Just when I thought I was past being surprised by games adding battle royale modes, Blizzard today announced one for World Of Warcraft. Plunderstorm will drop 60 pirates onto the Arathi Highlands to fight monsters, loot chests, level up, acquire abilities, and beat the hell out of each other as a storm closes in. It’s initially due to run only for several weeks and will use wholly separate characters, though you can unlock cosmetics for your main wizards.

Plunderstorm Launch Trailer | World of Warcraft

What’s surprising about Plunderstorm is how much it isn’t simply ‘World Of Warcraft but battle royale’. It follows a lot of the usual battle royale template, sure, but it changes a lot of how WoW works. You have no class, for starters, with your abilities determined by what you loot in the arena. These aren’t just regular WoW abilities either, offering weird bespoke abilities not found in the main game. So every match you’ll end up a different novel wizard. It also gives everyone a double-jump, disables fall damage, gives everyone a heal, and even removes auto-attacking in favour of manual attacks.

Cover image for YouTube videoGet Ready for the Plunderstorm | WoWCast

Blizzard explain how it works

Blizzard say in a video that matches tend to start out with players battling monsters and plundering booty, getting their builds together, before pushing more into PvP as the match draws on and players are pushed closer. It’ll support solos and duos, put in separate matches.

The Pirate Pepe parrot pet in World Of Warcraft: Plunderstorm.
You can win this precious baby | Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Plunderstorm is a separate mode, accessed through a whole separate option on the main menu. While your characters start over each match, it does have persistent progression to unlock rewards on your usual account. You can score pirate-y outfits, titles, a parrot mount, a crab pet, and more. The mode isn’t tied to an expansion, so all active players can join in, even Classic, though Classic folks will need to download the modern client.

The Plunderstorm update starts rolling out today in North America, due to hit European servers tomorrow. While it will initially run for a few weeks, associate game director Jeremy Feasel said that “depending on player feedback, we will see what the future of Plunderstorm looks like.” See Blizzard’s Plunderstorm announcement and the Update 10.2.6 patch notes for more info on everything.

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