Developers Reveal Dungeons, Delves, and the First Raid in The War Within

wowcast developer chat the war within

As part of Blizzard’s regular YouTube series, WoWCast, World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas and Associate Art Director Tina Wang appeared with Community Manager Bethany Stout to share some details and insight for the upcoming expansion, The War Within.

The developers start their chat with a look at the expansion’s main antagonist, Xal’atath, the Harbinger, a being as old as the Black Empire who was recently freed from her imprisonment in the shadow priest artifact weapon that shares her name. She has struck a bargain with an ancient nerubian kingdom buried deep underground, and they will make up her army in the conflict to come. But don’t worry if spiders freak you out – there’s going to be a new arachnophobia filter in the game, which will turn all spider creatures in the game into crabs instead.

Seeking to counter this force of the Void is a contingent of the Light led by Anduin Wrynn. Alleria Windrunner will also play a major role, as will the dwarves led by Magni and Moira Bronzebeard. Who better to delve deep underground, after all? Hazzikostas mentions that the title of this expansion, The War Within, has a double meaning. Along with the battle within Azeroth, there is a lot of internal conflict within these characters, particularly Anduin.

We get a peek in the video at three of the new dungeons coming in The War Within: The Rookery, where the new Allied Race, the Earthen dwarves, have raised their storm gryffins; Priory of the Sacred Flame, a monastery; and City of Threads, a deep level of the main nerubian city. You’ll be able to run these new dungeons with followers right from the start if you choose, continuing the follower dungeons feature that was recently added in Dragonflight.

There’s also a brief overview of the first raid in The War Within, Nerub’ar Palace, the castle of the nerubian queen. This raid will have eight bosses and will drop all new tier sets for every class.

Delves are shown a bit as well, the new mini-instances that are being added to the game which will be accessible either solo or with up to four other players. These activities are connected seamlessly to the open world and offer endgame rewards just like raids, Mythic dungeons, and PvP content – plus a new customizable mechanical mount. You’ll be accompanied by an NPC companion whose role you can change. Delves will be available in two tiers of difficulty from the start and more will be unlocked later on.

The team also briefly discusses Warbands, which were covered in more detail earlier today.

Up next in the video is the new battleground coming in the expansion, Deephaul Ravine, an Earthen-themed mashup between Silvershard Mines and Arathi Basin with both control points to claim and carts to push. But the biggest news for PvP in The War Within is that rated battlegrounds will be shifting to a system more like the recent Battleground Blitz Brawl, with 8v8 teams and a solo queue.

As far as the new Hero Talents system, Hazzikostas says not to expect any additional reveals on the WoW website. There are still a dozen trees we haven’t seen yet, but we’ll be able to get a look at them soon in The War Within Beta.

Professions in The War Within will work largely the same as they did in Dragonflight, but the developers have heard lots of feedback about the work orders system and will be adding a large number of NPC work orders to fill the gaps.

The overhaul of the UI that we saw in Dragonflight will continue to expand in The War Within, with new icons for different types of quests.

The War Within Alpha is starting soon, and once the developers have cycled through the various chunks of content that they want to test first, the game will move into the Beta phase, enabling players to test out the expansion as a whole. You can sign up for The War Within Beta on the World of Warcraft website now.

Blizzard – (Source)

Join Game Director Ion Hazzikostas and Associate Art Director Tina Wang as they sit down with Community Manager and host Bethany Stout to take you into The War Within™.

The alpha test is right around the corner and we look forward to moving into the next phase of development of The War Within with you.

Here’s a recap of some of the main features arriving with the expansion.

Defend Azeroth from the Shadows Below

Journey through never-before-seen subterranean worlds filled with wonders and lurking perils, down to the dark depths of the nerubian empire, where the malicious Harbinger of the Void, Xal’atath, is gathering arachnid forces to bring Azeroth to its knees.

Freed long ago of the black blade that once bound her, she is now the Harbinger of a new era of the Void’s dark machinations. Her message is clear. The Black Empire has fallen. The Old Gods are dead and their ancient blood runs deep within the cracks of the world. We, the heroes of Azeroth destroyed them and the Harbinger watched all along. While the Black Empire has failed, Xal’atath seeks to set in motion the rise of a new dark legacy —one that knows our strengths and will seek to test them against a terrible power, the nerubians of Azj-Kahet.

Xal’atath has conscripted the nerubian queen, Ansurek, and offered her people a new future in which they would rise from their isolation and become a mighty kingdom once again. We will not find the nerubian soldiers of the Lich King here, but a mighty stronghold of nerubians as they once were—deadly survivors of the mythic wars that have played out repeatedly over thousands of years.

In return for their loyalty, Xal’atath has granted the nerubians the means of a dark evolution that will turn the nerubians into a new kind of ferocious and terrifying soldiers.


Several of Azeroth’s greatest heroes will rise to the call of the Radiant Song, and many will face their own unique challenges along the way.

  • Anduin Wrynn: Having survived his ordeal with Domination, he will grapple with his relationship with the Holy Light that he no longer feels worthy of.
  • Thrall: He is seeking a connection to the visions spreading across the world and working to find his new place within the Horde.
  • Magni Bronzebeard: Long the Speaker of Azeroth, he will confront the heavy weight of that responsibility once and for all.
  • Alleria Windrunner: Her journey will be central to the events and themes of the War Within. She, as a void hunter, must use all of her capabilities to hunt down Xal’atath while being torn between her own nature and the maddening call of the Void to which she is attuned. Along this adventure she will have a unique rivalry with Xal’atath whose twists and turns will come to define the nature of this new conflict.

This chapter is only the beginning of the saga.

Khaz Algar- Designated Sector AR-934

Beneath the surface of Azeroth, an expansive world exists, fraught with danger and waiting to be explored.


The Isle of Dorn: Discover the land of Khaz Algar, off the western shores of Pandaria and home to the Earthen. Their capital city, Dornogal, will become the new meeting ground for the Horde and Alliance.

The Ringing Deeps: This gigantic cavern serves as the home of the Machine Speakers, Earthen who maintain the gigantic Titan machines of old.

Hallowfall: Lit by a massive crystal at its center, this bright underground zone is home to the Arathi who are engaged in a continuing battle against the nerubians.

Azj-Kahet: The pinnacle of nerubian society where Xal’atath, Harbinger of the Void, has been gathering and mutating nerubian forces to create an unstoppable army.

For players who are concerned about entering into a space filled with spiders, there will be an arachnophobia filter that can be turned on which will convert spider creatures into crabs.

Meet the Earthen

We’ve met Titan-forged Earthen before in Ulduar and other places, but this society of Earthen has been isolated within Khaz Algar for a long while and have developed their own manners and customs. Visually, they are a bit larger, and gem encrusted.

It is up to the heroes of Azeroth to aid the Earthen and find a way to unite them once more and replenish their numbers.


Earthen will also unlock as a playable race. Replenishing the culture’s dwindling numbers by either joining the Horde or the Alliance. Players will be able to choose either faction to begin their journey.

There are many customizations that will be coming for these Earthen including different gem encrustations, beards for all body types, skin colorizations, and more.


Similar to the launch of previous expansions, there will be 4 level-up dungeons and 4 maximum-level dungeons that are available in each of the four new zones.

Level-Up Dungeons

  • The Rookery
  • The Stonevault
  • Priory of the Sacred Flame
  • City of Threads

Maximum Level

  • Cinderbrew Meadery
  • Darkflame Cleft
  • The Dawnbreaker
  • Old City

If you don’t want to use the Dungeon Finder to take part in dungeons with other players, you can continue the campaign story with Follower Dungeons which will be available to play through in all level-up dungeons.

Nerub’ar Palace Raid Dungeon

The Nerub’ar Palace raid dungeon will offer eight boss encounters. Located in Azj-Kahet, it will result in the culmination of the story we see play out involving the machinations of the nerubian empire and Queen Ansurek’s collaboration with Xal’atath.

Players can also expect new tier rewards for their valiant efforts.

New Features

  • Delves: Deep beneath the surface lies treasure vaults waiting to be discovered. Explore these world instances solo or with up to four friends, along with an NPC companion, to defeat bosses and gain epic end-game loot.

Delves New Mechanical Mount Reward

Mix and match customizations to make your new mount your own.

  • Warbands: Expand the potential of your alternate characters with account-wide progression across your family of characters on your account. Share your Warband Bank access, War Within Renown, achievements, collections, and more. Visit our latest article to learn more about Warbands.
  • Hero Talents: Rise to new heights of power with new Hero Talent trees. Each class specialization has access to two choices of self-contained Hero Talent trees inspired by iconic Warcraft universe archetypesRevisit our previous Hero Talent previews to get a glimpse at what is in development.

 *Please note many of these trees have been updated since the original previews.

We look forward to hearing your ongoing thoughts and feedback as we continue development.

Sign up for The War Within test to be a part of the future of World of Warcraft.

About the Author


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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