With the first of the beta invites for Warlords of Draenor released, more players than ever are finally getting to traverse the brand new expansion. Many of these players, as well as those who had the chance to play in Alpha, were surprised to find that Warlords would have two separate faction hubs rather than one. While the do reside in the same zone, the faction hubs are totally different entities entirely.
This didn't phase some, however, others had more than a little to say on the situation. Many were pleased with the dual hubs, sticking with what we had seen in Mists of Pandaria. While others were disappointed, hoping to return to the glory days of Dalaran or Shattrath. Which is the better way? Let's take a look at both and weigh the benefits.
One City to Rule Them All
When talking about major faction hubs that included both factions we think of grand cities such as Dalaran in Wraith of the Lich King or Shattrath in Burning Crusade. These cities brought players of both factions together in one city, the major hub of the expansion. PvP was strictly prohibited in most areas, typically earning you a one way ticket out of the city proper.
Horde and Alliance mingled and meshed together, walking the same streets, visiting the same venders, and enjoying the same sights. However, despite this seeming togetherness, there were still faction lines clearly drawn. Each city had two designated areas only accessible to players of the correct faction, or in the case of Shattrath, the correct reputation. Together, but still far apart.
A Tale of Two Cities
Not all expansions had just one major hub for both factions to populate. Orgrimmar, Stormwind, Ironforge, and all other classic cities fall into this category. An even better example may be the two faction hubs from Mists of Pandaria; the Shrine of the Seven Stars and the Shrine of Two Moons. While each of these hubs are found inside the same zone, the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, they are fully and totally separate. Any player of the opposing faction who tries to enter will find themselves happily dispatched by the guards.
Due to the separation of the hubs and the reluctance of the guards to permit entry to those of the opposing faction, PvP does take place and is welcomed. Each faction has it's own special set of vendors, sights, and experiences in these cities. In fact, many players will never see the city of their rivals unless they make the conscious choice to or accidentally stumble upon it. Two distinct faction hubs tells the classic story of WoW, two opposing factions that really don't see eye to eye.
Together or Apart?
So which of these faction hub setups works the best? That is hard to say and probably really depends mostly on player preference. With that being said, taking a look at the current storyline, it seems to make sense to have two faction hubs in Warlords of Draenor.
You see, while tensions between Horde and Alliance have calmed somewhat, things aren't all peaches and cream. The deep hatred that has always been there has not been removed and with the fresh scars brought about by the events of Mists of Pandaria, I don't think Horde and Alliance are anywhere close to considering themselves friends.
The hunt for Garrosh Hellscream and the other orcs heading the Iron Horde will surely unite the two factions on some level. However, perhaps not enough to share a faction hub. At least not yet. Warlords of Draenor may be the expansion where old wounds are healed, but it will take some time and perhaps not until the next expansion will an all inclusive hub make sense.
Even if you don't buy into the idea of it making sense for the story line, in my personal opinion two faction hubs makes more sense. Even when both factions are combined into one city, there are always sections of that city that are only for Alliance or only for Horde. Even though the factions are “together” they are still separated. Which, in reality, is really no different than having two distinct faction hubs. Due to this and the storyline aspect, I am firmly on board with the developers decision to create two main faction hubs in Warlords of Draenor.
How do you personally feel about the two distinct faction hubs in Warlords of Draenor? Would you have preferred to see one single city instead of two? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!