BlizzCon 2017 World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Panel Transcript

Island Expeditions

Ion: So many of you may have been wondering as you saw the feature trailer when you saw plundering into the isles, you are probably wondering to yourself: “what is an island?

Well, an island is a body of land surrounded on all sides by water. (laugh) Moving on, Island Expeditions. Island Expeditions have you exploring uncharted islands across the Great Sea. As we mentioned, the Alliance and the Horde are locked in a stalemate, and they are seeking all the aid they can get; and there is all this unexplored land, with reports of Azerite (the substance I mentioned earlier, bubbling to the surface); as well as other unclaimed resources that could aid the war on the home front.

So Alliance and the Horde are both sending their scouts out to scour the sea to search for these locations; and that will naturally lead to the Horde and the Alliance coming into conflict in the new world over these small pieces of territory, as they each try to claim these resources, and take them back home to fuel the war.

Now what does that mean for you: the player? So Island expeditions are 3-player cooperative gameplay, role agnostic, and they are a culmination and a reflection of lessons we have learned from many years of developing content, many expansions’ worth of content development ranging from Mists of Pandaria scenarios, to scaling difficulty in Mythic keystone dungeons, to randomization and variability of World Quest spawning, and more.

The theme here is one of exploration of when you set out to an island, you don’t know exactly what you are going to find. Even if you have been to that island before. On one visit, a given island might be occupied by a settlement of trolls. Some are peaceful, and if you work with them and perform quests for them, and solve their problems, they will give you some of their stores. Others are hostile.

You might return another time, and find that an ancient curse has wiped out life on the island, and undead rising from their graves; and there are crypts for you to explore.

Yet, another time, a band of marauding mogu might have come from Pandaria taking over the island themselves, and set up shop. In all of these cases, you are going to find different friends, different enemies, different challenges, different events, different objectives. It is going to be the most variable dynamic playable experiences we have ever offered in World of Warcraft; and to really add another layer of dynamic gameplay here– again, as I mentioned, this is a Horde and Alliance skirmishing– and so, as you and your two allies roll up on a Horde ship, you will also find that shortly thereafter, three agents of the Alliance have arrived.

 

Now these are NPCs, but they are not any NPCs that you have ever seen before. They are not just looking to run up to you, and punch you, or cast fireballs at you. They are not like scripted boss encounters. They are a bit smarter than that. They behave strategically. They behave tactically to complete objectives on the island, and to front you as you try to do that as well.

So even if you were on the same exact same island, it still wouldn’t play out the same way twice, because you are contending with variable opposing forces, and having to deal with them the whole way through; and finally, if you want to match against three other players, you can do that too.

So these island expeditions can create an All-New type of PvPvE gameplay where you are completing objectives, racing against enemy players to do so, and killing each other where it makes sense.

NEXT: WARFRONTS

WORLD OF WARCRAFT: BATTLE FOR AZEROTH PANEL TRANSCRIPT
1. Battle for Azeroth2. Zones of Kul'Tiras3. Zones of Zaldazar4. Zone Flow
5. Allied Races6. Leveling Improvements7. Heart of Azeroth8. Island Expeditions
9. Warfronts10. Battlegrounds & Arenas11. World PvP12. Dungeons & Raids

Read the BlizzCon 2017 panel transcripts

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

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