World Of Warcraft's New Warfronts Aren't Great, But The Loot Is Nice

Such a photogenic horse.

Introduced in last week’s update, Warfronts are a new feature in World of Warcraft’s Battle for Azeroth expansion. They’re large-scale battles reminiscent of the original Warcraft series’ real-time strategy battles. They’re only exciting for about an hour, but look at my new horse and armour. So good.

Warfronts—or should I say Warfront as there is currently only one in the game—are an interesting idea. Teams of 20 players enter a specially redesigned zone (the vast Arathi Highlands, in this case), capturing resource locations and harvesting them in order to bolster their forces.

The goal is to grow strong enough to take on the computer-controlled enemy commander. Defeat them, and the zone and its riches are your faction’s to harvest. Don’t worry, it only takes around a half hour, tops. Check it out.

I’m sharing Noone182's video of the event, because I currently don’t have a Horde character who meets the level 120 requirement for the instanced event, and this business is on a lengthy timer.

Here’s how the current Warfront, The Battle for Stormgarde, plays out. The Alliance side begins with control of the Arathi Highlands zone.

From their base in Stormgarde Keep, players embark on quests for equipment and war resources. Boss creatures are scattered about the zone, dropping powerful armour and weapons, as well as the odd toys, mounts and pets. There’s a world quest that involves players taking on a siege tank. All of this can be completed once per possession of the zone.

Meanwhile, the Horde side is kept busy participating in gathering quests, providing resources and crafting items for their war effort. It’s a region-wide event in which everyone eligible can participate.

Once enough resources are gathered—in this first instance it took five days—Horde players have seven days to queue up for the scenario seen in the video above, which rewards them a nice piece of equipment. After that seven days is up, the Horde gets control of the zone, and the Alliance starts gathering resources.

The Alliance has control, at least for the next three days, 22 hours.

Given the timers and such, control of Arathi Highlands should change hands every two weeks. That’s a long time to do nothing, really. Farming the bosses and completing the handful of quests given out by the Alliance leader while in control of the zone took about two hours, maybe three.

There’s no reason to return when you’re done. And there’s really no reason to do the scenario more than once every couple of weeks. But there are plenty of reasons to do it all at least once.

Like level 340 to 370 (or more) armour and weapons. Both factions have their sets. The Alliance’s is white, blue and gold. Very tasteful. Between quests and boss mob drops, I’ve already gathered five pieces.

Considering how unlikely it is I’ll be doing mythic dungeons, this is likely some of the best gear I am going to get.

Have you met my little bird friend? His name is Ragepeep. He’s an owlbear, and I love him. He popped out of an egg after I killed a boss that looked a lot like him, only about ten times his size. Cute!

There’s a brazier on my head! This is what WoW calls a “toy.” Kids, don’t put braziers on your head.

What I am trying to say here is the new Warfront is a great way to get stuff. It’s also a great way to hear people shouting, “NO THE BOSSES DON’T RESET EVERY WEEK,” which is something many people in the zone are curious about. Get in there, get your stuff, and get out.

The world quest boss. Get him while everyone else is.

I was hoping for more than a quick battle and what’s essentially World of Warcraft’s version of a boss rush mode. But hey, easily obtainable gear is always a good thing. I’m on a horse.


Comments

    Warfronts are utterly crap. Pretty much everything new to BFA that they've introduced is crap, boring or downright bad game design. Only the systems they've carried over from Legion are still decent - namely raids and M+.

    Blizzard have really dropped the ball on this one, reddit is full of complaints every day. Sub numbers will be taking a large dive, it's WoD all over again.

    Would be keen to read an in depth article from Kotaku highlighting the issues that a lot of the player base has with BFA. Might be nice for Blizz to read some negative publicity for once, especially if it's laid out in an informative, constructive manner rather than people raging on reddit/forums.

      I got back into wow with legion and played it heaps over a few months, absolutely loved it. This xpac though I honestly struggled to push myself to get to the new cap then lost all interest. The zones are great, but it's still been there done that kinda thing.

      I spammed warfronts for a few hours on my main since I was getting a piece of gear at the end of each that was usually an upgrade. However, they're boring as hell. Mostly because they play out exactly the same every time. Spawn, kill alliance elite holding the horde base. Run to mine, kill that elite and gather some iron. Run back and kill the elite at the lumber mill, gather some wood. Then do a loop killing the elite at each alliance held base before pounding the alliance commander.

      Now you could argue that most of WOW is repetitive and could be broken down similarly. But I think where the problem really stands out is that 99% of the time you're not actually getting anything for your actions. In a dungeon or on a quest you kill a mob you get a bit of gold, maybe some vendor trash and if you're lucky some greens/blues/epics. But in a warfront you literally only get one item at the end after 20+ minutes of stuffing about.

      Island expeditions and Mythic+ (in my opinion) suffer this same problem. I'd much rather see a system where you have more small drops along the way. And I don't mean ore/wood or other stuff that's *only* usable in that particular instance. I mean actual stuff you get to keep, even if it's just a bit of gold or the odd random green. Hell, considering they have a mine it'd be a perfect opportunity to put some actual crafting reagents in as drops. Give a small chance of getting ore or gems when you kill the commander in the mine.

