'Battle of Azeroth' Is Next 'World of Warcraft' Expansion

This is an all-out fight between the Alliance and the Horde, Warcraft’s two factions, which grudgingly cooperated during the previous expansion: Legion.

Horde warchief Sylvanas Windrunner and Alliance King Anduin Wrynn duke it out in the key art for World of Warcraft's newest expansion Credit: Blizzard

Battle of Azeroth, World of Warcraft's next major expansion, features an all-out battle between the game's two factions - Alliance and the Horde - after the grudging peace that brought them together in the last expansion: Legion, Blizzard announced today.

The expansion will feature new continents for both Alliance and Horde players and the ability to adventure to level 120 with new dungeons and raids. Other additions include uncharted islands, the ability to dominate warfronts and inclusion of allied races.

The expansion is also currently playable on the floor at Blizzcon. Now check out the amazing cinematic and then read the official set-up for the coming expansion from Blizzard. You also should hop over to our interview with the game's director.

In Battle for Azeroth, the fall of the Burning Legion has set off a series of disastrous incidents that reignites the furious rivalry between the noble Alliance and the mighty Horde. As a new age of warfare begins, Azeroth’s heroes must set out on a harrowing journey in search of new allies, race to claim the world’s mightiest resources to turn the tides of war, and fight on several fronts to determine which side will lead Azeroth into its uncertain future.

“Conflict is at the heart of the Warcraft® saga, and in Battle for Azeroth, tensions that have been simmering for a long time escalate into all-out war,” Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment, says in a prepared statement. “World of Warcraft players are incredibly passionate about the characters and factions they identify with in the game, and this expansion will make them prouder than ever to declare their allegiance to the Horde or to the Alliance.”

And a quick, official run-down on what you might be doing in the expansion:

  • Explore Two Fabled Kingdoms: As a champion of the Horde, travel to the Zandalar empire to persuade the trolls to lend their naval might. As a defender of the Alliance, venture to the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore, and rally its inhabitants to fight for your cause.
  • Recruit Allied Races: Take a new form for your adventures as several new playable Allied Races, each with unique racial abilities. Earn the favor of the Highmountain tauren, Void elves, Dark Iron dwarves, and others to create a new character of that race and add their strength to your faction.
  • Plunder the Islands of the Great Sea: Scour Azeroth’s myriad uncharted Islands and conquer an ever-changing array of enemies, environments, and objectives. Battle in groups of three as you race against cunning rival intruders—or enemy players—to collect each island’s resources and fuel the war effort.
  • Charge Into the Warfronts: Fight on the battlefields of a large-scale, 20-player cooperative Warfront to claim a key strategic location. Capture resources to build your faction’s forces, lead the charge as your troops lay siege to objectives, and fight the enemy commander to claim victory in this new PvE mode inspired by classic Warcraft RTS battles.
  • Infuse Your Armor with Titanic Might: Seek out Azerite, an invaluable new resource that has emerged in the Legion’s wake. Imbue the Heart of Azeroth—a legendary neck piece entrusted to each hero by Magni Bronzebeard—with Azerite to customize your armor with new powers and traits.
  • Battle to Level 120: Trace the corruption of the Blood God to the Underrot, unearth the secrets of a lost titan vault, escape from the Drust Realm of the Dead, and more as you quest through 10 new levels—then continue to grow in power through new World Quests, raids, dungeons, and more.
  • Instantly Boost to Level 110: Enter the raging conflict between the Horde and the Alliance prepared to survive on the front lines of a vicious new war.
  • Connect Through Communities: Join up with WoW® players who share common interests in persistent cross-realm Communities. Share strategies with members of your class, fraternize with auction house magnates, talk shop with fellow tailors, and expand your social circles.

News of the new expansion hit during Blizzcon's massive opening ceremony which was watched live by about 30,000 people at the venue and millions that tuned in through both an all-access pass and YouTube.

The opening ceremonies kicked off two days of deep dives, announcements and tournaments for all things Blizzard. That includes a panel on what's next for World of Warcraft, where we will probably learn much more about the now-announced expansion and what else is coming to the game. Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm all have similar panels with new details expected to be announced for each.

The big convention will also be home to the Overwatch World Cup, which will crown the best Overwatch team in the world.