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World of Warcraft's New Island Expeditions Let You Fit a Raid During a Lunch Break

World of Warcraft's New Island Expeditions Let You Fit a Raid During a Lunch Break

Posted time: Apr 26,2018


Later in August this year, the Battle for Azeroth will surely bring long-term World of Warcraft players back into the grind when it launches. It is expected that when folks pull all-nighters as they feverishly consume quest content and start pushing towards Raid progression and Mythic-level dungeons.

Interestingly, Blizzard have added a new mode that allows people who can only spare minutes at a time to visit Azeroth. And the Battle for Azeroth will blur the lines between the Horde and the Alliance.

Island Expeditions are a new feature of the Battle for Azeroth which sees two teams of three go head-to-head to collect the most Azerite (a magical resource that emerged when the world was stabbed with a very large sword).

They work like this: Players line up to join the scene, pick a difficulty, and whether they want to compete against another team that is controlled by humans - if not, AI-controlled opponents will roam the battlefield. Dropping anchor off the coast of one of several islands - selected randomly - teams race to collect 6000 pieces of Azerite before their opponents. These can be obtained by looting treasure, killing monsters, and downing bosses.

With the exhaustion of the Azerite nodes, the teams will naturally bring into conflict with each other - fighting over the last scraps. But what's even more exciting is the dramatic changes that have brought about late in the game - environmental influences that increased the stakes and put powerful bosses into a mix. In the rounds I played, fire elementals caused volcanoes to burst out of the sands, shooting molten rocks around the most lucrative resource nodes. The burning passage seemed to send the players into an underground cavern, where turns out to be that an Elemental Lord awaited to test their mettle.

What's the best is that all this only takes half an hour at most. The beauty of Island Expeditions is that they condense the entire experience of playing World of Warcraft into a bite-sized piece - something that can be done during a lunch break. Boss fights are simpler than their top Raid counterparts, and PvP will encounter the last few seconds at most - usually, that would be frowned upon, but in this instance that short time to kill is great. Not everyone has enough time to spend entire night banging their heads against a single progression fight.

There is still room to work things out. The current maps gallery may be easily wear out its welcome. The strategies have never truly break away from circling the map as soon as possible, killing everything in your path. 

But these short, team-based activities are a good complement to WoW's catalogue. The Blizzard's line-up is full of brief and interesting experiences. From finding room for a few rounds of Hearthstone, to checking out the new Overwatch Brawl, there is plenty to fit into a half-hour lunch break.

So far, World of Warcraft has not really integrated into that space. In the long run, bringing together the perfect Rated Battleground team, or grinding out progression raids to take on colossal, endgame bosses, might be more rewarding, but it takes hours of commitment. But World of Warcraft is an old game with a broad and maturing player base. Many people do not have enough time to keep up with the content cycle. Island Expeditions give those people the opportunity to experience World of Warcraft in a more manageable chunks. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get enough wow gold ready now and then join the Island Expeditions during your lunch break!

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