Blizzard is starting off PAX East with a bang by announcing the launch date of World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Battle for Azeroth. The expansion will launch on August 14, 2018. It was first announced at an exclusive preview event at Blizzard’s Headquarters in California held earlier this week. The embargo has just dropped and we’ve got all sorts of new information about the expansion. Beyond this point, there will be spoilers for the pre-patch an expansion. Continue at your own risk.
Game Director Ion Hazzikostas revealed that before Battle for Azeroth launches there will be a pre-patch to help bridge the gap between the expansion and the previous, Legion. The pre-patch will act as a prologue in which Alliance players retake the Undercity while Horde players burn Teldrassil to the ground. Hazzikostas couldn’t confirm exactly when the pre-patch would launch, only that it would be “weeks earlier.”
We also learned what Allied Races will be available at launch. Those who prepurchase Battle for Azeroth can already unlock Lightforged Draenei, Void Elves, Nightborne, and Highmountain Tauren. This we’ve known for some time. Dataminers also uncovered other Allied races. Well, it was confirmed that Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag’Har Orcs will also be available to unlock from launch. Kul’Tiran Humans and Zandalari Trolls will not become available until later because they’re a crucial part of Battle of Azeroth’s history.
Finally, details were revealed about Warfronts. The 20-player PvE mode emulates Warcraft’s RTS past by having players gather resources, build a base, and lead soldiers in an assault on an NPC fortress filled with the opposing faction. Each Warfront is tied to a zone in Azeroth that is owned by either Horde or Alliance. In order to unlock a Warfront players on the opposing faction must stockpile enough resources. This is a region-wide process. If the Warfront is successful the corresponding zone becomes theirs and it is up to the other faction to repeat the process to try to take it back. The first Warfront takes place in the Arathi Highlands and others will be released later.
Source: Press Release, PCGamerRelated: Battle for Azeroth, Expansion, Launch Date, News, PAX East 2018, World of Warcraft