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WoWJan 26, 2018 10:30 am CT

What we know about Battle for Azeroth so far

The Battle for Azeroth hype is heating up, with the datamining beginning in earnest. But while datamining is awesome it also needs to always be taken with a grain of salt — things are always subject to change between testing and the live game, much less between people digging around in the files and the first actual alpha or beta test.  But there are things we know about Battle for Azeroth.

stromgarde warfront

Allied Races, Island Expeditons and Warfronts

First upBattle for Azeroth covers levels 110 to 120. It continues the scaling we saw in Legion, with each faction getting three zones. Alliance will be leveling in Kul Tiras, while Horde level on Zandalar Isle. The Alliance zones in Kul Tiras are Stormsong Valley, Drustvar and Tiragarde Sound. Horde exploring Zandalar will discover Zuldazar, Nazmir and Vol’dun. At max level, world quests unlock. Both factions gain access to all six zones for the purpose of world questing. Emissaries will also make a return.

We’ve talked about Allied Races quite a bit, but it’s worth running down the six we’ll see coming in Battle for Azeroth. The Alliance gets Lightforged Draenei, Void Elves and Dark Iron Dwarves. Meanwhile, the Horde gets Zandalari Trolls, Nightborne and Highmountain Tauren. Four of these races are connected to Legion‘s storyline. However, the Dark Iron Dwarves and Zandalari Trolls will be connected to the leveling storylines of Kul Tiras and Zandalar respectively. You’ll need to unlock each race, and their specific unlock conditions vary.

We’ll also see Warfronts and Island Expeditions, endgame content for both PVP and PVE. Think something like playing Heroes of the Storm — you can go versus AI or against other players. That’s how both the three person Island Expeditions (similar to Scenarios) and the 20 person Warfronts will work. You can sign up for either a PVE experience with actual scripted AI that acts more like players might, or you can go full PVP. Island Expeditions are meant to be short, 15 to 20 minute content that a group of three can complete. They can be set anywhere on Azeroth where a ship could explore. Warfronts are much more structured and have an RTS feel to them. You build objectives and gather resources before engaging in full out battle.

PVP changes

PVP servers won’t exist in Battle for Azeroth. It will be replaced by a toggle that effectively phases you. If you opt into PVP, then all you’ll see (and all that will see you) will also have opted into PVP. This means that every server is a PVP or PVE server depending on whether or not you’ve opted in.

In addition to that change, if you level as PVP in Battle for Azeroth you’ll get a slight bonus to offset the inefficiency of PVP leveling. It’s harder to complete quests and so on while also fighting for your life. Toggling on PVP will boost you enough to compensate. And nobody will ever have to PVP — if you choose to, you’ll be among other like minded players.

The Seething Shore battleground is already in place in patch 7.3.5, but as mentioned above, Island Expeditions and Warfronts will be hybrid content that work for both PVE and PVP players.

Dungeons and Raids

So far, there are ten dungeons coming in Battle for Azeroth. Four of them are set on Kul Tiras, another four on Zandalar Isle, and two are in neither location. We don’t actually know where those two are as of now. The dungeons are Freehold, Atal’Dazar, Tol Dagor, Waycrest Manor, Shrine of the Storm, Siege of Boralus, Temple of Sethraliss, Kings’ Rest, and Kezan. Both King’s Rest and Kezan are not included on Kul Tiras or Zandalar Isle. These dungeons will be available to both Horde and Alliance players.

Mythic Keystones will be carried forward to Battle for Azeroth.

For raids, we know less. There is one raid we know of by name, Uldir, the Halls of Control — it’s said to be the ‘Emerald Nightmare’ of the upcoming expansion. Uldir is a Titan quarantine facility. It’s the source of the corruption that’s plaguing Zandalar Isle. We also know that Queen Azshara is going to be a raid boss in this expansion, but not where or when as yet.

Legion’s Legacy

We’re going to see several storylines for characters similar to the Illidan story in Legion. Those characters are Thrall, Sylvanas, Anduin Wrynn, Jaina and Vol’jin in urn form. That last one is a joke, I think.

In addition to using the Illidan storyline as a template for other characters, we’ll see the Heart of Azeroth. The Heart combines with special Azerite Armor pieces to provide something of the feel of Artifacts and Legendaries from Legion, with less of the clutter of the constantly unfolding Artifact traits we saw this expansion. It looks like a mix of the Artifact traits and the Netherlight Crucible but simplified. The ultimate fallout appears to be that you will have armor pieces that have talent trees to give you more customization options.

We also know there’s going to be some class redesign in Battle for Azeroth. While there’s some dataminging out there for what those changes will be, nothing is set in stone yet. Keep in mind that Blizzard is going into Battle for Azeroth with the goal of diversifying classes and making them more unique, a design philosophy started in Legion.

That’s all we’ve got for now. But with a new Q&A coming this Tuesday, and recent datamining sprinting down the trail with tons of new information, we’ll soon have a lot more information about Battle for Azeroth.

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