Battle for Azeroth Island Expeditions Preview
Battle for Azeroth brings a new Island Expeditions feature. Taking what the team liked from Mists of Pandaria's scenarios and stepping it up, these expeditions take a team of three players to uncharted islands across the Great sea in search of Azerite. Each island is randomly generated and so there is always something unique and new to find. Also, the enemy AI does not behave like normal scripted creature AI. Instead, you face an opposing team that will fight in a much more unpredictable way. Island Expeditions are also role agnostic, meaning that they do not require a Tank, Healer and DPS in order to succeed.




Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
A new Battle for Azeroth feature, Island Expeditions, is now available for testing for characters at level 110 or higher. Your level and item level will be automatically adjusted to level 120 values.

Alliance players can queue from the Expedition table in Boralus Harbor, near the Tradewinds Market. Look for the green ship occupying the second slip.

Horde players can queue from the Expedition table in Zuldazar Harbor, at the Port of Zandalar, on the west side. Look for the red ship.

What are we testing?
We are currently testing Un’gol Ruins on Normal difficulty.
There are 12 NPC teams available for testing (6 per faction).

What is the goal of an Island Expedition?
The goal of an Island Expedition is to collect Azerite. The first team to 6000 Azerite wins.
A group of NPCs from the opposing faction will also be present, competing with you for the Azerite.
Many things on the Island reward Azerite: chests, Azerite crystals, powerful creatures, friendly NPCs in need of aid, killing enemy NPCs, and more.
You’ll find things you can interact with, scattered all across the Island to help you.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: this feature is currently in an alpha state. There are several placeholder elements and missing pieces. Many updates are on their way.

Thank you for testing, and we’re looking forward to your feedback.

And watch out for Sneaky Pete :]

Dynamic Replayability
The team wants Islands to be a unique experience every time you queue up for one. There are countless different themes, enemies and environments you can come across and it's random each time you start one. Islands will have distinct visuals including abandoned Gilnean islands or Ungol ruins. There will also be different puzzles and obstacles to face every time you visit. In one scenario you could find a bunch of friendly trolls and aid them but in the next one these trolls could be possessed and attack you. Other scenarios include finding shrines or fighting against a giant crab.

Island Content that is randomly generated:
  • Creatures
  • Capture points
  • Chests and Azerite Nodes
  • Questgivers
  • Consumables and Shrines
  • Start Locations
  • Weather
  • Environmental hazards
  • Caves, Ships...and more!



Enemy AI
Battle for Azeroth will feature new NPC AI for Island Expeditions. This AI is not scripted and will not behave in the way a normal creature usually does. This new AI will behave in a more PVP orientated fashion. Examples include polymorphing or sapping your healer while you are engaged in a boss fight. This AI also is well aware of important map objectives and will constantly be giving you a run for your money as you race to complete objectives. This AI can make strategic decisions as well. They may stop what they are doing to come disrupt the objective you are working on or to steal your azerite. Different opponents will also have distinct personalities and unique behaviors. An example would be Sneaky Pete, a rogue who likes to disrupt healers.



Difficulty Modes
Island Expeditions have 4 difficult modes:
  • Normal
  • Heroic
  • Mythic
  • PVP

Island Consumables
A seafaring vendor shows up at the docks each day to provide unqiue buffs and consumables to use on the island. These power ups tend to fill in role gaps. Examples include buffs to make an Arms Warrior more tanky or another consumable that allows a Mage to heal.

Level Type Name
120Other Thornberry
120Other Lightprism
120Other Sanctified Scroll
120Other Links of Faith

