Blizzard made several announcements for World of Warcraft at BlizzCon 2017 that will shape the future of the MMORPG as it enters its 13th year.
The next expansion for World of Warcraft, Battle of Azeroth, was announced, alongside plans to expand the level scaling system from Legion to the whole game and the pending arrival of the long-requested vanilla servers.
Battle Of Azeroth: What Does It Add To 'World Of Warcraft'?
Battle of Azeroth, which will be released next year, will focus on what started it all for the Warcraft franchise: the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde.
The next World of Warcraft expansion offers two new continents, Kul Tiras and Zandalar, as well as a higher level cap of 120. Alliance players will be able to access Kul Tiras, while Horde players will be in Zandalar. Each continent has three zones each that feature the dynamic level scaling system found in Legion (more on the later), and once a player reaches level 120, they will be able to travel to the other continent.
Battle of Azeroth also offers several new races for players to unlock, 10 new dungeons, and new mechanics such as the Heart of Azeroth and Warfronts. The Heart of Azeroth, a necklace that replaces the Artifact Weapons of the Legion expansion, unlocks bonuses from the armor that players will collect by feeding it a resource named Azerite. Warfronts, meanwhile, are cooperative battles where 20 players coordinate with each other on building bases, researching upgrades, hiring troops, and leading them into battle.
Legion Level Scaling To Expand To Whole Game
The dynamic level scaling system that was first implemented in the Legion expansion changed the stats and difficulty of enemies in zones depending on the player's level. Zones till had upper and lower limits, but the system basically allows players to choose the order of the zones they want to play and the quests that they want to accomplish, no matter their level.
World of Warcraft game director Ion Hazzikostas said at BlizzCon 2017 that level scaling will soon be implemented across the whole game. This means that players will not only get to choose the order of the zones they want to complete, but also the order of expansions they want to tackle. They can even jump back and forth between expansions.
The level scaling system will be included in patch 7.3.5, which will arrive on the MMORPG's public test region in a few weeks.
'World Of Warcraft' Vanilla Servers Coming Soon
In April last year, Blizzard shut down Nostalrius, an unofficial server of World of Warcraft that offered a version of the MMORPG before all its expansions were added. The server was massively popular, but Blizzard issued a cease and desist order for copyright infringement. A year ago, there were even rumors that a revival of the classic World of Warcraft server was in the works.
At BlizzCon 2017, players who loved Nostalrius were treated to a shocking announcement.
"Before I get to the big news today, I want to talk about ice cream," said J. Allen Brack, executive producer for World of Warcraft, at the BlizzCon stage. "I understand that for some of you, your favorite flavor is vanilla."
This, of course, was a reference to how players called the classic World of Warcraft servers. Blizzard has finally listened to the clamor of players and will be releasing official vanilla servers for World of Warcraft.
No release date or specific details have been revealed, but more information about the official classic servers for World of Warcraft might be released over the duration of BlizzCon.