Today was a big day for fans of Blizzard animations. A new Overwatch animated short told the tale of Mei's return to the ranks of everyone's favorite videogame super-team, and Hearthstone got a song-and-dance number worthy of any Disney film you'd care to mention. And the great MMO World of Warcraft got one too, to mark the beginning of the Battle for Argus, which gets underway with the release of patch 7.3 next week.
The invasion of Argus, the Burning Legion's stronghold, clearly doesn't get off to the most auspicious beginning possible, but the campaign preview posted today makes it clear that fight is far from over. WoW players will begin the new expansion by joining with Velen aboard his new ship, the Vindicaar, where they'll work through story chapters set in three new regions. New story elements will become available each week, "telling the tale of what was, what is, and what could be."
- Week 1: Begin the invasion of Argus and embark on an epic storyline beginning in Krokuun. Team up with the Army of the Light and take the fight to the very heart of the Legion in the Antoran Wastes. Gain access to new World Quests and Emissaries on Argus.
- Week 2: Finish the story of Krokuun and travel to the ruined draenei city of Mac’Aree. Gain access to Invasion Points and thwart the Burning Legion’s plans on other worlds. Additional World Quests in Mac’Aree are available along with access to Invasion Points.
- Week 3: Finish the Shadows of Argus storyline, unlock all World Quests, and venture into the new dungeon, the Seat of the Triumvirate. Activate your Netherlight Crucible on the Vindicaar to begin forging Relics.
The Vindicaar itself will serve as your base of operations on Argus, and comes equipped with all the conveniences of home, "including an innkeeper, mailbox, profession trainers, portal to Dalaran, repairs, quest givers, vendors, the Vindicaar Matrix Core, Navigation Console, and Netherlight Crucible." The expansion also brings a pair of new factions to the game: The Army of the Light, a guerrilla force that's been fighting the Legion for centuries from its warship Xenedar, and the Argussian Reach, made up of "refugees and outcasts" seeking to reclaim their homeworld.
Alongside the new cinematic, Blizzard also revealed today that World of Warcraft Patch 7.3, Shadows of Argus, is actually very close: It's set to go live next week, on August 29. The full patch notes are up at worldofwarcraft.com.
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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.