War Mode allows players on any realm to participate in open-world PvP with like-minded players in the ongoing battle between the Horde and the Alliance. Turning on War Mode applies the buff and provides incentives to compensate for the perceived risk of being targettable by the opposing faction.
The toggle for War Mode appears at the bottom right of the Talents interface after a character reaches level 20. War Mode can only be activated while in Stormwind or Orgrimmar. It can be deactivated at any rest location, including inns and other cities.
“With War Mode, we wanted to solve the problem of some players feeling “locked” into one play style or another by their realm choice. They might have picked a PvE realm purely because their friends were there, even though they were interested in open world PvP. Conversely, they could have chosen a PvP realm to start, but later decided it wasn’t for them anymore.”
- — Blizzard Entertainment
War Mode replaced previous open-world PvP concepts which had endured from Classic until Legion:
- PvP realms with players always targetable by the opposing faction; and
- PvE realms where players could opt in/out in the span of five minutes from anywhere in the world.
With people opting into the War Mode experience from any server, Blizzard can now tailor quests for those interested in it while avoiding the potential stigma and separation of friends being locked to different types of servers. All those who queue up for War Mode will be on one server shard, and those who do not will be on another. However, the sharding is ignored in the capital cities of Stormwind and Orgrimmar and players with War Mode can rejoin their non-enlisted peers by toggling the mode off in any rested place.
With War Mode enabled, a +10% bonus applies to experience from quests and mob kills, and to gold, currency or Azerite Power from world quests. If a faction is outnumbered, a War Mode: Call to Arms adds up to a further +20% bonus. If the participation is overwhelmingly one-sided, then the opposing faction will be offered the quest as even further incentive to participate.
Additionally, activating War Mode enables PvP talents in the open world.
Infrequently, flying machines on Zandalar and zeppelins on Kul Tiras will make its way across the sky within a zone and will eventually drop a War Supply Crate where players can fight over and claim it for their faction, similar to the chest in the Gurubashi Arena. Once a faction has gained control of the crate, anyone of that faction who is within the area will have a short period to open it and collect a piece of personal loot.
The time limit between each air drop is speculated to be around 20 minutes, but that hasn't always been the case.
Bounty Hunter System
Killing a certain number of players of the opposite faction, without dying awards the status of Assassin that increases damage and healing by 15%. The downside to this, the more players an Assassin kills, the more likely they will show up on the zone map for other players to target and to gain a bounty. Players who successfully kill an Assassin of the opposite faction will receive Conquest points as well as other rewards. There can be three or possibly more Assassins on Zandalar or Kul Tiras at a time, providing plenty of opportunity for players or groups of players to take their revenge on the opposite faction's Assassins. This system was available in Darkshore during the War of the Thorns limited-time event.
Upon killing 10 players of the opposing faction, the Assassin buff will be applied.
- <name> (<faction>) is marked on your map as an Assassin! Slay them for a bounty reward.
Please add any available information to this section.
- High Warlord Volrath says: Dere be one nasty Alliance soldier huntin' our warriors. Go out dere and give dem some payback.
- Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13): War Mode now requires level 20 or higher.
- Patch 8.1.0 (2018-12-11):
- Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Added.
- ^ a b c Battle for Azeroth Preview: War Mode, PvP Talents, and More. Blizzard Entertainment (2018-06-28). Retrieved on 2018-06-30.
- ^ Neryssa 2018-07-25. War Mode Features Activated in Darkshore After Unlocking World Quests. Wowhead. Retrieved on 2018-08-17.