PvP in the open world: war mode

In this guide, we'll take a look at War Mode, a new type of world PvP that appeared in Battle for Azeroth. Particular attention will be paid to the bonuses received for an active war mode, achievements, PvP talents, head rewards and how to enable said mode.

What is War Mode?

War mode is a new kind of world PvP that appeared in the update prior to the Battle for Azeroth, along with a new honor points system and PvP talents. You can activate the faction capital's war mode and gain access to open-world PvP talents as well as other perks. You will always be on standby for PvP combat, and in return you will receive bonus experience points as a risk reward.
With the release of Battle for Azeroth, the PvP mode has many updates and new features, including changes for PvP talents, a war mode, a bounty hunt and a duelist guild. In this article, we'll take a closer look at each of these innovations.


In Battle for Azeroth, we've prepared a number of changes to the PvP-talent system. The Legion expansion utilized an honor-talent system - talents were unlocked through honor levels, which required participating in PvP battles to obtain. This put at a disadvantage for players wishing to try their hand at PvP for the first time: they had to fight for a long time to equal their opponents in terms of capabilities. In Battle for Azeroth, we've created a new and improved system where you'll be able to select PvP talent simply by leveling up, which will even out the playing field.
In the Legion expansion, PvP talents were grouped into 3, just like regular class talents; in Battle for Azeroth, players will be able to choose any 3 PvP talents from a variety of options, as well as a special talent that cancels control effects (PvP talents were previously available in class accessories).

Talent to dispel the effects of control will be available at level 20 by selecting one of three options from the drop-down menu. Once you reach level 110, you'll be able to select PvP talents from the entire list on the Talent panel (key N). The new system allows you to fine-tune your character talents to suit your playing style or specific conditions: local PvP battles, battlegrounds and arena battles, duels in the new duelist guild (details about it below). As with the class talents, you can switch PvP talents only in the recreation area.


We are pleased to introduce a new type of PvP battles in the open world, which we have called "War Mode". Battles in this mode are not limited by game worlds and their existing rules: now players from any server will be able to join a large-scale PvP battle between the Horde and Alliance at any time.

The new system allows us to bring World of Warcraft PvP out into the open world, thanks to some exciting new technologies. Players will be able to choose the gameplay according to their interests and aspirations, not limiting themselves to the boundaries of the game world. Maybe you want to completely abandon local PvP battles to explore dangerous lands with your allies, or from now on always fight in war mode without looking back - the choice is yours.
War mode is designed to solve a common problem where players start to feel like they're "stuck" in a certain style of game due to the limitations imposed on them by the game world they once chose. Some have chosen a PvE server simply because their friends are playing there, even though they would be more interested in PvP battles in an open world. Or vice versa: first they chose a PvP-server, and then decided that they don't want to play on it anymore. In war mode, each player will be able to combine both styles of play. Also, after looking at how the fragmentation of game worlds works now, we decided that we should take advantage of this opportunity and give players a choice.
By enabling war mode, players will enter a world populated by other players who have also enabled it. This is a good idea from which we can build entirely new PvP systems that are open to all players regardless of the game world, and develop an open-world PvP mode.
By enabling War Mode, players will also receive a number of bonuses. Firstly, in this mode, all selected PvP talents can be used wherever a PvP battle can take place, making the character development process more uniform and efficient. PvP talents will no longer be turned on and off depending on where you are and whether you are fighting a monster or another player. PvP battles will not be available in some zones, as before.
In addition, players will gain experience faster in war mode. It is no secret that in PvP you need to constantly be aware of the threat from other players, and this often leads to some reduction in the development speed of the character. We wanted to tweak this point, but so that players who decided not to turn on war mode would not feel as if they were missing an important opportunity. For the same reason, at the maximum level in war mode players are entitled to an additional bonus to gold, resources and artifact power obtained for completing local quests.
War mode can be turned on and off starting from level 20 - to do this you need to visit Orgrimmar or Stormgrad and activate the appropriate setting on the Talent Panel (key N). But be careful! Once you activate War Mode, all zones will become contested territories - including areas such as the Abbey of Northland. Additional War Mode options, such as bounty hunting and airdropping supplies (details below!), will only be available in the new zones in the Battle for Azeroth expansion.