World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth review
It is time to go back to the heart of the Warcraft franchise as the defeat of the Legion has not brought peace to Azeroth, but brought a new reason for the Horde and Alliance to fight. Azerite, a brand new resource has appeared and the Horde and Alliance are prepared to go to war for it.
As the drums of war beat ever louder both the Horde and Alliance must find new allies, and so players will journey to the island nations of Zandalar (Horde) and Kul Tiras (Alliance) in an effort to convince them to join them and fight their enemies. However, recruiting the people of the island nations isn’t easy as you will need to overcome numerous challenges that threaten your potential new alliance.
Now, I’m an Alliance player, so my story experience etc. will be from the Alliance side (sorry Horde fans, but your War chief burned down a tree). The Alliance story focuses on Jaina Proudmoore, the daughter of the ruler of Kul Tiras, and your effort to bring the kingdom into the Alliance. However, as soon as Jaina arrives home she is arrested for high treason as her actions during the Third War led to the death of her father and the destruction of the Kul Tiran fleet. While this is a setback you work with members of Proudmoore Admiralty to help free Jaina, expose corruption within the very heart of Kul Tiras, free the island’s southern zone from the corruption of dark magic, and free the Tidesages from the lure of the old gods. Overall, the Alliance story offers some great lore but fails to be truly interesting as I tried and failed to really get into the story. I think one reason the story failed to grab me was the fact that it required you to visit multiple dungeons, and as a DPS (Retribution Paladin) I found myself waiting 30+ minutes for the dungeon finder to get me in, but if that doesn’t sound bad enough, the final Alliance story quest requires you to complete a mythic dungeon, a difficult 5-man dungeon that requires hours of grinding due to its high item level requirement.
The recruitment of a new kingdom is not the only story as your faction will be engaged in as there is a war campaign. This war campaign sees you go to the other faction’s island and attempt to disrupt their military might. The war campaign also has you send out NPCs on missions in a move similar to that of the class order hall missions from Legion. Personally, I like the idea behind the War Campaign as it helps drive home the brewing conflict between the Horde and Alliance, unfortunately, like the story, the War campaign has content locked behind reputation requirements, so I hope you like grinding reputation for hours on end at max level.
If you are looking for a new character to play in Battle for Azeroth, the expansion sees the addition of allied races. These races, of which there is a maximum of three per faction, require players to reach exalted reputation with each of the race’s factions, this can be a long grind, but if you played Legion from start to finish you will have easily completed the requirements. For those wondering who are the new allied races, Horde players can unlock: Nightborne, Highmountain Tauren and Mag’har Orcs, and the Alliance can unlock Void Elves, Lightforged Draenei and Dark Iron Dwarves. It is worth noting that the Mag’har Orcs and Dark Iron Dwarves require you to complete the War Campaign story alongside the exalted reputation status with the faction conducting the war effort (For the Alliance it would be the 7th Legion).
So, what else is there to look at in regards to Battle for Azeroth? Well, at the beginning of the expansion players are given a brand new artefact item, the ‘Heart of Azeroth’. This necklace provides players with a new way to empower their Battle for Azeroth helmet, shoulder and chest pieces with bonus stats such as regaining health after killing a monster or a temporary buff to one of your primary or secondary stats. The Heart of Azeroth is an interesting gimmick as players need to collect Azerite to level up the necklace and as the necklace levels up you can unlock more and more powerful traits. For those who played World of Warcraft in Legion, the Heart of Azeroth is a far more refined and customisable version of the artefact weapon.
So, how do you get Azerite for your shiny new necklace? Well, during the levelling process you get them by completing quests, but at max level, you will be swimming in Azerite deposits as they can be gained from world quests, NPC missions, the duty finder, battleground finder and island expeditions. Now what probably grabbed your attention was the island expeditions, this is a new feature for Battle for Azeroth and it involves 3-man groups heading to an uncharted island and attempting to fill their ship full of Azerite before the opposing faction. These expeditions like dungeons have multiple modes – normal, heroic, mythic and PVP. In the PVP version of Island Expeditions, you can fight a 3-man group from the opposing faction while hunting down Azerite. For me, Island expeditions offer a fast-paced alternative to waiting 30+ minutes to run a dungeon as a DPS class.
In terms of levelling and mobs you fight, Battle for Azeroth uses the zone scaling that was first introduced in Legion, for those unaware the zone scaling is where enemies have their health and power increased to match your own i.e. if you are level 119 you will fight level 119 mobs. Just like in Legion, this zone scaling system makes levelling a far more challenging experience.
In regards to the new Warfronts, a 20 player PVE mode that has Horde and Alliance players fight for key locations throughout Azeroth, the mode is not currently live, I’m not sure why maybe Blizzard wanted as many players as possible at max level before allowing people to try it.
Finally, let’s look at the graphics and audio of Battle for Azeroth. After almost 14 years, World of Warcraft cartoonish art style still holds strong, especially in Battle for Azeroth’s numerous in-game cutscenes. Audio wise the in-game music, ambience and voice acting has also improved.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth not only bring the war between the Alliance and Horde back to the forefront, but it also provides new ways to level up and make your character stand out.
|+ Renewed hostilities between the two factions||– Needless gating of content|
|+ Heart of Azeroth|
|Blizzard||Blizzard||MMORPG||12+||PC||August 14, 2018|
For more information on World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, visit https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/.
Author: Aaron Meehan
Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.