In this Serial Alie dives into the toppers of the month. She tells you everything you need to know about these games. We zoom in on one of the biggest releases of August: Battle for Azeroth. What do we know about this seventh expansion for the MMORPG World of Warcraft?

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the seventh expansion for World of Warcraft. The expansion was announced at the opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2017. You can check Battle for Azeroth (BFA) starting August 14. The game will go live at midnight.

BFA is already the seventh expansion for World of Warcraft (WoW). The expansion will introduce Allied Races, Heart of Azeroth, Island Expeditions and Warfronts, among others. The level cap is also increased from 110 to 120. To level up, you can go to the new continents Kul Tiras and Zandalar. BFA also has new dungeons and raids, as well as a new battleground.

The Story of WoW: Battle for Azeroth

After the fall of the Burning Legion, the rivalry between the Alliance and Horde grows again. In this era of war, you have to look for allies. You are trying to claim the new resource Azerite for your faction. The hope is to turn the tide and determine which faction can lead Azeroth into its uncertain future.

The conflict between the two factions is thus at the heart of this new WoW expansion. At the center is the Warchief of the Horde, Sylvanas Windrunner, who is trying to consolidate Horde’s power by gaining a monopoly on Azerite. Her War of Thorns campaign is the pre-launch event for BFA. The event ends with the destruction of a number of Night Elf strongholds, including Darnassus. The Alliance retaliates against the home of Sylvanas Windrunner (Undercity) and manages to drive out the Horde.

Ultimately, the Horde has almost complete control of Kalimdor, while the Alliance largely occupies the Eastern Kingdoms. Further conflicts between the Alliance and Horde are thus inevitable.

The Alliance and Horde

Battle for Azeroth takes the two factions to the continents of Kul Tiras and Zandalar to recruit new allies. At the start of the expansion, you must complete a special faction scenario:

The Alliance scenario sends you to Kul Tiras, where Jaina Proudmoore hopes to get help. The Horde, in turn, wants to team up with the Zandalari Trolls. The Horde scenario thus sends you to Stormwind Prison, hoping to free important Zandalari Trolls and gain their trust.

In that sense, the story on both continents runs parallel to each other: both factions need the help of a naval force. Another similarity is the tension between leaders and their confidants. Both factions also encounter enemies who are assisted by the same corrupt force.

The new areas in WoW: Battle for Azeroth

The two new areas in BFA have been added in the Great Sea between the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. These are: Kul Tiras, one of the most important human kingdoms, and Zandalar, the homeland of the trolls of Azeroth.

So as an Alliance player, you will venture into the seafaring nation of Kul Tiras – home to Jaina Proudmoore – and gather the inhabitants to fight for your cause. Kul Tiras is divided into three zones: Tiragarde Sound containing Alliance capital Boralus, the high plains and red forests of Drustvar and the inland channels of Stormsong Valley. In Tiragarde Sound you are faced with political turmoil and hostile pirates, Drustvar in turn has problems with witchcraft, while Stormsong Valley is filled with corrupt sea priests. You will unravel a web of betrayal and dark magic as you quest.

As a Horde player, you travel to the Zandalar Empire to convince the Trolls to lend their naval power. Like Kul Tiras, Zandalar is also divided into three zones: Zuldazar containing Horde capital Dazar’alor, the gloomy swamps of Nazmir and the deadly deserts of Vol’dun. Zuldazar also puts you at the center of political intrigue, while in Nazmir you try to stop the threat of the Blood Trolls, and in Vol’dun you must prevent the resurrection of a C’thraxxi. In Zandalar the old evil is waiting to be released into the world.

While the Alliance and Horde initially travel to their own continent, both areas are available to everyone from level 120 onwards.

The Allied Races

With Battle for Azeroth you get the chance to unlock a number of Allied Races – formerly neutral factions. You do this (for example) by accumulating enough reputation with the faction in question and completing a quest. Four of these varieties were introduced after pre-orders went live, the other four will be added after release.

The Alliance can exile the Void Elves (exiled Blood Elves, who can use shadow magic, and are trained by Alleria Windrunner), Lightforged Draenei (Draenei from the Army of Light who fought the Legion on Argus), Dark Iron Dwarves (a subrace of the Dwarves from Ironforge) and Kul Tiran (bigger, heavier Humans). The Horde in turn has access to: the Nightborne (former Night Elves from Suramar), the Highmountain Tauren (moose-like family of the Tauren of Mulgore), the Zandalari (forerunner of all the trolls of Azeroth), and the Mag’har Orcs ( survivors of the Iron Horde from Warlords of Draenor).

The Heart of Azeroth

The Heart of Azeroth is an artifact given to the player by Magni Bronzebeard. It is a chain that can use the power of Azerite. Azerite is thus comparable to the Artifact Power in Legion, so you can collect it while playing and it is used to upgrade your Artifact (in this case your Heart of Azeroth). However, unlike Artifact Weapens, the Heart is shared between all of your character’s specs.

You wear the Heart of Azeroth throughout the expansion. The chain automatically absorbs any nearby Azerite. Once you have absorbed enough Azerite it can level. Upon reaching certain levels, it will awaken latent properties in your other gear.

Warfronts

Warfronts are 20 player PvE content. The mode is inspired by the classic Warcraft III battles. With your group, you are responsible for creating outposts, securing resources, setting up supply lines and training troops. Unlike in Warcraft III, however, you don’t do that from a top-down perspective – instead, you’re fighting on the front line. One faction wins each week, giving them access to special World Bosses and missions outside the front.

Island Expeditions

In Island Expeditions you sail out to the previously unoccupied islands of Azeroth. You fight in groups of three, taking on other hijackers on the coast. These NPCs or other players also want to collect the resources of the island. The challenges promise to be dynamic. In other words, the enemies, environments and targets are constantly changing. The Island Expeditions are unlocked after completing the top-level War Campaign. This is an account-wide unlock so that your alts can participate right away.

War Mode

Battle for Azeroth also has a change in the PvP rule set. By default, each realm only allows players to attack NPCs in the open world; players who want to engage in world PvP now have a setting called War Mode that can only be turned on or off in their faction’s capital. You will always be in PvP mode with this and will receive an XP bonus as a reward for taking risk. In War Mode, players have access to their honor talents.

Characters in War Mode can only see other players with War Mode, except in their own capitals. In War Mode, if you are successful in killing multiple enemy players without dying, you will receive an Assassin buff that increases your damage and healing. Eventually you get a reward on your head, which gives other players a reward if they manage to kill you.

The versions of WoW: Battle for Azeroth

At BFA you get a free boost for one of your characters. This will level it to level 110 at once. The Digital Deluxe Edition of the expansion comes with two mounts and a cap. In addition, there is the Collector’s Edition, which includes a novella and a faction coin collectible.

What else is new in WoW: Battle for Azeroth?

Of course BFA has many more changes. Here are a few highlights:

  • An item level and stat squish
  • The disappearance of tier sets
  • Personal Loot as the only loot system
  • Character slots per server increased from 12 to 16
  • Scaling has continued
  • Return of class-specific buffs
  • Cross-realm Communities and Battle.net Voice Chat

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth can be checked on PC from midnight on August 14. Are you going to play the expansion? And if so, what are your expectations? Or will you let this seventh expansion of the MMORPG pass you by?

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