World of Warcraft is one of the most popular MMORPGs around, though it didn’t start out that way. Released in 2004, this game started the era of Massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs).
While Blizzard hasn’t released stats on the number of people playing the game today, back in 2015, World of Warcraft had 5.6 million subscribers around the world! Today, the game’s still going strong, and there’s no way to get an accurate count on the number of players currently involved in the game. Even so, we can comfortably say that the game is still going strong and is extremely popular.
Azeroth, where most of the Warcraft series is set, is one of the most explored worlds in the gaming genre. This is the place where most of the WoW expansions have been set.
We’ve put together a list of all the expansions that have been released for WoW. And we’ve put them in chronological order! Newest game mode being offered by Blizzard today.
World of Warcraft Expansions List
Here we go! Let’s take a look at each of the expansions for this extremely popular MMORPG!
1). The Burning Crusade – Release Date: January 16, 2007
This was the first expansion and one of the most influential on the game. This included some major changes to the game including introducing two new races and their starting zones to Azeroth. Not only did this open up more customization for character creation, it also introduced more areas to explore, quests, and lore. This expansion sold 2.4 million copies on the day it was released.
Most of the new content was placed in Outland, not in Azeroth, which was a location that was included in Warcraft III – The Frozen Throne. This expansion also made it possible to become a paladin or a shaman, no matter which faction you belonged to in the game. And Outland was added to the map, a new planet that added more cities, dungeons, creatures, and zones.
In addition, three arena levels were introduced into the game including:
- The Ring of Trials
- The Circle of Blood
- The Ruins of Lordaeron
This expansion also brought changes to the mechanics of the game including flying mounts, which could only be used in Outland. However, regular ground mounts became cheaper, meaning more players could use them. This expansion also saw the first level cap from 60 to 70, with new abilities and revisions of the talent system.
One more notable part of this expansion saw arena matches become very popular. In fact, players would log on every day to take part in the deathmatches. You could say the arena battles have developed into a type of e-sports!
2). The Wrath of the Lich King – Release Date: November 13, 2008
WoW’s second expansion, The Wrath of the Lich King, introduced the anti-hero who had been crowned the new Lich King in the end of The Frozen Throne. Northrend was also added to Azeroth and was considered to be a more interesting place than the wasteland of Azeroth. And this expansion was the fastest selling PC game of time, selling 3 million CDs on the day it was released.
In this expansion, WoW also introduced the first hero class, the Death Knights. There were the first class to begin at a higher level and they had their own starting zone in eastern Lordaeron.
The level cap was also increased from 70 to 80, and this expansion brought new abilities, zones, and dungeons. But even more they added more PvP content, created two new battlegrounds, and two new arenas, along with Wintergrasp, the first dedicated world PvP zone.
3). Cataclysm – Release Date: December 7, 2010
This expansion set saw Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdoor redesigned, along with their appearances changed. The quest system was also changed; this set added 3500 quests. It also made it easier for players to follow low- and medium-level quests.
This expansion also added 5 new raids, 2 new races, 10 new dungeons and that Archaeology had become a secondary skill. Plus, players could choose to create a Worgen or Goblin character after installing the expansion. The level cap was also increased up to 85 the max level.
The glyph system was also revamped, with three more types of glyph including:
4). Mists of Pandaria – Release Date: September 25, 2012
This expansion was received as a joke by players. The reason for this was that the expansion focused on a race that was first introduced as an April Fool’s joke. In addition, the new continent of Pandaria was introduced.
Here, again, the level cap was increased up to 90 as the new max level. And the expansion introduced the Pandaren, the first neutral race, which could join either the Horde or the Alliance. The player was able to choose which one they preferred.
It also introduced the first new class—the Monk. This class was a hybrid that could heal, tank, and DPS. They could also use light armor, staves, and fist weapons. One more thing introduced in this expansion were Scenarios. These are small dungeons to be overcome by three players.
5). Warlords of Draenor – Release Date: November 13, 2014
While fans looked forward to this expansion, they were ultimately disappointed. It started out well with the new leveling system; however, players were not impressed with the time-traveling mess introduced into the game. The game shows how history could have gone in the alternative timeline.
The level cap was raised yet again, making 100 the new max level. The game removed secondary stats and replaced them with the Group Finder, reducing crowd control abilities.
For these and other reasons, the daily population of WoW players saw a major drop between 2014 and 2016. This expansion has long been seen as the reason for this drop.
6). Legion – Release Date: August 30, 2016
This expansion saw another increase of the max level cap by 10 levels, up to 110. Some of the main features of this expansion were the Demon Hunter hero class, 5 new dungeons, the Demon Hunter, two raids, and the Broken Isles, another new continent of Azeroth.
The Demon Hunter class was a hybrid; but only Night Elves or Blood Elves could become Demon Hunters. And the 36 artifact weapons were very powerful.
This expansion also introduced eight new races including:
- Lightforged Draenei
- Void Elves
- Highmountain Tauren
- Dark Iron Dwarves
- Kul Tiran humans
- Mag’har Orcs
- Zadarlai Trolls
7). Shadowlands – Release Date: October 27, 2020
This is the newest WoW expansion, and it focuses on Warcraft’s afterlife. One of the biggest changes is the lowering of the max level cap from 120 back to 60, which has a huge affect on the leveling experience. Leveling can be done in a shorter amount of time than in past expansions of the game.
This expansion also brings new dungeons and zones and has put a major focus on the Covenant System. Players must align with one of the four Covenants (Venthyr, Kyrianor, Night Fae, or Necrolord). Each Covenant has their own campaigns and grants unique perks and abilities.
Summing It Up
Wow is the most popular MMORPG around today, with the highest number of players around the world. While the Warlords of Draenor was a major letdown for players, Legion brought them around. The Battle of Azeroth continues, and there are even hints Blizzard could be releasing more expansions sometime in the future. We just have to wait patiently and keep playing!