Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz about BATTLE FOR AZEROTH, WoW’s upcoming expansion. With the announcement of the Warfront system, there’s certainly a lot to be excited about.

Warfronts are large scale PvE events taking place on various battlefields across Azeroth. Calling back to the original RTS games, Warfronts allow players to command forces, gather resources, and conquer territory in the name of their faction. These battles will only activate when players gather enough resources to assault the enemy base. Once someone wins, their victory will have a lasting effect on the zone until the battle reignites sometime later.

So far, we’ve only seen one Warfront, a battle for the city of Stromgarde in the Arathi Highlands. We still don’t know what additional Warfronts will be like, how their gameplay will differ, or how often each will be active.

But, Warfronts are more than just another set of battles to fight. They’re an opportunity to create a dynamic world and continue stories that have long been forgotten in locations that have long been abandoned. Ever since they were announced, the community has been speculating about upcoming Warfronts, and so have we.

So here’s a list of the Warfronts we want to see in BATTLE FOR AZEROTH. What’s the lore behind these zones? Why did we pick them? Well, let’s take a look!

Southern Barrens

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Originally settled by the Tauren, The Barrens are the center of The Horde’s economy and home to the most important trade route in Kalimdor. For years, it was also the only line of trade and diplomacy between the Orcs and the Humans of Theramore, a colonist city-state in the Dustwallow Marsh.

But ever since the war began in Cataclysm, the Alliance has been dead-set on taking the Barrens from the Horde. The Alliance made significant gains in the south, only for the Horde to push them back. This culminated with the destruction of Theramore, wiping the only human city on Kalimdor off the face of the map. Recently, the Alliance forces have retreated into Northwatch Hold, a massive fortress on the coast.

There’s been speculation that a Southern Barrens Warfront is already in the works. Here’s how it could go down.

Warfront Scenario

The Southern Barrens have been under Alliance assault for too long. The horde has fortified Desolation Hold in an attempt to take their land back. Meanwhile, The Alliance has expanded Northwatch Hold, pushing their forces both north and south in an attempt to split the Horde’s forces in two. With Northwatch gaining reinforcements from the sea, the only solution is to take the entire keep for The Horde.

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The only problem with this scenario is the general layout of the map. Northwatch is just over the border in the Northern Barrens, and there’s a mountain-range blocking it from the south. Blizzard could fix this by blowing a hole through the mountains and adding Northwatch to the Southern Barrens’ map. It’ll take some extra work, but I think a Barrens Warfront would definitely need to involve Northwatch in some way, even if the fighting is centered in the south.

Ashenvale

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Ashenvale is the center of Alliance-Horde conflict in Kalimdor. Since Warcraft III, the Orcs and Night Elves have battled over this ancient forest. The Orcs, living in a barren desert, desire Ashenvale’s food and lumber. The Night Elves, meanwhile, object to the Orc’s invasion of their sovereign territory and view the forest as sacred. At one point, the Orc’s believed Ashenvale’s conquest was so important that they planned on building a city there to rival Orgrimmar.

Eventually, a compromise was reached where The Horde would completely pull out of Ashenvale if the Night Elves granted them the land of Azshara. With the war back on, however, there’s never been a better time for the Orcs to continue their war for the forest.

Warfront Scenario

With the Night Elves in disarray after the destruction of Teldrassil, the Orcs have doubled their efforts to conquer Ashenvale. Expanding Splintertree Post into a small city, they plan on creating a fortress between the Night Elves and the Warsong lumber camps. Meanwhile, the island where Astranaar stood has been fully militarized since the Horde’s attack and serves as the front line for Alliance forces.

Grizzly Hills

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But why focus solely on vanilla zones? Ever since we defeated The Lich King, I’ve been wondering what’s been going on in Northrend. With The Scourge pushed back, it only makes sense for the Horde and Alliance to expand their holdings up there.

In particular, Grizzly Hills is ripe for colonization. Unlike most of Northrend, it’s mild climate and fresh water make it perfect for settlement. But it’s not just a beautiful vacation spot. The Grizzly Hills are full of valuable resources that any nation would need. There’s lumber, game, and magical nuts known as amberseeds that can feed many more people than their size suggests. Considering the food and lumber shortages plaguing the Horde, you’d think they would’ve taken the land long ago.

Warfront Scenario

With The Scourge contained to Icecrown, both The Alliance and The Horde race to colonize Northrend. The Grizzly Hills, with its temperate climate and plentiful lumber, has become the front line of this conflict. While the Alliance seeks help from the local trappers, the Horde recruits the remnants of the Drakkari Empire. Whoever wins will see their allies expand across the landscape, transforming Grizzly Hills into either a haven for the Ice Trolls or a stronghold for the Humans.

Blackrock Mountain

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Blackrock Mountain is one of the most important places in Warcraft history. It was the center-point of the War Of Three Hammers as well as the headquarters of the original Horde.

In recent history, Blackrock has been divided between hostile Orcs in the upper spires, and Dark Iron Dwarves in the lower depths. In WoW, Blackrock is the site of numerous dungeons and raids. As a result, it’s also been a central area for Alliance-Horde conflict. In the early days of WoW, players would have to be careful when exploring Blackrock, for fear of an enemy player ambushing them the moment they let their guard down.

Putting a Warfront here would be a celebration of these nostalgic memories and a logical continuation of the zone’s story.

Warfront Scenario

With remnants of the Ironmarch joining the Horde, they now have a foothold on Blackrock Mountain. The Dark Irons, however, aren’t willing to give up their home. Queen-Regent Moira calls for The Alliance’s aid in defending her nation, while the Horde seeks to use the mountain as an impenetrable fortress against their enemies.

Stranglethorn Vale

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Home of Jungle Trolls, pirates, and exotic beasts, Stranglethorn Vale has always been a popular location. It’s also right on the border with the Kingdom of Stormwind and a potential foothold for the Horde war machine.

Many years ago, the Darkspear Trolls were driven out of Stranglethorn by their rivals. Since befriending The Horde they’ve quickly risen to prominence, becoming one of the most powerful tribes in the world. Since the destruction of their empire, the jungle trolls have been in a constant state of chaos. Who better to lead them than the Darkspears?

Warfront Scenario

The Darkspear Tribe is rebuilding Zul’Gurub, the ancient capital of the Jungle Trolls. The Humans of Stormwind can’t afford a united troll nation on their doorstep and have resolved to stop this project before it’s too late. Taking Zul’Gurub for The Alliance will provide Stormwind with a fortified stronghold on its southern border. If the Horde controls the city, the various jungle tribes will unite under a single banner.

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The Power Of Warfronts

WoW’s biggest problem is its static nature. Because of the leveling experience, there’s rarely a reason to go back to a previous zone. This has led to numerous regions falling by the wayside, their stories left unfinished. Their potential is wasted as players “level out” and move on.

With Warfronts, Blizzard has the opportunity to expand the story and gameplay in an organic, dynamic way. There are so many nooks and crannies on Azeroth, full of depth and opportunity. We can only hope Blizzard sees the power in this system and utilizes it to its full potential.

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