The next expansion for World of Warcraft is on the horizon. Battle for Azeroth is set to launch in August, but ahead of its release, Blizzard will roll out a big pre-expansion patch this week that sets the stage for the upcoming update and introduces a number of new features to the long-running MMO. [Update: World of Warcraft’s big pre-Battle for Azeroth patch is now available for PC.]
The pre-patch is scheduled to go live on Tuesday, July 17. Among other things, it implements War Mode, a new system that allows players to opt-in or out of PvP encounters. War Mode can be enabled beginning at level 20 by visiting either Orgrimmar or Stormwind, depending upon your allegiance; toggling it on will let you battle against other players in all zones, including Northshire Abbey. However, Blizzard says that Sanctuary areas will remain excluded from PvP, even if War Mode is enabled.
World Of Warcraft: Battle For Azeroth Pre-Patch Survival Guide Trailer
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In addition to War Mode, the pre-expansion patch reworks the PvP talent system. Previously, players would unlock talents as they took part in PvP and raised their Honor level. Following the update, players will earn talents as they level up, putting everyone on more even footing. Players will also now be able to choose talents from a group of options, rather than rows.
Shortly after the pre-patch rolls out, Blizzard will kick off new events in Teldrassil and Lordaeron. These events will begin the week of July 24 and continue for three weeks until the launch of the Battle for Azeroth expansion. You can find the full pre-patch notes on the official WoW website.
Battle for Azeroth launches on August 14. On top of the aforementioned changes, it introduces the new continents of Kul Tiras and Zandalar, as well as several new islands to explore. The expansion also raises the game’s level cap to 120, adds a number of new dungeons and raids to take part in, and implements bounties and air drops in War Mode.