World of Warcraft screenshot of an Orc and Human together from the Mists of Pandaria trailer

[Update #2]: World of Warcraft has now added cross-faction grouping along with Dark Ranger themed character customization options for elves!

[Update]: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands' final major Update 9.2 - Eternity's End has now been unleashed!

One of the very worst things about World of Warcraft, and one that I frequently ran into over the years, is finding out a friend of yours also plays the game... but on the opposite faction. It was always a moment of pure elation, immediately followed by the crushing realization that you two can never play together without investing an insane amount of hours catching up on a new character.

With that in mind, I am beyond excited to say that after a decade of these types of complaints, Blizzard has finally listened! As a part the still distant Update 8.2.5, World of Warcraft will allow both factions to team up in order to do Mythic dungeons, raids and all forms of rated PvP!

While you will be able to make groups with players from the other faction outside of these activities, those players will still be unfriendly or straight up hostile to you depending on your Warmode settings. In other words, the whole Alliance vs Horde divide will still be present and you will not be able to simply stroll into Stormwind as an Orc and expect to be greeted with anything but a mace to the face. Similarly, if you don't like the idea of grouping with the other faction and want to exclusively play with your own side, you will be able to do that thanks to a handy toggle in the group finder.

Sadly, there is one big downside to all of this, and that is the simple fact that you can't join cross-faction guilds. You can join cross-faction communities that kind of fill that role, but for any sort of serious end-game content you'll still be restricted to your own faction. That's a massive shame, especially for the already underpopulated Alliance, so I can only hope Blizzard will change this once the cross-faction system has been implemented and found stable enough to support it.

Should that happen, I'll make sure to let you know. For now, however, you can read a little bit more about the future of World of Warcraft over at the official website.