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World Of Warcraft's next three expansions have been announced, starting with The War Within

New playable race, new zones

An Earthen in World Of Warcraft expansion The War Within.
Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Many World Of Warcraft expansions add a new continent, but The War Within, announced at Blizzcon this weekend, is a little different. It's set in a new subterranean world beneath Azeroth - and it kicks off a three-expansion story arc Blizzard are caling The Worldsoul Saga.

Here's the cinematic announcement trailer for The War Within, which features former Horde leader Thrall, current Alliance leader Anduin, and a really, really big sword. I don't know if it's new but I am extremely interested in the sword.

The War Within cinematic trailer.Watch on YouTube

The expansion adds four new zones: the Isle Of Dorn, to the west of Pandaria; the below-ground Ringing Deeps; autumnal castlescape Hallowfall; and the high capital, Azj-Kahet. In these zones you'll meet a new playable race, the Earthen, who are allied with both the Horde and the Alliance. Within Warcraft's lore, the Earthen are like stony proto-dwarves.

There are a bunch of new features in the expansion, too. Delves are small instances designed for 1-4 players; there are new skills to learn in Hero Talent trees; and there's a Warbands system, so you can share levelling progress across all the characters attached to your account. I imagine most regular WoW players have multiple characters at this stage, so this should reduce the need to repeat content if you don't want to.

All of the above, plus new "dynamic flying" mounts, can be seen in the feature trailer below:

The War Within features overview.Watch on YouTube

Back in September it was announced that former head of story Chris Metzen had returned to Blizzard full-time, and it was Metzen that introduced the expansion at Blizzcon along with two more to follow it.

After The War Within will come Midnight, set within World Of Warcraft's old world - the parts that have existed since the launch game - where Azeroth has been invaded. After Midnight will come The Last Titan, set in the icy northern continent from the Lich King expansion, Northrend.

There's no release date for The War Within yet but it's expected sometime in 2024.

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