The BlizzCon 2023 opening ceremony featured a multitude of exciting announcements, but perhaps the most highly anticipated reveal was the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, which coincides with the game’s 20th anniversary in 2024. In a surprising twist, Chris Metzen, a highly revered figure, announced not one but three future expansions, all part of the World Soul Saga. These expansions are named The War Within, Midnight, and The Last Titan.
At the “WoW: What’s Next” panel, the World of Warcraft team provided insights into what players can expect from The War Within. This expansion will take players deep into the heart of Azeroth, featuring a cinematic with Anduin Wrynn and Thrall experiencing mysterious visions that call them to the heart of Azeroth. Xal’atath returns to lead the Nerubians within Azeroth’s core.
Khaz Algar: A new subcontinent located between Kalimdor and Pandaria in The War Within consisting of four new zones. Isle of Dorn: The home of Earthen surface dwellers, featuring the capital city. The Ringing
Deeps: An underground area rich in Titan machinery, primarily inhabited by the Machine Speakers. The area also hosts Kobolds who are led by the Candle King desperate to gain ground over the Machine Speakers.
Hallowfall: Located near an underground sea, this area is illuminated by an enormous crystal that shifts from light to dark, allowing the Nerubians to challenge the Artathi. Azj-Kahet: A Nerubian city of threads, rebuilt multiple times, featuring rich trade and exploration. Players will need to disguise themselves to explore the area without arousing suspicion from the Nerubians, who are collecting the black blood of the Old Gods. The expansion will feature a seamless zone flow for flying mounts between areas, maintaining a sense of coherence even in the underground zones.
Factions and Races
The Earthen: Isolated from society and distinct from Titan-forged dwarves. The Earthern come in three types: Oathswords, who protect the core way and ancient ways; Unbound, who have departed from Titan edicts and feel neglected attempting to forge their path; and Machine Speakers, who left Titan edicts but focus on the practicality of the Titan machinery.
The Artathi: Descendants of ancient bastions of light, wielding holy fire and trapped within Khaz Algar. They use paladin-like abilities and airships powered by sacred flame to battle the Nerubians who are set on completing the harbinger’s master plan.
The Nerubians: Ancient survivors of the Black Empire who have received power from Xal’atath to evolve select members of their race. Some Nerubians oppose this plan, leading to a complex narrative. New models for pets, mounts, and combat will be introduced based on this society that promises to be different than the Nerubians we are used to.
Dungeons and Raid
Dungeons: The War Within includes eight dungeons, divided into four leveling dungeons The Rookery, The Stonevault, “Priory of the Sacred Flame, and “City of Threads, and four max-level dungeons Cinderbrew Meadery, Darkflame Cleft, The Dawnbreaker, and “Old City. Each of the four new zones will have a leveling dungeon and a max-level dungeon.
Raid: Players will challenge the 8-boss raid in Azj-Kahet, a Nerubian city of threads, rebuilt multiple times, featuring rich trade and exploration. Players will need to disguise themselves to explore the area without arousing suspicion from the Nerubians, who are collecting the black blood of the Old Gods with the end boss being the Queen of the Nerubian.
Delves: These Dragonscale expeditions involve searching for lost treasures across Khaz Algar. They are similar to world quests, offering seasonal content and rewards for exploration. Delves will be role-agnostic, allowing players to undertake them with any class combination or solo. Bran Bronzebeard will serve as a seasonal NPC companion to assist players during delves with other NPCs planned for the future.
Warbands: This system represents all player achievements across all characters, streamlining progress and making the game more alt-friendly. It aims to reduce the need for players to run dungeons or raids on multiple characters to obtain transmogrification items. Reputation and renown will be shared across accounts, making it easier to level alts.
Hero Talents: An evergreen feature that provides additional customization options. Each class will have three hero talents, each with its own self-contained talent tree that builds upon the existing system. Players will automatically unlock these talents at level 71, with one talent point per level from 71 to 80, offering a total of 10 choices. Swapping between talents will be easy, following current talent tree rules.
With The War Within at the forefront, the expansion promises to take players on an epic journey into Azeroth’s core, presenting new zones, factions, and races to explore, along with dungeons and a raid to conquer. The introduction of dynamic systems such as Delves, Warbands, and Hero Talents aims to provide players with more choices and flexibility while ensuring a captivating and cohesive gaming experience. As the game commemorates its 20th anniversary in 2024, these new and exciting changes promise to invigorate the World of Warcraft universe and keep players immersed in the epic adventures yet to come.