do you see this as a positive step for WoW’s future, or is this a signal towards the end of the famed MMORPG? Sound off in the comment section below or join or Discord community using the following QR code!