BlizzCon 2017: World of Warcraft announces Battle for Azeroth expansion

Enough of World of Warcraft’s two biggest factions palling together on adventures across time and space — war has come to this game once more. Blizzard announced World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth at BlizzCon today after months of rumors swirling about this next installment.

The seventh expansion for the game will find the Horde and Alliance at each other’s throats, with the two sides recruiting six new playable races and exploring new continents and islands. Players will be able to unlock these new races (with four coming over from Legion) through quests, explore the Alliance continent of Kul Tiras, march through the jungles of Zandalar, and upgrade a new legendary Heart of Azeroth neckpiece with new powers and traits.

The Horde and Alliance will compete over previously uncharted islands and fight in the 20-player co-op warfronts that were inspired by classic Warcraft RTS maps. Additionally, the leval cap will be raised to 120 and cross-realm social groups will connect players between worlds.

A beta test for the expansion is “coming soon,” but we’ve got that amazing cinematic trailer plus the expansion features trailer for you after the break!

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cerement

Six new races? Yes!

Oh wait, they’re just reskins of existing races … *sigh* …

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Bryan Turner

The only thing I can see happen is the expansion ending with Sylvanis sacrificing her self to become a representative for the Plane of Death and the void to A) Bring Stability and a future to the Forsaken, and B) hold the old gods and forces of Undeath at bay while keeping them in check. C) Putting a benign War Chief in place that will partner with Anduin so we can get on with the void and have some sort of permanent Cold War Alliance with occasional flare ups.

Nick Martin
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Nick Martin

Blah. The Horde vs. Alliance thing has been played out since Wrath, and I simply don’t buy the constant warring and fighting about it. It just feels like the kind of thing where they keep having to state two characters in a movie are in love because nothing that you’re seeing would show it otherwise.

I keep wanting them to just embrace the fact that the factions don’t matter that much, either to their setting or the narrative, and figure out something unique to do with it.

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mysecretid

I hear you.

As i mentioned somewhere below, it’s not even that there can’t be conflict, but the writing around the warfare aspect needs to go beyond “Oh, look, the kids are fighting again”.

Cheers,

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Jason Lilli

Yeah, there’s never been a situation where two factions/nation’s where in the same areas and fought for a long time… Oh yeah, that literally ALWAYS happens lol.

It’s the complete history of the series. They’ve done the factions don’t matter thing and brought them together many times.

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Dread Quixadhal

It’s not that…. if the want us to really believe the Horde and Alliance are actually at WAR, they need to show that. Not a bunch of corny dialog and baby slap fights. Contested zones need to actually be dangerous for anyone to be in. There need to be actual incursions into the home territories of each side. It needs to actually feel like a war, not a bunch of rhetoric and parades of soldiers showing the colors.

Xijit
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Xijit

I think it is cute that they are just now getting around to progressing past everything that happend in Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne.

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Jay Madison

So I have not been keeping up with WoW.

Was….was that ANDUIN? With Ashbringer?

And Sylvanas is running the Horde now?

quark1020
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quark1020

So yea, that was Anduin. He became king after Varian died in Legion.

No, the weapon is something called Shalamayne. Probably from one of the comics. It used to belong to his father.
http://wowwiki.wikia.com/wiki/Shalamayne

And yes, that is Sylvanas running the Horde. It was passed down to her after Vol’Jin died in Legion.

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blah blazh

I find the narrative quite boring but otherwise that is a fantastic cinematic as always from Blizzard. It almost seems like they are stuck in a loop with the game on not knowing where to go with it story wise. I’m sure it will feel good to play though.

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mysecretid

A return to the Alliance versus Horde faction war? Bleah. Not for me.

I just find the whole conflict in World of Warcraft really contrived at this point because the game has already shown us in detail that the two sides are not really that different from one another.

In a game like Warhammer Online, the Chaos side had some pretty evil devotees doing some pretty evil things on the regular, but in WoW, it’s become very clear that both sides have good and evil characters in their midst. No one has a lock on Light Side versus Dark Side.

