This is an article in our fictitious series where we imagined a world in which we designed WoW 10.0. Read other articles in this series.
Our champions are returning from the Shadowlands after having saved all of existence. The journey to the Shadowlands has fundamentally changed you upon your arrival back in Azeroth. What has been happening during your time away? You cannot shake a feeling that Azeroth is still facing dire, unknown threats. Old gods? An unknown invader? These threats do not care if you are a part of the Horde or Alliance. One thing is certain: you do not have the power necessary to face what is coming. You will be searching for clues about the nature of the threat in the forgotten corners of Azeroth. During this search, you will be seeking out artifacts of great power to re-invent yourself and reach new levels of strength.
Your trip to the Shadowlands was a humbling experience. The never-ending animus between Horde and Alliance seems trivial in retrospect. A grudging respect has been forged and peace between the factions now prevails.
- All PvP, Dungeon, and Raid instanced content can now be run with cross-faction teams
- War Mode has become Honor Mode. This mode allows open-world combat between factions as a test of strength.
- Auction houses are now cross-faction. Additionally, servers have been grouped into population centers that all share an auction house for roughly the same number of total players.
The war between the factions was a basis of the lore and gameplay of WoW, but, the separation of the player base into two groups that cannot interact has not aged well. Players have figured out that it doesn’t make sense to only recruit from half the player base, so they are congregating in one faction to make finding groups easier. This has caused people who prefer the aesthetic of one faction to feel compelled to play a different faction instead. From a lore perspective, never-ending war and hatred between two different groups of people is a backdrop that does not resonate with our player base anymore. This fantasy world should be an escape from the partisanship of daily life, not a continuation of it.
A free one-time faction change will be provided for each character a player has upon 10.0 launch.
Players no longer strongly identify with servers. The players who play on low population servers are at a disadvantage due to scarcity of goods in the player economy. We are opening up the auction house system to some level of cross-server trade so that the economy is not as heavily dependent on server population.