Shadowlands Patch 9.2.5 release date announced

Before Blizzard made it a whole world, Warcraft was always about two sets of fantasy action figures battling each other. Orcs and humans. Horde and Alliance. While World of Warcraft has seen opposing factions band together in the past to defeat major villains, they have never been able to do so as a permanent function of the MMO’s grouping systems. In next week’s Shadowlands patch 9.2.5, that finally changes.

Horde and Alliance players will be able to join each other (opens in new tab) within the same group and complete dungeons and raids together, as well as form teams for PvP, using the respective matchmakers or inviting each other through BattleTags. There are some restrictions: pre-built groups have the option to disable cross-faction play, guilds remain faction locked, and a small list of legacy instances does not support this. Otherwise, factions that have been at each other’s throats narratively (and less socially over time) can now collaborate on endgame content.

“At BlizzCon in 2019, when an attendee asked about cross-faction play, we responded at the time that ‘the separation of the Alliance and the Horde… blog post (opens in new tab). “But come to think of it, this is an oversimplification: the identity of the Alliance and the Horde is what’s fundamental to Warcraft. And while that identity has at times been one of division and open conflict, we’ve seen Alliance and Horde finding common ground and working together ever since. Warcraft 3 (including the last time a Warcraft chapter was named Eternity’s End…), and the instances of cooperation in World of Warcraft itself are too numerous to count.”

Patch 9.2.5 will be released on Tuesday, May 31st. The patch also includes a list of other changes, including the introduction of a new PvP arena called Enigma Crucible. Like the other arenas in the game, it’s a nearly symmetrical battleground for groups of players to duel in the most competitive form of PvP in the game.

Reddit User grayvves (opens in new tab) points out that the update will also include a new high definition version of the classic shielded hand cursor and no other high definition cursors… for some reason. I think there is a limit to changing many WoW mainstays in one patch.

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