World of Warcraft: The War Within Overview and FAQ – Features, trailers, new zones, everything you need to know

World of Warcraft: The War Within
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Blizzard Entertainment dropped several major bombshell announcements for World of Warcraft at Blizzcon 2023. Not only will World of Warcraft: Classic be receiving the Cataclysm expansion in the form of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Classic, but World of Warcraft will be receiving THREE major expansions in the future — World of Warcraft: The War Within, World of Warcraft: The Last Titan, and World of Warcraft: Midnight

These expansions will tell the tale of World of Warcraft’s next ongoing storyline, The Worldsoul Saga. The expansion that will be the opening act of this saga will be World of Warcraft: The War Within. This expansion is slated to be released in 2024 and will introduce new zones to explore, new dungeons and raids to conquer, new game systems to master, and more.

Here is everything you need to know about World of Warcraft: The War Within.

World of Warcraft: The War Within: What is it about?

The premise of World of Warcraft: The War Within is that Anduin Wrynn and Thrall have been experiencing visions where a mysterious voice singing a Radiant Song, is calling out to them from the depths of Azeroth. 

To uncover the source of this voice, Thrall and Anduin gather a band of heroes and lead an expedition into the unexplored depths of their world. Our heroes will also find allies on their journey such as an ancient race of Dwarves known as the Earthen. Also, Magni Bronzebeard and Alleria Windrunner are set to return for this expansion to accompany Anduin and Thrall on their trip.

As the expeditionary force makes its way through the underground caverns, players will have to fight new threats threatening to cut their journey and their lives short.

The Nerubians take center stage as the main threat of World of Warcraft: The War Within. (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

The villain leading this threat is Xal'atath, an ancient being who serves a chaotic, otherworldly force known as the Void. After being freed from being sealed in a cursed black blade for untold millennia, she seeks to create a new dark legacy to replace The Black Empire which fell at the hands of the titan-forged.

Our heroes pose a danger to Xal'atath's vision so she decides to pit them against her newly acquired army - the Nerubians of Azj-Kahet. Nerubians are a race of deadly humanoid arachnids that have existed in Azeroth since ancient times. 

Xal'atath conscripted the Nerubians and their queen, Ansurek, to serve her. In return for their service, Xal'atath promises to help release the Nerubians from their isolation, restore their empire to its former glory, and grant them the power to transform into terrifying soldiers through a horrifying evolution.

Long-time Warcraft fans should beware Nerubians of Azj-Kahet as these creatures are far more dangerous and cunning than the Nerubians that served the Lich King. These monsters are survivors of countless wars that ravaged the world for thousands of years and will do whatever it takes to achieve victory.

World of Warcraft: The War Within: What will the gameplay be like?

The gameplay of World of Warcraft: The War Within will be the same tab-target-based combat system, team-based dungeon crawling, and exploration World of Warcraft is famous for. In addition, it will feature a smorgasbord of new gameplay systems, zones, dungeons, raids, and an allied race.

New zones

What new breathtakingly beautiful locales will you discover? (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Players will come across new, never-before-seen locales as they make their way into the depths of Azeroth to find the Radiant Song. Four new zones have been announced thus far:

  • Isle of Dorn: A lush, forest-filled zone that resides on the island of Khaz Algar and is the home of the Earthen and other indigenous species. Here you will find Eathern preparing Cinderbrew Mead made of molten honey and a city where the Oathsworn live, carrying out their duties as Edicts of the Titans.
  • Ringing Deeps: Located beneath the Isle of Dorn lies the Ringing Deeps, a large network of underground boundaries, forges, and factories where the Earthen conduct their work. 
  • Hallowfall: Hallowfall is a gigantic hollow area bordered by an underground sea that appears to be endless. A tribe of humans known as the Arathi live here and fight a never-ending battle to protect their homes from the Nerubians.
  • Azj-Kahet: Within the deepest, darkest depths of the earth lies the ruined Nerubian kingdom of Azj-Kahet. Players will need to exercise extreme caution and utilize pheromones to throw off the Nerubian's senses when exploring this zone lest they wish to meet a tragic end.

As a side-note for those worrying about exploring miles of underground caves, Dragonriding will be allowed in these zones to make travel easier. In fact, prior to the release of The War Within, there will be an update that will make World of Warcraft: Dragonflight's Dragonriding mechanic available in flyable areas for many flying mounts.

