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WoW Wednesday: The Wide World of Warfronts

The end-game has begun! With the update today finally hitting worldwide servers, Raiding, Mythic +, Warfronts and the 26th Season of Rated PvP have finally landed in Battle for Azeroth. As with our Zones of… series, we’ll be introducing you to each section week by week of the newest end-game content for World of Warcraft, this week starting with Warfronts.

One of the most anticipated parts of Battle for Azeroth, Warfronts are the latest addition to bring the feeling of war to the home-front for both the Horde and the Alliance. Warfronts, while emulating the factional aggression found in PvP combat, are entirely PvE content. These are instanced 20-man cooperative engagements which will focus on taking enemy territory and killing their leaders much akin to Alterac Valley or Isle of Conquest. In doing so you’ll create outposts, set up supply routes, secure resources and train militia members to make the final push.

Warfronts

Horde and Alliance Forces engage in the Highlands!

While more have been promised to release as the expansion develops, the first one now available worldwide is the Battle for Stromgarde, a promising point of naval control for the Alliance and a desperate last stand for occupying Horde forces. A loss here for the Horde could see the Alliance moving north and potentially threatening Quel’Thalas, while Gilnean resettlement efforts could see the nation once more in peril should the Alliance fall.

Before beginning your assault in the Battle for Stromgarde, there are seven prerequisites you must meet to engage in Warfronts. Firstly, Warfronts are end-game content and as such are restricted to those who are level 120. You must also have unlocked World Quests through either Uniting Kul Tiras or Uniting Zandalar respectively for the Alliance and the Horde. You’ll then receive a quest from a faction recruiter to travel to the Arathi Highlands and get a lay of the land before unlocking Warfront instances. While the Alliance will begin with control of the Warfront, the Horde must begin contributing resources to invade the Highlands. These contribution periods are regionally locked and progressed, meaning that your server or battlegroup must reach the contribution point collectively before the Warfront can begin.

Stromgarde Keep, the Alliance Base of Operations in Arathi.

For both factions, launching an assault on the Warfront is the same process; after the enemy faction has wrested control of the Warfront, contributions will be taken from a new War Table in Boralus Harbor for the Alliance and the Port of Zandalar for the Horde. Around these tables, NPCs will have eleven total daily quests to take contributions: 9 for all available professions, one for 100 gold and the last for 100 War Resources. These quests can only be completed once per contribution cycle, meaning your faction will need to lose control of the Warfront before they can be engaged again. Each quest, however, rewards 500 Azerite Power for your Heart of Azeroth and 150 Reputation for your respective War Campaign reputation, making these incredibly rewarding to complete.

Once your faction has finished their contribution period, you’ll be able to queue for your Warfront. These Warfronts will remain open for several days without contest and once the faction has taken control of the region after those days the opposite faction’s contribution period will begin.

Ar’gorok, the Horde Base of Operations in Arathi.

Warfronts cannot be lost by players, and much like scenarios have varying phases of completion. The first phase will see players parachuting into their own base, having been lost in the previous exchange of regional control. Therein players will battle an occupying Lieutenant to retake their keep before moving out into the Warzone, defeating further Elite creatures to capture the local Mines and Lumber Mill. From here waves of various enemy attacks will begin to advance across the battlefield. While players cannot lose and have their keep recaptured, these enemy platoons can interrupt player attacks and greatly hamper progress.

From here, Phase 2 begins which culminates in the construction of your siege engines thus allowing you to safely advance on the enemy fortress. To do so you’ll need to harvest Iron from the Mine and invading Kobolds, as well as Wood from the Lumber Mill and Angry Treants dotting the landscape. Your landmarks must be defended as the enemy attacks, lest you lose buildings in the process. You can also go on the offensive and begin taking local bases to augment your base construction. While each building has a specific purpose, such as the Barracks creating a constant stream of troops for the Alliance, the Workshop is the most important as that will enable the construction of siege engines.

Horde forces besiege Stromgarde Keep!

After siege engines have been constructed and a sizeable force has been amassed you can begin Phase 3 of the Warfront. Advancing across the battlefield, your team must take the remaining bases to allow safe passage for your siege engines. As they approach the gates of the enemy fortress, they will begin to fire on the gate and towers, damaging them in a similar manner to siege weaponry in Isle of Conquest. Players must defend their engines during this time as enemy forces will stream from their fortress to defend it.

After the gate has been destroyed, the Enemy Commander arrives for combat. Being a famous character in WoW lore for that faction, they will naturally be incredibly powerful. Killing the Commander will take the Warfront for your faction and unlock a wide series of events and rare creatures to battle.

Left: Tier 2 Warfront Exclusive Plate Armor Coloration. Right: Tier 2 Dread Gladiator PvP Plate

The first and most obvious will be the Azerite powered Siege Engine to battle in the Highlands. Each item that drops from these World Bosses are calibrated to be on the same level as Heroic Uldir and will be extremely coveted. Rares across the zone will also drop incredibly rare mounts for players to retrieve. There is also a unique coloration of Warfront Gear for players to collect, different than both the Aspirant sets that several Professions can make, and the Dread Gladiators set rewarded during Season 26. There are also hosts of pets, toys, and achievements, several of which are exclusive to your faction.

Warfronts are a much needed and welcome breath of fresh air to faction warfare in World of Warcraft. Not only a smart nod to the RTS roots of the Warcraft franchise, they also take familiar systems players have actively engaged in for the last two expansions while incorporating them in brand new manners. Playing in Warfronts themselves is incredibly fun and engaging, putting a new spin on several battleground playstyles and strategies while inspiring true faction pride.

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About Phil DeMerchant

A proud member of the Horde trapped in a puny Alliance body, Phil's been playing World of Warcraft for longer than his on-again off-again romance with Dark Souls. When he's not fighting through the land of Azeroth, he's crafting his next investigative YouTube video on the Games Industry, putting his years of experience to use discussing ethics in media.