Beyond this, the majority of players don’t seem to see a big ethical or moral divide between the two sides either; they certainly don’t play their characters that way.

So, a return to war now seems, again, contrived to me.

I’m not big on “Yay team! We are Us! Let’s kill all of Them on sight because They have commited the unforgiveable crime of … ummm … errrr …. uhhhh … not being US!!! Yeah, that’s it!”

I’ll wait until I have more information on the expansion before I make a final decision, but it looks like I’m going to be leaving World of Warcraft behind just as I learned to really start loving the game, which is kind of a drag.

Cartoonist Tom Gauld’s “Our Glorious Homeland” seems somehow appropriate here …

My opinions, anyway. Yours may vary.

Cheers,

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Utakata

I wish I was more elegant and clear in putting what bothers me sometimes. My screed below was certainly brutish in approach…when it didn’t need to be. Anyrates, thanks for putting in words, which in frustration I couldn’t. :)

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mysecretid

Uta, even for a Canadian, I fear you might not give yourself enough credit. :-)

What matters is that you do post — and hey, not all of my posts turn out like I wish they would, either. This one, the words just more-or-less lined up like I hoped they would, is all.

Also, remember that I am a demi-geezer (like a demi-lich, but way nicer, I hope :-D), and I have been a “word nerd” and a writer-y type since I was less than two digits old.

Putting ideas on paper is probably my only significant skill or talent. I am much better, for example, at organizing ideas on paper or on a screen than I am at doing the same in real-life conversation.

You are Uta, and you regularly contribute good things here, both with your posts and with your presence.

I submit to you that it is possible for you to remain the archetypal admirably polite Canadian, yet still take due credit for all the things you bring. That’s not arrogance; it’s merely honesty. :-)

You need never apologize for who you are — Massively’s Princess of the Pink Gnome race — we’re glad to have you, and to read the words you bring! o7 (salute!)

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Utakata

/blushes o.O

Mono no aware? That is, have empathy towards who I am? I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately…so thanks for the heartfelt reassurance and the pigtail plug. It’s really appreciated! /bows :)

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Paragon Lost

Strongly agreed. It all just feels old and contrived at this point. Also I’m actually burned out by let’s reinvent the wheel mechanics that tend to leave the old mechanics behind versus building upon them, which is Blizzard’s MO. :/ I’m just starting to really feel that I’m done with World of Warcraft.

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mysecretid

Discovering that Blizzard effectively abandoned Warlords of Draenor‘s Garrisons only to reintroduce the same idea (in a more limited way) with Legion‘s Class-Order Halls disappointed me as well. Better to expand and improve on the established systems, rather than simply starting anew each time …

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thirtymil

Same here – but I was pretty much at burnout already so I think it would have taken a big draw (e.g. player housing, something other than raids for end game) to keep me in. So my reluctance to pay for the next xpac doesn’t really come as a surprise.

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Paragon Lost

I’d long written off player housing as a possibility. Now that I see them working on a classic server concept maybe we could see housing. lol.

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Neurotic

zomg!!!!!!!!!!

Solaris
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Solaris

Did they announce when the expansion goes on sale?

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mysecretid

They did not, apparently.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Nope. Beta opt-ins are on Battlenet. That’s it.

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Utakata

From a glance it appears…

No sub races, (just new races with using rehashed models instead).
No neutral or 3rd factions.
A lot of the same old, same old PvE with nothing really new.
Progression servers to panda to the Nostalrius trol…err, I mean types.
And moar PvP than a player can shake stick a stick at. Raw, raw, raw! /s

…while this may appeal to some players, this Gnome will likely be sitting this expansion out. Though, there is still al of details to be released about this, my standing on what is being offered not impressed currently. I’ll keep my mind open…but yeah, this game may have jumped the shark a 3rd time for me. /sigh

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Utakata

And PS: Please /ignore this and the other stuff I said below. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind and pigtail when receiving this announcement. Thusly, I was having a momentary lapse of reason. With all expansions and announcements, I should take care to read the fine print when it comes available. Therefor, wait and see what it’s all about before drawing to knee jerk conclusions…that may not always be true of it. My apologies for this. :(

I now remain inconclusive about Battle for Azeroth (BfA?) until I see further details about it. /bows

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Utakata

Edit/Erratum: And moar PvP than a player can shake *a stick at…proper.

