World of WarCraft: Battle for Azeroth

Key events

Home is a curious concept. Generally, we use the term to suggest a snuggly place that feels like ours. Where we can feel comfortable and secure. In many ways, it's as emotive a word as love. People use it sparingly. It truly means something to use it to describe a location. Understandably, if your parents' home doesn't feel like your home any more, you're liable to call it something different than you may have as a child. And yet, often, at Christmas, people with their own homes will still describe themselves as 'going home for Christmas' when they explain they're staying with their parents for a few days.

When I booted up the World of Warcraft Classic demo for the first time a couple of weeks ago - while BlizzCon was still in full swing, and the servers were busy - the general chat channel was flooded with nostalgic longing. People were loving this recreation of the great massively multiplayer game's early days and lamenting what WOW had become in the 14 years since. Someone celebrated freedom from the tyranny of item levels. Someone mentioned the hushed sound design, noting that they could hear every footstep and clink of their chainmail. Someone else remembered how the community was so much friendlier back then, in so much less of a rush.

FeatureWorld of Warcraft and the masterplan for Sylvanas

"I've heard on the internet 'she's going off the rails', but is she?"

Whenever World of Warcraft Horde warchief Sylvanas Windrunner was mentioned at BlizzCon 2018, division swept the room. Some people booed, some people cheered. Sylvanas is on a genocidal rampage, you see, and it's caused a schism in the Horde. Some people follow her - and will to the ends of the, um, Azeroth - while others openly rebel under the hashtag Not My Warchief.

FeatureHow World of Warcraft is changing Warcraft 3: Reforged

A simple remake wouldn't have taken Arthas long.

For months I ran the Stratholme dungeon in World of Warcraft, over and over through the burning city, through the big gate towards the corrupted paladin lord Baron Rivendare and his coveted skeletal horse. But all the time I never really knew why. I never really knew the significance of the place, that it was the turning point for famous paladin Arthas on his path to to the dark side, to becoming Lich King. But I would have had I played Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos*.

How World of Warcraft: Classic's patch content will roll out, and more

When World of Warcraft: Classic launches next summer, the only raids available will be Onyxia and Molten Core. It will be, in other words, as World of Warcraft was circa March 2005.

It's notable because although World of Warcraft: Classic is built on the foundation of patch 1.12 from August 2006, it will actually take many months for WOW Classic to reach a similar point-in-time content-wise.

There will be "waves" of content, Blizzard said in a WOW Classic panel (available to watch if you're a Virtual Ticket owner) at BlizzCon 2018. Here's how it looks currently:

Read more

WOW Classic will be released in summer 2019

Subscribe to WOW to access it.

Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft Classic - a version of the game that restores it to how it was 14 years ago, before any of the expansions were released - will be released in summer 2019.

"Not my warchief," says the goblin rogue who is moonwalking around impatiently as we listen to some dialogue. We're playing The Battle for Lordaeron, the scenario which introduces Battle for Azeroth, World of Warcraft's latest and seventh expansion. He's talking about Sylvanas Windrunner, undead elf, queen of the Forsaken, and current Warchief of the Horde, one of WOW's two quarrelsome player factions.

The Horde is in a tough spot. Its leader, Sylvanas, has gone off the deep end, murdering loads of innocent Night Elves and provoking a fresh war with the Alliance. Horde players, confused and demotivated by the actions of their evil leader, are looking for new blood, a new hope in this time of crisis. They need a hero and, well, they might have just found him.

FeatureFace to face with the President of Virtual Reality

"I am championing the rights of the people."

In a modernist hotel lobby on the outskirts of Barcelona I sit face to face with the President. He's pretty casual as far as presidents go, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, wearing sunglasses even though we're inside. He's got a tattoo up the underside of his forearm which reads 'Neverdie'. It's his alias, but more of a name to him now than Jon Jacobs ever will be. He is President of Virtual Reality. It has nothing to do with Oculus Rift or VR goggles, and it's not some silly title in a game. President of Virtual Reality means president of all virtual realities - World of Warcraft, Eve Online, Destiny, the lot.

World of Warcraft expansion Battle for Azeroth gets a release date

Seventh World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth, will be released 14th August 2018.

As with previous expansions, there'll be a prologue patch released in the weeks leading up to Battle for Azeroth, according to PC Gamer. The questlines sound great. Alliance players will assault the Horde's Undercity and seek to reclaim it as Lordaeron, and the Horde will try to burn Alliance Night Elf land Teldrassil to the ground.

Faction versus faction warfare is, after all, what Battle for Azeroth is all about - a harkening back to the real-time strategy Warcraft days of old. As you progress through quests in the new archipelago zones, eventually you'll be pointed towards opposing lands and conflict there. The endlessly repeatable new island missions will even send the opposing faction towards your goal at the same time as you. And there are new 20-person vs. AI Warfronts, which are direct emulations of an RTS campaign with resources, buildings and units.

Read more

World of Warcraft expansion Battle for Azeroth will be released this summer

World of Warcraft expansion Battle for Azeroth will be released this summer

Buying now grants level-110 boost and access to Allied Races quests.

Blizzard has said Battle for Azeroth, the seventh World of Warcraft expansion, will launch this summer - a date further clarified to mean on or before 21st September 2018.

Pre-purchasing the expansion - buying it outright ahead of time - comes with benefits. One of those is an immediately available free boost to the game's current level cap of 110; another is a head start on quests to unlock Allied Races in the full Battle for Azeroth expansion. It's not clear how much of the quests you can complete.

A more expensive Digital Deluxe Edition (53) offers a Seabraid Stallion Alliance mount or Gilded Ravasaur Horde mount in World of Warcraft, and a cute baby Tortollan pet. There are also some voice lines, sprays and icons for Overwatch; a Hearthstone card back; a Heroes of the Storm Flamesaber mount; and Horde and Alliance StarCraft 2 sprays.

Read more

Unpacking all the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth details

FeatureUnpacking all the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth details

Worldwide level-scaling! A new artifact medallion! Allied Races! Warfronts!

On Friday evening Blizzard announced a seventh expansion for World of Warcraft called Battle for Azeroth. Headline features were Warfronts, Allied Races, character-level 120, and two new zones: Zandalar and Kul Tiras. We were also briefly introduced to a very important new medallion artifact, the Heart of Azeroth, which will power up other pieces of equipment you wear. Everything was explained in more detail in subsequent panels at BlizzCon 2017, which I've watched and unpacked below.

Separately of the expansion, however (which has no release date although next autumn is probably the earmarked arrival window), patch 7.3.5 will contain two key new things: the beginnings of game-wide level-scaling, and a preview of a new, dynamic control point PvP arena.

Game-wide level-scaling adjusts enemies within minimum and maximum level boundaries for specific zones, helping retain the feel that some zones are more deadly than others.

Read more