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World of Warcraft is going back to its roots with Horde vs Alliance

WoW: Battle for Azeroth detailed

Blizzcon did not disappoint again with the announce of the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth.

The Burning Legion has been pushed back, again, and this time it seems they’re finally done with. It’s unclear how they will meet their demise as the current expansions sees heroes still battling the Legion forces. The next raid instance, Antorus, will open on November 28th, and only after that will we see the final end to the Legion. In reality, we have to defeat Sargeras first.

Once the all evil being is defeated, what do we do next? Well, we fight each other of course. Battle of Azeroth is jumping back to the early days of World of Warcraft pitting the Horde against the Alliance in an incredible opening cinematic.

We’re going back to our roots in the latest expansion with the Horde, lead by Sylvanas Windrunner, and Alliance, led by Anduin Lothar, who is trying his hardest to follow in his father’s footsteps. Legion has been a great expansion, so far, and after the disappointment of Warlords of Draenor, fans are more than ready to head back to the age-old battle between Alliance and Horde.

MMO-Champion offered an awesome summary of what’s top come in Battle for Azeroth:

  • The battle for Lordaeron kicks off expansion. Teldrassil is burned down by Horde.

  • New Alliance Continent: Kul Tiras

  • New Horde Continent: Zandalar

  • Epic "War Campaign" will tell the story and bring you to the other faction's continent at max level

  • World quests and emissaries are here to stay.

  • Zone scaling in the old world. Expansions now have level ranges that cap.

  • Heart of Azeroth is a new artifact neck that uses Azerite to power up itself and three armor slots.

  • Island Expeditions: 3-player scenarios

  • Warfronts: 20 man faction raids inspired by Warcraft RTS roots

  • Removal of PVP/PVE server rulesets. Personal choice toggle now.

  • 10 dungeons at launch

  • Ul'dir is the first raid.

  • Azshara is part of the story

The new World of Warcraft expansion will also offer sub-races, or “allied races.” These races will be unlocked via quest chains, and there are six new sub-races. The Alliance will have Void Elves, Lightforged Draenei, and Dark Iron Dwarves. The Horde will have Highmountain Tauren, Nightborne Elves and Zandalari Trolls.

A definitive story

What we’ve touched on above is a new narrative forming as the Horde take on the Alliance once again. Sylvanas Windrunner, who feels betrayed by the Alliance after the attack on the Broken Isles, faced off against Grenn Greymane who freed the Valkyr during the quest line. Greymane blames Sylvanas for his son’s death and has a raging vendetta against Sylvanas and the Horde.

Anduin, now following in his father’s footsteps, leads the Alliance against the Horde in the cinematic, with heavy influence from Greymane who gives the feeling that he is the driving force behind the attack. After the Horde rally with their Chieftain to push back the Alliance, Anduin drops his father’s sword and uses his priest background to once again rejuvenate his allies.

This rallies his troops and the real battle begins.

A sense of purpose

The return to the roots for World of Warcraft rings with many fans as the true nature of the war returns with the expansion. The two factions in World of Warcraft have an almost cult following with players taking their faction’s positions and lore pretty seriously. At Blizzcon, it’s common to hear the crowd shouting “FOR THE HORDE,” with a chant returning “FOR THE ALLIANCE,” as it rings around the hall.

Blizzard’s choice to head back to the battlegrounds will once again bring about the true struggle in World of Warcraft and give substance to why the Horde and Alliance have failed so many times at banding together and pushing back enemy forces. Their internal struggles and the looming plot twists will inevitably bring about the end of the world as the real enemy has been hinted at for quite some time. Could it be the sleeping titan Azeroth herself? We’ll have to wait and find out.

The missing person's report

There are a number of notable characters missing from the scene. Jaina disappeared before the attack on the Broken Shores after she disagreed with the idea of working alongside the Horde. Speculations are that she’s on Kul Tiras getting everyone riled up to take on the Horde once again. Other, more rash, speculations are that she will return in the current expansion as Sargeras does need a vessel to return to the world and we all know he loves mages.

Thrall, the disgraced former leader of the Horde, has also been missing since Warlords of Draenor ended. After Thrall used the Elements to defeat Garrosh in Mak’Gora he said the Elements don’t speak to him anymore. Speculations are that he left and went to try “find himself” again, and his only appearance in Legion was when Shamans had to steal Doomhammer from him.

Khadgar has been a major influence on the current expansion, but he’s absent from the cinematic. He has been the protector of Azeroth, from the council, and has exhausted his efforts in bringing the Horde and Alliance together. He has always had a rather ominous presence, saying some rather shady stuff throughout the expansion, especially when we defeated Mannaroth atop the Hellfire Citadel and he asked for his skull…

It’s unclear whether these characters will make a return, but some people are speculating that Jaine will return and become the “Khadgar influence” character in the new expansion, but that remains to be seen.