Blizzard made several major announcements for World of Warcraft today that you probably need to know about if you’re a current or even a former player who’s been trying to decide whether or not to go back. Let’s recap the highlights!
- The expansion is called Battle for Azeroth. We don’t know when it’s launching or when it’ll go into beta. You can, however, opt-in to the beta through Battlenet as always. We’re guessing it’s a ways off as there’s no preorder yet.
- The level cap is lifting to 120. The official site boasts a level 110 booster as a catch-up mechanic.
- Allied races (not sub-races) are happening. We’ll start with six: Void Elves, Dark Iron Dwarves, and Lightforged Draenei for Alliance and Nightborne, Highmountain Tauren, and Zandalari Trolls for Horde. We can quest to make them allies, then we can roll them ourselves from level 20 (or race-change into them), though there are extra gear rewards for those who level the hard way.
- Jaina is back! Alliance players will be defending the zones of Kul Tiras (Tiragarde Sound, Drustvar, and Stormsong Valley), while Horde will be recruiting from the Zandalar empire’s Zuldazar, Nazmir, and Vol’dun areas, all in a world that is much more strictly divided along factional lines than in older expansions.
- Island Expeditions constitute a new three-player, role-agnostic gameplay type a bit like scenarios.
- Warfronts are new; they’ll be 20-man co-op raids against NPC armies.
- The Heart of Azeroth is a new character progression system a la artifacts. More expected tonight.
- There are 10 new dungeons, with special leveling dungeons for each side, along with a few raids, in at least one of which we’ll be fight Azshara herself.
Some of the best updates are actually launching before the expansion, mind you. Those’d be:
- Level-scaling – it’s not new to WoW, but it will finally be encompassing the whole of the game, every zone, not just new content. Players will be able to journey through older expansion zones more flexibly, too; for example, you’ll be able to choose either Outland or Northrend as you level from 60 to 80. It launches in 7.3.5 and should hit the PTR “soon.”
- PvP is getting quite a bit of love ahead of the expansion too. Not only is there a new battleground, Seething Shore, but Blizzard is removing the PvE/PvP server distinction and essentially making world PvP entirely opt-in.
And finally, Blizzard announced that it is indeed working on legacy servers called World of Warcraft: Classic. We don’t have many details on it, but there you go. It’s happening.
We have more liveblogs on the way tonight and tomorrow, so join us!