Preview: New Warfront — Battle for Darkshore
In the ashen shadow of Teldrassil, the night elves prepare to strike back against the Forsaken and reclaim their ancestral homeland. . . .
With the upcoming release of Tides of Vengeance, the war between the Horde and Alliance will arrive to a brand-new Warfront: The Battle for Darkshore. Players of both factions will meet once more on the shores of Kalimdor to vie for control of this war-torn region.
The Cycle of War Begins Anew
When Tides of Vengeance goes live, Darkshore will start in the hands of the Forsaken and the Horde—but it won’t be long before the Alliance makes its first strike.
Max-level Alliance players who complete the new opening storyline with Tyrande and the night elves will be immediately able to queue for the Battle for Darkshore Warfront, signaling the start of a new cycle of war as each faction contributes resources, launches their assault, and reaps the benefits of claiming Darkshore for their own.
We’ve also shortened the cycle for the first two weeks of the Warfront so that players from both factions will have access to it and all its rewards prior to the holidays.
A War on Two Fronts
With the addition of the Battle for Darkshore, there will be two battles for players to fight—and many resource contributions to be made to support the war efforts in both the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor.
To help support these dual efforts, we’re making some updates to the Warfront cycles and phases, and how each faction gains access to the Battle for Darkshore and Battle for Stromgarde.
First, each Warfront’s cycle is completely independent from the other, and players will be able to contribute to either Warfront without impacting the other. You’ll be able to track the progress of contributions for each in an updated UI so you’ll be able to easily see which phase each Warfront is in.
With the release of Tides of Vengeance, we’re also changing the way the Contribute phase works for both Warfronts. While there were previously 11 quests available at the start of the contribution cycle, there will instead be 3 available each day during this phase. These quests will always include one to turn in either gold or War Resources, as well as two profession turn-ins.
The Siege phase is when your faction can queue up for the Warfront instance. And while this phase works much the same as it did with the Battle for Stromgarde, the new Darkshore Warfront offers a whole new experience—with new locations, troops, building types, objectives, and more. Players who meet the minimum item-level requirement of 320 will be able to queue for the Battle for Darkshore Warfront as often as they would like while this phase is active.
As the Alliance, your mission will be to reclaim Darkshore and undo the natural devastation caused by marauding Forsaken. On the Horde, your ultimate goal will be to wrest control of this key location in Kalimdor back from the Alliance, razing the landscape and ensuring the night elves can’t reclaim their homeland.
As players storm this new Warfront, they’ll notice some other changes that set it apart from the Battle for Stromgarde. For example: Rather than grant a buff to players, Essence of Storms will provide players with access to powerful transformations allowing them to take on alternate roles such as healing or tanking on the battlefield.
Players will also gain new gear from the new Warfront (starting at item level 340), and players can take part in a quest once per Warfront cycle to obtain a higher item level piece of gear.
During the Patrol phase, maximum-level players of the controlling faction who have completed an introductory questline will be able to participate in multiple new outdoor activities in the newly revamped Darkshore zone. Controlling the zone will also provide access to a new faction-specific World Boss, rare creatures, and access to new gear, pets, mounts, and Warfront gear. There will also be plenty of new treasures hidden throughout the zone just waiting to be discovered.
Players will also be able to take part in a rotating series of new World Quests during this phase which provide additional opportunities to get great new loot to use in your ongoing adventures.
What’s New in the Darkshore Zone?
With the arrival of this new Warfront, the outdoor zone of Darkshore has been reshaped by the fires of war for maximum-level players and features environment updates, an all-new World Boss for each faction, and all new World Quests for the controlling faction. There will also be new rare creatures to discover along the way that have a chance to drop mounts, pets, toys, treasure chests, and new Darkshore Warfronts gear.
We’ve also updated the Patrol Phase for Arathi Highlands in Tides of Vengeance to include many new World Quests, which will replace the current kill quests in the outdoor zone. Like those being introduced in Darkshore, these will rotate each day that your faction controls the zone, providing new opportunities for loot and rewards each time you return during the Patrol phase.
Completing these new World Quests in both Darkshore and Arathi Highlands will help you increase your reputation with the 7th Legion or Honorbound emissary.
Rewarding the War Effort
Players will be able to earn new night elf (Alliance) or Forsaken (Horde)–themed Warfront armor sets, as well as a new Service Medal currency, by taking part in various activities in the Warfront. Service Medals can be used to purchase items such as new heirlooms, pets, mounts, transmog cloaks, a teleport ring, and experience potions at a vendor located in the Warfronts area of either Boralus or Zandalar.
The item levels of gear from both Warfronts will start off in line with those currently available in Arathi Highlands; however, the item levels will increase once and Season 2 of the raid, PvP, and Mythic Dungeon begins with the arrival of the Battle of Dazar’alor raid.
What Are Warfronts?
Warfronts represent large-scale war on the homefront as members of each faction fight for control of a location critical to the war effort between the Horde and Alliance.
Anchored in the real-time strategy (RTS) origins of Warcraft, you play the role of a lieutenant leading the charge on the ground of a massive battle. Together with 19 fellow allied players, you will create an outpost, secure resources, set up supply lines, and train troops to help push forward and assault an enemy stronghold. Unlike Warcraft III, you’ll be fighting in this conflict firsthand rather than commanding from a top-down perspective—putting you on the front lines of a large-scale, 20-player PvE experience.