Are Blizzard destroying the core principle of the game, or expanding upon the worldbuilding, making the world of WoW more in-depth. Only time will tell.
Today, Blizzard have announced that they are working on adding the ability for Alliance and Horde players to form premade parties together for dungeons, raids, and rated PvP. Developers are planning to test the Crossplay and release it as part of a subsequent 9.2.5 update.
In crafting the ruleset for this new feature, developers state they were guided by two goals, which, in their own words, are:
- Focus on organized instanced gameplay.
- Making this an opt-in feature as much as possible.
These guidelines, and the CrossFaction itself, will have the following impact on the game:
- 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, though 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.
Once in a party together, members of the opposite faction will remain unfriendly while in the wider WoW world, the same way they do today, though they will be able to communicate through party chat. Upon entering a dungeon, raid, or rated PvP match, however, all members will be able to fully cooperate the same way members of the same faction have always been able to.