World of Warcraft will soon let Horde and Alliance raid together

Blizzard’s groundbreaking MMO has announced major changes just a week after the company was acquired by Microsoft.

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Blizzard Entertainment has announced that its two World of Warcraft factions, long separated to preserve the core conflict of the franchise, will be able to unite in pre-made parties in an upcoming test build.

This is a major turning point for the game, which has always restricted communication and gameplay within each faction. But, as game director Ion Hazzikostas said in a blog post on Monday, “Dividing between factions could prevent close friends from playing together, or make players feel like their faction gives them far less freedom. opportunities to pursue their favorite group content.”

Upcoming changes will allow players from different factions to create predefined parties for “dungeons, raids, and ranked PvP,” according to the developer’s blog. Guilds and random matchmaking will remain faction dependent.

These new co-op features will appear in version 9.2.5 of the Public Test Realm – Blizzard’s space to test new content before its public release. No date was given for the 9.2.5 update.

“We hope these changes serve to strengthen the identity of the faction,” Hazzikostas said, “by allowing more players to play the faction whose values, aesthetics, and characters feel more compelling to them, rather than feeling forced to choose between their own preference and the ability to play with friends.”

The news continues a wave of major announcements for Activision Blizzard, which was sued by California last year for complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination and was acquired by Microsoft for $68.7 billion earlier in January. Blizzard announced a brand new survival game on January 25, the same day that one of Activision’s other studios, Raven Software, announced plans to vote on unionization. The workers have organized walkouts and strikes as they plead for better terms as they work on major titles like World of Warcraft.

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