World of Warcraft is getting a 60-player Pirate battle royale with rewards for the main game, say hi to 'Plunderstorm'

World of Warcraft Plunderstorm trailer screenshot
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

What you need to know

  • World of Warcraft's Patch 10.2.6 update has gone live today and Blizzard has announced that a new limited-timed event will be included.
  • This event is Plunderstorm, a standalone 60-player battle royale game mode where players fight as pirates to steal loot and treasure from their rivals.
  • Patch 10.2.6 also includes several balance changes for classes, dungeons, items, PVP, raids and more.

Back in December 2023, when Blizzard Entertainment announced World of Warcraft's roadmap leading to The War Within expansion, there was a mysterious pirate flag for the game's Patch 10.2.6 update, following the Seeds of Renewal update. Nobody knew what to make of it or what it might hint at for months. 

Fortunately, we know now the answer as Blizzard Entertainment has announced that World of Warcraft's Patch 10.2.6 update has gone live, bringing with it a new event called Plunderstorm.

The Plunderstorm

Plunderstorm is a standalone pirate-themed game mode where 60 players assume the role of pirates and duke it out in gigantic battle royales where they must survive and plunder as much treasure as they can. 

What's interesting about Plunderstorm is that does not require players to buy any expansion, you simply need the base game of Retail World of Warcraft. Then once you have launched it, you will be able to play Plunderstorm by accessing it through World of Warcraft's game menu.

Earn all kinds of swashbuckling cosmetics in the Plunderstorm. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Plunderstorm will not use a player's default player characters World of Warcraft, instead, this game mode will have players create new ones exclusively for it. 

Once you have made a character, you will be queued to join 60-player battle royale matches in the Arathi Highlands that will last 10 to 15 minutes where the last man standing will be the winner.

You will need to scour the land for treasure chests that will grant you powerful abilities and skills to fend off hostile wildlife and destroy rival players looking to steal your loot.

Participating in the Plunderstorm event will reward players will kinds of pirate-themed cosmetics, pets, titles, and mounts. These rewards include the Plunderlord parrot mount, Bubbles the crab pet, swashbuckling cosmetics, and much more. Do note that you don't necessarily have to win every match to claim the rewards.

Patch 10.2.6 Balance changes

World of Warcraft promotional screenshots

Plunder treasure chests to earn powerful abilities to aid you in the Plunderstorm (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

In addition to the Plunderstorm event, Patch 10.2.6 includes a huge list of balance changes for World of Warcraft. The patch notes from the official World of Warcraft website are as follows.

Classes

  • Macros that use the non-healer versions of dispels will now override the ability with the healer dispel variant if the player is in a healer specialization. This applies to Discipline, Holy Priest, Holy Paladin, Restoration Druid, and Restoration Shaman. Mistweaver Monk and Preservation Evoker already had this functionality.
  • Developer's note: We've updated the power of many of the set bonuses that are returning for Season 4 to match the increased power of the rest of the new gear in Season 4. 

Death Knight

  • Blood
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (2) Set Bonus: Heart Strike and Blood Boil damage increased by 20% (was 10%).
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (2) Set Bonus: Chance to gain Vampiric Blood increased to 10% (was 5%).Empty list
  • Frost
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (2) Set Bonus: The damage of your next Frostwyrm's Fury is increased by 5% (was 4%). Stacks unchanged.
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (2) Set Bonus: The effectiveness of Frostywrm's Fury increased to 30% (was 25%).
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (2) Set Bonus: Howling Blast damage increased to 20% (was 10%).

Druid

  • Balance
    • Vault of the Incarnates (2) Set Bonus: Starsurge and Starfall increase the damage of your next Wrath or Starfire by 30%, stacking up to 3 times (was 20%).
    • Vault of the Incarnates (4) Set Bonus: When you enter Eclipse, your next Starsurge or Starfall costs 15 less Astral Power (was 5 less Astral Power) and deals 40% (was 20%) increased damage.

Evoker

  • Landslide costs 1.4% base mana (was 2.8%).
  • Sleep Walk costs 1% base mana (was 2.4%).
  • Devastation
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (2) Set Bonus: Causes Disintegrate and Pyre to pierce enemies for 18% of damage done (was 12%).
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (4) Set Bonus: Increases Empower spell damage by 12% (was 8%).
  • Preservation
    • Vault of the Incarnates (2) Set Bonus: Increases the healing of Reversion by 50% (was 35%) for 8 seconds (was 6 seconds).
    • Vault of the Incarnates (4) Set Bonus: Increases healing and damage of Living Flame by 50% (was 20%).
    • Reversion critical heals now extend Reversion by 2 seconds regardless of Haste.
    • Emerald Communion will now give an error message and fail to cast if used while in Diamond Ice.