      I know that in theory you can get mounts and pets from expeditions or warfronts but I have not seen any nor have my guildies. So it's hard to maintain interest when the only "bonus" stuff that drops doesn't seem to be dropping anyway.

        I disagree about Mythic + but I agree on the rest of the content - it's dull. The expeditions have had their drop rates increased, no idea how rare the stuff is now...I'm probably never going to bother to do another one again.

          The expedition droprates are much higher. I did a few with guildies and we got stuff from practically every one. Something like three pets and a couple pieces of armour (310 greens). Not amazing, but nice to actually get something.

          The problem I have with Mythic+ is that you can do it and basically get nothing but a keystone to do more of them. You also end up with people who only want a specific dungeon because it drops the shield they need. Or people who refuse to run another dungeon because it doesn't drop *any* weapons at all. I don't mind varied loot but it's frustrating getting a key and no one wants to run it because "it's the dungeon with shit loot".

          And that's before you get to the problems with mechanics and classes. Hey this fight needs to have interrupts spammed on rotation. What's that your DPS have a one minute CD on their interrupt, better kick them and get a rogue in instead.

            I've been running Mythic + every week for over 2 years now....the key is running with a consistent group each week. Treat it like a 5 man raid night. Right now competitive players want to do more (I ran 20 M+ runs myself this week) so that kind of skews the intent behind it. In general you only need to run the max level key per week and maybe a few more but the end of dungeon loot isn't the priority, it's the weekly cache.

            In terms of your issues with people not wanting to run something because "it doesn't have their weapon" that sounds more like a selfishness of guildies problem...people preferring one dungeon over another due to drops has existed for as long as dungeons have been a thing. M+ hasn't changed that.

            In terms of interrupts...all tanks have a short interrupt CD. The worst interrupt timing works out so that it's 1-2 sec shorter than the tank interrupt timer (source: I tank a lot, it frustrates me I can't hit every interrupt). Having the 3 dps of the group fill in every other interrupt around the tank works out fine regardless of classes. In other cases there's longer between the casts and the tank can get all of them - like on last boss of Atal'Dazar.

            Edit: A tip if you're stuck with a key you can't run is to delete it. The next mythic you run will give you a new key that's 1 level lower than the highest you've done that week. I've done that a few times with underrot keys already because I just hate running that place (literally any other dungeon is fine) and have also done it to get a higher level key when I've helped push someone else's higher and mine is stuck at a 5 etc.

            Last edited 18/09/18 1:50 pm

              See there are some problems with that. You can't force guildies to do stuff, it's as selfish as them not wanting to do a run. Most guilds have two main tanks who get hammered with "tank this mythic" requests and a few others who either have a tank offspec or alts that are decent. So it can be difficult to actually get groups running. And of course there are similar problems with healers. And of course then you get the guild groups that decide to sell runs so they're not interested in actually doing guild runs since it's a profit loss.

              The loot from the cache at the end of the week is part of the problem. "I've done a ten, I'll get my loot in a few days so I don't want to run anymore". And honestly, it's a nice bonus, but it's much nicer to get the loot when you're doing it, not a week later. Delayed gratification can go to hell. Especially when you get the piece from the cache and "oh it's the same piece I already have..."

              As for the interrupts, doesn't matter how they stagger them in the fight, if you had the choice between a class with spammable interrupts or a single interrupt once a minute which would you pick (given other things were equal). Or a class with bloodlust, or a class with a buff like AI/Fort and so on.

              And pugging the mythics... jesus. Did a M2 last night which was a wipeathon because the healer struggled with mana and the tank absolutely wouldn't stop when the guy said OOM. Hell at one point two DPS were dead and the healer oom and he still kept pulling mobs. It's such a crapshoot whether you get a decent group or an awful one.

                You seem to have changed the point of what I was commenting on, likely due to the gap in making comments.

                Your first point about selfishness was people only wanting to run 1 dungeon due to loot which is what I was commenting on. In terms of tanks getting hammered with requests, not having enough alt/off spec etc...that comes down to a guild structure/management problem...if it's a problem at all. Depending on how seriously your guild raids they will either care or not care that people do M+. If they want people to run it then they need to have a structure in place to make it happen. My guild currently has 4 set M+ groups (small raid team of 20, still building up) and everyone is assigned to a group. Before we had numbers for 4 full groups the "4th group" had the remaining spots filled with subs.

                Doing it that way also allows for flexibility if people are away. We have 5 people capable of tanking in raids and 5 capable of healing them. We're also still a very casual guild but working towards more serious progression in a controlled manner...hence the build to a 4th M+ group, a 5th will come eventually.

                On interrupts - I was replying to you talking about mechanics that need interrupts spammed. I regularly play with a warlock or moonkin or both in a group and have no problems with interrupts...guild groups work around it, pugs are another case.

