Island Expeditions were added into the game in the “Battle for Azeroth” Expansion. This is a special scenario for a group of three people that might be completed multiple times. Players are landed on an uncharted Island and are to collect a certain amount of Azerite. Players can gather Azerite from almost everywhere: from Azerite Deposits, Treasure Chests, representatives of Island fauna and other non-friendly Island inhabitants. And if this wasn’t already enough the constant tough competition increases the thrilling experience. The team of the opposite faction will hunt for Azerite as well. To be victorious, the team must be the first to fill the Ship’s holds with this important resource.
Island Expeditions are one of the best ways of getting huge amounts of Azerite, new combat Pets, Toys, Armor sets and Weapon for the transmogrification and even Mounts. For the level 110-119 Characters, Island Expeditions are a additional source of getting experience points, they are given for killing mobs as well as for the victory in the Expedition itself.
To take part in the Island Expedition Players should use the special Expedition Map located at the Port of Zandalar for the Horde or the Boralus Harbor for the Alliance. You can queue for the Expedition after you have chosen a difficulty of the upcoming encounter. There may be a single player or a group of them o queuing Normal or Heroic difficulty; don’t be shy to queue alone – random players will join you on your journey, but remember that Mythic and PvP difficulties always require a pre-formed party of three Players.
At the beginning of the encounter, all the Players land on an Island from their ship. The number of mobs, their location, and the Island events always differ and are generated randomly, so that every landing is unique.
After choosing the best route and strategy of gathering resources, players start their way to victory – to gather the needed amount of Azerite before the team of the opposite faction NPCs or Players (in PvP Expeditions). It’s interesting to know that there is an advanced AI used on Island Expeditions, made especially for this type of game content. After collecting a certain amount of Azerite, the team wins and gets a well-earned reward. The average time of completing the Island Expedition is about fifteen minutes.
Each Island is made in a certain style and there are three of the whole amount of variants available every week.
- Dread Chain – A frozen landscape.
- Havenswood – An abandoned Gilnean settlement and castle.
- Jorundall – An island inhabited by Vrykul.
- Molten Cay – A volcanic island with Zandalari ruins.
- Rotting Mire – A swampy island chain.
- Skittering Hollow – A dark and rocky island filled with spiders.
- Un’gol Ruins – A tropical island with ruins.
- Verdant Wilds – A forested island with Mogu ruins.
- Whispering Reef – A forested island with Night Elf ruins.
There will most probably will be even more types of Islands available with the next Patches to release.
Islands are generated randomly each time Players enter them as it was said above, so you may come into new mobs end events each time you queue, even if the coastline stays the same. These are some of such variable features:
- Different creatures, locations and different amounts of Azerite;
- Treasure Chests and Azerite Nodes spawned randomly around the Island;
- Different quest givers and events;
- Consumables and Shrines that give players buffs;
- Four different starting locations on each Island;
- Different weather – make sure to get the right clothes!
Players can come across dozens of different creatures while completing the Island Expedition event. They divide into several large groups:
Common Creatures – these are fauna representatives usually, such as enormous spiders of all forms, extremely hungry crocolisks, tigers, wolves, bears and a big variety of other beasts, striving to devour you.
Island Themed Creatures – quite typical Island inhabitants, some of them are even shown on the sketches and loading screens for specific Expeditions sometimes. These might be Troggs, Vrykul, Trolls, Worgens, etc.
Invasion Event Creatures – this is a group of foes who do not have any specific connections to either Islands or to the subject of the Expedition. They have a rare spawn that, in addition, correlates with certain events, that take place during Expedition sometimes. A striking example of such creatures are the Faceless, who spawn from the portals. Elite enemies, whom a player may bump into while exploring an Island have an assortment of certain abilities, which may pose a serious threat on high difficulty levels, but they are easy to avoid at the same time.
During the Expedition, players may experience one of the Invasion events. Lots of creatures of a certain kinds start to appear throughout the Island during such an event. These creatures may cause weather changes, new visual effects, and even a change in gameplay. There are also new interaction objects and rare enemies to slaughter and players will be given a huge number of Azerite for killing them. You can find these types of enemies by looking on your map – they will be marked.
