Fans of World of Warcraft are split after learning that the new Night Elf capital city of Bel’Ameth will be open to Horde players as well.
It’s a controversial decision for multiple reasons. Firstly, it’s the Horde’s fault (technically Sylvanas and The Jailor) that the Night Elves need a new city anyways. In the events leading up to the Battle For Azeroth expansion there was a battle for Darkshore which culminated in Sylvanas burning Teldrassil and killing thousands of innocents.
The new world tree Amirdrassil which Bel’ameth is built around is meant to be the resting place of those lost souls as explained in Shadowlands. So understandably, many Alliance players consider it in bad taste to allow the Horde inside the city.
The “neutral” city also represents a growing trend in World of Warcraft of faction collaboration which some fans also dislike. The conflict between the Alliance and Horde which was a key feature of the setting and game for so long has basically faded to nothing. After the events of Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands, the villainous elements of the Horde have largely been expunged. The Forsaken are now led by a council and Gazlowe replaced Gallywix as the leader of the Bilgewater Cartel.
This cooling off of conflict also feeds into why Bel’ameth will allow Horde players. The in-game justification is that they helped defend Amirdrassil against Fyrakk and the Druids of the Flame.
For what it’s worth, Horde players will mostly only be able to explore Bel’ameth, and many of the features appear to be locked off behind hostile (but non-attacking) Alliance NPCs, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s basically an Alliance capital that freely allows the Horde.
Players who enjoy the Horde and Alliance conflict will likely continue to be disappointed. World of Warcraft announced their next three expansions as part of something called “The Worldsoul Saga” which will probably continue the trend of faction-uniting evils.
World of Warcraft: The War Within is set to launch sometime in 2024. This will be the first expansion released in the wake of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard.