The news many people had been waiting for, but most never thought would happen.
It's not something we expected Blizzard to do, despite the community calling for such a feature. Finally, in patch 9.2.5 (no release date) we'll see Alliance and Horde players come together and play as one. It won't remove the faction rivalry completely, however, with guilds still being factions specific. The change is focused on organized instanced gameplay, and will see Horde and Alliance pair up in dungeons, rated PVP and raids. This system will be "opt-in" as much as possible. The goal is to create more options for players.
How it will work
- Players will be able to directly invite members of the opposite faction to a party if they have a BattleTag or Real ID friendship, or if they are members of a cross-faction WoW Community
- Premade Groups in the Group Finder listings for Mythic dungeons, raids, or rated arena/RBGs will be open to applicants of both factions. The group leader may choose to restrict the listing to same-faction applicants if they so choose.
- Guilds will remain single-faction, and random matchmade activities like Heroic dungeons, Skirmishes, or Random Battlegrounds will all remain same-faction (both because there is less faction-driven pressure around random groups, and to avoid compromising the opt-in nature of the feature by randomly placing a queuing orc in a group with a night elf).
One interesting thing to note in the announcement. Blizzard stated that while in the group but in the outdoor world, Horde and Alliance players will be hostile and killable if War Mode is active. Though, they will be able to communicate. Once they enter a dungeon, however, they'll be able to play and interact as you would with any other ally in a dungeon.
The feature will also work for legacy content and not just the newest content. There are exceptions, however, and those are Battle of Dazar’alor, Trial of the Crusader, Icecrown Citadel and "a few more".
The changes have been well received across the WoW community. As it looks set to be a feature that will be a hit when it arrives. The feature is still a long way off, with patch 9.2 still not announced at this stage. Though, the feature should be available for testing at some point in 2022.