Blizzard has revealed the release date for one upcoming World of Warcraft patch and shared details for another, the latter of which will add a much-requested cross-faction feature, allowing Horde and Alliance players to unite under the same guild banner for the first time in Azeroth’s history.
Last year, a minor Shadowlands patch started to blur the lines of the faction divide (opens in new tab), allowing players from opposing sides to team up for certain types of group content. The update also gave in-game communities the ability to turn on cross-faction functionality. Guilds were still fully locked down, but that’s set to change with the newly announced (opens in new tab) Embers of Neltharion update.
World of Warcraft was built on the conflict between Horde and Alliance, and while many of the expansions’ storylines have seen them come together and temporarily put aside their differences for the greater good, the opposing factions have always been very separate when it comes to actual gameplay.
“We are trying to be really considerate with [cross-faction] changes and, you know, watching where we step as we make changes because we recognize the impact that that has on, not just our community, but the game itself,” says associate game director, Morgan Day, in an interview with Wowhead (opens in new tab). “Factions, Alliance and Horde, are a huge part of World of Warcraft. Even if I can play with people on the other faction, the tremendous weight that they have […] in the story is something that will never go away in World of Warcraft.”
There are no real details of what cross-faction guilds will look like, or if any restrictions will be in place. Still, it’s certainly exciting news and blows the possibilities wide open when it comes to character choice—something that has been restricted up until now if you want to stick with the same group of friends.
As well as the highly anticipated cross-faction guilds, Embers of Neltharion will usher in Dragonflight Season 2 with a new zone and a new raid, Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible. A handful of new dungeons are also set to hit the Mythic+ dungeon pool. These have been confirmed as follows:
- Brackenhide Hollow
- Halls of Infusion
- Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr
- Freehold (Battle for Azeroth)
- The Underrot (Battle for Azeroth)
- Neltharion’s Lair (Legion)
- Vortex Pinnacle (Cataclysm)
As well as the Embers of Neltharion announcement, Blizzard revealed that patch 10.0.7, Return to the Forbidden Reach, releases later this month on March 21 and will open up the titular dracthyr zone to all max-level players, as well as a new sub-zone, the Zskera Vaults.
There is currently no release date for WoW Dragonflight patch 10.1, Embers of Neltharion, though it is set to arrive on the PTR (Public Test Realm) on March 9.