What is WoW: Plunderstorm? Patch 10.2.6 explained

James Lynch
The lobby waiting area in Plunderstorm

The cat is finally out of the bag and the developers behind World of Warcraft have revealed a new Battle Royale mode – Plunderstorm. Here’s everything we know about the game launching today, March 19.

The developers bill Plunderstorm as “a whole new way to play World of Warcraft,” and they aren’t wrong. Classes and gear are gone, and it’s all about getting out there and defeating enemies in short matches.

There is a lot to understand about how the event works and how long it’s going to be around for, here’s our full breakdown of all the major features in the new Battle Royale.

How to access and play WoW: Plunderstorm and how do matches work?

Launching Plunderstorm is a case of accessing it from the game’s initial menu, rather than in-game. Simply enter the Modern WoW client and click the Plunderstorm button at the top of the page. From there, players should be taken to a character creation screen.

From there, players can customize the appearance of their Plunderstorm character and launch a game. The Battle Royale mode features sixty players fleeing from an enclosing storm, and you can play it either solo or as a duo.

It’s important to note that an active WoW subscription is required to play. That said, the Dragonflight expansion is not, though the full client is a necessary requirement.

Plunderstorm features no gear and classes

In a break from WoW tradition, the game features no classes or gear to build into. Instead, players start on a level playing field and pick up new abilities as they go. These abilities can be picked up in a variety of ways.

Killing other players causes them to drop their existing abilities. NPCs also drop abilities whose power is largely dictated by how hard they are to kill. Additionally, chests of varying rarities also have a chance to drop abilities for use.

It is possible to pick up a duplicate ability to one in the player’s action bar. This causes the ability to rank up (assuming it isn’t max rank already). These abilities dictate the entire function of the character, eliminating any kind of class system.

The thinking behind this is chiefly ease of accessibility for the player base. Most matches will take around 15 minutes, and the idea is to jump into these without any preparation. Agonizing over efficient builds is a thing of the past in Plunderstorm.

Plunderstorm rewards for both Classic and Modern WoW

Existing WoW players who decide to jump into Plunderstorm will find themselves rewarded for their time. Both Classic and Modern WoW players will be able to earn rewards for their chosen game, simply by progressing through Plunderstorm Renown levels.

Though we don’t yet have a full breakdown of what these are, they include transmogs, mounts & pets for both major games. We do know that players will be able to earn the Plunderlord parrot mount, Bubbles the crab pet, and pirate-themed cosmetics.

The Plunderlord Parrot mount from WoW Plunderstorm

Plunderstorm leveling and Renown explained

There are two specific progression systems in Plunderstorm. The first is simple leveling, with the cap currently set at 10. As in WoW, this will simply increase player health and allow them to output more damage.

The other big system is Renown. As in Dragonflight, this can be pushed all the way to Level 40. Along the way, players can earn a huge variety of rewards, including those listed in the section above.

That’s our breakdown of everything we know so far. The rewards associated with the game will inevitably appear over the next day or two. This guide will reflect the latest information.