Players will also have the option to toggle between dynamic flight and the original flying style introduced World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.

New dungeons and raids

Promotional screenshot of World of Warcraft: The War Within

What horrors await our heroes in the Nerubian kingdom of Azj-Kahet? (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

World of Warcraft: The War Within will include four new level-up Dungeons, four new max-level Dungeons, and a new Raid Dungeon.

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Level-up Dungeons
The Rookery
The Stonevault
Priory of the Sacred Flame
City of Threads
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Max-level Dungeons
Cinderbrew Meadery
Darkflame Cleft
The Dawnbreaker
Old City

The Raid Dungeon will be called The Nerub’ar Palace and will be available to participate once Season 1 of The War Within begins. It will be the culmination of the expansion's opening story and see players unite to defeat Xal'atath and the Nerubians of Azj-Kahet.

New Allied Race: Earthen

World of Warcraft: The War Within

Hi-ho, hi-ho, its off to Azeroth we go!  (Image credit: Blizzard)

There will be a new Allied Race to unlock and play as for both Horde and Alliance players called the Earthen. The Earthen are a pre-historic race of Dwarves made of stone and gems. 

They were created by the Titans to help shape the subterranean caverns of Azeroth during its infancy and were given a series of duties and edicts to carry out. However, when the Titans left Azeroth and left the Earthen to their own devices, the gem-entrusted Dwarves lost their unity and divided into three factions.

  • The Oathsworn: This a faction of Earthen who strictly upholds the edicts given to them by the Titans. They are tasked with protecting the Coreway, a gate that leads into Azeroth's core.
  • Unbound: These Earthen were charged with providing materials needed to keep TItan installations running but have abandoned their edicts to live in quarries and mines.
  • Machine Speakers: Machine Speakers are Earthen who have also strayed from their edicts but continue working on repairing Titan machinery out of obligation. 

To unlock the Earthen, players will need to progress through the expansion's main campaign and endgame questline. Once unlocked, players will be able to create Earthen characters as the following classes:

  • Death Knight
  • Hunter
  • Mage
  • Monk
  • Paladin
  • Priest
  • Rogue
  • Shaman
  • Warlock
  • Warrior

Levelling up an Earthen character will reward players with the Earthen Heritage Armor set.

The Delves

Who would've thought Azeroth had entire civilizations living underground? (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

World of Warcraft: The War Within will introduce an evergreen system called the Delves. The Delves will be an endgame activity where players complete quests for the Dragonscale Expedition and earn rewards such as mounts, titles, achievements, and gear. 

This activity will launch with twelve unique Delves dungeons to explore with scalable difficulty and they can be completed solo or with a party of up to five players. Season 1 of the Delves will feature Brann Bronzehead as a seasonal NPC compassion and he will offer players aid by gifting them a customizable talent and ability system.

The gear rewards in particular are significant as they will be on par with Mythic+10/Mythic+15 gear or Heroic Raid gear. This means that players who don't have time to commit to Raid schedules or prefer playing alone with a small group of friends can catch up to the current gear meta.

In addition, the rewards you can obtain from The Delves will be integrated into the Great Vault.


Warbands will share all your characters' resources and achievements on one account. (Image credit: Blizzard)

World of Warcraft: The War Within will implement a new system for the player accounts called Warbands. This is a platform that will allow transmog cosmetic options, Reputation, Renown and more resources to be shared amongst all of a player's created characters on their account.

The Warband's functions will include:

  • Warband Bank:  This will allow you to store your items in a bank and share them across all your created characters on a single account. 
  • Warbound Items: These are bonus personal loot items that drop at lower levels and can be shared with a player's alternate characters.
  • Transmogrification Collection: The transmog system will be enhanced to allow players on one character to add extra class-specific gear that they can't equip to their transmog collection. For example,  if a player playing as a Mage finds a piece of Warrior-only gear, they can add it to the transmog collection and use it for their Warrior character instead.
  • Warband Reputations: Earning Reputation in The War Within will become accessible for all characters on a single account through Warbands. For example, if you unlocked a recipe on a character, you won't need to earn the Reputation of a faction ever again when playing as an alternate character.
  • Flight Paths: Unlocking flight paths on one character, will unlock them for all characters in your Warband.
  • Delves: Levelling up NPC companions will be available to all characters in your Warband.
  • Achievements: All achievements will be made account-wide.
  • Login Screen: When logging into the game, you will see a selection of your created characters on the login screen, waiting to see who you will choose to play with.

