As part of World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands‘ upcoming patch, Horde and Alliance members will be able to play together.
Patch 9.2.5 is scheduled to arrive next week (May 31) and for the first time since the massively multiplayer online game (MMO) launched, players of opposite factions will be able to join together in the same party to complete dungeons and raids (via, PC Gamer).
As a development update from January explains, players will be able to play together in PvP using matchmaking or inviting each other via BattleTags. Pre-made Groups in the Group Finder listings for Mythic dungeons, raids, or rated arenas will be open to both Horde and Alliance players, though the group leader may choose to restrict the listing to same-faction applicants if they wish.
However, Guilds will remain single-faction, and random matchmade activities like Heroic dungeons, Skirmishes, or Random Battlegrounds will all remain same-faction as well. Several older legacy instances, which have faction-specific components, will also be reworked to support the cross-faction parties.
In a recent blog post, World Of Warcraft game director Ion Hazzikostas said, “At BlizzCon in 2019, when an attendee asked about cross-faction play, we responded at the time that ‘Alliance and Horde separation … is a pillar of what makes Warcraft, Warcraft.
“But upon reflection, that’s an oversimplification: Alliance and Horde identity is what is fundamental to Warcraft. And while at times that identity has been one of division and open conflict, we’ve seen Alliance and Horde finding common ground and working together ever since Warcraft 3 (notably including the last time a Warcraft chapter was named Eternity’s End…), and the instances of cooperation in World Of Warcraft itself are too numerous to count.”