During the opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2017 this morning, Blizzard revealed a cinematic and the first details of the seventh expansion pack for World of Warcraft. Titled Battle for Azeroth, the new expansion will add the expected level cap bumps and new zones but will also feature a tighter focus on the conflict between the game’s two factions, the Alliance and the Horde.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth will see Horde players traveling to three new zones making up the islands of Zandalar, while Alliance players will focus on three zones set in the island nation of Kul Tiras. Within these zones, the factions will work to recruit new “allied races,” which players will then be able to play as themselves.
The new expansion will also see the introduction of fresh types of content that have never been seen before in the game. Blizzard announced the new “islands” system, where players will team up in a party of three to explore areas where the enemies and situations you encounter can change each time. The studio is also introducing warfronts, where groups of 20 players will team up to fight for locations that have strategic importance to their faction.
Battle for Azeroth will see players discovering a new legendary neck piece called the Heart of Azeroth. With this equipped, they’ll be able to unlock new powers and traits through their armor in a system that sounds similar to the artifact weapon system from the previous expansion, Legion.
When Battle for Azeroth launches, players will be able to level to a new cap of level 120, and the purchasable level boost will take characters up to level 110. Blizzard isn’t yet saying when World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth will launch, but there are usually 18 to 24 months between expansions, which would put it sometime in the middle of next year.
Stay tuned for more details about all Blizzard’s news from BlizzCon 2017, and watch out for Polygon’s upcoming cover story all about World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth.