Historically, the Warcraft license has been based on the opposition between the Horde and the Alliance. However, some instances in World of Warcraft are intended to break down this opposition and allow players from both factions to play together.
While Blizzard has always been careful not to reduce the Alliance and the Horde to the “good guys” and “bad guys” of the world of Azeroth, the confrontation between the two factions remains one of the foundations of the Warcraft license. However, as Azeroth evolves, so do the mechanics of the MMORPG, and in a note published on the official website, Blizzard says it is now considering “cross-faction instances” in World of Warcraft.
In other words, Alliance and Horde players will soon be able to play together in some of the MMORPG’s instances (in dungeons, raids, and ranked PvP) and under certain circumstances. Regardless of their faction, players will be able to invite their friends and family if they are friends via the BattleTag or real name system.
This is known to be a controversial topic among players and some are very attached to the antagonism of the two factions. For this reason, Blizzard is obviously taking a lot of precautions to introduce this development – for example, the studio plans to allow group leaders to check an option in a group search to allow or disallow players from the other faction. To convince the naysayers, the studio also points out that through patches and expansions, the Horde and Alliance have already collaborated on several occasions against common enemies.
More prosaically, we know that World of Warcraft’s factions are imposing an increasingly restrictive model on both players and the developer. Players are confronted with servers that are sometimes very unbalanced (one faction largely dominates another, to the point of sometimes causing major migrations) and on a narrative level, it is sometimes complex to continue to articulate the opposition between the Horde and the Alliance when all the inhabitants of Azeroth must face common threats.
Blizzard is clearly taking a first step in opening up a small gap in the boundary that still separates the Alliance and the Horde, and while the studio says that factions are here to stay in the future, we imagine that this development could open up new possibilities in the future.