                Which brings me to your comment about the +2 pug...I don't pug any runs as a general rule. I've never had a good M+ pug run and it has turned me off ever trying to pug them again. M+ works best running with a regular 5 person team so you don't have to go over who does what every time...you know your role for the dungeon and each pull before you walk in and just get to it.

                  Probably a bit all over the place because there are a lot of issues.

                  It's great that your guild has four teams that run all the time and it goes smoothly. My guild is not like that. We're 2/8 Mythic and have over 20 raiders. The guild has also been around for 10+ years with a core group and other people coming and going. As such you wind up with a couple groups of five (much like you talk about) that basically do everything together and then a batch of other people who scrabble to get a run. You also get people who either don't care about mythic+ at all so never run it and people who are mad about it (even selling clears).

                  As a result it's actually difficult to get good, regular, reliable guild runs in M+. Especially when you think about it and realise the tanks and healers have already had multiple days of raiding then they're doing their own m+ groups, then they have the "leftovers" begging for M+ as well. I'd love to not have to pug, it's almost always better to do a guild run but sadly for a lot of people that just isn't an option.

    Awww, I read it as WarFonts, and was expecting an article about the typography of WoW.

    My dream remains unfulfilled.

    Every time I see a BFA article I feel like I dodged a bullet when I ended up cancelling the preorder I made when I got a random, overwhelming urge to get back into WoW after 5+ years...

    They could have used the Warfront scenarios as raids with groups having to clear bosses, etc... But instead we got uninteresting, underwhelming scenarios that are more tedious busy work than actually doing anything meaningful.

    Nothing like having your characters who've killed gods having to go cut down trees with the peons.

      This is something that bugs me from a different perspective. I have no problem with the idea of some heroes going to cut down trees. But they screwed it up when they put a 320 ilvl requirement in. It made sense when you had some people with shit gear (I got in on my hunter alt at about 280 ilvl before they changed it). Let the people with shit gear go do some busy work while the better geared people kill the enemies. Ironically I actually felt better doing that on my hunter than my main who was about 335, since I felt like I was contributing and freeing up the better geared people.

      They could have done some clever matching algorithms and tried to balance out ilvl a bit too. Just so you didn't get a raid with 20 people decked out in full raiding gear or alternatively 20 people in lousy greens who'd just dinged 120.

        Oh and I'd prefer for the gathering to be more about keeping the peons alive while they gather rather than us doing the gathering.

        If they'd really wanted to make us gather resources then a better approach might have been like the Legion scenarios that made you a different character. When you spawn in a warfront it could randomly assign players as peons, grunts, axe throwers, healers and tanks with warfront specific abilities instead of our usual ones. Make it a genuinely different mini-game.

      We already have raids/LFR as a "scenario" where people go and fight raid bosses.

      Warfronts are just a poorly executed idea that's going to die out pretty fast. They're planning to introduce more warfronts over time that will all be up an running through their cycles...and it will be largely ignored by the players as irrelevant. It'll be used to gear alts for a bit...but think down the line to next raid tier and 340ilvl is pointless.

        It seems likely that warfront gear will scale over time. Once we have higher raid ilvls I suspect we'll see higher warfront gear too. And heck it can already warforge. At least one friend jagged a socketed 370 ilvl weapon from a warfront. So that's already matching (unwarforged) heroic Uldir loot.

        As to whether it dies out, that depends on the quality of the new warfronts. If they come up with some interesting gameplay or great rewards then people will do them. Heck the gameplay could be boring and awful just as long as the rewards are good enough.

    So Far as an alliance only player, BFA is has been a complete and utter failure that i would put as being worse than WoD because even in WoD, the questing was fucking brilliant, yet in BFA there is only one decent zone and that is Drustvar. Stormsong and Tirguarde Sound as fucking boring and have no coheasion when it comes to the main plot of each Zone.

    The dungeons are ok but have way to much annoying trash to deal with to the point that the trash is worse than the bosses. I havent touched the raid, but then again as an alliance only player i have no reason to even do it because we get absolutely nothing telling us about it even when we hit 120. our War campaign doesnt tell us anything about it. Add the fact that traveling between the islands is also a pain in the arse.

    Island Expeditions are total failure with the so called Ai being easier than Unreal Tournament easiest bot Ai and they also have server rubber banding to the point that unless you have someone sit at the ship to just farm the Ai, the Ai will always magically get a massive heap of azerite to stay on pace with your team

      I agree about expeditions being crap but the AI don't seem to get that many free resources. I've beaten them by 4k+ azerite on multiple occasions....if you keep them busy by dragging mobs onto them or farm out stuff faster or focus on the areas that have the most azerite you zoom ahead of them pretty fast.

    I liked Warfronts. Few things that would make it better would be if it shared around raid assist so it was easier to mark groups or set way points, but i like the fact you have to communicate. Some groups dont say anything and run around. Ive taken the libety and barked orders around the place and usually get the job done in 10-15 minutes. If you have someone delegating jobs and calling inc's it is alot more fun than, im gunna go cut trees and whistle back to base. Knowing how bad the lag is in there in there though i wish it tried to server match players with OCE realms before it just added anyone from NA in there.

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