World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Expansion Takes Series Back To Its Core Fundamentals

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

It is pretty amazing to think that World of Warcraft, arguably the most popular MMORPG of all time, is still going strong 13 years after its debut. Exactly how strong is not known—Blizzard no longer shares subscriber numbers, but there are enough users to warrant releasing another expansion for its lucrative gaming franchise. The developer/publisher shared more details at BlizzCon about its next WoW expansion, Battle for Azeroth.

The next expansion is a return to basics for WoW. It is the sixth major expansion, and will pit the Alliance and Horde against each other in all-out warfare, bringing players back to the core conflict. The tension between the two factions has always been there, but having to deal with a constant barrage of external threats as avoided this moment over the years. That is going to change with Battle for Azeroth, and in a big way.

A cinematic trailer sets the scene for what is to come. It starts with a siege in Lordaeron—Varian Wrynn leads the Allied forces in a fight against Sylvanas Windrunner and the Horde in a castle. It looks as though players will pick up where the siege leaves off, which sets in motion a massive conflict between the Alliance and Horde.

There will two new continents to explore, along with new resources for the big battle. The Alliance will set foot on Kul'Tiras archipelago, and the Horde will wade through jungle terrain in Zandalar. There will be quests on both sides as players fight for land and resources. The expansion will also feature half a dozen new allied races, split between the Alliance and the Horde, and there are plans to introduce more after launch.

Players will be able to create new characters in the new races, which for the Horde include the Nightborne, Highmountain Tauren, and Zandalari Trolls. New races for the Alliance include Void Elves, Lightforged Draenei, and Dark Iron Dwarves. Characters will start at level 20, with the level cap set at 120. Once a player reaches level 120, the whole world opens up with World Quests and Emissaries becoming available.

Battle for Azeroth will arrive sometime next year.