Blizzard Entertainment is certainly having a big year. The multiplayer shooter Overwatch launches next month, Hearthstone continues to drain the battery life of millions of phones, and the Duncan Jones-helmed Warcraft film hits theaters this summer. But if you’ve been waiting for the next real reason to return to Azeroth, you don’t have to wait too much longer, as World of Warcraft: Legion arrives this August.
This release date comes less than two years after the launch of the previous expansion, Warlords of Draenor. This shouldn’t be a total shock, as players vented their frustration with the lack of content in Draenor relative to the other expansions, and with the Warcraft film releasing just two months earlier, Blizzard is definitely trying to pull moviegoers into the game — either for the first time or as “relapsed” players.
If you decide to play World of Warcraft for the first time with the release of Legion (or if you haven’t played since the days of Burning Crusade), you may want to pre-purchase the game. This allows you to hit level 100 with one character: just ten levels short of Legion‘s level cap. Given the amount of time I remember it taking me to just hit level 70, this seems particularly enticing.
The narrative of Legion also sounds a bit more interesting than the last few expansions. Gul’dan, who you may know as the Warlock from Hearthstone, has launched a “demonic invasion force” in Azeroth, and both the Horde and Alliance must work with “the Demon Hunters of the Illidari” to save their world. The expansion also marks the return of Illidan Stormrage, perhaps the greatest villain the Warcraft franchise has ever seen. It appears, however, that he may not be so villainous anymore.
World of Warcraft: Legion launches on August 30.