Want to know everything there is to know about World of Warcraft expansions? Here we have a complete list of all the WOW expansions ordered by release date, along with a brief overview of each expansion.
Its launch in 2004 has led it to become the industry’s most popular MMO(Massively Multiplayer Online game). There has never been a more direct route to the game’s wonderful community with its outstanding level design, quests, and action-packed gameplay. It also includes a large amount of content, so players can explore the game world for a long period of time without losing track of what they have seen.
It became apparent very quickly that the world could be expanded and provide a better experience for players despite the game’s having plenty of content, to begin with. Because of this, Blizzard has launched a series of expansion packs in recent years, giving players another reason to keep playing.
Throughout this post, we will go over every expansion in order and discuss what each expansion has added to the game.
1. World of Warcraft (2004)
These versions of the game are not expansion packs but the base versions. All the components needed for the game’s play are present in this version. As a result, gamers possessed a way to pay via a monthly subscription as long as they owned the base pack.
A physical CD was originally distributed with the base pack, but its physical version could be purchased online. In the game, players take part in the world of Azeroth, made as a sequel to the Warcraft games previously released by the company. World of Warcraft’s main difference with Warcraft would be gameplay—Warcraft was a Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game, while World of Warcraft is an MMO game in which players can explore the world and create characters to customize their experience.
Despite being the foundation for the game, it can only last for a limited time. The base pack will no longer be considered a separate commercial product because players can access all existing expansions except for Battle of Azeroth immediately by paying $15 per month via their online subscription. This means that the base pack will no longer be considered separate from the rest of the game.
2. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade (2007)
Among the many new features introduced in Burning Crusade, the first official expansion pack to the franchise, players now have endless means to expand the universe and increase their motivation to play the entire game again. By adding more playable races, Blizzard could not only add to the replayability value of the universe by adding more race options but also attract new players by providing an opportunity that players of previously unplayable races find appealing. Due to this, the Alliance added the Draenei and Blood Elves, two new races to the mix.
As a result of both classes being added to the game’s mythology, new cultures have now been incorporated into the game’s mythology. They had another advantage related to their class, as the Blood Elves were shamans, a class previously limited to the Alliance, and the Dranei were paladins.
Also, an advantage of this expansion pack was the addition of the PvP system. Not only were new Battlegrounds, including the new Eye of the Storm, added, but there was also a completely new Battle System that focused on small team battles among up to five players.
Aside from adding the storylines and quests to the game, the Burning Crusade would also provide the framework for World of Warcraft’s remaining expansions. Some new quests could only be accessed through the new races. It was this mythical army that set in motion the storyline of the expansion that gave the expansion pack its name, the “Burning Legion.”
3. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (2008)
At the time of its original release in 2008, Wrath of the Lich King was the only title with a level cap of 70 but with a limit of 80, allowing for even more training possibilities.
With the introduction of Death Knights, the first “hero class” in the franchise, in addition to raising the level cap, Blizzard made the gameplay even more complex. As a hero, you can begin at level 1, something previously regarded as impossible. The death knight class was an exception since it is eulogized both as heroes of the Alliance and the Horde who are now dead.
It was revealed later that they were summoned by the titular Lich King in order to add more options for the combatants of the game. A new continent called Northrend was also added to the map.
4. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (2010)
Just as with previous expansions, Cataclysm increased the game’s level cap again – but this time by only 5 levels, from 80 to 85. A number of new quests and gameplay features were introduced to this expansion as well as redesigned areas in Azeroth. Multiple mini-quests have also been added for even deeper immersion into this new world.
There was a new raid and dungeon added, allowing players to engage in multiplayer co-op combat. Two new races were added, specifically the Worgens to the Alliance side and the Goblins to the Horde side.
A popular movie character from Warcraft appeared in Warcraft III as a result of the Game’s history, specifically Deathwing the Destroyer. Don’t forget, the latest game will be part of the Cataclysm that is causing havoc throughout the universe.
5. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (2012)
Besides creating a new class (the monk) and a new race (the Pandaren), Mists of Pandaria will also add a new class called a rogue. It is interesting to learn that the Pandaren origins go back to a comics creator in Warcraft III. They were the result of a designer making character designs for Warcraft III on April Fool’s Day, in order to introduce something silly in the game.
The character would go on to become a part of the in-game world, eventually making its way into World of Warcraft discussions. Pandarens are unique in that they do not necessarily make an alliance with either the Horde or Alliance from the beginning, though players are given the option to pick between the two.
In addition to that, challenge modes were also introduced to the game, a prospect that encouraged players to complete dungeons as fast as possible in order to gain awards, medals, and other prizes. With the release of the Pet Battle System, unique addition to the game, pets previously forbidden to engage in battle can now engage in battle with each other in battle via the in-game Pet Battle System.
With the introduction of an updated class system for pets, players can now further personalize their experiences. The level cap was also increased from 51 to 90.
6. World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (2014)
Game level caps were officially increased to 100 with Warlords of Draenor, allowing players to use even more power and abilities. A lot of new detail was also added to the game, including facial expressions and animations, an innovative feature that enhanced the overall game.
The expansion packs, however, were not as plentiful as those in other models. There were still lots of improvements to the roster, however. A tougher raid difficulty was introduced alongside customizable garrisons that now allowed users to make their own.
7. World of Warcraft: Legion (2016)
Blizzard’s release of Legion meant that players could level up to 110; 110 is the level where the current standard base has remained since Blizzard’s announcement that previous expansions would no longer be charged for. There was also a lot more that was added for this expansion, such as different raid tiers and PvP abilities, and it resulted in a more balanced riding experience.
The world hadn’t seen Demon Hunters since the much older Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack, but perhaps this new hero class is the most significant addition to the game through this expansion.
Previously, players had to proceed from level 1 because of the prequel storyline (which was released before the current game) and be introduced to the universe at 98. In addition to being more challenging, the new Mythic Plus dungeon difficulty enabled players to receive more attainable rewards.
8. World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth (2018)
The only expansion pack remaining for the game in Battle for Azeroth, which is the latest expansion pack. New features include an increased level cap of 120 and the addition of two new continents. An interesting design addition to the game is the inclusion of allied races, which previously belonged to only one faction, and can now join both factions.
A player will commonly encounter this when they complete quest chains through the storyline, after which they can enlist the help of races that had exiled themselves or defected to other factions.
As for the game’s system requirements, they have also increased slightly, though most gamers should be able to handle it with a budget gaming PC as well. They should, however, discuss higher-end gaming PCs with stronger CPUs if they’re doing raids.
Which World of Warcraft Expansion is Your Favorite?
World of Warcraft is one of the most expansive online games ever made, offering players a huge universe to discover. Because of the nature of the game, it has achieved such popularity, as players are limited only by their imagination. Through expansion packs, Blizzard has enhanced the scope of their franchise by allowing users to immerse themselves in a dynamic and evolving world that transpires in real-time.
What makes it such a special game is it enables players to live another experience, have new challenges, and make friends they never would meet offline. In doing so, Blizzard has redefined what it means to create a videogame. Instead of creating any videogame based on fantasy, they have created a real-world world with nuance like no real one. With the expansion packs added on top of the base game, a truly unique experience was created.