During the “World of Warcraft: What’s Next” panel at BlizzCon 2017, Blizzard revealed major changes coming to how it approaches player-versus-player content, particularly in the open-world. These changes will be coming as part of the game’s next expansion, Battle for Azeroth.
Previous to now, if players want to partake in PvP at any point, they would join a PvP server. But the game’s director, Ion Hazzikostas, noted that this system has remained more or less unchanged since 2005 despite massive changes to the game itself.
To fix that, Blizzard is cutting out PvP servers entirely. Now players will choose whether to opt into PvP in their capital city, and if they turn it on, they’ll venture out into a world filled with other players who have opted into PvP. It also means players won’t be pressured into joining a PvP server just to play with their friends who are on their servers.
Blizzard says it will offer some experience gain bonuses to questing with PvP turned on. This will help make sure it’s worth a player’s time even if they may get killed by players from the other faction.
In addition to the changes for world PvP, Blizzard announced some new content coming to structured PvP. There will be new PvP arenas in Tiragarde and Zuldazar, and the new battleground, Seething Shore, is also in the works.
Seething Shore will be the first new battleground added to the game since the Mists of Pandaria expansion in 2012, but it will actually be added to the game before Battle for Azeroth launches. Hazzikostas says Seething Shore will be introduced in patch 7.3.5.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is planned for launch some time in 2018. You can get more information on the new expansion in our cover story feature.