Hunter

  • Survival
    • Vault of the Incarnates (2) Set Bonus: Mongoose Bite/Raptor Strike, Carve, and Butchery damage increased by 18% (was 12%).
    • Vault of the Incarnates (4) Set Bonus: Bonus damage to Mongoose Bite/Raptor Strike, Carve, and Butchery increased to 50% (was 40%).

Mage

  • Fire
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (2) Set Bonus: Charring Embers now increases damage taken by 6% (was 5%) and lasts 2 additional seconds.
    • Added an activation overlay for Fury of the Sun King.

Monk

  • Mistweaver
    • New Talent: Dance of Chi-Ji – Your spells and abilities have a chance to make your next Spinning Crane Kick deal an additional 300% damage.
    • New Talent: Peer into Peace – 5% of your overhealing done onto targets with Soothing Mist is spread to 3 nearby injured allies. Soothing Mist now follows the target of your Enveloping Mist or Vivify and its channel time is increased by 4 seconds.
    • Resplendent Mist now causes Gust of Mists to have a 30% chance to do 75%/150% more healing (was 50%/100%).
    • Peaceful Mending is now a 1-point talent and increases the healing allies receive from Enveloping Mist and Renewing Mist by 40% while Soothing Mist is active (was 25% per point).
  • Windwalker
    • Vault of the Incarnates (2) Set Bonus: Fists of Fury now increases the damage dealt by your Rising Sun Kicks or Spinning Crane Kicks by 40% (was 30%).
    • Vault of the Incarnates (4) Set Bonus: Fists of Fury now instead enhances your next 3 Rising Sun Kicks or Spinning Crane Kicks and enhanced kicks increase the damage of your next Fists of Fury by 7% (was 5%) stacking up to 3 times.

Paladin

  • Holy
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (2) Set Bonus: Increases Holy Shock’s critical healing by 80% (was 60%).
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (4) Set Bonus: Increases Holy Prism’s healing by 40% (was 80%).
      • Developer’s note: Holy Prism’s healing was increased baseline in Guardians of the Dream, so this bonus is being decreased with that in mind. This will still be an overall gain in power compared to Embers of Neltharion.
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (4) Set Bonus: Light’s Hammer healing increased by 20%.
  • Protection
    • Vault of the Incarnates (2) Set Bonus: Ally of the Light's Versatility increased to 8% (was 6%).
    • Vault of the Incarnates (4) Set Bonus: Hammer of the Righteous, Blessed Hammer/Crusader Strike increases your Parry by 7% (was 5%).Empty list

Priest

  • Leap of Faith no longer interrupts spell casts from the ally it was used on.
  • Holy
    • Empyreal Blaze has been redesigned – Holy Word: Chastise causes your next 2 casts of Holy Fire to be instant, cost no mana, and incur no cooldown. Refreshing Holy Fire on a target now extends its duration by 7 seconds.
    • Pontifex has been redesigned – Flash Heal, Heal, Prayer of Healing, and Circle of Healing increase the healing done by your next Holy Word spell by 6% stacking up to 5 times. Lasts 30 seconds.
    • Lightwell has been redesigned – Creates a Holy Lightwell. Every second the Lightwell will attempt to heal a nearby party or raid member within 40 yards that is lower than 50% health and apply a Renew to them for 6 seconds. Lightwell lasts for 2 minutes or until it heals 15 times. Cooldown reduced by 3 seconds when you cast Holy Word: Serenity or Holy Word: Sanctify.
    • All healing done reduced by 7%.
    • Holy Fire mana cost reduced to 0.4% of base mana (was 1%).
    • Holy Word: Chastise mana cost reduced to 0.6% of base mana (was 2%).
    • Resonant Words now causes Holy Words to increase the healing done by your next Flash Heal, Heal, Prayer of Healing, or Circle of Healing by 20%/40%. Lasts 30 seconds.
    • Divine Word now increases the effectiveness of your next Holy Word spell by 30% (was 50%).
    • Casting Holy Word: Chastise with Divine Word active now increases damage dealt by 20% and refunds 15 seconds from the cooldown of Holy Word: Chastise instead of its previous effect.
    • Casting Holy Word: Sanctify with Divine Word active now blesses the target area and heals 5 targets (was 6). Healing done increased by 25%.
    • Casting Holy Word: Serenity with Divine Word active no longer increases the critical strike chance of Flash Heal, Heal, and Renew.
    • Healing Chorus now increases the healing of Circle of Healing by 5% stacking up to 20 times (was 2% stacking up to 50 times).
    • Prayerful Litany now heals for 100% more to the most injured ally it affects (was 30%).
    • Harmonious Apparatus has been renamed to Voice of Harmony and its icon has changed.
    • Voice of Harmony now causes Holy Nova to reduce the cooldown of Chastise in addition to Holy Fire.
    • Gales of Song is now a 1-point talent with the values of the previous 2-point version.
    • Orison now has a connection to Pontifex.
    • Divine Service now has a connection to Say Your Prayers.
    • Empowered Renew and Rapid Recovery have been removed.
    • The final 3 rows of the tree have been reorganized.
  • Shadow
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (2) Set Bonus: Increases the damage of Mind Blast by 40% when Shadowy Insight triggers (was 30%).
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (4) Set Bonus: Increases Devouring Plague damage by 18% (was 15%).
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (4) Set Bonus: Causes every 4 casts of Devouring Plague to increase Shadowy Apparition damage by 100% for 10 seconds (was 80%).Empty list

