Blizzard usually releases an expansion once every two years. That is, up until Battle for Azeroth was announced, which is slated to be launched in November of this year, while they just released Legion a few months ago. Despite the short time between the two, it seems like it was enough for Blizzard to plan and create enough content in order to ensure that the going on fifteen-year-old MMO remains fresh, enjoyable, and relevant.
Old War, New Front
New things for every expansion, including WoW Mounts, however, depends on the direction of the game’s story and its core theme. For the Battle of Azeroth, the conflict is at the heart of everything and is the very heart itself. After years of factions being reduced to a mere lore-related player detail that’s determined by race, it is going to once again become an important determinant of one’s fate in Azeroth, as Blizzard will be fanning the flames of war once more between the Alliance and the Horde. It is a brilliant move, as it propels the game forward, while at the same time taking it back to its roots, perhaps even further than Legion did.
The best new feature that represents Battle for Azeroth would be the Warfront Mode. Warfronts are 20-player PVE missions that look and feel like a real-time strategy game, just like the original Warcraft games, except that this time, you are the heroes leading the charge and turning the tides of war to your advantage on the ground rather than giving orders from a birds-eye view.
Aside from the fact that it will be very reminiscent of the old Warcraft games, Warfronts will be rotating between the two factions. For example, Alliance players would first hold Stormgarde Keep, and after that, the Horde, after gaining enough resources, will lay siege on it. Stormgarde Keep, an old vanilla WoW zone, brings out the feeling of the old times even more.
Going back to the Warfronts mechanics, the opposing faction, after the victory of the other, can launch a counter. It is an eternal back-and-forth battle, and the good part is that if you are not the competitive type, it is PVE and not PVP, so launching a Warfront is a guaranteed victory. That means nobody loses, everybody wins, everybody gets rewards, and nobody will be angry about the other faction.
Do know, however, that a lot is not yet known about Warfronts. Since we are still a few months away from launch, a lot of the mechanics and small details can still change, so be ready.
World at War
Aside from a new PVE mode, PVP will also be seeing a change, as the World PVP will be replaced by War Mode. That means that the old mechanics of players being able to attack other players in servers that have their World PVP will be phased out for the new one. This time around, World PVP will be turned off by default. So, in order for players to participate in this version of World PVP, they will have to go to the capital city of their respective factions, and choose to turn War Mode on or off.
If you turn it on and go to the open world, you will be able to attack players from other factions and vice versa. It is not required to try your hand at War Mode, but those who successfully make kills will receive extra experience and Azerite Power.
Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is not just about reigniting the strife between Azeroth’s two halves, but about changing how the two wage war against one another. Hopefully, both the Alliance and the Horde are ready for these new stages of combat.