Rewards
The team hasn't finalized on all the rewards yet, but they have said azerite, unique mounts and new toys are definitely options.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Battle for Azeroth Island Expeditions Preview started by chaud View original post
Comments 54 Comments
  1. MrExcelion's Avatar
    Looks like 17 minutes start to finish going off the clock in the corner. About a dungeons length, maybe a bit longer, but no queue time. Have a feeling tanks and BM hunters will perform better in these
  1. chaud's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MrExcelion View Post
    Looks like 17 minutes start to finish going off the clock in the corner. About a dungeons length, maybe a bit longer, but no queue time. Have a feeling tanks and BM hunters will perform better in these
    Yup, averaged about 15 minutes, but I didn't do many. A tank or healer would be helpful, at one point the enemy AI all suddenly focused me and bad things happened.
  1. Ophenia's Avatar
    Instead, you face an opposing team that will fight in a much more unpredictable way
    Meanwhile, watch Pirates throwing Coins at you until they die
  1. chiddie's Avatar
    Instance/dungeons randomized “Diablo style” could really be a nice idea, it adds a lot of replayability.
  1. TinyShark's Avatar
    To be honest, it doesn't come close to what I've been expecting from it. I was hoping for some engaging quests or objectives, but most of it just seems to be "Clear the area of NPC's!" and "Mine some nodes!".

    Is this what it really is, or am I overexagerating?
  1. Sencha's Avatar
    Not hyped. Another team vs team content where only ilvl will matter. I'd prefer something where you have to use your brain to find hidden azerite.
  1. Mendzia's Avatar
    Looks exactly like one of the MoP scenarios tbh.
    Seems to be promising anyway.
  1. Biomega's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TinyShark View Post
    To be honest, it doesn't come close to what I've been expecting from it. I was hoping for some engaging quests or objectives, but most of it just seems to be "Clear the area of NPC's!" and "Mine some nodes!".

    Is this what it really is, or am I overexagerating?
    That's what it will come down to.

    All the 'omg it's different every time!' bluster will be as effective as 'guys there's hundreds of world quests it'll be different EVERY TIME' - i.e. you'll have seen it all after three days and the differences will be academic to begin with. It'll all be various base formulas with minor variations, there will be clearly superior strategies, and the time limit will make sure that at any serious level it will once again be the domain of short-CD burst classes and the respective healers/tanks much like M+.

    I'd be surprised if they can balance mythic difficulty in ways that allow for true class balance without enabling degenerate cheese strategies, which everyone will subsequently exploit.

    Reward structure will probably be out of whack in some way at the start.
  1. Juther's Avatar
    Forgive me for the stupid question, but the PvP Mode means vs Real Players?
  1. Bumbac's Avatar
    It seems to be missing something. Fun element I guess.
  1. Masternewt's Avatar
    This looks like a thing you'd do 3 times and then never want to queue for it again.
  1. Kuntantee's Avatar
    Looks quite boring.
  1. Cassidin's Avatar
    Not been able to test these yet - don't have alpha access. However with the idea that the enemy may stop what they are doing to stop you etc - my only concern is if the enemy AI is a little bit "Mary Sue" How do they know what you are doing? Do they send a scout out (that you could kill) do they "look over the ridge" - or do they simply look in the code to see what their enemy is doing in a way that we could not do for them?
  1. grexly75's Avatar
    I find it funny how people want something new to do in game, Blizzard try something new and get shat on by the community for their troubles. Almost makes one wonder why they keep bothering supporting WoW.
  1. MasterHamster's Avatar
    Has a lot of potential, but Blizzard has to put their perfectionism aside and let things go a bit crazy. Then this will be fun and replayable.
  1. rosso's Avatar
    Hey look ! Armchair Devs on MMO C that already knows the how things will develop after 10 minutes of video and 0 actual test.


    What a surprise
  1. Sails's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Juther View Post
    Forgive me for the stupid question, but the PvP Mode means vs Real Players?
    Yeah like a micro battleground one would assume
  1. Grimalkin of Old's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rosso View Post
    Hey look ! Armchair Devs on MMO C that already knows the how things will develop after 10 minutes of video and 0 actual test.


    What a surprise
    Given we're talking about Blizzard here, the average Joe could make that prediction with 0 minutes of video and 0 actual test.
    But hold that thought, we'll get back to you after 6 months.
  1. Justpassing's Avatar
    Dynamic Replayability
    The team wants Islands to be a unique experience every time you queue up for one. There are countless different themes, enemies and environments you can come across and it's random each time you start one.
    Is it me or did they say pretty much the same about WQs? I don't buy it.
  1. Juther's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sails View Post
    Yeah like a micro battleground one would assume
    OMG O_O

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