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Will There Be a Third Faction in Patch 9.0?

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Battle for Azeroth introduced player choice, where your decisions affect the game. The Horde right now is shattered again, and while Blizzard confirmed Sylvanas would not end up like Garrosh, her actions cause a divide between racial leaders and forge alliances between enemies.

Before we go through the possible addition of a third faction, it's important to look at the Horde story in Battle for Azeroth so far...

Baine Bloodhoof

While the peaceful Tauren leader was working with Sylvanas for a few patches, he really started hating her when she raised Jaina's brother Derek to use him as a tool against the Proudmoore family.

Baine decided to assault a ship with Zelling, where Derek was being held captive, only to free him and meet with Jaina at what remains of Theramore to reunite the raised brother and sister.

When Sylvanas learned of this, she trapped him beneath Orgrimmar and in the latest chapter of the Patch 8.2 War Campaign, both factions work together to free him.

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Saurfang

Our good old Orc wants to die with Honor and after Sylvanas' atrocious act of burning down Teldrassil, he was taken into custody and later freed by King Anduin, because he decided not to kill Malfurion when he had the chance and was ordered to do so. He's the main face of the revolt against the Warchief.

Saurfang later reached out to Thrall to help him secure the future of the Horde.

Thrall

Thrall returned back in Battle for Azeroth to help Saurfang free Baine from a certain death. Even Shaw and Proudmoore came to aid, because Baine returned Derek back to her and that was the cause why poor Baine was imprisoned in the first place.

The Alliance and the Horde are at a crossroads again, similar to what happened with Garrosh back in Mists of Pandaria. Thrall feels he did everything wrong and asks Jaina what's different this time...

Meanwhile in Nazjatar...

Lor'Themar Theron and First Arcanist Thalyssra work with Jaina Produmoore and Genn Greymane to get ahold of the Tidestone of Golganneth and breach Azshara's Eternal Palace. Datamined broadcast text hints at Lor'Themar realizing after the defeat of Azshara that he will do everything in his power to tell the Blood Elves of what had transpired in the Eternal Palace and how both factions gloriously worked together for a common cause.

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Sylvanas Windrunner

After burning down Teldrassil and ordering Saurfang to kill Malfurion, she utterly destroyed the Undercity. As a response to the Alliance killing Rastakhan, she decided to twist Derek to her will and use him to kill the Proudmoore family in their sleep.

Later, when she learned that Baine returned Derek to Jaina, she killed Zelling and arrested Baine. Right now, Sylvanas is wielding Xal'atath and we have no idea what she's up to in the latest patch.

The only person loyal to her right now is Nathanos and of course, let's not forget the player loyalists, but that's about it.

Questions That Remain Unanswered

Who made Sylvanas Warchief?

In early BfA patches, we work together with the Spirit of Vol'jin, who's trying to figure out who told him to make Sylvanas Warchief when he died. According to rumors, it has something to do with Bwonsamdi and his boss from Thros, the Blighted Lands (Death Realm).

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Does Blizzard plan to redeem Sylvanas Kerrigan-style?

Maybe Sylvanas plays an important role in our final fight against N'Zoth. Perhaps, she will unleash Xal'atath upon him and save the world? We'll learn soon enough about her endgame.

What's Up with Calia?

In Before the Storm,  the Forsaken and their living relatives realize at a meeting that there isn't such a divide between them. Sylvanas killed Calia Menethil and she was later raised as a Light Undead / Holy Forsaken. If Blizzard truly plans to make the true heir to the throne return in a future patch, chances are she will be the new leader of the Forsaken. I somehow feel like Nathanos is going to die in the near future, which will make a lot of players happy.

Future Warchief?

The most likely Warchief candidate is Baine Bloodhoof at this point. I can't see Thrall returning and Saurfang is too old for this. A council would be a potential solution to the problem as well.

A Third Faction?

Now comes the completely crazy part, foreshadowed by the novel and other events in the game. Imagine that existing factions would be able to opt in and work together, or Blizzard would simply add a third faction for those, who would refuse to cooperate and remain loyal to other leaders (Sylvanas).

The new faction system could be handled in a completely different way, allowing players of the third faction to side with either Alliance or the Horde, while playing the opposite faction, leaving both factions untouched and working as intended.

While the faction conflict is a core element to World of Warcraft since its inception, it would solve a lot of problems, such as faction imbalance, sharding, and let's not forget the fact that only 35 Alliance guilds have defeated Mythic Crucible so far, so cross-realm raiding is basically non-existent on the Alliance side right now, before the Eternal Palace opens.

What do you think about the Alliance & Horde working together or a third faction added to the game? Would you still keep playing World of Warcraft? Let us know in the comments below!

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I think that is possible. Not to mention that both factions have worked together enough times that it is almost a meme. I wouldn't mind a third faction, really. And I remember hearing someone on a The Instance podcast episode saying that the launch of Classic would be the perfect time for a big change like this, since people that disagreed with the new faction dynamics could simply be told to "go play classic then".

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True third faction isn't an option, since game wasn't designed for that and such huge rework for all continents isn't going to happen (even something on scale of Cataclysm revamp haven't happened since). But two factions working together is possible, we had open faction wars during Cata, MoP and now BFA, but during others they cooperated and only smaller conflicts and battles happened. Having one mega faction is possible.

Whether it's in lore or just for game mechanics (like, your character gets transformed if you raid with other faction etc.), it's something that probably needs to happen, as more guilds move to Horde to consolidate their recruitment pools. Alliance raiding is pretty much dead, pvp too as more people involved keep switching. It has gotten especially bad during this expansion, when it's also apparent even to more casual players. Also, servers now exist mostly in name only, the only remnant of it being guilds and current mythic raiding, perhaps it's time to remove this last barrier as well.

Edited by Arcling
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Everything that splits playerbase at this point will continue to make the game more dead. It is a old game, all steps should be taken in a direction that merges the playerbase so you have easier queuetimes, easier guild-raids etc.etc. Its only a few % of players (mainly losers, degenerates) who care about "I am Horde, he is Alliance, im not playing with him in my M+16 dungeon".

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To be fair, I've always hated this idea of faction wars. I know WoW's foundation is on it, but not all players agree with this (myself included(. It made sense on pre-Vanilla (AKA the RTS games) and Vanilla itself, but as the characters evolved, so did their ideals, and as @lChronosl said, Alliance and Horde worked together many times in the past.

BfA sheds a new light on the whole faction war that is really interesting, and it hits close to home when you compare it to the real world. We could enter war at any moment, and we seen in the past that resources are often a reason for war (oil = azerite).

From the start the faction wars were always orchestrated by a greater force, with the Burning Legion and the Old Gods often behind the curtains, which makes the races banding together to fight a greater evil more impactful in my eyes.

On the other hand, I think the idea of a third faction is great, maybe a neutral one, akin to Pandaren. In fact, would be nice if Pandaren could have the option to remain neutral as well, thus introducing a fourth faction, Pandaren only.

Edited by Valhalen
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So, bfa was initially stated to bring faction conflict to foreground, and now we are talking 3rd faction (not happening, btw) and Ally ❤️ Horde yet again. They should have cut the bullshit and name the add-on BFF, Best fkin Friends Forever.

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No, they've said that A and H will stay as they are and removing factions would be a technological nightmare. Think of all the quests that absolutely break, it'll never happen and Warcraft wouldn't be Warcraft without the factions.

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1 minute ago, leapingshadow said:

No, they've said that A and H will stay as they are and removing factions would be a technological nightmare. Think of all the quests that absolutely break, it'll never happen and Warcraft wouldn't be Warcraft without the factions.

No one is really saying they will remove factions altogether, but maybe create possibilities for the two to fight together rather than each other would be really interesting.

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26 minutes ago, leapingshadow said:

No, they've said that A and H will stay as they are and removing factions would be a technological nightmare. Think of all the quests that absolutely break, it'll never happen and Warcraft wouldn't be Warcraft without the factions.

What they say doesn't matter as much, wouldn't be the first time when they did the opposite, just like classic used to be a big no or like when some class specs were supposed to remain as "levelling specs". Quests for old zones could likely stay separate (storylines in them happened in the past), even with some faction merging, as these are based on race. Just like some Legion content is specific for different classes. If faction mechanics stay as they are now, then one faction, Alliance, will keep losing players and it's eventually going to be like 25% Alliance, 75% Horde (right now active Horde is around 60-65%). This is bad for both, as one won't have players to play against in open world pvp, while other struggles to even find enough players for things like raids.

Edited by Arcling

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I don't think they will break out of the Alliance vs Horde structure of Warcraft unless they plan on spinning up a new game. For better or worse, WoW is built around being a two faction game.

That said, I can't decide if the two faction system is starting to become a big issue. I think the inherent tribalism that being part of a "team" fosters is a major component of WoW's success, but it also feels like it frequently gets in the way of the narrative. I think WoW is just starting to creak under the weight of all it's systems and narratives. I would love to see them transition to a new game with a clean slate to build from, but I have no idea how they get there.

The closest example I can think of is in comic books. Every so often some major universe-wide conflict will boil up resulting in some apocalyptic war. This is really just a vehicle giving publishers the chance to hit the reset button on story lines and start fresh. I mean, when you have so many people working on well established heroes, what else can you do to keep things interesting? I don't know if we need that for Warcraft overall, but maybe we need it for WoW. I'd be open to it, anyway.

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3 hours ago, Stan said:

 

A Third Faction?

Now comes the completely crazy part, foreshadowed by the novel and other events in the game. Imagine that existing factions would be able to opt in and work together, or Blizzard would simply add a third faction for those, who would refuse to cooperate and remain loyal to other leaders (Sylvanas).

The new faction system could be handled in a completely different way, allowing players of the third faction to side with either Alliance or the Horde, while playing the opposite faction, leaving both factions untouched and working as intended.

While the faction conflict is a core element to World of Warcraft since its inception, it would solve a lot of problems, such as faction imbalance, sharding, and let's not forget the fact that only 35 Alliance guilds have defeated Mythic Crucible so far, so cross-realm raiding is basically non-existent on the Alliance side right now, before the Eternal Palace opens.

What do you think about the Alliance & Horde working together or a third faction added to the game? Would you still keep playing World of Warcraft? Let us know in the comments below!

Would you play the game if you were given the opportunity to cooperate with the opposite faction?

To be honest I don't think creating or introducing a 3rd faction would benefit into this type of MMO gaming.  Bioware/EA has done this to their storyline in Star Wars: The Old Republic with the events of combine forces of Republic and Imperial NPC's fighting against a 3rd faction.  But in the end there were still 2 Factions in the game.  Blizzard may adapt to something similar with their current pursuit of story content and nothing more.  

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4 hours ago, leapingshadow said:

No, they've said that A and H will stay as they are and removing factions would be a technological nightmare. Think of all the quests that absolutely break, it'll never happen and Warcraft wouldn't be Warcraft without the factions.

I can actually see this happening in a 120+ bracket. Until level 120 players play either A or H and no modification to past maps and content is required. Then at 121 a quest becomes available to choose who you work for. Choices could be like Elven Coalition (elven + draenei themed faction), Kalimdor Keepers (troll, tauren and orc themed), Soldiers of Sylvanas (undeads, goblins and other chaotic things) and Alliance of Dwarves and Humans (a gnomish/dwarven/human kingdom). Actually why stay with 3? Why not make it 4 like in Warcraft 3?

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ive been saying since MOP that there needs to be a third faction, but made up of half breeds that neither the horde or alliance accepts! Half human half orc, half dwarf half goblin, half  tauren  half gnome etc...

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While many writting things like it would be a nightmare for old content and so on, i could imagine that its do able like; you are 1 fraction in the new contents area (and you'll get a capital there) and if you got back to old content you stay seperated.

Im not saying thats what i would like but thats how it could work

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1 hour ago, ResoWho said:

While many writting things like it would be a nightmare for old content and so on, i could imagine that its do able like; you are 1 fraction in the new contents area (and you'll get a capital there) and if you got back to old content you stay seperated.

Im not saying thats what i would like but thats how it could work

That is exactly what makes sense. Or they do it as in the likes of mercenary PvP. Where in instanced area (dungeons, pvp, raids) you can get both faction players (same for guilds etc.).

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"sylvanas will not end up like garrosh". Yet the rest of the Journey so far remains the same. Assasins try to kill the bigest threat ( voljin- saurfang ) , the person survives and reach to thrall , someone begins a rebellion ( in this case its not same person but Baine) and the belf leader fights another threat ( thunder king - naga) and upon his return he will join the rebel side.

In other words its like watching an entire movie from the start just for a difference in the final scene but somehow claim that its a whole different movie .

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It could work like they did with Pandaren. Choose your allegiance at a certain point. Old content can stay the same. We already have different versions of Darnassus and Undercity. In the end the color tag above our heads (red/blue/green/orange) is simple coding. They made it work with Scryers vs Aldor in the Burning Crusade.

Do I want a third faction or being able to switch faction without a race change, Not unless it makes sense and adds something new to the game. In all these years I've always wondered why Taurens wouldn't join the Alliance. 

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simply and personally I would like to see a faction that was 'anti-faction' (as factions are presented currently in WoW). It wouldn't have to be races, could be groups like (given the turmoil that is literally tearing the world apart) The Earthen Ring and The Cenarion Circle banding together to ONLY fight the common 'evil' and refusing to participate in the conflict between Horde and Alliance.

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42 minutes ago, Tupi said:

simply and personally I would like to see a faction that was 'anti-faction' (as factions are presented currently in WoW). It wouldn't have to be races, could be groups like (given the turmoil that is literally tearing the world apart) The Earthen Ring and The Cenarion Circle banding together to ONLY fight the common 'evil' and refusing to participate in the conflict between Horde and Alliance.

If we're trying to explain it for every class, this would have worked really well in Legion. Every class hall had the backing of a non-faction based entity, SIlver Hand for Paladins, Ebon Blade for DKs, etc. The player could have aligned with their class over their faction and instead just joined an overall group that works together to fight evil, as you said, and ignores faction conflict. If you don't want to do that, you leave your class group and go to fight faction wars again.

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1 hour ago, Tupi said:

simply and personally I would like to see a faction that was 'anti-faction' (as factions are presented currently in WoW). It wouldn't have to be races, could be groups like (given the turmoil that is literally tearing the world apart) The Earthen Ring and The Cenarion Circle banding together to ONLY fight the common 'evil' and refusing to participate in the conflict between Horde and Alliance.

At least in lore, Cenarion Circle and Earthen Ring appear to be still active. Non-aligned druids and shamans are in Silithus working with Magni, together they form Champions of Azeroth faction. Other orders from Legion appear to either be disbanded or at least their Alliance and Horde members left, so likely only those who weren't part of A/H remain. Ebon Blade likely has now only neutral members remaining like Darion Mograine, Silver Hand might be Alliance-only again, Kirin Tor neutral, rest likely disbanded.

Edited by Arcling
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Highly unlikely and quite opposite.

With Old Gods possibly rising again, Black Empire returning with a Cata 2.0 like world re-vamp that will make surface like a post-apoclyptic Azeroth and with Dragons also coming back, we'll have to keep fighting together and with that we're obviously going into a No-Faction direction.

In this setting PvP and War Mode will have its own "Insurgencies". Like certain areas being controlled by old-minded sub-factions that hate the other, or things like that. They can find a way to keep that part of the game work in its way.

At least, personally I think this is how it's going to happen ;>

Edited by Aernath

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While it's curious to read all these speculations, I find it hard to believe any of these are actually happening. But that does not even matter, this eager discussion is pretty indicative of one important thing: the game community is craving for meaningful and significant changes, even probably in core game design. Which actually should happen, I think. Even though the game changes in this or that regard every xpac, on the whole it remains quite stale, and bringing in retarded-down rpg mechanics only adds insult to injury. The game is in dire need of a shakeup, and it's high fkin time for it.

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I'm anticipating something along the lines of the Aldors/Scryers from BC. That power struggle created a pseudo-factional conflict, in which any player of either faction could choose either side. Their technology at the time was more limited; I imagine they could make a much deeper experience based on that idea now.

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On 7/6/2019 at 12:28 PM, Aernath said:

Highly unlikely and quite opposite.

With Old Gods possibly rising again, Black Empire returning with a Cata 2.0 like world re-vamp that will make surface like a post-apoclyptic Azeroth and with Dragons also coming back, we'll have to keep fighting together and with that we're obviously going into a No-Faction direction.

In this setting PvP and War Mode will have its own "Insurgencies". Like certain areas being controlled by old-minded sub-factions that hate the other, or things like that. They can find a way to keep that part of the game work in its way.

At least, personally I think this is how it's going to happen ;>

this would work for me as well. I just think the whole faction conflict is too much like real life conflicts. and, to me, the point of playing a game like this is to escape that and be a hero for a short time.

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    • By Stan
      Redditor Luphiaz came up with an interesting theory, where he draws parallels between Icecrown Citadel and the new Shadowlands zones.
      Luphiaz posted an image on Reddit that depicts the individual boss quarters in Icecrown Citadel and pointed out that they are very similar to the new zones added in the Shadowlands.
      According to him:
      The Plagueworks, where you fight Rotface, Festergut, and Professor Putricide, are similar to Maldraxxus; The Crimson Hall, where you fight the Blood Prince Council and Blood-Queen Lana'thel, are similar to Revendreth; The Frostwing Halls, with the skippable dragon boss Valithiria Dreamwalker, would be themed after Ardenweald.
      Map of the Icecrown Citadel quarters with matching Shadowlands zones
      Here, we have images of Ardenweald, Maldraxxus, and Revendreth recently shared by Blizzard.



      Redditor ladestes added that the middle area of Icecrown Citadel with the Val'kyr could correspond to Oribos, the new Shadowlands hub, where all souls are sent in the afterlife to be judged by the Arbiter.

      Here is the circular map of the main Oribos floor which looks just like the center of Icecrown Citadel
      The theory is very interesting because we know that there is a connection between Icecrown Citadel and the Shadowlands. In the new expansion, we will learn more about who created the Lich King's Helm of Dominion, and perhaps, even reforge it now that it has been destroyed.
      In the Shadowlands cinematic, Sylvanas confronted Bolvar Fordragon, rupturing the very veil between life and death.
      Blizzard also updated Icecrown's skybox in Shadowlands, making the Jailer's Tower of the Damned (Torghast) visible in the sky.

      Updated Icecrown skybox in the Shadowlands
      Do you think the similarities between the Shadowlands zones and Icecrown Citadel are purely coincidental, or is there more to it than meets the eye?
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