Since the first days of World of Warcraft, the war between the Horde and the Alliance has been raging. That war always raged a little harder on PvP servers, where players could take each other out in contested territories around the open world, but that trend may be changing with some big PvP shakeups coming in the Battle for Azeroth expansion.
World of Warcraft's long tradition of PvE and PvP server rules will be rewritten with the introduction of War Mode in Battle for Azeroth. The new mode gives players a lot more control over exactly when and where they are or are not eligible for PvP combat. If that sounds like a major change, it's because it definitely is.
Here are some of the details from Blizzard...
"We’re introducing a new way of getting into PvP out in the world with a system we’re calling War Mode. War Mode tears down boundaries and server rule-set distinctions, allowing players on any realm to decide when they want to jump into a world PvP experience full of like-minded players in the ongoing battle between Horde and Alliance."
"This new system gives us the opportunity to revisit World of Warcraft PvP as an open-world experience, building on the latest game technology available. Players can decide on the type of gameplay experience they want to have no matter their realm of choice. Whether that means opting out of world PvP entirely, gathering allies and venturing out into dangerous lands when the mood strikes you, or turning on War Mode and never looking back—the choice will be yours."
This change will certainly make the old-timers shake their heads, but for fans of a peaceful leveling experience, it's sure to be a boon. In addition to allowing PvP to be turned off, there are also some exciting new incentives to turn it on that may lead to more battles in the wild.
"Players who choose to turn on War Mode will get a few additional bonuses while in the mode. First, while War Mode is on, all PvP talents you’ve chosen will be available to use anywhere PvP can occur, providing a more consistent and efficient experience as you level. Rather than having your PvP talents toggle on and off depending on your location in the world or whether you’re engaged with a creature or another player, you’ll have access to them everywhere PvP can happen. Sanctuary areas will still be PvP free."
"Players in War Mode will also get an additional bonus to experience gains while leveling up. We understand that when players choose to engage in PvP, the added danger from other players can result in a slight loss in leveling efficiency. We wanted to provide a way to balance this out without creating a situation in which players who choose not to engage in War Mode feel they’re losing out on an opportunity. For the same reason, at max level, War Mode also offers an additional bonus to gold, Resources, and Artifact Power earned from World Quests."
This change seems like a logical next step for World of Warcraft, which has been taking measures to tear down the walls between servers for years. With some controlled cross-realm mail, grouping, and PvP zones already established; this sort of change was only a matter of time.
There are still a few weeks before Battle for Azeroth arrives, so be sure to check back for updates as we learn more. Until then, For the Horde!
World of Warcraft is available now on PC, with the Battle for Azeroth expansion launching August 14.