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The List: Four Reasons We're All For World of Warcraft Getting Cross-Faction Guilds

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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One of the central pillars of World of Warcraft in its nearly two-decade history has been the dividing line between Horde and Alliance. Indeed, it’s been a rallying cry for the millions of players who have descended onto Azeroth’s shores, with players tattooing their respective factions on their bodies, faction-themed parties and weddings, and more.

While there has been pushback by purists worried that by melding the factions in this way would ruin some of the identity that has made WoW so memorable for players over the years. While cross-faction grouping, tapping, and raiding are now in the MMO, cross-faction guilds are one of the last barriers to fall in that tear down of that central pillar that divides the player base - literally.

We've known that cross-faction guilds are something World of Warcraft's developers are working on behind the scenes since the waning days of Shadowlands. Here are a few reasons why we think they should be more than considered, but put into practice as soon as possible.

World of Warcraft Dragonflight

Truly allows players to play how they want, with who they want

By allowing cross-faction guilds, Warcraft players will seemingly have that final barrier to playing how they want with who they want torn down. While there are ways to play on your Alliance Night Elf Priest while your friend jumps on their Blood Elf Warlock in a raid, being able to more easily jump into content with them via your own guild makes this infinitely easier.

It also breaks down one of the final pillars of Warcraft player segmentation: cross-faction chat. With an integrated guild, you can more easily communicate with your guild members regardless of faction. While this doesn’t allow an Alliance player to start chatting in local with a Horde player, it does make it easier to communicate with guild members of any faction who have opted in. Cross-faction communities are a workaround, but having that dedicated guild chat channel every member is a part of would make it so much easier.

This would also give a ready, willing and eager group of people a clear avenue to group for content without having to navigate the cross-faction grouping systems in the MMO as they exist now. Being able to grab a guild member to run a dungeon, kill some trash mobs, or prep for a raid is so much easier than putting together a cross-faction party with the limited tools in the MMO currently.

Improves Raid Communication

Ever try to communicate with a cross-faction player during a raid and have issues? Having a dedicated private chat channel, like a guild chat, would help to eliminate some of those issues. While raids are doable across factions, what happens if your raid leader is in a different faction than you? Not having the ability to easily chat with them in-game like you might normally be a massive hurdle during raid organization and combat.

While the obvious workaround here is through a Discord server or some other VoIP platform that are ubiquitous with gaming nowadays, there are still plenty of people who don’t feel comfortable on the mic, can’t always talk while gaming thanks to their surroundings, or just plain can’t afford a microphone. Additionally, if there are issues coordinating a cross-faction raid with limited in-game chat options, how will you be able to circumvent them in order to get a discord link to an opposite faction player?

As a result, having all your players in a guild, regardless of faction, helps to solve this issue. Not only do you have the private chat with guildies, but it also stands to reason the regular way guilds communicate with each other would make sending a Discord link for any VoIP server all the easier.

Better Resource Pooling

This one might be targeted more at crafting guilds, or players who are just plain tired of having to send materials on to alts that are in the same faction, just to get them to their desired end destination, but with a cross-faction guild, this would easily be solved: Guild Banks.

One might also suggest that if the guild is cross-faction, maybe overall trading should be at some point as well. While I don’t think we’re ever going to see Humans standing in the auction halls of Orgrimmar, being able to trade between factions should be possible. I mean, it’s not like there is a physical impediment stopping a postal carrier from going from Stormwind to Horde Pandaren members in Pandora, especially given this is a universe where flying mounts and airships exist.

Dragonflight World of Warcraft

Further breaks down the factionalism in World of Warcraft

Factionalism can be great for establishing an identity among your friends, but when it comes to endearing others it can be an impediment. I have friends who think incredibly poorly of Horde players because they choose to play there and vice versa. That rallying cry that can call fellows to your banner can also cause others to willingly stay away.

I’ll admit, it’s what turned me off of WoW for so many years. While it might not be indicative of the entire fanbase, the hyper-factionalism that exists with Horde and Alliance players, and how those feelings might spill out of the game and towards the real-life humans behind the screen was a major turn-off. I had mutual friends who wouldn’t hang out with each other early on in WoW’s life because one choose to play a Gnome and the other an Orc.

While I don’t think this sentiment is the same today as it was in the early 00s, it still does exist if you look at player backlash to the initial cross-faction announcement. For those players who so incredibly identify with their chosen faction, you just can’t do this. An Alliance member helping a Horde member just wouldn’t happen in their mind.

Except, it totally has. Since the end of Battle for Azeroth, the uneasy truce between the factions has largely held. World of Warcraft has also seen many of its heroes and main characters cross factional lines for the betterment of the world on multiple occasions. Also, if Jaina can do it, why is it so unheard of or unfathomable that I can as well?

World of Warcraft isn't going all of a sudden lose its identity or become irrelevant because it's moving away from one of the pillars it stood upon for so many of its years. It's simply evolving to fit the players of today.

I do think keeping any cross-faction feature like this opt-in for the foreseeable future. There will always be long-time guilds and groups who pride themselves on the nearly 20 years of roleplaying they’ve done, and Blizzard should respect and protect that choice as well. But by breaking down the guild barrier, my major hope is that we will see is much, much more integrated and less tribal World of Warcraft when it enters its third decade in a couple of years.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore