It wouldn’t be Blizzcon without some new content for World of Warcraft. A new expansion is coming, called “Battle for Azeroth,” which will bring the ongoing conflict between the Alliance and Horde front and center.
The battle between the two sides will bring players to new continents. Alliance forces will have a foothold in Kul Tiras, whereas Horde players will travel to Zandalar. Both locations offer new characters, quests, and enemies for you to encounter as you increase your level to the new cap of 120. A portion of the expansion is dedicated to new allied races, who will help you in the continued conflict. You can take on a questline that follows one of the six races — there are three races per faction and more are coming in the future — and once you complete their story, you’ll get to use them as a playable character.
In addition to the new continents, you can also team up with two other friends to explore uncharted islands. These areas contain valuable resources for the Horde and Alliance, but they're filled with AI enemies. For a tougher challenge, you can choose to enter a player-versus-player (PvP) instance of these islands. There are also eight new dungeons to explore. Four of them are available to each faction, but you can visit all of the dungeons when you reach level 120.
For more cooperative play, you can try out the new Warfronts activity, which is a 20-player mission that features mechanics inspired by the old Warcraft real-time strategy titles. As you storm the field, you and your allies must build bases to spawn AI troops, which will attempt to take over objective points on the map. You can also build additional structures that will improve your soldiers so that they are even more powerful when faced against the computer-controlled foes. There’s also a new raid coming. Uldir, Hall of Control is a quarantine facility, and you’ll have to work together with a party to take out minions and eight bosses to discover the source of corruption in Zandalar. Another raid was also teased, and all we know about it is that you’ll get to fight the powerful Queen Azshara.
There’s also content for those who enjoy PvP combat. There are arenas in the new regions of Tiragarde and Zuladazar, but for a larger battle, you can head to the Seething Shore where you will fight other players for control of a precious resource called Azerite. You can use Azerite to strengthen a new item: a medallion called the Heart of Azeroth. As you feed it more Azerite, it will give you options for new powers and traits, which can further strengthen your armor.
Even though these features are all coming in the expansion, the studio is working on other improvements to the game that will be available in patch 7.3.5, which arrives soon. One area of improvement is the leveling system. The previous expansion, “Legion,” introduced the ability for zones to scale to your level, meaning that you could travel to any location featured in the then-new content without fear of getting killed by an enemy of a higher level. Blizzard plans to expand that zone scaling feature to the rest of the game world as well as dungeons and reward items. However, it doesn't work in the same way as it did in "Legion," in which each zones and monster scaled to your level. Instead, zones will have a range of minimum and maximum levels so that you know which areas are suitable for you to gain the most experience points. The system will also affect previous expansion areas. For instance, the "Burning Crusade" content is best for those at level 60 through 80 while the "Mists of Pandaria" locations are suited for players at levels 80 through 90.
Changes are also coming to PvP. In the past, those who preferred to fight other players had to create or transfer a character onto a PvP-specific server. In the 7.3.5 update, that requirement is gone because Blizzard removed the separation of PvP and player-versus-environment servers. You can choose to opt into PvP play regardless of the server you use, which eliminates the hassle of moving characters.
Most of the changes coming before the expansion appeals to the veterans of the game, but it also makes the barrier to entry even easier for those who want to try out the popular massively multiplayer online title. We don’t know when the expansion is coming but the sneak peek at its features is enough to satisfy the die-hard fans who continue to play.