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Rodney Perry

Man fukit…I’ll play it….Legion was cool. Camelot Unchained was supposed to save me from bs like this but they’re drinking coffee and creating lore. So until that comes out…..For the Alliance (I guess…./shrug).

I’m a CU backer and I like the what they’re doing. I just need them to do it faster but at their own pace (just faster…like soon).

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hurbster
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hurbster

Welcome to One Azeroth !!

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zeko_rena

People were complaining before that it felt like the war between the Horde and the Alliance was dead, which was WoW.

Now it looks like it is coming back and more complaining, jesus.

I personally am looking forward to it so far and have liked what I have seen, look forward to more details in the future.

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Ysayle was right

It’s almost like different people want different things, and something as big as WoW has a lot of different people with interest in it.

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zeko_rena

comment image

Solaris
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Solaris

War in Warcraft?! PREPOSTEROUS! :P

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mysecretid

It’s not that there’s war in Warcraft — it’s that the war could be handled a lot better, plot-wise, than “Oh, look, the kids are fightin’ again!”

Cheers,

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zeko_rena

Dun, dun, duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun

hurbster
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hurbster

In the Grim Darkness of Azeroth there is only War.

Again.

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Teala Te'Jir

Oh look Blizzard is going to keep pushing the “Alliance vs Horde” trope. ::sigh:: So sick of that story line. This is why we quit playing. This endless – useless war between the two factions.

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Toy Clown

Careful what you wish for: Look what happened to SW:ToR when they did away with the Rebel / Imperial storyline.

hurbster
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hurbster

There was never a Rebel/Imperial storyline.

April-Rain
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April-Rain

Pretty happy it was not underwater as some stories suggested, I have to admit they have got me stoked again, true addiction and over 12 years in this game.

I am now sure the only thing they can do to get rid of me is to start selling loot boxes.

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RJB

yep

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Line
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Line

Well, the new Jaina looks cool.
But right after Legion… this screams filler expansion honestly. Going back to the roots of the franchise (arguably to a time that very few players remember at this point), when you have two decades of faction and character development…?
I dunno, this sounds artificial… and PvP focused (not really the case, but it does feel like it with such a theme).

Not really interesting in my eyes, but the new sub races and QoL issues addressed are welcome.

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Fenryr Grey

they need to tune it down a bit… the power/story creep was enormous with Legion… to go bigger and bigger at this pace isn’t sustainable. I mean beating Sargaras and corrupted titans… in space ships…

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Hirku

Looks neat, but to be honest this expansion and all the others are so far in my future I can barely dwell on them. I’m practically doing backflips in my chair about the world scaling though. Can’t wait for that.

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Doubleplusgood

Usually new playable races get me excited to play an expansion but I don’t have any free character slots and since there isnt a new class it’s doubtful they will increase the limit. So I won’t be able to use any of the new races:(

And of course they had to make artifact weapon version 2 but this time with a new necklace. So predictable. Can’t wait to see how much grind is involved!
I think I’m more excited about the classic server announcement and might end up playing that more.

April-Rain
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April-Rain

For people like us with full character slots and once we unlock the races I am sure the only way will to be buy a race change, unless they give you one for free this could be another revenue stream.

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Fenryr Grey

According to Taliesin & Evitel they are going to increase the slot caps/server.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

It’s the X Files effect. First it’s a little smoke under the door, but there are still mysteries to be solved each week. Then the smoke grows and pretty soon the weekly mysteries start turning around what the smoke it. Then the smoke fills the room and every show is about the smoke. Eventually, someone opens the door and its just a car exhaust.