Shaman

  • Restoration
    • Vault of the Incarnates (2) Set Bonus: Healing Stream Totem now increases critical strike by 15% (was 10%).
    • Vault of the Incarnates (4) Set Bonus: Increases the effectiveness of critical heals to 220% (was 215%) instead of the usual 200%.

Shaman

  • Restoration
    • Vault of the Incarnates (2) Set Bonus: Healing Stream Totem now increases critical strike by 15% (was 10%).
    • Vault of the Incarnates (4) Set Bonus: Increases the effectiveness of critical heals to 220% (was 215%) instead of the usual 200%.

Warlock

  • Destruction
    • Vault of the Incarnates (2) Set Bonus: Consuming Soul Shards has a chance to grant you Chaos Maelstrom, increasing your critical strike chance by 15% for 10 seconds (was 10%).
    • Vault of the Incarnates (4) Set Bonus: Your critical strikes deal 212% (was 208%) damage instead of the usual 200%.Empty list

Warrior

  • Arms
    • Vault of the Incarnates (2) Set Bonus: Bonus damage to Mortal Strike and Cleave increased to 15% (was 10%). Critical Strike chance bonus unchanged.
    • Vault of the Incarnates (4) Set Bonus: Bonus damage and Critical Strike chance increased to 8% (was 5%).
  • Fury
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (2) Set Bonus: Bonus damage and Critical Strike chance to Rampage increased to 12% (was 10%).
    • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible (4) Set Bonus: Bonus damage increased to 30% (was 25%) and Critical Strike chance increased to 12% (was 10%) to Bloodthirst.

Dungeons and Raids

  • ULDUAR TIMEWALKING
    • Fixed an issue where Liquid Pyrite was not properly restoring ammunition.
    • Fixed an issue where Burning Tar was incorrectly damaging players and vehicles that were far away.
    • Fixed an issue preventing Tar from properly slowing and damaging enemies.
    • Fixed an issue where Mimiron would jump the gun too quickly and attack players while remaining untargetable.
    • Fixed an issue where General Vezax's Mark of the Faceless was doing too much damage.
    • Fixed an issue where various boss enemies were moving great distances when tanks were too close.
    • Fixed an issue where Yogg-Saron's tentacles could spawn within the boss model.
  • If a player in a Follower Dungeon can cast Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp/Fury of the Aspects, the followers will no longer try to cast their version when they think it's appropriate and instead leave the decision of when to cast up to the player.Empty list

