Blizzard Announces New World of Warcraft Expansion “Battle for Azeroth”

by (2 weeks ago).

Just this past Friday at Blizzcon 2017 Blizzard made several announcements. Here’s a rundown of all the important ones and what it means for our guides.

World of Warcraft Classic

Summary:
First, Blizzard announced plans are in development to add the option to play on Vanilla servers. The option, which they’re calling WoW Classic, is expected to allow players to experience the game as it was in the pre-Burning Crusade state. Details are scarce at the moment, but what we do know is that gameplay in vanilla was more challenging. Some memorable characteristics included:

  • A less linear, more grindy questing experience. You would often not have a clear sense of where to go next and find yourself in zones with quests far too difficult to complete. Often times there simply weren’t enough quests to reach every level, so grinding was a necessity.
  • Smaller XP gains and higher amounts of XP needed to gain levels. It wasn’t uncommon to play for 12 hours and gain half a level at the higher levels.
  • Slower combat. Lower survivability. It was difficult when facing multiple enemies at once. You would often run out of mana and have to recharge after killing three or so monsters.
  • Less options for travel requiring more on foot travel. You didn’t get your first mount until level 40 and it was so expensive many couldn’t afford it right away.
  • Had to train class abilities and complete class quests. Hunters had to buy arrows and could run out.
  • No built in systems for finding groups for quests, dungeons, or raids.

While these may all sound like drawbacks to newer players to the game, veteran players have been asking for this option because the increased difficulty meant that most accomplishments in the game felt truly earned. When you saw someone in town with Tier 3 armor you were in awe, because you knew how much effort went into that. The lack of auto-grouping utilities generally aided in community building.

What does this mean for Zygor Guides:
In Vanilla WoW, leveling was slower, harder, and far less linear, which makes having a guide actually far more needed. It also used a different addon API than current WoW and not everything that is currently possible was possible then.

Right now the announcement from Blizzard is pretty vague on details. It’s more of a “we’re working on this”, at the present stage, so we will need to see what “Classic WoW” entails before we can begin offering details on our update plans. But we will be monitoring the situation and are very excited about this announcement.

Battle For Azeroth Expansion

Summary:
Blizzard also announced “Battle for Azeroth“, the seventh expansion for World of Warcraft, which will be coming next year. Key features include:

  • 2 new continents: Kul Tiras and Zandalar
  • Six new allied races at launch, with more planned (starting at level 20). These are variations on the existing races and for Alliance include: Void Elves, Lightforged Draenei, Dark Iron Dwarves, and for Horde: Zandalari Trolls, Highmountain Tauren, and Nightborne Elves.
  • Heritage armor for allied races who reach level 110.
  • New end game content: Warfronts and Islands. Warfronts are 20 man PvE content with Garrison like aspects. Islands are like evolved scenarios for 3 player groups.
  • 10 new dungeons and 2 raids announced.
  • Level cap raised to 120.
  • Not announced but expected: New profession skill rank, new items for gold making, new pets, mounts, achievements, titles.

What does this mean for Zygor Guides:
We will of course be using the beta to write all new guides to cover this new content. This will likely include:

  • Full 110-120 Leveling guides for Alliance and Horde to be available on day one when the expansion goes live.
  • New guides to cover the 10 new dungeons.
  • Updates to all our other guides. We will do everything we can to get as many of our non-leveling guides updated for day one, but sometimes this isn’t possible due to the unreliability of PTR. In past expansions they’ve been unstable, incomplete, shut down early, or had fixes held off for the final live release. Our top priority will always be to have the leveling guides updated first and foremost.

Patch 7.3.5 Leveling Improvements and Zone Scaling

Summary:
Lastly, Blizzard announced that they intend to apply the zone scaling currently used in Legion to the entire game. This is the mechanic which makes enemies scale with your players level so you can complete zones in whichever order you prefer. However, they did say there would be some structure to this still, as they didn’t think it made sense for traditionally low level zones like Westfall to be end game content.

Here’s how the zone scaling is expected to go:

  • Starting Zones: Levels 0-10
  • Classic Zones: Levels 10-60
  • The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King Zones: Levels 60-80
  • Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria Zones: Levels 80-90

What does this mean for Zygor Guides:
This change is expected before the new expansion or vanilla servers in the next Patch 7.3.5. In theory, the main change this will bring is that our Smart Injection System may not be needed as much for telling you which zone to go to next. However, it will still probably be useful for finding your place in a zone you’ve already completed some quests in. Additionally, there probably will still be an optimized order of zones to complete for the fastest leveling, as some zones quests are more time consuming than others, so we’ll have to see how things look once this patch is put up on the public test realms.

We will push an update to the guides for this change when the patch goes live.

4 thoughts on “Blizzard Announces New World of Warcraft Expansion “Battle for Azeroth”

  1. Kelly

    Thank you in advance for working so hard to get the new guides out in time for the new expansion. I for one, really appreciate all your efforts and dedication to the cause.

    Reply

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