Blizzard announced the release of “Battle for Azeroth,” the seventh expansion for “World of Warcraft,” in November of 2017. On January 31st, pre-orders for “Battle” went live.
The pre-order proved so popular that Blizzard’s store and servers couldn’t keep up with the demand. Users faced queues in the thousands, with estimated purchase times as high as 30 hours. The log-in servers couldn’t handle the interest, either. Users found themselves unable to log in to the game for hours. When they finally could log on, some or all of their playable characters were missing or failed to load.
Even after the initial issues were resolved, some lingered. The wait times for paid services, such as character boosts and server transfers, were unusually long. Services that typically take minutes instead took more than a day to process.
Despite the blips in the expansion’s pre-order launch, Blizzard must be happy with the community’s overwhelming response. It shows that while “World of Warcraft” is nearly 14 years old now, it’s still going strong, with a vibrant, enthusiastic player base.
By pre-ordering the expansion, players who have finished certain achievements gain immediate access to some of the new features. There are brand-new playable “allied races,” with the promise of more to come later in the expansion. For new players, the leveling experience has been completely revamped. Everyone who pre-orders also receives a free boost to put one character at level 110, the current maximum — a service that costs around $60 USD.
“WoW” players have two options for pre-ordering “Battle for Azeroth.” There is a standard edition, which retails for $50. This version includes the expansion and the character boost. Players can also purchase the digital deluxe version. Along with the character boost, the deluxe version includes a new pet and two new faction-specific mounts. Additionally, those who play Overwatch, Hearthstone, Starcraft II and Heroes of the Storm will receive goodies for those games.
There’s no release date for “Battle for Azeroth” yet but Blizzard claims it will be out summer 2018.