Items

  • Raid loot from Vault of the Incarnates and Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible have received several adjustments to align with changes made in Amirdrassil, the Dream's Hope:
    • Class set tokens will drop at a ratio of 1:3 relative to non-token items.
    • All Very Rare items have a separate chance to drop in addition to a boss's standard quantity of loot.
  • Developer's note:  As we look ahead to Dragonflight Season 4, we are aiming to level the playing field for certain over- and underperforming raid trinkets. Further tuning can be expected before or shortly after the start of the season.
    • The following raid trinkets have been adjusted:
      • Conjured Chillglobe mana restore effect reduced by 70%.
      • Whispering Incarnate Icon's infusion effects granted to allies reduced by 45%.
      • Ward of Faceless Ire cooldown reduced to 1 minute (was 2 minutes), absorb reduced by 35%, and damage reduced by 50%.
      • All remaining stacks of Enduring Dreadplate's Hellsteel Plating that are not consumed by taking damage now rupture to release Rays of Anguish upon expiration.
      • Ominous Chromatic Essence shared alignment secondary stat reduced by 5%.
      • Blossom of Amirdrassil effects increased by 10%.
      • Fyrakk's Tainted Rageheart absorb increased by 5%, lash damage reduced by 5%, and passive area-of-effect damage reduced by 20%.
    • The following dungeon trinkets have been significantly reworked:
      • Tome of Unstable Power
      • Umbrelskul's Fractured Heart
      • Globe of Jagged Ice
      • Water's Beating Heart
      • Granyth's Enduring Scale
      • Inexorable Resonator
    • The following dungeon trinkets have been adjusted:
      • Kyrakka's Searing Embers chance to trigger increased by 100%, damage reduced by 50%, and healing reduced by 40%. Additionally fixed an issue that could cause inconsistent proc behavior.
      • Miniature Singing Stones shield effect increased by 3%.
      • Mutated Magmammoth Scale chance to trigger now scales with Haste and damage reduced by 13%.
  • New glyphs have been added to transform the appearance of the recently updated Covenant abilities back to their old Covenant visuals. They can be purchased from the Covenant quartermasters.
  • In the Appearances collection, wrist appearances are now shown on the right wrist (was left wrist). This allows more one-sided appearances such as the Gothic Corsage to be visible in the collection pane.

Pet Battles

  • Briarhorn Hatchling has been struck by the Curse of Flesh and is now properly Beast-type (was Mechanical-type).

Player vs Player

  • BATTLEGROUND BLITZ BRAWL
  • Developer’s note: We’ve been happy to see the excitement around Battleground Blitz after its launch in Guardians of the Dream and after monitoring feedback and internal data, we are making some changes. We believe these changes will be healthy for the game mode and we want to ensure adequate time to observe feedback on them while Battleground Blitz is a brawl.
    In particular, we have not been happy with the low frequency of capture the flag maps due to the restriction of having the maps be only available with tanks. In 10.2.6, we are lifting that restriction and are introducing a new buff, Empowered Carrier, that will be applied to non-tank specializations if they pick up the flag in Warsong Gulch and Twin Peaks. Tanks will still only be matched up against other tanks, and this buff will only be applied if there are not any tanks in the match.
    Additionally, we’ve been overall happy with and have heard positive feedback around having an increased mount speed in Battleground Blitz. However, the 150% mount speed increase is slightly too fast for both the gameplay and character control experiences. We are adjusting the amount of increase on all maps, although having it slightly higher on the larger maps: Arathi Basin and Deepwind Gorge.
  • Eye of the Storm
    • Added a hidden effect that prevents fall damage to both teams for 10 seconds at the start of a match.
  • Warsong Gulch and Twin Peaks
    • New Buff: Empowered Carrier – Increases maximum health by 10% and movement speed by 30%. Additionally, Empowered Carrier provides 25% damage reduction for 4 seconds when stunned. Empowered Carrier is applied to non-tank specializations who pick up the flag on Warsong Gulch or Twin Peaks and won’t be applied if the match started with tanks in the match.
  • Swift Pursuit has had the following adjustments:
    • Increased mount speed is now 100% Arathi Basin and Deepwind Gorge (was 150%).
    • Increased mount speed is now 75% on all other maps (was 150%).
  • EVOKER
    • Preservation
      • Rewind heals for 50% of damage taken in the last 5 seconds in PvP combat (was 33%).

Shiver-me timbers!

World of Warcraft Plunderstorm trailer screenshot

Fight the Plunderstorm to earn the epic Plunderlord parrot mount. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Blizzard Entertainment has stated the Plunderstorm event will last for "several weeks", with no concrete end date as of yet. So, if you're a fan of pirates or a long-time Warcraft fan who wants cool cosmetics to create Warcraft 2-themed pirate Transmog sets in time for The War Within expansion, don't wanna miss out on this fun limited-timed event for one of the best PC games.

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: <a href="https://us.shop.battle.net/en-us/product/world-of-warcraft-the-war-within" data-link-merchant="us.shop.battle.net"">Battle.net

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!