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World of Warcraft: Battle For Azeroth pre-patch goes live on July 17

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Ahead of the expansion's launch on August 14, Blizzard has just announced a date for the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth pre-patch – and it's coming next week. On July 17 the patch will roll out, serving to bridge the gap between Battle for Azeroth and last year's Legion expansion. As always, it's not just tweaks and changes: there's actual gameplay stuff added as well.

This includes a new War Mode, PvP talents "and more" that's yet to be specified. According to the announcement page, War Mode "tears down boundaries and server rule-set distinctions, allowing players on any realm to decide when they want to jump into a world PvP experience full of like-minded players in the ongoing battle between Horde and Alliance."

Meanwhile, the Legion PvP post-season will commence, and a new Communities feature will allow users to "bring [their] friends and family of the same faction together cross-realm".

Full patch notes aren't out yet, but expect them to release some time before Tuesday. For everything we know about the expansion itself, Steven has you sorted.

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.