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WoWApr 17, 2024 6:30 pm CT

Warbands are a new account-wide progression system coming in The World of Warcraft: The War Within

Warbands may be the biggest change coming in The War Within expansion later this year: it’s a new account progression system that fundamentally changes how your characters and account function. Right now, every character under a player’s account is treated as a separate entity on the data side, but with The War Within, Blizzard is working towards combining all of your character information into a single place: your Warband.

This is a technical and philosophical shift towards making everything account-wide in World of Warcraft sometime in 2024, and it will result in some significant changes to how you play the game.

Whether you have more alts than you can count or you like to switch mains with the meta, Warbands are for you. So to help you get up to speed on this new system, let’s cover exactly how Warbands will work when The War Within goes live later this year.

What are Warbands?

Warbands represent all your characters’ items, collections, and progression as a single unit under a specific account regardless of realm or faction. The only restriction being by region: if you have accounts in different regions — Americas, Europe, Korea, Taiwan — they won’t share a Warband.

When you log in for the first time in The War Within, you’ll see each of your account’s characters regardless of realm, on a single list together. From there you can choose four characters at once to appear on the loading screen, where you can see certain information like their ilevel, class, specialization, location, and professions. However, all characters on your account will be part of your Warband, even though the login screen only highlights four.

What is shared across my Warband?

You can already share certain items across your account: achievements (though not always achievement progress) as well as collections like mounts, pets, and some transmogs. In The War Within, your characters will share quite a bit more. Here are the account-wide features that will be part of your Warband:

Shared Renown

Existing reputations from Dragonflight and new reputations from The War Within will become Warband reputations: when you make progress on one character, it will count for all of your characters. For Dragonflight factions, the furthest reputation and Renown level you reached on any character will become the reputation and renown level for your entire Warband. Simply put, if you were Renown 10 with Valdrakken Accord on one character and Renown 5 on another, everyone with start off at Renown 10 once The War Within launches.

Warband-wide rewards are granted to all characters, but some rewards vary in appearance while other rewards remain character-specific depending on what they are. For these rewards, you’ll just need to collect them on another character. Racial buffs like Human “Diplomacy” are being converted into something new to prevent players from being compelled to choose a certain character or race for extra rewards.

Most of the older factions and their reputations will eventually become Warband-wide, though some factions may be left alone if they represented player choices like the Aldor/Scryer factions or the any of the Shadowlands Covenants.

Shared Warbank

Bankers will house your Warbank, a new storage option for all of your non-soulbound gear, items, and currency. The Warbank has five total tabs with 98 slots in each, and any Warband character can access the Warbank at any time — including for crafting.

Currency will not be a shared pool among your Warband in The War Within, but you can move currency directly from your Warband bank to a specific character, bypassing the mail system altogether. This isn’t limited to gold and includes transferring currency like Flightstones and Dragon Isle Supplies. Some currencies will be free to transfer but if you send ones used to purchase specific cosmetics, gears, or ones involved in upgrading then you will be charged a certain value of that currency on top of the amount you’re transferring.

Changes to quest rewards

Warbands mean quests are tracked somewhat differently: after you complete a quest for the first time and earn those rewards, completing the same quest on another character in your Warband may provide different rewards. Some quest rewards are one-time, and will be marked as a one-time Warband bonus. For example, big reputation boosts will only be rewarded for the first completion of the quest on your account, because Blizzard doesn’t want to give players with alts a significant advantage on earning reputation. When you finish the quest a second time, you will typically be rewarded with bonus currency instead of experience.

Warbound until Equipped gear

Some gear rewards will have a new designation called Warbound until Equipped.” These items can be shared across your Warband but become soulbound to the first character that equips the item. This type of gear will drop from activities The War Within including raids, dungeons, and Delves. You’ll also have a chance to earn an additional piece of Warbound gear from these activities but it’ll be one tier item level below your current level.

Transmog appearances

When any member of your Warband collects a piece of gear that has a transmog appearance, regardless whether they can equip the item or not, that appearance will be unlocked for transmog account-wide. This is just for unlocking appearances: class restrictions are still in place so plate classes can’t transmog into cloth, mail classes can’t transmog into leather, and so on.

And while this does make collecting transmog easier than ever, some items, like class sets, will still be character-specific. For unbound gear, you no longer need to equip it to collect its appearance and you can instead unlock it by destroying it (selling, deleting, or disenchanting). For Group Loot, you’ll be able to roll for any transmog gear you haven’t collected yet instead of the Greed system, but players who can equip the transmog item will have a higher rolling priority than players who can’t equip the item.

…and more!

Other, smaller things like flight paths will be unlocked across your entire Warband but, your map progress will remain character-specific unless you use a new toy, The Warband Map to Everywhere All At Once, to make your progress Warband-wide. Individual character achievement scores are being replaced by a Warband-wide score and all achievements are now tracked across the Warband as well.

We’ll have more information about Warbands the closer we get to the release of The War Within, which is still unannounced, so check back here to stay up on the news about WoW’s latest expansion!

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