World of Warcraft's latest expansion is Battle for Azeroth, and it's the seventh in a 14-year-long run for the popular MMORPG. As with previous expansions in the series, it's poised to add a wealth of new features, as well as raise the level cap to 120 so players new and old can have fun leveling up to reach new heights. It's going to shake the world of Azeroth to its core, so whether you're a newbie trying to get into the series or a returning veteran, here's an overview of what to expect having changed in the newest entry in the series.
First of all, consider the new framing for the story. While the focus of previous iterations have varied, Battle for Azeroth is going to focus more on the ever-present conflict between the Alliance and Horde factions. If you've been curious about what's going on between the warring groups, the crux of the World of Warcraft lore, consider Battle for Azeroth a return to form for those who have been heavily invested in the saga.
Given the technical improvements implemented over the past few years, the game should offer some pretty impressive new scenes to go along with a new story. If you've been itching to see Horde and Alliance armies go at it once more, now's your chance.
With that said, there are also new character races coming in the form of Allied Races instead of new classes. You'll have the new Highmount Tauren, Void Elves, as well as the Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag'har Orcs, which are set for release after the game launches. Each has their own special abilities and heritage armor set that can be obtained by reaching each race's level cap. There are six confirmed Allied Races right now, but there's always room in the future for more.
You'll want goodies to go along with your heritage armor set, of course, so you'll want to check out the Heart of Azeroth, a new medallion that players will work to upgrade with a new resource called Azerite. You'll be able to use its various customization options depending on which class you choose, so that should act as something of an incentive for leveling even further.
There are even two new cooperative game modes that you can join other players in, including Island Expeditions and Warfronts. Island Expeditions let three players duke it out with bots that mimic players, while Warfronts are larger 20-player instances that will take a lot more concentration and time to complete. It won't feature a PvP mode either.
You can earn tons of new mounts, armor, and achievements as well as the aforementioned Azerite to upgrade armor by participating in and completing events in these modes, which is great news if you're looking to get more engaged with the world of Azeroth.
Of course, things will be removed as well. For instance, there won't be any more PvP servers with the introduction of this expansion. Instead, War Mode will take their place, and this will supplant the old servers so you can compete with other players.
This is only scratching the surface of what's to come for eager players, including a special level boost if you decide to go ahead and pre-order the game. You can jump a new character all the way up to level 110, which normally costs $60 to do. Considering the expansion itself is only $50, you're getting a very good deal here.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth launches on August 14 at 3 p.m. PT.