Demon Hunters can talk cross faction - when can the rest of us? And should we?

This was taken from the Legion Q&A - Demon Hunters on the 29 June:
Q: Will Demon Hunters be able to communicate cross-faction with demonic language.
A: That would be hilarious. Actually yes, they can. That’s going to be something a little bit different. Could be some choice words being said or it could be just “Hey.”
People have been wanting to talk cross faction for years. I remember in the years before battletag and realID when I had to go make a toon on the server of my friends of their faction just so I could chat to them. However, with the introduction of RealID (June 2010) and Battletag (August 2012) it made it a lot easier to chat to your friends on other servers and factions.

In Legion, Class halls are coming, where both Alliance and Horde will be working on things together. In beta you can't talk to the opposing faction, but you can talk to your own faction, but it would be nice if people could work with others there, regardless of faction, and speak.

What is interesting is that this wasn't implemented for Pandaren. They all start unfactioned, speaking to one another, and when they join the Horde or Alliance, they suddenly can't speak to one another? For the RPers that would be a pickle, but the rest of us just accept it, even though there is no logical reason why it is so.

There was a short period where the Censer of Eternal Agony when used on the Timeless Isle allowed you to speak to others who had the Censer on (as now we were all servants of Ordos and even against our own faction) but that is no longer the case.

We can also all speak to quest givers and NPCs in shared areas. Are they all wearing some sort of Universal translator? How can there be no common ground?

Interestingly we can talk to people of the other faction when we PvP. If you take the mercenary option, and play for the opposing faction when the queue times are unbalanced, you will be able to speak in raid to the opposing faction. However, you cannot whisper to anyone in the team. I am not sure about /say however, since I couldn't whisper the alliance mercenaries to ask them to try it out.

I am, however, pleased that the limitations for cross comunication for Demon Hunters may be limited to choice words. I think it would be vastly disruptive if in a battleground the demon hunters could talk to one another. They could give away strats or just be trolly!

I think that trolling is one of the reasons why cross faction chatter may not be a good idea. Battlegrounds and PvP servers may be places where those two clash, though if you ask me there is enough garbage to listen to when I have to listen to just the Horde whining and being nasty in trade chat - imagine having to put up with Alliance rampages too!

If Blizzard asked me whether I thought Cross faction chatter was a good idea, I would have said that initially, I thought it would be good for Class halls, and I had a few thoughts on how to implement that.

One of the possibilities would be similar to how chatter is when you join major cities and are put into trade chat. There could be a class hall chat - though you would have to separate each class so that the chats don't all mush together. In that chat everyone could speak. Drawbacks - it's too broad. There should be a limit to the communication that can be had between the factions. An open channel brings down the barriers just a little too much.

The other, is similar to the mercenary idea. If they are in a raid group, then everyone can speak in the raid chat. /say will stay the same, unintelligible to the opposing faction, and whispers to other faction will be not allowed, but chatter in the raid party should be feasible. As far as I know there are no joint raid type scenarios in Legion in class halls, but this might be something in a future expansion they may want to play with. Again, a whole new can of worms is opened if this kind of chatter is allowed.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought that cross server chat probably shouldn't be implemented. I think that people will lose their sense of identity with the Horde or Alliance if that happens. On the other hand, is that a bad thing? Should we be polarised in our views of the world, or should we be adopting a more universal global approach in the interests of world peace?


  1. "The more I thought about it, the more I thought that cross server chat probably shouldn't be implemented. I think that people will lose their sense of identity with the Horde or Alliance if that happens."

    I think the sense of Faction was more important in Vanilla than it is now. But as the game has gone on, I have felt that the enemy hasn't been the opposing faction, but rather "Big Bad" of each expansion. Take MoP as a case in point. Would Horde players have identified the enemy so much as the enemy or the influence of of Garrosh/Old Gods/Sha.

    I also think the idea of identity can be concerning. One might be proud to horde/alliance, but I have known players, who when they have found out that I have other faction toons, have erupted in indignation. They want to know how I could possibly play for the evil side? With this attitude to "us and them", what might these peoples thoughts be towards immigration etc.

    I guess this is why I like the idea of cross faction talk in class halls. Your class is something that you identify with, and it actually is an identity that has meaning. Your choice of class directly influences your role in the world, whereas your choice of faction has little more to do with than just picking a side. Class halls could be the place to go to learn tips from more experienced players or to get jelly over what they have achieved.

    For me, this is a missed opportunity from Blizz. I can't think of any reason not to do it in class halls.


    1. I did mention that I thought Class Halls was a good place to do it, but I wasn't sure how they would make that work suddenly. Like maybe, everyone when they zone in there language is set to "30" and everyone speaks language 30 whilst in that zone? That could work. Perhaps I am living too much in the past, like one of those parents clinging to their old values when the next generation is mixing together Zootopia-style living in harmony? Perhaps I need to rethink what Horde and Alliance really means and whether it makes any difference!

  2. I'm pretty sure that Pandaran can now talk across faction as well in their native language. I'm sure I read that had become a change but I haven't found a pandaran to test it out with on my server.

    Personally I'm all for the two factions to be able to speak to each other in common with only the race languages remaining unintelligible to each different race. Though your point about the chatter in bgs is so valid, it really doesn't need to be a thing there.

    Despite playing on a pvp realm where there's constant conflict between the two factions, there's plenty of opportunities where we can work together and there's only so far that /point, /encourage /wave.. can work. I'm also all for the idea of cross-faction raiding and dgns which is mostly motivated by self-interest as I play both sides and have trouble choosing which faction I like the most (my decision to stay horde is motivated more by my love of the people I play with rather than the faction itself)

    1. Thanks Z! We actually tried it out and it WORKED!

  3. I think it's awesome that demon hunters can talk cross-faction, because, once they became demon hunters, the blood elves and night elves involved sort of shed their previous lives and commitments and became one faction, working together towards the same goal. Being able to talk cross faction makes perfect sense to me.
    To be honest, I think the Pandaren should be able to, too. It makes no sense that they suddenly forgot how to communicate when they chose their faction, especially since choosing their faction wasn't to do with hatred for eachother, just a difference of opinion over how to handle things.

    As for the rest of us, though, I don't think we should be able to. The Horde and Alliance are gradually learning to tolerate eachother, but there's still an innate mistrust between them, one that will always be there. Also, look at our own world. How many languages can the average person speak? English is my first language, I know a smidge of French and I can say 'profiterole' in Dutch, but that's all I really have. I know a lot of populations can speak two languages - their native and English - but to learn every language in order to be able to communicate with everyone isn't realistic, and I kind of feel that way about WoW. Sure, there's common, but nuances of culture would make it easy to offend someone even if everyone used that same language.

    ...Or am I reading too deeply into it?

    1. That's a great comment Kim, and in my next post I noted that Pandaren can speak to each other which makes TOTAL sense.
      But I wondered if I looked at it in a similar way to our own real world, where our parents and grandparents liked everything to be more separate and country specific, but the younger generations like the homogenicity and freedom of a one world rather than multiple countries. Should the game evolve to meet that sort of feeling too? Should we all be able to speak to one another yet still keep our "passports" for our own faction because that is where our loyalties lie?


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