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Classic
The Burning Crusade The Burning Crusade
Wrath of the Lich King Wrath of the Lich King
Cataclysm Cataclysm
Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandaria
Warlords of Draenor Warlords of Draenor
Legion Legion
Battle for Azeroth Battle for Azeroth

A faction is a group of allies, either racial or ideological. Most in-game factions are described in Warcraft lore, but some were specifically introduced in World of Warcraft. The concept of a faction exists primarily in World of Warcraft. The use of factions in other Warcraft games is more for general grouping purposes and not quantitatively tracked like World of Warcraft.

Most factions are tracked in World of Warcraft by the reputation that a player character has with each faction. Some groups that are not tracked as factions appear in the organization list.

The term faction is also used to refer specifically to the two playable factions in World of Warcraft: the Alliance and the Horde. Each playable race is specifically aligned with one faction or the other, and all player characters of that race automatically belong to that faction. Pandaren characters are the exception and must choose a faction to leave the Wandering Isle, at around level 10. Once chosen, a character's faction cannot be changed through in-game means. However, there is a paid Faction Change service available that can perform this function. For all races except pandaren, using this service requires also changing your character to a new race, one that is aligned with the character's new faction.

A character's faction has numerous consequences. Characters can only talk, group, and create guilds with players from their own faction. Certain zones and cities in the world are also friendly to one faction while hostile to the other. The majority of the leveling experience will be determined by the character's faction, with different quests, NPCs and areas for each faction. Faction also determines a substantial amount of play: characters will fight the opposite faction in battlegrounds and world PvP; work to raise their reputation and earn the praise of the heroes of their faction; complete quests to aid their faction's efforts, and frequently fight against the other faction's NPCs; and generally spend the majority of their time in their faction's cities and surrounded by other members of their faction. Although many choose to play characters of each faction, some players develop a strong sense of faction pride, often leading to varying degrees of sparring and rivalry between players who identify with each faction.

Any organization or NPC not aligning to either playable faction are sometimes described as NeutralNeutral between the two.

Faction-Organigram

Contents

Classic WoW Icon update.png

Argent Dawn   (Formerly related to Naxxramas, Stratholme & Scholomance)
Bloodsail Buccaneers   (Enemies of Steamwheedle Cartel)
Brood of Nozdormu   (Related to Ahn'Qiraj)
Cenarion Circle   (Related to Ahn'Qiraj & Druids)
Darkmoon Faire  
Gelkis Clan Centaur   (Enemies of Magram Clan Centaur, removed in patch 4.0.3, and returned in patch 8.0.1)
Hydraxian Waterlords   (Related to Molten Core)
Magram Clan Centaur   (Enemies of Gelkis Clan Centaur, removed in patch 4.0.3, and returned in patch 8.0.1)
Ravenholdt   (Related to Rogues)
Syndicate (Enemies of Ravenholdt)
Thorium Brotherhood   (Related to Molten Core)
Timbermaw Hold  
Wintersaber Trainers  

Horde  

Darkspear Trolls (Related to Trolls)
Orgrimmar (Related to Orcs)
Thunder Bluff (Related to Tauren)
Undercity (Related to Undead)
Silvermoon City   (Related to Blood elves)
Bilgewater Cartel   (Related to Goblins)
Huojin Pandaren   (Related to Horde-aligned Pandaren)

Alliance  

Darnassus (Related to Night elves)
Gnomeregan (Related to Gnomes)
Ironforge (Related to Dwarves)
Stormwind (Related to Humans)
Exodar   (Related to Draenei)
Gilneas   (Related to Worgen)
Tushui Pandaren   (Related to Alliance-aligned Pandaren)

Horde Forces  

Brawl'gar Arena   (The Horde Brawler's Guild)
The Defilers (Related to Arathi Basin)
Frostwolf Clan (Related to Alterac Valley)
Warsong Outriders (Related to Warsong Gulch)

Alliance Forces  

Bizmo's Brawlpub   (The Alliance Brawler's Guild)
The League of Arathor (Related to Arathi Basin)
Silverwing Sentinels (Related to Warsong Gulch)
Stormpike Guard (Related to Alterac Valley)

Steamwheedle Cartel

Booty Bay   (Enemies of Bloodsail Buccaneers)
Everlook   (Enemies of Bloodsail Buccaneers)
Gadgetzan   (Enemies of Bloodsail Buccaneers)
Ratchet   (Enemies of Bloodsail Buccaneers)

The Burning Crusade The Burning Crusade

Wrath of the Lich King Wrath of the Lich King

Cataclysm Cataclysm

Avengers of Hyjal   (Related to Firelands, formed by merging of Cenarion Circle and Guardians of Hyjal)
Baradin's Wardens   (Related to Tol Barad)
Dragonmaw Clan   (Horde faction in Twilight Highlands)
Guardians of Hyjal  
Hellscream's Reach   (Related to Tol Barad)
Ramkahen  
The Earthen Ring  
Therazane  
Wildhammer Clan   (Removed in patch 2.0.3, re-introduced in 4.0.3, Alliance faction in Twilight Highlands)

Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandaria

Warlords of Draenor Warlords of Draenor

  This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor.
Arakkoa Outcasts   (Related to Spires of Arak)
Council of Exarchs   (Related to Shadowmoon Valley)
Frostwolf Orcs   (Related to Frostfire Ridge)
Hand of the Prophet   (Related to Tanaan Jungle)
Laughing Skull Orcs   (Related to Gorgrond)
Order of the Awakened   (Related to Tanaan Jungle)
The Saberstalkers   (Related to Tanaan Jungle)
Sha'tari Defense   (Related to Talador)
Steamwheedle Preservation Society   (Related to Nagrand)
Vol'jin's Headhunters   (Related to Tanaan Jungle)
Vol'jin's Spear   (Related to Ashran)
Wrynn's Vanguard   (Related to Ashran)

Legion Legion

  This section concerns content related to Legion.
Argussian Reach   (Related to Krokuun and Mac'Aree)
Armies of Legionfall   (Related to Broken Shore)
Army of the Light   (Related to Antoran Wastes and Krokuun)
Court of Farondis   (Related to Azsuna)
Dreamweavers   (Related to Val'sharah)
Highmountain Tribe   (Related to Highmountain)
The Nightfallen   (Related to Suramar)
Talon's Vengeance   (Related to a special PvP system)
The Wardens   (Related to rare mobs)
Valarjar   (Related to Stormheim)

Individual NPCs

Battle for Azeroth Battle for Azeroth

Removed factions

Revantusk Tribe   (Added in patch 1.5, removed in patch 1.11)
Royal Apothecary Society   (Seen at BlizzCon 2007, removed before Wrath of the Lich King Beta)
Shen'dralar   (Added in patch 1.3, removed in patch 4.0.3, although still visible in reputation panel)
Silvermoon Remnant   (Added in patch 1.6.0, removed in patch 1.6.1)
Theramore   (Added in Patch 1.6.0, removed in patch 1.6.1)
Zandalar Tribe   (Related to Zul'Gurub, removed in patch 4.0.3, although still visible in reputation panel)
Moro'gai   (Faction of Lost Ones removed during the World of Warcraft beta)

See also