There’s always been a strict wall in World of Warcraft between Alliance and Horde players — you can only cooperate with people from your own side. Blizzard is ready to (partly) remove that barrier, though. As Polygonexplains, WoW‘s 9.2.5 update will allow cross-faction dungeon crawls, raids and rated PvP matches. You won’t be cut off from your friends just because they chose the ‘wrong’ allegiance for their characters.
You’ll have the option to both directly invite people from an opposing faction or join premade groups in the Group Finder listings for a given event type. Group leaders can limit instances to same-faction players, however. And don’t expect to be living in harmony with rivals outside of these controlled circumstances. Guilds, matchmaking-based events and the regular world will behave as usual, so you’ll still need to be on your guard most of the time.
The feature is available regardless of level, although there will be a few old instances where multi-faction parties can’t enter, such as Battle of Dazar’alor, Trial of the Crusader and Icecrown Citadel. They’ll need to be “reworked” to eliminate single-faction elements, Blizzard said.
There’s no release date for the 9.2.5 update at this stage. It’s a long-requested update, and it’s well-timed in a post-Battle for Azeroth environment where the Alliance and Horde have reached a delicate truce. Whether or not it boosts player counts is another story. Dexertonotes Blizzard’s total monthly active base dropped by 20 million between 2017 and 2021, and WoW likely played a large role in that drop. Toss in an ongoing sexual harassment scandal and cross-faction WoW may only have a limited effect, even as it fulfills the hopes of many subscribers.