And the War Rages on: World of Warcraft, Battle for Azeroth

Hello again everyone and sorry for the long absence. For the record it was for a series of extremely legitimate reasons and NOT because I was too busy playing the game I’m about to be talking about. I’m being serious. Pneumonia sucks.

Anyway, with Legion moving into its final patches and Blizzcon behind us, details regarding the next installment of World of Warcraft have been revealed. Battle for Azeroth will be the next expansion and from all indications will revolve strongly around the renewal of aggression between the Horde and the Alliance.

battle_for_azeroth

Now…as a long time player I love the conflict that is central to WoW. It just isn’t Warcraft if we aren’t trying to kill each other. However…during Legion we decided that our respective factions weren’t cutting it and decided to stick with our fellow Demon Hunters, or Mages, or Paladins, etc. During this time we’ve been working hand in hand with individuals from both factions and now what? Our leaders want to fight so lets get back to killing each other on sight? Feels bad, you know?

azerothheart.jpg

Something else that feels bad? You know those really nice weapons we’ve been using for all of Legion? The ones that are (mostly) well known pieces of lore and history in Azeroth? The ones we’ve been collecting unholy amounts of artifact power to level up over the course of the whole expansion? Yep, I guess we’re done with those! In BfA, artifact power is being replaced with a new resource called Azerite and our artifact weapons are being replaced with…a neck piece. Really? Apparently said neck piece will affect multiple slots, including the shoulders and helm, but still. We’ve spent how long powering up the Twinblades of the Deceiver? The Ashbringer? And now we’re just going to toss them aside for the next green weapon that drops? (More than likely not the actual case, but hey. I’m salty.) The send off for artifacts will apparently fall just before release, so look forward to that I guess.

The new expansion is taking place back on our own world for the first time since Pandaland, so what exciting new locations will we be visiting this time? Well, good news to anyone who was hoping for a South Sea expansion, this is probably as close as it gets. The Alliance will finally be making it’s way to Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore who has been conspicuously absent for this entire expansion. Zandalar will be the main questing hub for the Horde, allowing us to finally take out the rest of those bastards who made Throne of Thunder so ann-…..Oh now we’ll be making friends with them…great.

allied horde

One of the cool things about this expansion is the addition of new races to both factions, and unlike all previous cases, it won’t just be one on either side. Three new playable races will be available on either faction. For the Alliance this will include the Dark Iron Dwarves, the Lightforged Draenai, and the Void Elves. For the Horde, we’ll be getting the Nightborne, Highmountain Tauren, and the Zandalari Trolls.  Also unlike previous expansions, they will need to be unlocked instead of being available right from the get-go. It also sounds like more Allied Races will become available as time goes. While I love the idea, I have to question a few of the choices, specifically Tauren and Draenei which are almost exactly the same as their already playable counterparts save for a few small cosmetic details. Also, the Zandalari? The trolls we’ve been kicking around for how many expansions now? Ugh.

warfront

Some of the new content does look pretty cool. Warfronts are a new form of PvE, a group of 20 players who take part in a Warcraft style form of combat including objectives, buildings, resources, the whole works from the old RTS style game. We’re looking at the return of scenarios from the Pandaria days as well where we’ll be raiding uncharted islands in small groups. The garrison style mission boards and followers do not appear to be returning this expansion, which I’m sure some people will be happy to see the last of, for now at least. From what I read Blizzard has also decided to do away with Tier armor, something that has remained a constant since Vanilla, so quite a few changes this time around.

Obviously there’s more to it even this early on, but I’m not going to list everything here. Overall I’m excited to see this come out and am looking forward to the new content. My only real complaint is about the artifacts weapons…and the idea that the Horde will be allying with Zandalar. But hey, maybe it’ll be more interesting than I expect. What are your thoughts about the future of WoW? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, happy gaming!

 

 

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