The Daily Grind: Are you bummed about the faction divide in WoW Shadowlands?

    
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We all float down here.

During the World of Warcraft Q&A panel this past weekend, Blizzard confirmed that it’s not planning on dropping any walls between the factions to allow Alliance and Horde to play together. This isn’t going to come as a surprise to folks who’ve been watching WoW a long time, of course, since this is a question that’s been coming up at these Q&As for years. 2016:

Here’s 2017:

2017

And now, 2019:

Players are pretty grumpy about this continuance of the faction divide, however, since the game’s actual narrative has long been suggesting collaboration (“breaking the cycle“) rather than more eternal war. It’s not even clear why the divide needs to be there mechanically, which leads speculation that faction transfers generate a ton of money for the company. I find it pretty bizarre since it’s one of the few PvE-centric MMOs out there with this kind of split.

Eliot’s going to talk more about the story issues later this week later today, but for now, let’s just focus on the mechanical impact of preserving Horde vs. Alliance. Are you bummed about the faction divide in WoW Shadowlands?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Neurotic

You know, WoW is a saloon car. And making it factionless — it wouldn’t be a saloon car anymore, it would be a hatchback. And when you get tired of your car IRL, do you complain to the manufacturer that your hatchback isn’t a pickup? No, you try and buy a pickup.

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Neurotic

No, not at all. As Ion says, it just wouldn’t be WoW any more. What I think they should do, is go the EQ2 route of making a WoW 2 set in an alternate universe, and let that be the bold, brave new step forwards. But leave regular old WoW as it should be, and as it has been since RTS 1: Orcs vs. Humans!

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Sorenthaz

I guess I can see why they wouldn’t do it with Shadowlands, but after Shadowlands? Yeah, no, they’re just being stupid at that point. BfA was garbage because of how forced the warring was. The whole narrative was around that. The story was all about how to break that cycle.

If we don’t actually get a resolution to that, I’m going to be pissed at the writing team/developers for being stubborn idiots. No other PvE game divides their playerbase like this anymore. Only WoW does. It’s stupid, outdated, and it can’t keep being forced like this. Factions are already largely imbalanced in favor of the Horde when it comes to both PvP and high-end raiding guilds. Blizzard needs to stop pretending that it means anything in current WoW and leave that stuff to Classic/etc.

Andy McAdams
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Andy McAdams

Blizzard: Look! Alliance and Horde can work together and break the cycle of fighting each other!

Also Blizzard: Alliance and Horde can never work together.

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Minimalistway

No, i expect them to make players play with each other, but not removing the factions, that will never happen.

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Greaterdivinity

They’re so wedded to it that I don’t think they know what to do otherwise. All their stories revolve around the pointless faction war throwing a wrench into otherwise good plans.

Good lord would WoW be much more interesting if they did away with the overall faction war. But that would require a HUGE amount of work, so I understand why they’re hesitant. Fixing the narrative is easy enough, but I imagine addressing all the underlying systems and creating new factions/a faction-less system would be a mess.

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Bruno Brito

To be fair, that’s their job.

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Schlag Sweetleaf
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Utakata

…it doesn’t have to end up being a platypus though. That is, a dog designed by a committee. >.<

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John Buczek

Yeah, I was really hoping for a loosening of the faction restrictions. I don’t care about PVP at all. I don’t need to walk my Human mage through Org but it’d be nice to be able to group/ friend with individuals or be in the same LFG/LFR. The lore can do it’s thing at the high level. Let us play together on the ground floor.

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rosieposie

Yes, it continues to NOT make sense. Hmm, perhaps in that, it is perfectly in line with Blizzard story telling.

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Briar Grey

Colour me unsurprised that Blizzard doesn’t bother to figure out interesting in-character ways to improve cross-faction engagement while also maintaining the ability for their to be faction tension and fighting. It’s not difficult but they prefer to just pout that ‘this is how it is’ instead of listen, and god forbid they ever do decide to listen, because they’ll still probably do it all wrong then tell us it’s what we wanted.

A third neutral faction. Cross-race communication (honestly, we could learn other languages with a steep learning curve and have a shared common language since obviously our NPCs can talk to one another). etc. All very doable and in-character.