World of Warcraft is a hugely popular game that has amassed a huge fanbase over its 14-year life. Its latest expansion, Battle for Azeroth, promises to be one of its best yet. See why below.
The World of Warcraft is a role-playing game like no other. The universe that the game is set in is huge, and it continues to grow. With over 100 million subscribers over the game’s life, it’s easy to see how every new expansion brings a new level of hype with it. We outline below all that you need to know about World of Warcraft, along with the key features of the latest expansion, Battle for Azeroth.
What is World of Warcraft?
World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, also known as an MMORPG. In the past, tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons were the only options for those who enjoy role-playing games. The internet has changed the playing field, literally. The game, commonly known as WoW, is just one Warcraft game title set within the Warcraft universe. You can only play WoW on PC, as it is not available on consoles.
World of Warcraft is one of the most-famous games of its kind. It saw a huge spike in popularity following Blizzard’s release of the title back in 2004. By 2010, the game had a reported 12 million subscribers. Although WoW’s subscriber base has since reduced, millions of people still log in and play World of Warcraft every day. That is quite an achievement for a game that has been going for 14 years!
In the game, you choose a character that is either with the Alliance or the Horde. Based on your choice, you can then select from a wide range of character races. For example, you can choose to play as a human, orc, night elf, tauren, or the undead, among others. You also select your character’s class, with options such as warrior, druid, warlock, rogue, hunter, and mage.
Once you’ve created and named your character and customized their appearance, you then head out into the world of Azeroth. WoW is a sandbox-style game that gives you the power to travel and quest wherever you like. As you level up by completing quests and dungeons, you can access more dangerous areas of the map and further certain quest lines. As you level up, your abilities and loot also increase in power.
Warcraft’s Universe is Huge
For more dedicated fans of WoW, there are other titles you can play in the Warcraft franchise. These include Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, and the more recent Hearthstone. Of course, you do not have to play any of these titles to enjoy WoW. However, some of the lore in the game does feature in other Warcraft games, and vice versa.
In 2016 the film Warcraft, which was set in the Warcraft universe, was also released, proving once more that Warcraft game titles continue to hold relevance to this day.
Forge Your Own Path
Over the years there have been a number of expansions added into World of Warcraft, in order to grow the world of Azeroth and introduce new races and classes into the game.
So far, six expansions have been released:
- The Burning Crusade (2007)
- Wrath of the Lich King (2008)
- Cataclysm (2010)
- Mists of Pandaria (2012)
- Warlords of Draenor (2014)
- Legion (2016)
Each expansion brought a new map area to Azeroth. Additionally, each expansion increased the max level cap of your character, along with other features. In Mists of Pandaria, for example, the new playable Pandarian race was introduced. In Legion, players could play the demon hunter class.
Along with new maps and quests, each expansion also brought new and better loot for characters. By completing dungeons and raids, your character had the chance to collect loot from the fallen boss, which often included pieces of armor.
With enough successful loot drops, you could build a full set of armor, which not only looked good but gave your character stat boosts as well. Although certain pieces can be bought in the auction house, for some drops you have to actually defeat the boss to get the piece. This means that WoW has lots of replay value, as you can re-do dungeon runs and raids to try and complete your armor set.
You can also track your progress, or check out the stats of a particular item, by searching on the Warcraft Armory. The armory can be found on the WoW community website and has been integrated into the search box on the site, so all the information you need is available at the touch of a button. The Armory makes it very easy to track your progress on the latest set and is an invaluable source of information.
What to Expect in Battle for Azeroth
In November 2017 Blizzard announced that another expansion, Battle for Azeroth, will be released.
The expansion reignites tensions between the Alliance and Horde, as these two factions go to war. There will be a number of new features, including the release of two new continents. Kul Tiras is the new continent for Alliance players, whilst Horde characters can look forward to exploring Zandalar.
The other main announcements for the expansion include an increase in the level cap up to 120 and the introduction of ten new dungeons. Although dungeons are almost compulsory additions to a WoW expansion, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t excited about them!
Island Expeditions and Warfronts
There will also be plenty of new ways to wage war on your enemies. In Battle for Azeroth, players can take part in new Island Expeditions. These Expeditions let teams of three explore uncharted islands in a bid to secure their resources before the opposing team. The mode will let you PvP, PvE, or both, so it’s one of the most dynamic features to ever come to WoW.
There will also be Warfronts for those who haven’t had their fill of war. These will be 20-player co-op battles that will be available from level 120. The PvE mode will force players to work together to secure a key location and will have a focus on real-time-strategy. So there’s a lot to get excited about in this expansion.
Additionally, Battle for Azeroth promises more races to play which will unlock as you progress through the story. These new races are variations on existing races, for example, the Lightforged dranei or Highmountain tauren, but it’s always fun to get a race update. What’s more, once you’ve recruited a new race, you can choose to level that race from the start. If you complete the full leveling experience with the character, you’ll get a Heritage Armor set as your reward.
The Battle for Azeroth expansion should be available for download on August 14, 2018. You can find out more about the expansion, including how to download it, here.
Here Comes the Battle of Azeroth
Overall, World of Warcraft has produced some excellent expansions over the years. These expansions have added to Azeroth’s diversity and have given players more races, classes, quests, and loot to access. The latest release, Battle for Azeroth, looks like it will have just as many features as previous expansions. Plus, the new features such as Warfronts and the Island Expeditions look to bring more dynamic gameplay to WoW. There are only a few months to go before Battle for Azeroth launches. This means that there’s never been a better time to click on a World of Warcraft download.