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Blizzard Entertainment | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 11/23/04)  | Pub:Blizzard Entertainment
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On Battle for Azeroth's Island Expeditions

By Garrett Fuller on November 30, 2017 | Columns | Comments

On Battle for Azeroth's Island Expeditions

In the upcoming Battle for Azeroth Expansion, Island expeditions are going to be one of the highlighted features. This was announced at BlizzCon and really drew me back into playing Warcraft again. Even though it is likely a year away, it still has a ton of potential. Azerite is the prime resource in Battle, and that is what you are hunting for.

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Island Change Each Time

So when you do an expedition you have 3 players venture forth to explore and discover. You can run the scenarios in PvE or PvP modes, more on that later. What is great though is each time you run an island it changes. They are designed to be new each time. Replayability is critical in WoW and these scenarios seem to be geared to it perfectly. Loot and encounters will change each time you visit. There are boss style fights or running into groups of monsters mining the ore you seek. You may hit a pirate ship or graveyard or simply find ore on its own. The iterations are endless. You can fight against NPCs or…

PvP

The idea of island PvP expeditions sound like great fun. 3v3 with a random series of objectives mixes the hardcore format of fighting with some fun elements on the island. Especially when you are exploring. Other times you will face champions from the opposing faction as well. The PvP factor should be the most interesting. Will it be a kill fest or a race for resources?

Time

The timing of the scenarios seems legitimate, about fifteen or twenty minutes each. These short bursts of game play reward players who do not have hours of time. Maybe you can get a run in before school or on your lunch hour? Many Warcraft players have been up against the time clock for years now, so in many ways, this enhancement will be perfect for the casual player who now can find the time to jump in and play. 

No Roles

You don’t have to set up the perfect triad of tank, healer, DPS to go. Bring your friends and forget about your class. That is a great mechanic for teams who have not played together in a while. Many times in the past when we ran guild groups on alternate nights I would not see some of my friends because we all played support and were needed on different raids. Now, this will bring everyone together. The PvP should be very interesting though.

Exploring

Not knowing what you will find each time is probably one of the best points with Islands. The exploring factor can be just as fun as any other mechanic in an MMO. Being the first to find Azerite or a new boss adds to player enjoyment on a whole new scale. Making this a common theme of new ideas makes each cave seem even better. Just how advanced Blizzard’s AI is we will have to see, but the promise of these features is getting players to talk a lot more who may not have logged in for a long time.

Overall, Islands is something I am most excited about with Battle. A lot of key “fun” elements are added here that do not take a lot of time. We will be out exploring for the Horde once the expansion hits. 

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