WoW Will Finally Allow Cross-Faction Guilds After Nearly Two Decades
One of the last remaining barriers between Horde and Alliance players is coming down at last.
World of Warcraft will finally allow for cross-faction guilds, almost a year after Blizzard allowed members of the Horde and Alliance to group together for certain content and nearly 20 years after the game's initial launch.
The ability to create cross-faction guilds that are composed of players from both factions is coming as part of Dragonflight 10.1, Embers of Neltharion, and will additionally introduce a new zone, raid, UI improvements, and story content.
Cross-faction guilds is a feature Blizzard has said in the past that it wanted to deliver. When the developer first announced cross-faction instanced content last year as part of the crowd-pleasing Shadowlands patch 9.2.5, the subject of cross-faction guilds was the obvious next step in the minds of many players. However, Blizzard at the time said there were hurdles that would need to be overcome in order for the feature to happen.
In an interview with GameSpot, WoW game director Ion Hazzikostas said it was important that the feature remained opt-in and wasn't forced on players who may want to keep their faction identity intact.
"We see this as a conservative step in the same vein as cross-faction instances," Hazzikostas said. "This is still opt-in. We want to make sure the focus is not on tearing down Alliance and Horde as entities in Warcraft, or making complete unity the default experience, but making sure players who have real life or other out-of-game bonds with folks on the opposite faction can play with them and experience WoW together, because at the end of the day, that's the prime value here."
When cross-faction guilds do arrive, it will in many ways signal a new era for Blizzard's MMO, one that is increasingly less defined by the bitter rivalry between members of the Horde and Alliance and more focused on cooperation and understanding between the two factions. That theme is one that is already prevalent in the story of Dragonflight, which puts a focus on the top explorers, adventurers, and intellectuals from both factions cooperating to discover the secrets of the Dragon Isles.
There are, however, still some activities players on opposing factions can't group up to complete together, including matchmade content and quests out in the open world. That's something that would likely be the next step for WoW's cross-faction implementation, even if it's something Blizzard isn't currently planning.
"There's a lot more technical and logistical challenges to solve in terms of the outdoor world," Hazzikostas said. "Quests that are single faction, lots and lots and lots of stuff that was built with the assumption that you would never have Alliance and Horde together in a group. But it's something that there's value in exploring, the same way we have with instances and guilds."
Dragonflight 10.1 will release sometime this summer after a period of testing on the game's public test realm. It will take players to the new Zaralek Cavern zone located deep underneath the Dragon Isles, where they will team up with a new race of mole people, the Niffen, and battle to uncover the secrets within Neltharion's secret laboratory, Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible.
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