When World of Warcraft first launched in 2004, following the discharge of the extremely acclaimed Warcraft III – The Frozen Throne, it basically introduced the MMORPG style into the mainstream highlight.
Certain, it wasn’t the primary MMORPG, however in true Blizzard vogue, they took an present factor, repackaged it, and marketed it brilliantly.
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And similar to that, the unique vanilla World of Warcraft turned a popular culture phenomenon and adjusted the course of the franchise, for higher or for worse.
Because of its enormous success, the sport has acquired a complete of eight expansions so far, and the practice is unlikely to cease any time quickly.
In case you’re a die-hard WoW fan like us, right here’s a quick overview of all its expansions up to now!
Desk of ContentsShow
The Burning Campaign
Launch Date: January 16, 2007
The primary enlargement was fairly influential on the sport as an entire, each from a mechanics and lore standpoint. It launched two new races, the Draenei and the Blood Elves, and it added their respective beginning zones to the world of Azeroth. However the bulk of the brand new content material lay not in Azeroth, however in Outland, a location beforehand visited in Warcraft III – The Frozen Throne.
Talking of which, The Burning Campaign is notable as a result of it marks the purpose when Blizzard determined to provide WoW extra weight in terms of the franchise’s canon storyline by involving established Warcraft III characters within the recreation, most notably together with Illidan—a serious character from the acclaimed RTS—as an end-game raid boss.
When it comes to mechanics, maybe essentially the most momentous addition was the flying mounts that would solely be utilized in Outland, whereas common floor mounts have been made cheaper and extra accessible to gamers. In fact, this enlargement additionally marked the primary degree cap enhance because it jumped from 60 to 70, introducing new talents and increasing the expertise system.
Furthermore, the Paladin and Shaman lessons have been now not faction-exclusive to the Alliance and the Horde, respectively, as they have been in vanilla. And on high of that, the occupation of jewelcrafting was launched, and it allowed gamers so as to add extra stat boosts to their gear by socketing particular gems.
One other necessary addition was the resilience stat, which mitigated injury acquired from (and solely from) different gamers, designed to assist stability out PvP fight. Talking of PvP, this enlargement additionally added one model new battleground, and it launched Enviornment PvP for the primary time.
The Wrath of the Lich King
Launch Date: November 13, 2008
Persevering with the pattern of capitalizing on the success and recognition of Warcraft III, WoW’s second enlargement revolved round Arthas, the broadly beloved anti-hero who was topped the brand new Lich King on the finish of The Frozen Throne.
Evidently, it added the continent of Northrend to Azeroth, which, very like Outland, was far more attention-grabbing and numerous than the straightforward snowy wasteland that we knew from the technique recreation.
This enlargement added no new races, nevertheless it did introduce the very first ‘hero’ class within the type of the Demise Knight. They have been the primary class to start out at a better degree (55), had their very own instanced beginning zone in jap Lordaeron, and even a easy class-specific occupation—Runeforging. Demise Knights might fill each tanking and DPS roles, though they have been extra well-liked within the latter.
The extent cap was elevated by ten as soon as once more, leaping from 70 to 80. Other than the same old addition of latest talents, the refinement of the expertise system, the brand new zones, and dungeons, Wrath of the Lich King additionally added a substantial quantity of PvP content material, introducing two new battlegrounds and two new arenas, in addition to the primary devoted world PvP zone within the type of Wintergrasp.
Lastly, one other vital addition was the brand new major occupation of Inscription, which allowed gamers to craft particular glyphs that may improve or in any other case alter sure talents after a glyph is ‘inscribed.’ This occupation additionally coated the creation of scrolls used to grant non permanent buffs, in addition to vellums, which might retailer enchantments for later use.
Launch Date: December 7, 2010
After which got here Cataclysm, which modified not solely the face of the in-game world of Azeroth however the face of the sport and its neighborhood as an entire. Having killed off the 2 most outstanding characters from Warcraft III, Blizzard turned to a few of the older Warcraft video games’ villains, and Deathwing was subsequent up for the chopping block.
Now, Cataclysm introduced two new faction-specific races—Worgen and Goblins, full with their very own distinctive beginning zones in Azeroth. However the two new races have been hardly the most important change made on this enlargement, as almost each zone in Azeroth was closely altered, without end altering Azeroth’s acquainted landscapes. A number of model new zones have been opened up, together with the PvP space of Tol Barad, in addition to two new battlegrounds.
Mechanics-wise, the extent cap was elevated as soon as once more, although solely by 5 ranges this time round, making 85 the brand new most degree. All the present lessons have been redesigned and rebalanced, new race-class mixtures have been added, and the expertise system was fully revamped.
The one occupation added in Cataclysm was the secondary occupation of Archaeology, which allowed gamers to seek out beneficial artifacts. Loads of the time, these things have been simply costly ‘vendor trash’, however gamers might additionally discover mounts, pets, vainness objects, and even highly effective gear.
Along with that, Cataclysm additionally added Reforging, which is the power to tweak stat bonuses on the gear to make the merchandise extra helpful to the participant. Furthermore, guild leveling was launched, permitting gamers to realize helpful further perks as their guild leveled up. And at last, flying was made attainable in Azeroth for the primary time.
Mists of Pandaria
Launch Date: September 25, 2012
Following Cataclysm, the fourth enlargement was not very nicely acquired among the many wider fan base, primarily as a result of it was centered round a race that was initially launched as an April Fools joke. Exploring the brand new continent of Pandaria, the story focuses on the exploration of the magical island, in addition to the ever-present battle between the Alliance and the Horde.
The extent cap for this enlargement was elevated by 5 as soon as once more, making 90 the brand new ceiling. Most notably, Mists of Pandaria launched the Pandaren as the primary impartial race that would be a part of both the Alliance or the Horde, primarily based solely on the participant’s personal private alternative.
This enlargement additionally marked the addition of the primary new class since WotLK, the Monk—a hybrid class that would fill the roles of tank, healer, or DPS, all of the whereas utilizing mild armor, with fist weapons and staves as weapons of alternative.
MoP additionally revamped the expertise system as soon as once more, scrapping the previous passive bonuses that up nearly all of the previous expertise bushes and letting gamers select between three particular talents as soon as each 15 ranges.
This enlargement additionally launched Situations—small dungeons that have been designed to be overcome with three gamers, slightly than the same old 5. On high of that, problem modes have been added to 5-man dungeons, and on the PvP entrance, three new battlegrounds have been launched.
One other new addition that left some gamers with blended emotions was the Pet Battle System—a turn-based fight minigame revolving round companion pets, extremely harking back to Pokemon.
Warlords of Draenor
Launch Date: November 13, 2014
Many will agree that tales are likely to lose influence and that writers are likely to lose legitimacy as soon as time journey begins getting used as a plot machine, particularly if there’s retconning of present lore concerned. And whereas Warlords of Draenor doesn’t precisely do these very issues, it attracts uncomfortably shut.
WoD takes us to an alternate timeline, again to the pivotal second that decided the destiny of the Orcish Horde again when their homeworld of Draenor was nonetheless entire. Right here, the plot focuses on the alternate method that historical past might have performed out had the orcs not made a covenant with the Mannoroth, albeit with Garrosh Hellscream because the wild card influencing it.
The fifth enlargement raised the extent cap by ten, making degree 100 the brand new most. The general focus was extra on streamlining mechanics than introducing new ones, so WoD eliminated some secondary stats and launched the Group Finder as a streamlined group-finding device for each PvP and PvE.
Battleground gameplay was refined as nicely, and each the stock and the hunt log have been made extra manageable than earlier than.
Two vital alterations utilized to the sport with WoD have been Garrisons and graphics updates. Whereas the previous have been customizable fortresses the place gamers might develop and partake in varied actions, the sport noticed a much-needed enchancment on the graphics entrance, that includes up to date character fashions and different minor graphics enhancements that nonetheless helped WoW hold with the instances.
Apart from that, WoD added a brand new instanced world PvP zone referred to as Ashran in addition to Skirmishes—informal Enviornment fight eventualities that may be accessible even to low-level gamers and permit them to familiarize themselves with that type of PvP fight early on.
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Launch Date: August 30, 2016
Bear in mind how the unique Gul’dan died within the Tomb of Sargeras? Effectively, following the occasions of Warlords of Draenor, alternate-reality Gul’dan is there to reopen it within the ‘important’ actuality! And similar to that, we come again to the Burning Legion and Illidan as the point of interest of the plot, and the large dangerous, Sargeras, is thrown into the combo as nicely.
Legion introduces one more new assortment of zones to Azeroth, the Damaged Isles. It was beforehand visited within the Night time Elf marketing campaign in The Frozen Throne, with Dalaran now positioned there as a substitute of in Northrend and functioning as the primary hub.
The extent cap was raised from 100 to 110, and the second-ever hero class was launched: the Demon Hunter. This new class was a hybrid that would concentrate on both DPS or tanking, however in contrast to the Demise Knight, which was made accessible for each race, solely Night time Elves and Blood Elves might turn into Demon Hunters. Moreover, ‘Class Orders‘ have been launched, providing class-specific campaigns and rewards.
The enlargement additionally added the closely customizable artifact weapons that scaled with the participant’s degree and have been used as major weapons all through the occasions of Legion. The PvP system was streamlined as soon as once more, together with the removing of PvP gear and a revamped honor system that now allowed gamers to acquire new talents utilizing honor factors as a substitute of buying gear, thus minimizing the importance of substances in PvP fight.
Battle for Azeroth
Launch Date: August 14, 2018
The earlier two expansions positioned a heavy concentrate on PvP. Now, not solely does Battle for Azeroth concentrate on PvP mechanics, too, nevertheless it additionally makes it one thing of a central level story-wise. Specifically, the story of Battle for Azeroth doesn’t revolve round world-destroying supervillains. As a substitute,it focuses on the battle between the Alliance and the Horde in a multi-chapter Conflict Marketing campaign storyline.
This enlargement introduces a complete of eight new races, 4 for every faction, though quite a few them are extra akin to reskins of the present races than model new ones.
The Alliance first obtained the Lightforged Draenei and the Void Elves whereas the Horde obtained the Highmountain Tauren and the Nightborne, all of which have been added throughout Legion for individuals who pre-ordered the enlargement. Afterward, the Darkish Iron Dwarves and Kul Tiran people have been added to the Alliance whereas the Magazine’har Orcs and Zandalari Trolls have been added to the Horde.
On high of that, this enlargement contributes two new landmasses to Azeroth within the type of the islands of Kul Tiras and Zandalar.
The extent cap in BFA was raised from 110 to 120. It noticed the addition of Warfronts to the sport—huge PvE eventualities impressed by the RTS parts of the basic Warcraft video games.
Moreover, two new Arenas have been added, and the gamers have been allowed to toggle PvP off whatever the realm sort, and the Honor system was refreshed as soon as once more. On the PvE entrance, Island Expeditions have been launched, although these 3-player eventualities additionally had a PvP mode.
Launch Date: October 27, 2020
The latest WoW enlargement is titled Shadowlands and it focuses on the Warcraft universe’s afterlife. That stated, as you may count on, it revisits a few of the franchise’s most recognizable characters. Nevertheless, it additionally options one of many largest overhauls since Cataclysm.
At the start, there’s the sport’s first “degree squish” that brings the utmost degree down from 120 again to the unique 60, downscaling the numbers and making the leveling expertise a lot shorter than it was once within the older iterations of the sport.
Along with the same old addition of latest zones and dungeons, Shadowlands shakes up the expertise and sophistication methods but once more, however a serious focus on this enlargement is positioned on the Covenant system.
As they enterprise into Shadowlands content material and hit the extent cap, gamers should align with one of many 4 Covenants: Necrolord, Venthyr, Kyrianor, or Night time Fae. Every of those has its personal campaigns and can grant gamers distinctive perks and talents that can have an effect on their playstyle.
Most notably, this consists of the system of Soulbinding, which provides an extra layer of customization to the participant’s talents.
The Last Phrase
We’ve now introduced all the World of Warcraft expansions launched up to now. If Blizzard sticks to their common schedule, the following enlargement ought to drop in 2022, however that’s methods off but.
Clearly, as we speak’s WoW is way from the sport that many grew up with, and it’s unlikely that the chain of expansions and modifications will likely be ending any time quickly. Many are already scratching their heads, questioning the place else Blizzard might presumably take the sequence, however as common, we will solely wait and see.
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