World of Warcraft is getting PvP Brawls in the 7.2 update

Blizzard is giving World of Warcraft players a new way to beat each other senseless with the introduction of PvP Brawls. Coming in patch 7.2, WoW's brawls are "very much inspired by" brawls in other Blizzard games like Hearthstone and Overwatch, game director Ion Hazzikostas explained during the World of Warcraft: Legion panel at BlizzCon, and they promise to bring some very interesting changes to the game.

The goals of the system are to "add variation to casual Battleground gameplay," and also to provide Blizzard with a means to play around with new ideas. Not every Brawl mode will catch on, Hazzikostas said, but this "lets us experiment with some of those rule sets, some of those changes, and the most successful Brawls could very well find themselves as permanent fixtures in our PvP landscape."   

Blizzard showed off a few of the Brawl types it has planned, each of which takes a familiar bit of World of Warcraft landscape and twists it in an unusual (or just straight-up silly) way. Winter Arathi Basin, for instance, is set in the Arathi Basin map but in the dead of winter, with visibility drastically cut by a blizzard, while Packed House is a 15v15 rumble in a standard-sized Arena. "It is balanced? I can promise it won't be," Hazzikostas said. "Is it crazy? Probably." 

A rollout date for World of Warcraft 7.2 update wasn't revealed, but they'll be brought to the PTR after the launch of the 7.1.5 patch, which is expected within a month. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.