New World of Warcraft expansion Battle for Azeroth announced
UPDATE: More details revealed.
UPDATE 3/11/17, 11:50pm: Blizzard has shed a little more light on its forthcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth, following its whirlwind Blizzcon debut.
"The fall of the Burning Legion has set off a series of disastrous incidents that reignites the furious rivalry between the noble Alliance and the mighty Horde," explains Blizzard. "As a new age of warfare begins, Azeroth's heroes must set out on a harrowing journey in search of new allies, race to claim the world's mightiest resources to turn the tides of war, and fight on several fronts to determine which side will lead Azeroth into its uncertain future."
Battle for Azeroth will introduce two new “fabled” kingdoms: the Zandalar empire, and the kingdom of Kul Tiras. "As a champion of the Horde,” says Blizzard, you can “travel to the Zandalar empire to persuade the trolls to lend their naval might. As a defender of the Alliance, venture to the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore, and rally its inhabitants to fight for your cause.”
Once you've recruited the expansion's new playable Allied Races - including Highmountain Tauren and Nightborne on the Horde side, and Lightforged Draenei and Void Elves on the Alliance side - you can “rediscover Azeroth through a revamped levelling experience featuring zones that scale as your character grows in power.”
Battle for Azeroth will also offer the chance to explore the uncharted islands of the Great Sea, and take on an ever-changing configurations of enemies, environments, and objectives. Groups of three players can race against rival intruders, or enemy players, to gather resources and "fuel the war effort”.
Those mysterious-sounding Warfronts mentioned during Blizzcon's opening ceremony have also been explained in a little more detail. These are large-scale, 20-player co-operative PvE battles, inspired by classic Warcraft RTS conflicts. You'll apparently be able to capture resources to expand your faction's forces, and take on enemy commanders.
Elsewhere, World of Warcraft's level cap has been increased to 120, and it'll be possible to instantly boost to level 110. Blizzard has hinted at a few of the expansion's new high-level quests, which include the chance to trace the corruption of the Blood God to the Underrot, to unearth the secrets of a lost titan vault, and to escape from the Drust Realm of the Dead.
It will also be possible to customise your armour with new powers and traits, by collecting Azerite, an "invaluable new resource that has emerged in the Legion's wake”.
Further details of Battle for Azeroth can be found in the Feature Overview trailer above and on the official expansion website.
ORIGINAL 3/11/17, 7:30pm: The seventh World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth, has been announced.
The headline features are Allied Races, level 120 (double the original level cap I'll have you know), Warfronts and a new Kul Tiras zone.
Exactly what Allied Races and Warfronts are we don't yet know, although the latter looked like some kind of real-time strategy game. They'll be discussed in more depth over the course of the BlizzCon 2017 weekend.
We saw boats and islands and all sorts in a Battle for Azeroth trailer. We also saw the expansion's new cinematic introduction, which was as ugly and rubbish as they always are for World of Warcraft. Sorry, I mean outstandingly beautiful.
There was no release date announced or stamped on any of the trailers but next autumn would be a standard arrival time.