World of Warcraft Shared the First Details of The War Within

The Knaifu is back!

The World of Warcraft developers participated in a couple of BlizzCon 2023 panels dedicated to the next expansion: The War Within. Between the What’s Next and the Deep Dive panels, players got a much clearer picture of what to expect from the expansion in terms of features. Let’s check some of them out!

During the What’s Next panel, Cinematic Narrative Director Terran Gregory, Associate Design Director Maria Hamilton, and Associate Game Director Morgan Day provided an overview of the world, story and features coming in the next installment.

In the War Within, we’ll come face to face with a familiar reluctant-ally-turned-foe: Xal’atath. This character made a number of appearances, from the Shadow Priest Artifact Weapon in Legion to a plot device in the Battle for Azeroth and, finally, a player that carefully orchestrated events from behind the scenes in Dragonflight.

She is now the Harbinger of a new era of the Void’s dark machinations. Her message is clear. While the Black Empire has failed, Xal’atath seeks to set in motion the rise of a new dark legacy. Xal’atath has conscripted the nerubian queen, Ansurek, and used her dark gift to turn nerubians into a new kind of ferocious and terrifying soldiers.

In order to oppose her, we’ll need the help of some old friends: Anduin Wrynn, Thrall, Magni Bronzebeard as well as Alleria Windrunner. Players will also encounter the Earthen and will be able to recruit them as a new Allied Race. Another interesting culture that will make its stand is the Arathi. As a people they are worshippers and wielders of Holy Fire. They are dedicated to bringing both hope and light to the darkness.

The events of the expansion will take lace in the subterranean continent of Khaz Algar, a place long forgotten. It is split into a number of zones, including The Isle of Dorn, The Ringing Deeps, Hallowfall, and Azj-Kahet. There will be 4 level-up dungeons and 4 maximum-level dungeons that can be found in each of the four new zones. The Nerub’ar Palace raid dungeon will be available with the start of The War Within Season 1, offering eight boss encounters.

When it comes to systems, the developers will use the approach similar to that of Dragonflight:

  • Focus on evergreen additions and refurbishing rather than systems that phase out from expansion to expansion.
  • Provide Something for everyone, investing in World of Warcraft’s foundations to make it better.
  • Continued Focus on Respecting Player Time

Speaking of the systems, they are the main focus of the deep dive panel. The Delves, Warbands and Hero Talents promise to be an exciting addition to the game.

World of Warcraft: The War Within – Delves

Delves are quick adventures for one to five players as a solo experience, with friends, or even as a dungeon group. These adventures are integrated into the outdoor realm as a new endgame pillar alongside dungeons, raids, and PvP. Delves will provide seasonal content and rewards and will be integrated into the Great Vault.

There will be 12 Delves at the launch of the expansion and allow groups of one to five players. It is a role-agnostic experience that can be completed either solo or with friends. Shaped by lessons learned from Torghast, Islands, and Scenarios, Delves intends to allow more player choice and variety.

  • 10–15-minute adventures
  • Players will unravel mysteries and seek out treasure throughout Khaz Algar
  • New Seasonal Rewards with a narrative tie-in and NPC companions

World of Warcraft: The War Within – Warbands

Warbands are a form of account-wide progression and an attempt to create a more alt-friendly experience. This new system will focus on adding convenience and flexibility but will not provide additional power to alts.

  • Warband Bank: Share Items between all of your characters on a single Battle.net account in one convenient bank.
  • Warbound Items: These are bonus personal loot items that drop at a slightly lower level that can be shared with alternate characters.
  • Transmogrification Collection: This system will expand to allow players on one character to add additional class specific items that they can’t equip to their transmog collection. This allows a player on a mage character to collect a warrior item and be able to add it to the transmog collection for use on your warrior character instead.
  • Warband Reputations: Many Reputations in The War Within will become available for all characters to access through integration with Warbands. As an example: unlocking a recipe on one character won’t be reliant on gaining the trust of a faction again on an alternate character.
  • Flight Paths: Once unlocked on one character, all characters in your Warband can access them.
  • Delves: Leveling up a companion NPC will be accessible to characters in your Warband.
  • Achievements: Instead of only specific achievements being account-wide, they are being updated so that they are all account-wide rewarding the individual player instead of the character for the accomplishment.
  • Login Screen: When you log in to the game, you’ll be able to see a selection of your characters on the login screen waiting for you to choose who you will go on your next adventure with.

World of Warcraft: The War Within – Hero Talents

Hero talents will introduce new, small, self-contained talent trees resulting in players having three types of talent points: Hero Talents, Class talents, and Specialization talents. Within the Hero tree there are additional choice nodes you’ll be able to select depending on the type of content you are undertaking.

“These new talent points will focus on offering the ability to explore a deeper class fantasy, provide additional flexibility to suit your play style, and offer progression and agency while not adding excessive complexities.”

Each class specialization will have access to two of the three Hero trees to choose from. For example, The Keeper of the Grove tree is available to both Balance and Restoration druids. This selection focuses on summons and offers additional choice nodes. Elune’s Chosen tree is available to Balance and Guardian druids.

WoW - War Within - Hero Specs List

Other Additions Include:

  • Dynamic Flight – Dragonriding is here to stay and will also be available for many flying mounts in all flyable areas even prior to the launch of The War Within.
  • New Battleground! – This new 10v10 capture-point map is set in the Ringing Deeps. This battleground is similar to Silvershard Mines, but with some additional twists. Players will fight for control of minecarts along with a central node, teams will want to control.
  • Interface Updates – The Spellbook is getting some additional cleanup. It will provide a larger and cleaner layout, take advantage of modern display resolutions, and allow more pages to fit on one screen.
  • Cross-Realm Guilds – Players will be able to apply for a guild or recruit new players to their guild freely, regardless of the realm they are on.
Written by
A lover of all things RPG and TBS, Catherine is always looking for a new fantasy world to get lost in.

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