Hero Talents

The new Hero Talents will offer new playstyles for your class. (Image credit: Blizzard)

World of Warcraft: The War Within will introduce new Hero Talents to the current talent trees. There will be three new trees per class (except Druids which will have four and Demon Hunters which will have two) and can be switched at any time. The Hero Talents will unlock at Lv. 71 and players will begin earning a talent at level, up to ten points at Lv. 80.

The new Hero Specialization trees for each class are:

  • Death Knight: Rider of the Apocalypse, San'layn, Deathbringer.
  • Demon Hunter: Aldrachi Reaver, Fel-Scarred.
  • Druid: Keeper of the Grove, Elune's Chosen, Wildstalker, Druid of the Claw.
  • Evoker: Chronowarden, Ruby Adept, Scalecommander.
  • Hunter: Sentinel, Pack Leader, Dark Ranger.
  • Mage: Sunfury, Frostfire, Spellslinger.
  • Monk: Master of Harmony, Shado-Pan, Conduit of the Celestials.
  • Paladin: Lightsmith, Herald of the Sun, Templar.
  • Priest: Voidweaver, Orale, Archon.
  • Rogue: Deathstalker, Trickster, Fatebound.
  • Shaman: Stormbringer, Farseer, Totemic.
  • Warlock: Soul Harvester, Hellcaller, Diabolist
  • Warrior: Colossus, Slayer, Mountain.

Longtime Warcraft fans may notice that some of these specs are likely inspired by units from the RTS game, Warcraft. Mountain Thane spec seems to be an homage to the Mountain King unit and the Dark Ranger spec sounds like it is inspired by Sylvanas Windrunner and Dark Ranger units.

World of Warcraft: The War Within: When is it coming out and on what platform?

World of Warcraft: The War Within is currently scheduled to be released sometime in 2024 on PC.

World of Warcraft: The War Within: Will there be a Special Edition?

World of Warcraft: The War Within is now available to pre-order on Battle.Net with three versions to purchase — the Base Edition, Heroic Edition, and Epic Edition. The Basic Edition will cost $49.99, the Heroic Edition will cost $69.99, and the Epic Edition will cost $89.99.

The content for each Edition is as follows:

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World of Warcraft: The War Within editionsContent
Base EditionThe Basic Edition will net you World of Warcraft: The War Within, World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, an Enhanced Level 70 Character Boost , and 500 Trader’s Tenders.
Heroic EditionThe Heroic Edition contains all the content of the Basic Edition, 750 Trader's Tenders, and the Algarian Stormrider mount complete with dynamic flying, dozens of customization options, and access to the special race courses.
Epic EditionThe Epic Edition contains all the content of the Heroic Edition, 1,000 Trader’s Tenders, an upgradable transmog set of Stormrider’s Attire Transmog set, access to The War Within's beta, three days Early Access to The War Within, 30 days of Game Time, Squally the Storm Hatching as a pet, a Sandbox Storm, Gryphon toy, and a Deepdweller's Earthen Hearthstone effect.

Are you ready to begin The Worldsoul Saga?

Work together to save Azeroth from Xal'atath and her Nerubian army. (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

World of Warcraft: The War Within is aiming to kickstart World of Warcraft's Worldsoul Saga with a bang through its mountain's worth of new gameplay content and systems. 

Will Anduin and Thrall be able to discover what this Radiant Song? Will the Champions of Azeroth be able to stop Xal'atath from achieving her nefarious goals? Dive into the depths of Azeroth when this upcoming PC title releases in 2024 to find out.

World of Warcraft: The War Within

World of Warcraft: The War Within

Travel deep into the heart of Azeroth to follow a foreboding vision in World of Warcraft's next major expansion — World of Warcraft: The War Within. 

Pre-order at:

Alexander Cope

Alexander Cope is a gaming veteran of 30-plus years, primarily covering PC and Xbox games here on Windows Central. Gaming since the 8-bit era, Alexander's expertise revolves around gaming guides and news, with a particular focus on Japanese titles from the likes of Elden Ring to Final Fantasy. Alexander is always on deck to help our readers conquer the industry's most difficult games — when he can pry himself away from Monster Hunter that is!