This post contains no lore spoilers.
What are Island Expeditions?
Battle for Azeroth (BfA) is bringing something I’ve missed from the Mists of Pandaria (MoP) expansion. Island Expeditions. These are 3-player scenarios with no role restrictions, meaning there are mechanics in place in the form of consumables or buffs to either do more damage, heal or control the field. You can even do some healing as a Mage if you have the right buff. This makes it so much more interesting to play with and to see what sort of mechanics there will be to deal with.
High replay value in an MMO is important. If there is little to no value in repeatedly doing something, there’s no use in doing it. This is what Blizzard are trying to address with Island Expeditions. What I like about them is how they will be ‘randomly generated’. Your first run will likely be different to your tenth. Differences can range between creatures, weather effects and hazards, quests, start locations, entirely different zones (think Legion Invasion Portals on a bigger scale) and more! This will definitely make them less boring as you do more of them, which is a problem after a few dungeon and raid runs.
The latest alpha build for BfA showcases some Island Expedition content. Take a look at a preview from MMO-Champion. This is on Normal mode with characters scaled to level 120.
Improved NPC behaviour and Difficulty Modes
Perhaps the better part of the feature is the improved NPC behaviour, which would be nice to see what they’ve done under the hood. Enemy NPCs will be prioritising weaker players and capitalising on stuns, interrupts and other tricks they have up their sleeves, which will be a lot of fun! While it isn’t going to be as dynamic as PvP, it’s a big step up.
Unlike MoP scenarios, ontop of the behaviour improvements, there will be two additional difficulty modes. Normal, Heroic, Mythic and PvP. While Blizzard have been criticised (which they do for anything nowadays) for having so many difficulty modes for raids, I think for expeditions, it’s a fine idea. It’s supposed to be more accessible than raiding, and it’ll support players who want to progress from Normal through Mythic, or even PvP. My one worry is that it’ll be too easy to outgear and stomp them. But it’s still early days.
Various Rewards will be…Awarded
Now as I mentioned earlier, there has to be some form of reward as an incentive. Moving through difficulty modes alone isn’t enough. This hasn’t been ironed out yet, but potential rewards include unique mounts, toys, azerite and more.
I loved the MoP scenarios, so I’m very excited to get into these Island Expeditions. What are your thoughts so far on them?