In other words, WoW jumped the shark and now can’t figure out how to get back. What is the game about? Mix in Blizzard’s desire to turn every IP into an Esports franchise and this is what you end up with. Conflict for no good reason.

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Annoyed badger

“The seventh expansion for the game will find the Horde and Alliance at each other’s throats, ”

Oh for fucks sake.

Again with the “manufactured horde/alliance conflict” which will magically disappear when some big enemy comes to threaten everyone….

A new expansion, a new level of faction conflict. A new working together to show its better for everyone…then oh look lets announce this expansion is so different (ie the same as all the rest) in that it pits horde against alliance in epic new (same as every expansion) conflict.

Bliz needs to break out of its formula, its just on endless repeat.

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Utakata

They’ve been at each other’s throats since this game began. I guess Blizz needs to be at each others throats moar, lol. So it’s either servers with Vanilla non-stacking clams or PvP (likely forced). This expansion is beginning to stink…in the way the last US Presidential election stunk. /bleh

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Annoyed badger

They were at each others throats…until they worked together to defeat a big bad….

Then bliz maufactured reason to fight again.

Then big bad, they work together and everything is great, they accomplish the impossible.

Oh no, new expansion, lets fights again because….um, reasons….

Big bad, work together, decent cahracter development and cross faction understan…

No wait, new expansion, fight again….

Its absurd.

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Utakata

I see what you are getting at, but I’ll have to disagree here to a degree. With all the continuous faction PvP initiatives and storylines that existed since Vanilla, they have always been at each other’s throats regardless. While certain events may have drawn more wizened leaders to “worked” together for a common cause, the factions have always been officially at war. This is why I find “at war again” a ludicrous claim to begin with.

It saddens me a lot that I was hoping WoW would be moving and evolving away from that, to only find once again the developers are looking ass backwards at that again for the next expansion. Which is wholly and arithmetically unimaginative, pointless and lacking of anything truly compelling, IMO.

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Annoyed badger

its not that I mind the conflict as such, its just that its so artificial at this point, its not driven by a narrative or any compelling story driven build up…its just “new expansion” so “horde and alliance conflict” again….

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mysecretid

I agree. If there’s going to be war in Warcraft, at least put some work into the “why” of it all.

Also, the all-on/all-off approach to war in Warcraft is starting to seem a bit odd to me — war seems to get turned on and off like a big faucet in Azeroth.

It’s entirely possible to have factions on each side which continue to fight bitterly in various areas of the game-world, while other regions pursue peaceful relations.

It might make for a more exciting game, even, never quite knowing whether you’ll find kindness or conflict over the next zone border.

My opinions, anyway,

Cheers,

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Cinaminson

Man, people on this site really love to complain and be unhappy. I’m looking forward to it, it doesn’t look bad. I mean, they already hit rock bottom with WoD and a lot of the things they are planning on doing for this expansion are really good things. If it isn’t for you, that’s okay. Maybe the next one will be. And if you don’t like WoW, nothing is going to make you like it. Move on and leave it alone.

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Bryan Turner

It just seems like a huge step back, they’re only doing this because they don’t want to run out of ideas in 2 years as opposed to 4 by saving the Void for the expansion after.

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Cinaminson

I feel like it is more akin to finally facing the story of the world at large. The story of Azeroth has always been Alliance vs Horde, the other world ending disaster boss of the month was added stuff later. Before we can move on from Alliance vs Horde, we need to do the story of the Alliance vs Horde. We haven’t yet in WoW, not really, so it’s about time we do. (And it’s what people have been asking for since forever.)

