Players have already expressed concern that recent events in the game have forced them to commit war crimes while Sylvanas, once a fan favourite character, becomes increasingly insane. Some have complained that they created their Horde character at a time when they expected to be a hero in the world, but in the lead-up to Azeroth they’re being made to be a villain.
“We’ve seen the release since of a cinematic, called The Old Soldier, with [veteran Orc character] Saurfang, where you kind of get a glimpse of how this affects the Horde, and where the story may be heading, and how you can, as a Horde player, rally behind your faction,” Willaims says.
While the narrative of Azeroth — and whether or not the two factions will end up united against a common enemy as they have many times before — remains to be seen, in the meantime the conflict makes for several new gameplay changes in WoW.
Battle for Azeroth players will be able to travel to new kingdoms (one each for Horde and Alliance), play as new races, gather resources to support the war effort in new “island expeditions”, and fight battles in a new 20-player siege mode inspired by the original Warcraft strategy games.
Though WoW requires a paid subscription to play, expansions offer new content and existing players must purchase them separately. Previous expansions’ content is generally added to the base game once a new expansion releases, so new players only need to buy Azeroth to access everything.