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Warlords of Draenor is World of Warcraft's next expansion

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Blizzard Entertainment revealed Warlords of Draenor, the upcoming fifth expansion to its massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, today at BlizzCon 2013.

The time-traveling Warlords of Draenor expansion will take place in a new world called Draenor, which is the home of the orc and draenei races. It will feature new character models and animations, which you can see in the trailer below. Blizzard will also raise the MMO's level cap to 100, and Draenor will give players the option to boost one character — even newly created ones — immediately to level 90 so they can play the newest content.

The Alliance and Horde champions who've been displayed in Draenor will be able to construct a Garrison, which Blizzard describes as an "expandable, customizable stronghold that will serve as each player’s personal base of operations throughout the course of the expansion and provide the ability to build upgrade a faction-controlled Garrison." As it grows, players will be able to recruit NPCs who can live in the Garrisons, gather resources and taken on missions at players' command.

Warlords of Draenor will also include new battlegrounds, bosses, six planned five-player dungeons, quests, two planned raid instances and more. The expansion will feature new PvP zone, as well.

According to Blizzard, the landmass will be split into the following seven zones:

  • Frostfire Ridge: Across snow-covered wastes and beneath towering volcanoes, heroes of the Frostwolf clan and the Horde unite to repel invaders from their homeland.
  • Shadowmoon Valley: Amid rolling moonlit hills, the draenei at the holy temple of Karabor unite with the Alliance in a desperate fight for survival against the Iron Horde and Shadowmoon clan.
  • Gorgrond: Deep within the desert canyons of Gorgrond, an arsenal of massive siege weapons built by the Blackrock clan is about to be unleashed upon the whole of Draenor.
  • Talador: In the shadow of a besieged Shattrath City, the Auchenai Soulpriests actively seek to safeguard the countless draenei souls inside Auchindoun from a terrible demonic threat.
  • Spires of Arak: At the height of their power, the regal arrakoa plot atop their high peaks, well out of the reach of the brutal Shattered Hand orcs and the wingless outcasts below.
  • Nagrand: Among the fertile hills and outcroppings of Nagrand, the bloodied wolf-riders of the Warsong clan remain a threat not to be trifled with.
  • Tanaan Jungle: Within the overgrown jungle home of the Bleeding Hollow clan, a Dark Portal is under construction … and an Iron Horde army makes grim preparations to conquer Azeroth.

Warlords_of_draenor_map

Senior vice president Chris Metzen took the stage to make the announcement today. He began with a discussion of the history of the game's lore, which goes back about 30 in-game years, and made several references to the characters and champions who will appear in Warlords of Draenor.

"Warlords of Draenor gives players a chance to take a commanding role in one of the Warcraft series' most crucial conflicts," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. "This expansion also includes features that make it easy for anyone to jump right into the action, whether they've played WoW at some point in the past or are just setting foot in Azeroth for the first time."

Inklings of the expansion appeared earlier this month, when reports revealed that Blizzard trademarked the Warlords of Draenor name in Australia, Europe, the U.S. and New Zealand. In World of Warcraft lore, Draenor is the orc race's home turf. It was also the area in which the MMO's first expansion, The Burning Crusade, took place.

BlizzCon 2013 is underway at the Anaheim Convention Center, and Polygon is on hand to bring you all the news.