An Overview of World of Warcraft: The Battle for Azeroth’s Island Expeditions
A new feature in World of Warcraft’s expansion, ‘The Battle for Azeroth’, Island expeditions pit three players against three realistic AI players in a race to gather Azerite. Treasure is also scattered about the islands, giving more rewards than the crystals. Each island is randomly generated with varying amounts of creatures, nodes, NPCs, and more populating it. Even if you’ve been to the island before, the experience is different due to this. There are no restrictions on parties for Island Expeditions. That means you and your friends can come as three healers or three tanks if you want.
The AI is new to the expansion and has three difficulties, Normal, Heroic, and Mythic. As such, it will mimic the behavior of players more, averting the usual AI stupidity and curbing their Leeroy Jenkins tendencies. Expect more of a challenge on higher difficulties. A PvP option is also available for those wanting to play against real players.
In More Detail
Island Expeditions feature a Horde vs Alliance race to gather 6,000 pieces of Azerite. Many actions can reward the resource, such as killing enemies or finding chunks of it scattered about. The chunks need some time to be retrieved, giving enemies half a chance to swoop in and steal what you’re trying to protect from mobs.
There are Rare Elite NPCs around as well. They are more powerful than the usual creatures populating the island, however, they reward more Azerite over time. Similar to those, enemy players are also worth more the longer they’re alive.
Sometimes Elemental Storms will spawn, which increases the amount of the coveted crystals you can gather. However, it may also spawn many powerful creatures. Other times, an elemental portal might appear which opens a lair of an Elemental Boss that rewards the precious resource upon defeat. Chests in the lair also contain more of the same, so don’t let the chance pass you by.
Lastly, players may encounter various unique objects that can be used on other things within the island. There could be a shovel for digging at dirt piles or keys to unlock cages to free friendly NPCs. These actions may reward you with more than just the crystals you’re supposed to collect.
There are six encounterable NPC expedition teams from the opposing faction of your character. They usually have a racial theme, but there are a few that have multiple races. Alliance characters might even encounter one Horde team that includes ‘Sneaky Pete’, a Horde champion. Likewise, Horde characters might encounter a team with ‘”Stabby” Lottie’.
On the docks where you start your expedition, there are some vendors selling consumables intended to help you gather Azerite faster or hinder your enemies. However, they require the use of the Seafarer’s Dubloon, a currency gained during expeditions, instead of the usual WoW gold.
Please note that the expansion (and through transitivity, this feature) is still in alpha at the time of writing, so not all the information here might be accurate later. Follow official channels for more information on this feature such as more potential rewards. Look forward to the expansion!
Continue enjoying World of Warcraft!