I think we are going to get different non-faction warfare story as this expansion goes on. Uldir is a Titan containment facility. That’s awesome! You know what they contain and keep back? Old gods! Azshara is going to be the end raid tier boss! There’s going to be a bunch of story with that too! I’m super excited to see the story that is going to be happening organically instead of “Oh we’re fighting this guy? Okay, well all the stuff before it is filler, right?”

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Oleg Chebeneev

Ok, here is my opinion.
First, I dont like the setting. Ive already seen plenty of troll zones and human settlements, doesnt look like 2 featured continents will awe me with something new.
I dont like lack of new cool features and no word about class improvements or professions.
But there are some very nice QoL improvements. Like zones scaling and wPvP changes. I would be more excited if they actually told in details whats coming for wPvP in the future?
Islands exploration sounds pretty fun is one of highlights of expansion. Not sure if they wont become repetative after awhile.

Overal not very interesting expansion for me personally (in a way MoP was since I dig eastern culture). But they got my attention with upcoming wPvP changes. Sadly battlefronts are against AI. Would be nice to have some huge PvP battles with sieges and stuff since AvH is main theme of this expansion.

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Sorenthaz

Also this was the expansion where they should have announced player ships with the garrison system integrated into it in a meaningful fashion where followers are crew members of your ship and the like.

I’m still holding some semblance of hope that it could become a feature later on in the expansion, but honestly it feels like they’re afraid to try new things. Hence why we’re once again going back to the dead horse that is the Alliance vs Horde nonsense.

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Sorenthaz

I’m really getting tired of how badly they keep forcing the Horde vs Alliance conflict. It’s NEVER going to hit a resolution point in any satisfactory manner – why? Because one side can never fully lose. Not when so many players are devoted to specific factions. Not when there’s so much deep lore on both sides. You cannot simply ‘win’ in this ‘war’, Horde and Alliance will always be fighting for no reason other than once upon a time Orcs vs Humans started the franchise.

This is also the same garbage we’ve seen over and over again. Horde and Alliance bicker and fight, meanwhile new threats emerge and everyone’s like “crap why are we fighting?” and then the world/universe/whatever is at jeopardy and the Horde/Alliance band together to save the world… then go right back to it.

It’s a stupid cyclical narrative that simply does not make sense anymore, ESPECIALLY with Anduin at the helm. The only way this storyline would make sense with Anduin leading is if Teldrassil was burned to the ground first.

The issue is that World of Warcraft has NEVER been about the War in a meaningful way, and there’s no way that will ever be possible now because WoW is predominantly a PvE game to where you simply cannot let either faction lose in an impactful way. It’s always just to tell stories, and yet the story is always the same dang cycle to where it’s predictable and boring and pretty much only done as filler for the next big story arc.

Seriously how many flipping times do we need to have an end-of-expansion lesson that “fighting each other is bad” only to go ahead and do that the expansion after?

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Bryan Turner

Horde ‘s going to lose, how else do you explain Anduin leading all of Azeroth against the Void.

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Bruno Brito

He changes his mind?

There’s a lot of ways to do this without a side winning.

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Cinaminson

I joked with my husband about how the “Horde and Alliance war is heating up again!” is basically a Blizzcon drinking game at this point. But, if this is more like MoP story? I’m okay with that.

TophatKiyaki
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TophatKiyaki

I’ll be honest, this announcement made me legitimately angry.

We literally go up against the most powerful and legendary threat the story has ever thrown at us; the conflict we’ve been anticipating since WoW literally began…and what do we do afterwards? Go back to the fucking Faction War that stopped being even remotely interesting after Pandaria?

Blow me. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a trailer for the next WoW expansion, and literally had to say to myself “What reason is there for this to exist?” They opened up so many possibilities with the Cosmos of the Warcraft Mythos and the extended threats hinted at in some of the Class Halls like the Priest, Druid and Paladin ones, and they just throw all of that away to go back to more Horde Vs. Alliance nonsense.

