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Post by KostaAndreadis @ 10:45am 06/04/18 | 0 Comments
As a preview event at Blizzard's HQ, which we were lucky enough to attend, World of Warcraft game director Ion Hazzikostas revealed the release date for the next expansion Battle for Azeroth. Which as per the name suggests, reignites the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde. Coming August 14, the return to the series' Alliance versus Horde roots also sees the introduction of some exciting new modes.

The first of which, called Warfronts, is a new large-scale PvE mode that recreates the classic RTS-styling of titles like Warcraft 3 (and Warcraft 2) as factions gather resources, build structures, and take on a more personal role in the middle of an intense base-building, unit-training, siege.

At first glance one might assume Warfronts to be a new PvP mode for WoW but it is in fact a 20-player PvE mode that will play out alongside a timer. At launch the first Warfront will take place in the Arathi Highlands as each faction takes turns collectively building up resources to mount an assault to reclaim the location. As per the presentation, Hazzikostas noted that the team expects the duration of Warfront events to play out over a week - giving players enough time to check them out. More Warfronts are expected to be released post-launch.

In Battle for Azeroth the story continues from the events of Legion (with a pre-launch patch coming to setup the narrative arc) where the aftermath of the just-about-world-ending clash with Titan Sargeras sees the rise of a new resource - Azerite. There's a nautical theme that permeates through Battle for Azeroth too, as both factions set sail for either the islands of Kul'Tiras or Zandalar. There they'll get to recruit allies which will then double as new playable races. Which comes in addition to the now standard dungeons, raids, level-cap increase, and more.

Also, Island Expecitions!

Another smaller-scale PvE mode but one that we got to hands-on with and walk away more than impressed. Essentially taking place on hand-crafted but randomised and variable islands, a three-person group will race another AI controlled group (of the opposing faction) to see who can collect the most Azerite.

What makes the mode resonate is that islands are full of monsters, little-bosses, mini-quests, weather changes, secrets, and danger. With both a time and exploration element it plays into the strengths of co-op WoW - and presents an exciting new way to play outside of completing story content and delving into new dungeons.

Alongside the release date and local pricing (RRP $69.95 AUD) a special World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth has also been announced - pictured above. Which comes with a cool Horde & Alliance Double-Sided Mark of Allegiance and a Double-Sided Book - both highlighting the Horde versus Alliance aspect of Battle for Azeroth. Pre-orders are now open.

Stay tuned for more Battle for Azeroth content as we bring you our hands-on with Island Expeditions alongside video where we fail, a lot. Plus, interviews with the team at Blizzard.

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