Blizzard announces Warlords of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft

BlizzCon, Blizzard's annual gathering of fans of its games, is going on this weekend in Southern California. The company is using the event to unveil the fifth expansion to its ever-popular online game World of Warcraft. This installment is called Warlords of Draenor.

This expansion will take players back in time to the world of Draenor, the homeworld of the Orcish race and the last refuge of the draenei before their arrival on Azeroth. You will do battle with legendary warriors like Grommash Hellscream, Blackhand and Ner'zhul as you form a defense against the Horde, trying to undo the damage that the Horde's arrival on Azeroth has wrought.

Previous expansions have favored experienced players with higher level caps, leaving less experienced players scrambling to grind up their characters' capabilities until they can compete in the new areas. Blizzard's giving new and returning players a chance to even the field by allowing you to instantly boost one character to level 90. (The new level cap in Warlords of Draenor is 100.)

You can build a "Garrison," an expandable and customizable stronghold you can use to recruit non-player characters (NPCs) and gather resources. Revamped player models and animations are in the works, along with new Zones, Dungeons, Raids, Scenarios, Battlegrounds and more. Questing improvements are also in the works.

BlizzCon attendees can get their hands on development builds of the new expansion at the event. Blizzard isn't saying when it'll be ready, though, so the rest of us will have to wait until release.

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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Blizzard announces Warlords of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft