With the new war campaign quests released with patch 8.2 including rescuing Bane it seems to be made moderately clear that many of the central characters are somewhat tired of the faction conflict—Jaina, Thrall, Thalyssra, Baine and Lor’themar as some notable examples. This kind of teases the potential of either an upcoming patch or the next expansions including cross faction play since if the NPCs are working more together than before—one of the arguments they already present is the fact that we have already worked together many times before—it would make little sense to maintain the faction barrier as a gameplay mechanic. In a sense, it also feels somewhat fitting that following the expansion that puts the main emphasis—in the beginning at least—on the faction conflict we get one where we kind of properly start joining forces and working together on a more permanent basis.
It also makes a great deal of sense in the light of Azsharas involvement as well as her being controlled by an old god as these are usually threats that we end up banding together to defeat. Another point potentially pointing towards this is whatever unkown force caused Vol’jin to appoint Sylvanas as warchief—everyone including himself had been assuming it was the Loa however they all seemed to deny it as well as several other death related characters and we left off with Vol’jin going into the realm of the dead to figure out what exactly happened there which seems somewhat risky since even getting to the point of figuring out that he indeed was being controlled by some mysterious force lead to several attacks against him as well as the player so letting him go along and adventure alone somewhere where we can’t really reach him doesn’t seem like the best move but does make me curious to see what that story is foreshadowing; it felt like something more than another old god since it had to do with the realm of death and they tend to be more void aligned but we will have to see.
Now this is all speculation on my part and I am curious to see where the story goes regardless, but I am really hoping this will actually be the case in the near future for a few reasons. Primarily, I just really want to play a Night Elf again since I just really like Night Elves and that’s my primarily annoyance “having” to play Horde. Secondly, “having” to play Horde. The faction imbalance at higher levels of PvE play is really bad which means that for anyone wanting to seriously participate in high-end PvE content be that raiding or mythic+ it gets really difficult to do so if you play Alliance making it not much of a choice since you will have great difficutly in finding others to play with and this problem seems to be getting worse over time—as an example, I know of at least a couple high-end guilds that transferred from Alliance to Horde at the end of Legion due to recruiting problems but have not heard of any transferring to Alliance even with easier access to the Hall of Fame being something of a small carrot. Recruiting is just hard enough as it is without making it even harder by playing on the minority faction—now I say minority faction even though from the stats I’ve heard the overall faction balance is decent and just the high-end is skewed but that doesn’t really help when you want to do high-end content.
I will actually be somewhat disappointed if Blizzard doesn’t end up implementing this in the near term—next expansion at the latest—since it would seem to be a clear indicator that they don’t see this faction imbalance as a problem which would seem odd. It’s also a problem that will get bigger the smaller the playerbase is since recruiting and finding groups will get harder even on the majority faction and probably close to impossible on the minority one and as it seems that World of Warcraft is in a slow decline—it is a really old game after all—this seems somewhat inevitable.
But I guess we will have to see, so nothing to do now but wait.