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The War Within > WoWJun 9, 2024 9:00 am CT

Everything you need to know about World of Warcraft: The War Within

World of Warcraft’s next expansion is The War Within, and it will be the beginning of a three-expansion arc called the Worldsoul Saga. And while it will take a while to reach the end of this trilogy,  The War Within expansion is coming out on August 26, 2024.

If you’ve been having trouble keeping up with every little bit of news about the expansion, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about the expansion.

When is The War Within pre-patch?

The World of Warcraft 2024 roadmap also gives us a good idea of when to expect the pre-patch (11.0.1) as well as the first post-launch patch (11.0.5). Though Blizzard never announces patch dates this early, considering the recent content cadence for WoW patches — and the aggressive release schedule on the roadmap — we expect patch 11.0.1 will launch at the beginning of August and patch 11.0.5 will launch in late October.

How to join The War Within beta

The War Within just started beta testing, and beta signups are now livejust be wary of potential scams if you get an email about beta access.

The beta test is public, meaning anyone can (potentially) get in, though not everyone will be invited right away. If you’re interested, sign up and don’t be disappointed if you aren’t invited immediately. Blizzard always expands betas after they start.

Players who pre-ordered the Epic Edition, which includes beta access, can expect to receive access on June 12.

Major features in The War Within

Warbands will change how we play alts

Almost everything is going account-wide in The War Within: all characters on your Battle.net account will be part of your Warband. Your characters will share:

  • Most reputation; all Dragonflight and War Within reputations will be account-wide, and many older reputations will be gradually added to the Warband system.
  • Banks, via a new cross-character Warband Bank — though we’re just calling them Warbanks. You’ll be able to craft directly from the materials in your Warband Bank, making it easier than ever to do cross-character professions.
  • Some gear will be Warbound Until Equipped, letting you share it with your alts (perhaps by dropping it in your Warbank). It’s a lot like the current Bind on Account system, but should be easier to use.
  • Account-wide transmog. Finally, all gear you pick up will be accessible to all of your characters as transmog.  (Though current restrictions on which classes can transmog which items will remain in place.)

Expanded talents with new Hero Specializations

From levels 71 to 80, you won’t get new talent points, but instead points for your Hero Specialization. Each spec will be able to choose one of two Hero Specializations to tailor their gameplay in certain ways, becoming a Farseer Shaman, a Shado-Pan Monk, or a Lightsmith Paladin.

Each of these new specializations adds unique class flavor in the form of new active and passive abilities — though not too many active abilities, as Blizzard is aware of the button bloat problem some classes already have, so the majority of these abilities are passive.

Here’s a list of every Hero Specialization with links to its talents in detail.

Cross-realm guilds

We already have cross-faction guilds, and now we’re getting cross-realm guilds, so we can finally play with our friends without any (or at least not many) barriers.

Dragonriding everywhere!

Skyriding is what we’ll be calling Dragonriding moving forward, and it will be available everywhere using existing flying mounts. (Most, but not all, flying mounts will be available for Skyriding.) You’ll be able to toggle between traditional flying and Skyriding at any time from your mount collection panel.

You’ll have access to Skyriding almost immediately after arriving in Khaz Algar, but regular flight — now called “steady flight” — will only be available at end-game after a Pathfinder-like achievement.

Delves in The War Within

Delves remind me of Torghast: they’re instanced content with 11 tiers of difficulty, and you can play them solo or in small groups of any composition.  They’re relatively quick to complete at 10 to 15 minutes each, and they’ll offer meaningful rewards. Delves will reward you with gear and loot similar to what you would get by doing dungeons or PVP, with rewards improving based on the difficulty tier. You can check out the first three tiers while you’re leveling, but tier 4 and up are reserved for end game and will be unlocked when The War Within Season 1 starts.

There are 12 different Delves across Khaz Algar, and you can venture into them with your friend Brann Bronzebeard. Every season, we’ll have a new companion to explore with, and who better to kickstart our adventures than Brann? As you progress, Brann will level up and learn new skills to help you through your Delves.

And if none of that piqued your interest, Delves will also reward you with a custom dirigible mount.

New Earthen race in The War Within

The Earthen will be joining the game as an Allied Race for both Alliance and Horde, giving Horde players the long-awaited ability to play a Dwarf. This looks to be one of the easiest Allied Races to unlock, as you don’t need to do much more than play through the initial War Within campaign before creating an Earthen of your own.

Also they are very shiny.

New zones in The War Within

The expansion takes place in Khaz Algar, and we’ll start on the Isle of Dorn where the capital city of Dornogal is located. From there, we’ll be headed underground into the Ringing Deeps, Hallowfall, and Azj’kahet. While these zones are underground, they don’t feel as claustrophobic as Zaralek Caverns, and Hallowfall, which has a giant glowing crystal overhead, practically feels like an outdoor zone.

Raids and dungeons in The War Within

The first raid in The War Within is Nerub’ar Palace, an 8-boss raid in Azj-Kahet, which will culminate in an encounter with Queen Ansurek. This will mean a lot of spiders, but The War Within also has an arachnophobia mode that will turn these spiders into much friendlier crabs.

This will be the first raid with the new Story difficulty. This lower difficulty level will allow players to tackle simplified raid encounters in small groups just to see the story. There’s no word on it coming to other raids (yet), but hopefully it will continue in future raids.

What’s the story behind The War Within? (And will we finally deal with that sword?)

Azeroth is crying out in a “Radiant Song” some of the world’s heroes have been called by — though Alleria says her visions feature “no radiance, no song.” The main characters of the expansion appear to be Thrall, Alleria, Jaina, and Anduin, who feature in key art and trailers so far.

While the initial War Within trailer suggests Thrall and Anduin are finally planning to do something about Sargeras’ sword (sorry, what sword?), Khadgar, Jaina, and Alleria are trying to learn more about this Radiant Song.

At the end of Dragonflight — in patch 10.2.7, Dark Heart — Alleria is tasked with chasing down a void artifact (the aforementioned Dark Heart). She doesn’t find it, but she does find out that Xal’atath has it. (And, presumably, whatever happens next will be bad enough to lead to the breakup haircut we see Alleria sporting in War Within art.)

We don’t know all of the details from there, as Blizzard is keeping cinematics from The War Within under wraps until the expansion releases. But whispers from somewhere are drawing us all into something dangerous, and it seems like Xal’atath is the one pulling the strings.

Beyond the main cast, we will be introduced to Earthen society in Khaz Algar (in advance of being able to roll our earn Earthen after finishing the game’s main story campaign). The Arathi will also feature heavily in the Hallowfall zone.

How to pre-order The War Within and The War Within Collector’s Edition

You can pre-order your digital copy of The War Within from Blizzard now. There are three editions available, all of which include a copy of Dragonflight so lapsed players can get in immediately, a level 70 character boost, and an amount of Trader’s Tender.

  • Base Edition ($50)
  • Heroic Edition ($70) also includes a mount and transmog set
  • Epic Edition ($90) also includes guaranteed beta access, early access to the expansion, 30 days of game time, a pet, a toy, and a cosmetic hearthstone

The Collector’s Edition is available now for the steep price of $180. It includes a copy of the Epic Edition as well as a bunch of physical goodies, including an artbook, a collectible pin (featuring Thrall, Anduin, and Alleria), and a large gryphon rider statue. The snag with buying these snazzy special editions is, as always, that you’ll need to buy the digital Epic Edition in order to get pre-order bonuses — like beta access and early access — in advance. You’ll be able to get a refund for your digital purchase in the form of Battle.net balance, but that isn’t the same as a refund: that money can only be spent on future digital Blizzard purchases.

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