Not to mention with the roads Actiblizz have been going down lately I can’t help but anticipate the inevitable announcement that Battle for Azeroth will introduce new and exciting WoW Lootboxes.

ceder
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ceder

Conflict to resolution to conflict + recycling + grind for new things that unlock more grinds and more leveling toasted lightly on a ho hum story/premise.

Yep, the next expansion is wow filler expansion. Its like watching a tv series where you know there are filler episodes and major story line ones.

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Serrenity

For the same reason that US political parties would rather attack each other than present a unified front to the larger problems of the world.

Fantasy mirrors reality here.

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Sorenthaz

It’s filler for when they don’t have any other reason to get us to go over to those regions. Same thing happened with Mists of Pandaria, and obviously the narrative shifted away from the conflict by the end of it. Same thing will happen this time. Alliance/Horde will be fighting over whatever nonsense, then Azshara and the Old Gods and blahdy blah will surface and start causing problems and suddenly the focus will shift to those things.

Then sometime later the Void Lords or whatever will attack and suddenly things will get serious again, but then once we’re done with that major threat it’s back to fighting each other because reasons.

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Oleg Chebeneev

So after defeating the biggest threat in last expansion, you want to fight even bigger threat in next expansion and after you defeat new biggest threat all you want further is to fight bigger then biggest threat? Dont need to be a genius to understand saving the world every expansion becomes repetative and boring, and players need a break. For those who need a archvillain, they announced there will be raid against Queen Azshara.

TophatKiyaki
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TophatKiyaki

Yet saving the world is what every expansion boils down to, and this won’t be any different, make no mistake. The Faction War will be the focal point for the base entry and maybe the first patch, and then they’ll move into more save the world stuff as WoW always does.

It’s a matter of narrative escalation. This is the first time it feels like they’re genuinely taking a step backwards. They opened up the possibility of travelling to other planets, the implications of Titan World-Souls and the Silithus world-rift caused by Sargeras at the end of Legion. I’m sure at least that third one will very much be explored in this, but the point is that we quite literally defeated the Burning Legion, and then they decided the best way to open up the next chapter is…the two factions are fighting again, only this time it’s quite possibly the absolute worst and most forced excuse for the conflict the franchise has ever had. Literally, worse than “We’re going to war because Varian doesn’t like Orcs”, and that’s pretty fuckin’ bad.

I don’t mind the faction war being there, even though realistically speaking it’s a very dated thing to have (2 factions, and realistically speaking the only reason it’s still there is that Blizzard needs an excuse to not have to put in the work to fuse the two into one), the problem is they’re trying to make it the focal point again, at least at the start. They want it to be the thing that hooks you in, that makes you invested in what comes next, and at least in my opinion, the potential for storytelling with the Faction War peaked back in Pandaria. Everything since then has just felt arbitrary or forced.

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Rumm

“Battle for Azeroth” implies much more than Alliance vs. Horde in terms of lore and in regards to what Azeroth is.

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TomTurtle

Now I know how others felt about GW2: PoF’s appeal. Having been on both sides, I can see the good and bad of going for a less flashy expansion. At the very least, BfA will serve the fans well.

I’ve still got to fully check out the Legion zones, as I dropped off shortly after its launch, but I don’t feel that I’ll be immediately jumping into this expansion. It doesn’t amaze me, though I like some of the smaller changes such as level scaling coming ahead of the expansion.

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nobleeinherjar

Not seeing much that entices me to return. I’ve personally always thought the Horde versus Alliance thing was the least interesting aspect of the game.

But hopefully those that are still into WoW will enjoy this. And maybe this will give WoW the meaingful PvP that I’ve heard some players want.

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Danny Smith

I whispered a small ‘thank fuck’ when i saw it wasn’t yet another “No now THIS is the real world ending big bad, and THIS time we mean it, swer on me mum!” and Kul Tiras gives me enough Howling Fjord vibes to be interested in WoW for the first time in like 3 years?
That said of course i gotta wait for that other shoe to drop and see what Garrison level bullshit they are going to throw in of course.

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