Different types of Invasions let players obtain special thematic rewards. There are the following types of Invasion:
Bosses: Grimebreeze, Cyclonic Lieutenant
Weather Effect: The air elementals cause a Thunderstorm, lightning will strike randomly around the Island and under players. After the strike, a tornado will form and deal heavy damage and knock players away if hit.
Bosses: Unbound Azerite
Bosses: Tyrantion, Ravenian, Stygia
- Earth Elementals
Bosses: Lord Korslate, Lord Amythite
Weather Effect: A Sandstorm kicks up, reducing visibility and causing the ground underneath Players to become hazardous.
- Feral Worgen
- Fire Elementals
Bosses: Lord Amar’zan
Weather Effect: A powerful fire elemental causes a Blazing Sky, causing fire swirls to occasionally appear beneath players and blast the area with fire after a short while. In addition, some areas will have volcanoes that spew fire at players.
Bosses: Gurthani the Elder, Berserker Gola, Zoga, Thu’zun the Vile
Bosses: Hjana Fogbringer#
Weather Effect: A Kvaldir invasion causes an Eerie Fog to settle, which restricts the ability to see and is cast on allies and enemies beyond 20 yards. In addition, patches of Fetid Mist completely hide you or enemies from vision to those outside the mist.
Bosses: Wall-Breaker Ha’vik, Wingleader Srak’ik
Bosses: Jun-Ti, Skycrack
Weather Effect: Unnatural Darkness causes the Island to become dark. No major effect on gameplay is provided.
Bosses: Tidemistress Sser’ah, Tide Lord Szunis
Weather Effect: The arrival of the Naga causes a Rain Storm. This currently has no known impact on gameplay.
Weather Effect: Shadow Storm
Bosses: Mutineer Jalia, Head Navigator Franklin
Bosses: Prince Abari
Bosses: Thorisiona, Endalion
- Undead Vrykul
- Venture Company
Bosses: Halfid Ironeye
Weather Effect: A Blizzard occurs, causing snow to fall as well as Snow Orbs to create areas of frost around the Island that deal frost damage and slow movement speed while in their effect radius.
While being on an Island Expedition Players can find Azerite in deposits, in Treasure Chests, as loot after killing enemy creatures, or as a reward after completing certain Events and Quests. The amount of Azerite needed to successfully complete the Expedition and the quantum of its extraction depend on the difficulty of the concrete encounter.
Players may complete a quest for gathering 36000 of Azerite every week. The reward is impressive – 2500 of the Artifact power, which makes this quest very important and prior to finish. Notice, that Azerite, which you were able to gather during the Expedition, will be automatically included in your Weekly Quest progress, regardless of the result of the Island Expedition. To successfully finish the Weekly Quest, Players are to fulfill the following conditions:
- 6 Island Expeditions in Normal difficulty;
- 4 Island Expeditions in Heroic difficulty;
- 3 Island Expeditions in Mythic or PvP difficulty.
After the encounter has started, you have some time left to gather your thoughts. Try to determine your route and follow it as soon as the countdown is reset. You will receive Azerite for almost every activity on an Island – killing, gathering, searching, and looting. You may use one simple principle: “the bigger it is, the more Azerite it rewards”, meaning that big foes and large Chests will give you more Azerite than little foes and small Chests. Do not hesitate to do and to use everything that you come across, remember that all means are good. The Captain of your ship will “yell” the beginning of a new Event and it will be shown on your Map shortly after, so pay attention to notice it in time. We recommend such events to become your priority, for they reward you with a significant amount of Azerite.
Your main priority should be rare mobs killing because they give you a good amount of Azerite. Do not lose an opportunity to mine Azerite veins – it’s worth that. Gather all the ore and loot all the Chests, use all the usable items – everything contains Azerite.
The more enemies you have slaughtered during the Expedition, the longer you stay alive and the more Azerite costs your life; this, by the way, relates to your opponents as well. Stay safe as long as you can and avoid starting combats with the other faction until there will be 750 Azerite as a reward for each of your enemies. Here you may get ahead really fast and maintain the advantage while the opposite team waits for respawn at the nearest Cemetery. Note, that conquering the advanced AI may be more difficult than you might expect. Such mobs are a way clever than ordinary ones and they act less predictive – use class-related skills, controls, and healing abilities. Set priorities in the right way to successfully eliminate the enemy team; use PvP tactics – the Healers are to die in the first raw.
