While most other devs have moved to a perpetual update drip Blizzard tends to still make a big deal out of its expansion packs and such is the case with Battle for Azeroth, the seventh expansion pack for 2004’s World of Warcraft game and the first in a long while that reignites the conflict between Horde and Alliance, placing it at the center of the narrative for the DLC.
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Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Review
And in case you wondered what World of Warcraft is, it is one of the longest running massively multiplayer role-playing games of all time. It is also one of the properties to hold to the old model of releasing downloadable content or expansion packs every couple of years to add to the core game.
Coming on the heels of the popular expansion Legion, Battle for Azeroth will introduce two new continents, Kul Tiras and Zandalar, as well as raise the player level cap from 110 to 120, new dungeons and raids, a new warfront mode that is essentially a 20 person raid against NPCs from the opposing faction, uncharted islands, and four new races in total.
In a somewhat controversial move for longtime players of WoW, Blizzard decided to implement a “stats squish” in the game to bring the numbers down from astronomical heights to something more easily understood. Titanforging, and crafting items with Heart of Azeroth materials plays somewhat of a role while the return of class-specific unique buffs has many older players praising the gods.
One of the biggest changes to the game from a game mode standpoint is the addition of warfronts.
Often MMORPGs reserve their huge content for raids but in Battle for Azeroth gamers need not worry about being able to gather as many other players together for a massive raid as the other half of the equation is taken care of by the opposing faction’s non-player characters.
Thankfully, Blizzard promises warfronts will be as challenging and action-packed as possible, giving some assurance to players that worry that warfronts will be nothing more than a modified dungeon experience.
Taking a cue from the Mists of Pandaria expansion, Battle for Azeroth will come with a new type of exploration option where players in teams of three can find uncharted islands in the sea. These island discoveries will provide opportunities for players to compete with NPCs or other players for the island’s resources as well as other challenges.
Though the storyline of a reemerged rift between the Alliance and Horde takes a lot of the oxygen in the room, much of the Battle for Azeroth expansion seems geared towards expanding player choice and exploration options.
From the stats squish to the three-player island finding content, Blizzard has gone to great lengths to make the world of World of Warcraft more open to exploration and questing than ever before.
Of course, naturally, the company hasn’t forgotten the dungeon diving and raiding that has made the game famous and, with so many things to do, players may find that the luxury of choice is the most debilitating option of all as they decide what to conquer first.