The concept based on the rivalry between two feuding factions is one of the core elements driving gameplay in World of Warcraft. Although plot-wise the Alliance and the Horde have buried the hatchet several times in order to oppose the greater evil together, for a long time players in the opposing camps were forced to form in-game alliances only within their own faction. However, the situation is set to change in the announced update 10.1, entitled Embers of Neltharion.
An expansion of an earlier concept
As part of the aforementioned patch, the game will for the first time ever introduce the possibility for Alliance and Horde players to join the same guild. A kind of foretaste of this event was introduced in last year's update 9.2.5 to the Shadowlands expansion, in which representatives of feuding factions could form joint groups and then cooperate in selected activities. Embers of Neltharion however, goes a step further, introducing full integration of players of opposing sides under the flag of a common guild.
Some details related to the new feature were shared by Blizzard in developer notes posted on the official forum of the game. From the post we learn, among other things, that guilds will still remain associated with one of two factions and this will be determined by the guild leader's affiliation. What follows - such elements as group achievements or vendors will still be associated with the Alliance or Horde side. Members in favor of the contrasting grouping will be able to enjoy the benefits of group perks, but will not be able to take an active part in achieving certain guild achievements.
A specific context related to the introduction of such a drastic change to the game can be found in the interview given to representatives of several websites by Morgan Day (deputy game director) and Steve Danuser (chief narrative designer):
"[...] The factions - Alliance and Horde - are a huge part of World of Warcraft. Even if I'm able to play with people from another faction, the huge importance that they [factions] have for the story in particular is something that will never disappear from WoW.
Morgan Day - deputy game director
Other new features in the update and further development of the game
In addition to revolutionary changes to guild structures, update 10.1 will introduce a number of other new features. Among the most important by far are:
- new area, Zaralek Cavern, along with a number of related tasks;
- new raid - Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible;
- improved equipment upgrade system;
- or, finally, the return of Drogbars - a race of well-liked humanoids, unseen in the game since the Legion expansion.
Update 10.1 Embers of Neltharion is expected to represent the beginning of the second season of the Dragonflight expansion. While the exact release date of the update is not yet known, it has been available on the PTR since yesterday. On the recently released roadmap for the game, the developer also announced the upcoming update 10.0.7 Return to the Forbidden Reach, which will arrive in the game on March 21..
All those interested in the game are also reminded of the ongoing free trial period of the newest expansion. As part of it, until March 12 you can test Dragonflight for free.