For practically twenty years now (and lengthy earlier than that for those who depend its Warcraft predecessors), World of Warcraft has centered round a battle between two factions: the Alliance and Horde. By no means have the twain been in a position to meet to do content material collectively cooperatively in the MMORPG…however Blizzard says which will in the future change.In at the moment’s World of Warcraft Q&A at BlizzCon 2021, panel moderator Scott Johnson requested a quantity of questions relating to the latest bulletins of World of Warcraft: The Burning Campaign Basic and World of Warcraft: Shadowlands’ upcoming 9.1 patch to a panel of Blizzard builders together with sport director Ion Hazzikostas, concerning subjects such because the latest cinematics and lore, character availability and switch for The Burning Campaign Basic, and sport steadiness.

The dialogue turned to the truth that some of the “realms,” or servers in World of Warcraft have an exceedingly low inhabitants of both Alliance or Horde. And since gamers can solely do raids, dungeons, quests, and most different content material with their identical faction, this could typically result in gamers both altering to greater inhabitants servers or switching factions, successfully both making certain some servers grow to be much more skewed, or are deserted solely. Hazzikostas cited options like cross-server gameplay and linked realms as having alleviated a lot of that problem, however acknowledged that it was nonetheless an issue because of the want for guilds to be made up of characters all on one server, amongst different points.

Johnson then requested the panel a query that he acknowledged comes up seemingly on a yearly foundation, with a damaging reply every time: would Blizzard ever let the Horde and Alliance raid, or do Mythic dungeons collectively?

Hazzikostas bucked the pattern together with his response:

“I actually wouldn’t say by no means…There are a ton of explanation why it’s important to retain faction id, however for the sake of rated area, from day one, Alliance might combat Alliance and Horde might combat Horde. When Burning Campaign Basic comes out later this yr, that will likely be a factor and that will likely be a aggressive exercise, and that was one of these areas the place the gameplay and the necessity for matchmaking was the highest precedence and needed to be. In a super world, all of these priorities would co-exist, however on the finish of the day an MMO like World of Warcraft is about having the ability to play with your pals, having the ability to play the place you wish to be and arguably, there’s higher stretch in the faction id for those who really feel you possibly can actually select the faction you determine with, that you just really feel most a component of, and not need to sacrifice that as a result of you should be along with your group otherwise you wish to be a part of a higher-rated guild.

“I’ve coworkers who’re lifelong Alliance gamers who now play Horde, who actually want they may very well be Alliance, who’re doing it for guild causes, and I do know there are tens of 1000’s, possibly extra, in that very same boat all over the world. We would like to do one thing for them.”

No matter this modification finally ends up wanting like, it is clear that the potential unification Hazzikostas suggests is not coming anytime quickly. Whereas Patch 9.1 Chains of Domination features a quantity of new options together with a brand new raid, a mega-dungeon, and a brand new outside space, it would not appear to be the Alliance and Horde will get to play collectively for now.

However Blizzard does appear open to additional massive leaps that it might not have thought-about in the previous, with builders telling IGN in a pre-BlizzCon interview that they’re open to the thought of in the future releasing a Wrath of the Lich King Basic model — if sufficient gamers have an interest.

Rebekah Valentine is a information reporter for IGN. You’ll find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

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