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I understand imperial is a new race?
I just don't understand the play as any alliance part.
That's say I have friend in allinace 1 and another friend in alliance 2. Does that mean if I play as imperial I can play with both my friend 1 and 2?
It is more choice.."play as you want to play" like TES games.
Pre-order, then decide on vent with everyone you play with which faction to join.
If you pre- order the game, your character of any race may play in any faction.