Do you think there aren’t any Achievements connected to the Island Expeditions? There are lots of them! There are regular and meta-Achievements like everywhere else in the “World of Warcraft” Universe. One of the parts of the meta-Achievements is called Expedition Leader (a player will also get an “Expedition Leader” title by completing this) is a “Helping Hand” Achievement, where you are to save the Explorers, who have spread aroundthe Island. Their location is shown with the yellow exclamation marks on the map. Depending on the delicate situation in which the concrete Explorer has turned himself out to be, which is, by the way, generated randomly, players will have to find and bring the concrete items to this NPC:
- Caged: Key
- Entangled: Torc
- Injured: Poultice
- Buried: Shovel
- Poisoned: Antivenom
Players conquer the NPC teams of opposite faction in Normal, Heroic and Mythic difficulty Island Expeditions. As it was said above, these NPCs are ruled by a new advanced AI, which behavior is a way closer to living people’s, rather than one of a regular Non Playing Characters. Such opponents can jump and kite other mobs, they have a resistance to taunt skills, they can switch over to a player with the low Health and are quite able to sneak a Treasure Chest right out from under your nose! The higher is the difficulty level of the Island Expedition, the more skilled the NPCs are.
Advanced AI NPCs use the following class and race combinations:
- Briona’s Buccaneers: Dwarven and Gnomish pirates (Briona the Bloodthirsty, Varigg, “Stabby” Lottie).
- Auric’s Angels: Male hydromancers (Frostfencer Seraphi, Squallshaper Bryson, Squallshaper Auran).
- Light’s Vengeance: Lightforged and normal Draenei (Vindicator Baatul, Anchorite Lanna, Archmage Tamuura).
- Razak’s Roughriders: Gnomish soldiers and engineers (Razak Ironsides, Dizzy Dina, Tally Zapnabber).
- Riftrunners: Void elves (Riftblade Kelain, Shadeweaver Zarra, Duskrunner Lorinas).
- The Wolfpack: Worgen (Gunnolf the Ferocious, Fenrae the Cunning, Raul the Tenacious).
- Dark Iron Demolishers: Dark Iron Dwarves (Airyn Swiftfeet, Lady Tamakeen, Brother Bruen).
- The Headhunters: Zandalari and jungle Trolls (Witch Doctor Unbugu, Shadow Hunter Ju’loa, Berserker Zar’ri).
- Warbraves: Highmountain Tauren (Sunwalker Ordel, Spiritwalker Quura, Mahna Flamewhisper).
- Greenbelly’s Raiders: Orcs and Forsaken pirates (Sneaky Pete, Dorp, Captain Greenbelly).
- The Blazing Sunhawks: Blood Elven pyromancers (Phoenix Mage Ryleia, Sunbringer Firasi, Phoenix Mage Rhydras).
- The Highborne: Nightborne (Rune Scribe Lusaris, Moonscythe Pelani, Astralite Visara).
- Gazlowe’s Greasemon keys: Engineers (Gazlowe, Skaggit, Lady Sena).
- Draenor’s Blood: Mag’har orcs (Nagtar Wolfsbane, Ranah Saberclaw, Charg “The Boisterous”).
The successful completion of the Island Expedition is a necessary condition to get lots of different rewards, such as unique battle Pets, Transmogrification Sets, Toys, and Mounts. To receive this or that reward, players should meet concrete enemies while exploring the Island. Some mobs have a hidden loot table, which increases player’s chances to obtain rare items from them. For instance, you had been slaughtering pirates during a particular Expedition and there is a chance for you to receive a rare mount – Rideable Parrot, which can be obtained only from these particular mobs. Or the unique Sword for the Transmogrification may be looted only from Vrykul NPCs. All the rewards a player will get only at the end of the Expedition, meaning it is random loot anyway.
Completing Island Expeditions also rewards Seafarer’s Dubloons, which you will later trade for Pets, Mounts and some other rewards.
Collecting all of these Pets will reward a Player with the I’m Here for the Pets Achievement.