How to Play Plunderstorm: Beginner’s Guide

plunderstorm beginner's guide

Plunderstorm is a new limited-time event in World of Warcraft. It’s effectively a completely separate game from Dragonflight, a battle royale with its own rules, mechanics, and abilities. This guide will cover all of the basics so you can jump right in and start having fun.

Launching Plunderstorm

You don’t need to purchase the Dragonflight expansion to play Plunderstorm, but you do need to have retail World of Warcraft installed. You’ll also need an active WoW subscription or game time. That means that if you’ve been playing WoW Classic but not retail, you can still play Plunderstorm.

To play Plunderstorm, launch World of Warcraft. In the character selection screen, you’ll see the Plunderstorm logo in the upper left corner. Click on it to enter the game.

wow plunderstorm logo character selection screen

Character Customization

The first thing you’ll want to do when you log in to Plunderstorm is customize your character. You’ll see a button for this (“Customize Character”) at the bottom of the main screen.

You only get one character for Plunderstorm, and you can change their appearance at any time, including their race and body type. This character is separate from any of your World of Warcraft characters and will only be used in Plunderstorm.

You’ll have all the same options for character customization that exist in WoW: Dragonflight. Faction doesn’t matter, and you can select from any race with the lone exception of Dracthyr. That includes all of the Allied Races, even if you haven’t unlocked them in World of Warcraft. There’s no class selection in Plunderstorm and no racial abilities, but there are plenty of appearance options to make your character look exactly how you want them to. Note that some unlockable options aren’t included, like the Eredar appearances for Draenei.

You won’t be able to name your character – you’ll automatically use your Battlenet username in Plunderstorm.

Solos, Duos, and Trios

Before you join a game, there are three options above the “Join Game” button: Solos, Duos, and Trios.

Joining a Solos game means you’re on your own, and so is everyone else in the battle. It’s a 60-player free-for-all where you’re eliminated as soon as you’re killed.

Joining a Duos game means that you and everyone else in the game will be paired with another player. If you’d like to queue with a friend, there’s a convenient “Invite Friend” button on the left side of the main screen. Otherwise, you’ll be paired up with a random player once you enter the battle. A duos game pits 30 duos against each other, and you’re not out until both you and your partner are killed. Duos partners can resurrect each other, so even if you’re taken out there’s a chance you could get back in the game.

Trios work similarly to Duos, except you’ll be on a team of three and pitted against 20 other teams of three.

plunderstorm character screen

Joining a Game

When you click that “Join Game” button, there may be a short wait while the game finds a match for you, and then you’ll load into Brew Bay, which functions as the game’s lobby area. You can do whatever you want while you wait for the match to begin. There are plenty of objects and NPCs around that will allow you to practice some of the game’s mechanics. You can open chests, fight enemies, and practice your abilities.

You can also speak with Da’kash Grimledger, the orc NPC right next to where you spawn, to change your title and weapon appearance. You’ll only have one option for each at first, with others being unlocked as you progress your Renown.

When the timer runs out, a giant cannon will spawn on top of your character and shoot you into the air, resetting your health and abilities and starting the game.

plunderstorm brew bay

Starting the Game

When the match starts, you’ll find yourself riding a giant parrot flying high above the Arathi Highlands. You can steer your mount to wherever you want to go on the map, or you can point it straight down to get on the ground as quickly as possible. You’ll crash land wherever you aim the bird, but you won’t take any damage. Note that if you crash into an enemy, it will instantly die, giving you a quick headstart on experience and loot!

You’ll start the game with both of your basic abilities:

  • Slash is your basic attack. It deals damage in a 6-yard cone in front of you and is spammable.
  • Health Brew is your heal. This ability slows you while you’re channeling it, has a 30 second cooldown, and will be interrupted if you take damage.

You’ll also start with an item, Barrel Roll. Items can only be used one time, but you’ll be able to find more in the game.

You’ll have four other buttons on your action bar that can be filled with spells you find in the game. The first two buttons are for Offensive spells and the second two are for Utility spells.

plunderstorm game start

The Plunderstorm Map

At the start of the game, you’ll have the entire Arathi Highlands map to plunder. As the game progresses, the storm will close in, shrinking the playable area of the map. You’ll be able to see a dotted line on the map showing where the storm will converge next. The progress bar on the right side of your screen will tell you how long you have before the storm closes in. Eventually all remaining players will be forced into a very small area together for a final showdown.

Enemies and chests are fairly evenly distributed across the map, with elite enemies and large chests being a bit more concentrated around marked points of interest. Bosses will also spawn in random locations, marked by a skull on the map. They are worth a lot of loot, but are tough to take down.

Spells and Items

Along with Doubloons, you’ll be looting spells and items that can be used in the game. You can’t carry these over from one match to the next, so you’ll be starting from scratch each time.

Spells and items are looted randomly by defeating enemies or looting chests. You have two slots for offensive spells, two slots for utility spells, and one slot for an item. Picking up another spell or item when your slots are full will result in dropping one that you already have.

If you pick up a copy of the same spell, you’ll upgrade it. Spells have four quality ranks: Common, Uncommon, Rare, and Epic. You’ll see the rank on the tooltip when you hover over a spell. Most of the spells you loot will be Common quality, but you can get ranked-up versions of spells from other players, who will leave their spells and items on the ground when they are eliminated. Each rank of a spell reduces its cooldown and in some cases increases its damage as well.

Unlike spells, which last until you swap them out, items are all one-time-use. You start the game with the Barrel Roll item, and you’ll likely find more of them lying around since everyone else has one as well. Other items are much more rare. Most of them are useful for evading enemies, either by making you move faster or granting a form of stealth, but there are also some that deal damage.

plunderstorm loot spells

Enemies and Chests

Along with other players, you’ll be fighting a lot of NPC enemies in Plunderstorm. Like in World of Warcraft, these enemies come in varying difficulty levels: normal mobs, elites, and bosses. You can solo any of these enemies, but bosses will be particularly challenging to kill. For most other enemies, it’s simply a matter of avoiding their attacks while dealing damage to them. Most enemies in Plunderstorm have either a front cone attack, which you can avoid by moving behind them, or an AOE attack, which you can avoid by running out of the marked areas on the ground.

Chests can be found all over the place, with larger chests often appearing in more dangerous or visible locations. They come in three variants: Magical, Supply, and Golden. Magical Chests drop spells, Supply Chests drop items, and Golden Chests drop Doubloons. Opening any chest takes a couple of seconds, so you’ll want to be aware of your surroundings before you attempt to do so.

Opening a chest or defeating an enemy will usually drop loot on the ground in the form of Doubloons, a spell, or an item. It also grants experience toward leveling up. Each level you gain will increase your health and the damage that is done by your abilities. The Doubloons you collect are your progress toward earning Renown and rewards from Keg Leg’s Crew.

plunderstorm level up

Ending the Match

It’s important to note that your plunder won’t count toward your progress unless you finish the game. That means you either need to be eliminated or win the game, you can’t just leave the match while your character is still competing.

Once you’re eliminated from the game, you’ll be put in spectator mode. You can stick around and watch other people play the game, cycling through the remaining players. You can also leave at any time. Your progress will count as soon as you’re eliminated, and there’s no reward for staying – although you may learn something by watching other players!

If you’re the last solo player or duo team standing, you’ll win the game! You get an eyepatch and a tabard to display in your next match, as well as an extra 500 plundered doubloons. Plus the satisfaction of knowing you’re #1!

 

About the Author

Luxrah

I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.
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Lackadaisical
Lackadaisical
29 days ago

Is there any method to level up fast. There are people who almost 8 by the time I hit level 3… its insane.

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