From the Q&A:
Q: Would you consider loosening faction restrictions for grouping with friends?
A: They understand why you want to, but the Alliance and Horde separation is what makes Warcraft what it is and there is some value to mechanical reinforcement of that division. Grouping together is not an option at this time.
So Shadowlands is going to be another expansion of two forcibly divided communities doing exactly the same content, and this apparently has “some value”.
I’m going to take a wild guess at that value is - Blizzard making easy money from faction transfers and server transfers, as alliance continue to migrate to horde for the bigger player pool (snowball effect), and smaller servers continue to die.
Sorry Blizzard, not buying the excuse that giving players more options to play together in an MMO will somehow take away faction identity or remove “what makes it Warcraft”.
So much for breaking the cycle. RIP Saurfang, you died for nothing.
edit: Guys a faction merge isn’t necessary. The factions and their identities can remain, just let people play cross-faction if they want to. If Jaina and Thrall can be best buddies (since WC3) while still identifying with their respective factions, then players should have that option too.