World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Review in Progress – Week One
Battle for Azeroth is now one week old. How is it going and what new content is there to keep you entertained until the next major release? My Battle for Azeroth review in progress is here.
Turns out there’s quite a bit to do.
If you played during the Legion expansion then you’re no stranger to World Quests. Unlocked once you complete the three main story arcs of your faction, these offer replay value to quests you’ve likely already experienced during the campaign.
Battle for Azeroth Review in Progress
With added gear, Azerite and reputation bonuses, it looks like the World Quest is here to stay as it has succeeded over the previous ‘dailies’ of previous expansions. I was a big fan of World Quests in Legion and remain so in Battle for Azeroth.
Especially since as I progress through the ‘War Campaign’ I have unlocked World Quests on Kul Tiras, amidst the Alliance players.
With the edition of War mode, this cross zone questing promotes a deadly new frontier and approach to the good old rep and gear grind, as players wage war against monsters and each other.
I’ve always played on a PvP server so not much changed for me. The number of people banding together to hunt down the enemy faction, secure control of certain quest zones and generally grief each other brings a tear to my eye though.
Blizzard has succeeded in crafting an ‘us vs them’ atmosphere. Every time I log on I see general and defence chat channels fill up with calls of enemy groups. Deadly enemy players are flagged on my map and a bounty is placed upon them which inspires me to round up a group and go chase them down.
I’m reminded of my time spent in the ‘Dark Zone’ of Ubisoft’s The Division. But with no speedhacking aimbotting losers.
Enter the Dungeon
It’s actually really fun to be challenged by normal and heroic mode dungeons again. As we attempt to gear up in anticipation for raids as well as Mythic dungeon runs, learning all new boss mechanics and getting your head around your new character build is difficult in a really fun and rewarding way.
Unless you’re a Mage or Warlock in which case it’s just blowing shit up and get loot. With Mythic keystones around the corner, you can tell that the player base is trying to work out the best way to spec their character. Which gear is going to suit their playstyle? How do they get their hands on all the potions, flasks and runes to give them a competitive edge?
But that’s the same as every expansion right? What makes Battle for Azeroth so different?
If I’m honest…nothing.
It’s got different styles of dungeons, new open zone quests that change every 24-hours and a new mode to encourage players to try PvP for their faction. Regardless of what server they choose to be on. With the exception of Island expeditions, which I covered during the beta analysis, there isn’t that much different from any previous World of Warcraft experience.
What we have to look forward to though is the upcoming raid of Uldir as well as probably the feature I’m most anticipating, Warfronts.
March to the Front
Warfronts is going to be one of the most defining features of this expansion. It is a unique opportunity for Blizzard to push the narrative of the Horde vs Alliance in an interactive and meaningful way.
I’m hoping Blizzard harnesses this opportunity to its full potential and we see a new Warfront implemented each ‘Arena Season.’ That way the face of Azeroth and the battle lines are forever changed by this expansion. The same way Cataclysm changed the world, Warfronts offers a chance to do the same.
But what are Warfronts? Basically, a Warfront is like playing Warcraft 4 with a bunch of your buddies vs the AI.
Twenty players get into a scenario and boss around their workers to collect lumber, mine gold and build siege machines. Meanwhile a computer controlled enemy does the same, sending waves of attacks and trying to destroy your base.
Wanna Be a Hero?
The player characters are the heroic units that you’d see in an RTS game, champions who press through the enemy and seize objectives or stand there butchering enemy troops, laughing maniacally as they do so.
The goal is to destroy the enemy base and secure victory for your team. At the same time, the enemy faction is currently doing quests to sway the tide of battle and unlock their Warfront, and control of these unique scenarios will sway back and forth, with rewards for all players who participate.
It’s my hope that after a season, Azeroth changes based on the results of the Warfront. One side securing the territory as a new Warfront is implemented elsewhere.
At this stage, we are beyond week one analysis and into wild speculation but watch this space. As more content is implemented I’ll be streaming and writing on everything that Battle for Azeroth has to offer.
World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth is being played on PC using a code provided by Blizzard.