Everything we know about World of Warcraft: The War Within

WoW: The War Within - Anduin is angrily pointing his sword towards the camera
(Image credit: Blizzard)

World of Warcraft: The War Within is the next expansion heading to Blizzard's long-running MMO once Dragonflight draws to a close, later this year. In fact, it's the first of three new expansions revealed for the WoW: Worldsoul Saga trilogy, with subsequent entries named Midnight and The Last Titan.

As the name suggests, The War Within will take us beneath the surface of Azeroth to the land of Khaz Algar where we'll meet the Earthen, a race of dwarves, as well as darker forces such as the Nerubians. Of course, a new setting isn't all that comes with an expansion: there will be a new level cap, dungeons, and a raid to overcome. If you're ready to find out more, here's what we know about World of Warcraft: The War Within, including the recently revealed release date.

Release date

(Image credit: Blizzard)

When is the WoW: The War Within release date? 

World of Warcraft: The War Within is set for release on August 26, 2024, in line with the 2024 roadmap shown at last year's BlizzCon. This also lines up with our prediction, as we had anticipated a launch window of anywhere from August to October, 2024.

This ties in with the timeline of previous expansions, which generally run for around two years: Dragonflight was released at the end of November 2022 so it wasn't a big stretch to assume that The War Within would get a similar release window. 

Is there a WoW: The War Within beta? 

Yes, the beta is currently underway. You can sign up to be in with a chance of gaining access to this phase of testing by visiting The War Within website and hitting the "Beta Opt-In" button". Of course, this doesn't guarantee you'll get in but you definitely won't if you don't sign up.

The War Within Announce Cinematic | World of Warcraft - YouTube The War Within Announce Cinematic | World of Warcraft - YouTube
Watch On

Quick facts on The War Within 

  • Level cap: 80
  • New zones: four new zones, all subterranean
  • Delves: A new endgame activity—solo or group up
  • New Allied race: Earthen
  • Warbands: Share achievements and progression with selected alts
  • Hero Talents: Choose your path.
  • Dragonriding stays: And the capability will be added to most mounts

Subterranean zones

The subterranean zones of The War Within 

All of the new zones in The War Within are deep beneath the surface of Azeroth. It shouldn't really come as much of a surprise, considering the last few expansions have been hinting that the long-running MMO is heading in that direction story-wise. And let's face it, the massive sword in Silithis has literally been pointing us to the location of this expansion since the end of Legion.

Khaz Algar is the home of the Earthen, and Dornogal, their capital city, will be the new hub for players during The War Within. The land is split into four zones: Isle of Dorn, The Ringing Deeps, Hallowfall, and Azj-Kahet. All four have their own distinguishing features and look surprisingly bright and cheerful for underground zones—except Azj-Kahet, which looks understandably dark and voidy.

Endgame activities

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Delve into, err, Delves 

As well as the usual collection of new dungeons and raids, delves are being added to The War Within. These are a new type of endgame activity that can be performed solo or in a group. These are meant to be completely separate from dungeons and raids, and players shouldn't feel like they're obligated to do them each week.

You'll also be able to take an NPC companion along with you, who can change into whichever specialisation you or your group needs. There will also be various difficulty levels, bosses to overcome, and puzzles to solve if you want to reach the pile of loot at the end. These will tie in with seasons, too, as other endgame activities do.

The Earthen

The Earthen allied race. (Image credit: Blizzard)

Horde dwarves? Meet the Earthen, a new allied race 

If you're a Horde player who's always quite fancied playing a dwarf, now's your chance: you can choose either faction when picking this new allied race. While this might seem odd, don't forget that we've already had what is essentially a race crossover with the Alliance's Void Elves. Earthen can also play as most classes, except for Druid, Demon Hunter, and Evoker.

Unlike the original allied races, the Earthen will automatically unlock as a playable race by working your way through The War Within campaign. It's a huge sigh of relief for those of us who had to grind out the reputations and quest chains to unlock the earlier allied races.

Alt progression

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Warbands let you share progression with selected alts 

Before you get too excited, this will only apply to progression from The War Within and Dragonflight expansions. You'll be able to select which alts you want to include in a "Warband" and those will share the following:

  • Bank access: You'll get a bigger bank—and reagent bank—so you don't need to keep mailing items or gold between your alts.
  • Renown and reputation: This will just be for Dragonflight and The War Within for now.
  • Flight paths: Any discovered by one character is known by the others.
  • Achievements: These are also shared among Warband alts, though it's unclear if that includes those from earlier expansions.
  • Transmog: Can be learned by any character but only worn by the correct class.

It's a pretty big decision to switch main characters for most, and if you have a load of progression in terms of reputation or achievements tied to your old character, it makes it much harder to make that leap. Sharing these things with Warbands should take the sting out of switching main characters.

While Warbands don't include everything that players have been asking for over the years, it's a very promising start.  

New class feature

Example of a druid's Hero Talents. (Image credit: Blizzard)

Choose your Hero Talents  

Each class will have more talents to assign as they level up to the new cap of 80. These have been designed to give two different focuses for a particular class. A druid, for example, might want to choose between strengthening Treants or Lunar abilities.

You can see an example of how this will work in the screenshots above, though the actual talents are expected to change over the coming months as testing commences and feedback is given.


(Image credit: Garvin (Wowhead) / Activision Blizzard)

Dust off your old mounts 

Dragonriding is here to stay, though it will be called "dynamic flying" once we leave the Dragon Isles. You won't need to collect Dragon Glyphs to power it up either, as the plan is to have those abilities as default.

One of the bigger issues with dragonriding is that it limits which mounts you use day-to-day. You might have a collection of 300 or more mounts, but if you can only use a handful of them for dragonriding, it kinda takes away the point of collecting them. Thankfully, this is being addressed and most of your old mounts should work with dragonriding in The War Within. Additionally, you'll be able to use dynamic flying on older continents too.  

Sarah James
Guides Writer

Sarah started as a freelance writer in 2018, writing for PCGamesN, TechRadar, GamingBible, Red Bull Gaming and more. In 2021, she was offered a full-time position on the PC Gamer team where she takes every possible opportunity to talk about World of Warcraft and Elden Ring. When not writing guides, most of her spare time is spent in Azeroth—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.