Guide to Island Expeditions in WoW: Battle for Azeroth

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Island Expeditions are an all-new feature in World of Warcraft’s Battle for Azeroth expansion, offering players the opportunity to join two other players and compete against three others to collect the most Azerite. You can party with two friends or queue up to play with strangers, similar to the story-centric Scenarios of previous expansions. Completing Island Expeditions will yield decent Azerite rewards, necessary for leveling up your Heart of Azeroth. You can learn more about the Heart of Azeroth in our guide.

When heading out on an Expedition, you're given the option to compete against a team of AI-controlled NPCs or humans, the latter offering a unique PVP experience. The NPCs feature an all new AI, promising a more challenging experience with atypical combat. All players will respawn upon being defeated, so no worries about being knocked out of the Expedition before it has ended. Play carefully, because every moment spent waiting to respawn is time you could be spending collecting that sweet, sweet Azerite!

There are seven different islands, with three available in rotation each week for players of both factions. The island’s features are randomized each time, offering a relatively unique exploration experience with different enemies, lootable items, quests, and more.


Interact with the Expedition Map to queue for an Island Expedition

The island also contains shrines, similar to those found on Mists of Pandaria’s Timeless Isle, that can offer powerful buffs to aid you in the hunt for Azerite. They also have a chance to debuff you, so keep your fingers crossed! You can increase the benefit from these shrines by researching Island Archaeologist at Eitrigg (Horde) or Alleria Windrunner (Alliance) at player level 120.

Understanding Island Expedition difficulty levels

Island Expeditions are available in Normal, Heroic, Mythic, and PVP difficulty levels. Each level features a different item level requirement (if any) and additional buffs to the enemy health as well as the amount of Azerite awarded. An Island Expedition will take around 20 minutes to finish, and you’ll want to complete them to earn a specific amount of Azerite each week to complete a weekly quest for a bonus Azerite reward.

Here’s what you’ll need to know about each difficulty level:

Normal

  • No item level requirement
  • First team to obtain 6,000 Azerite wins!

Heroic

  • Requires item level 305
  • Azerite increased by 50%
  • Enemies have 100% more health than Normal
  • First team to obtain 9,000 Azerite wins!

Mythic

  • Requires item level 315
  • Azerite increased by 100%
  • Enemies have 200% more health than Normal
  • First team to reach 12,000 Azerite wins!

PVP

  • No item level requirement
  • Azerite increased by 100%
  • Enemies have 200% more health than Normal
  • First team to reach 12,000 Azerite wins!

How to unlock Island Expeditions

Island Expeditions are unlocked through progression in Battle for Azeroth’s War Campaign, a questline which progresses independently from the regular, zone-specific storylines. Progression through the War Campaign is gated by level and is absolutely necessary to complete in order to unlock major features of the expansion, including reputation rewards, world quests, and more.

Leveling in Battle for Azeroth isn’t particularly difficult or time-consuming, so you should be able to reach Island Expeditions quickly. Keep up with completion of your War Campaign questline, which begins immediately upon arriving at the new continent, to establish footholds in enemy territory. Once you’ve completed two footholds and have reached level 116, a new quest will open up titled “Island Expedition,” which sends you on a solo Expedition.

Once you've completed this introductory Expedition, you'll unlock Island Expeditions. To go on an Expedition, visit the Expedition Map, choose a difficulty, and click "Find Crew." You can also queue up using the "Premade Groups" tab in the Dungeon Finder, though there appears to be a level restriction to this option.

Once you’ve unlocked Island Expeditions on one character, they’ll be unlocked account-wide, so you can start doing Normal difficulty at level 110 on your alts. However, you will still need to reach the necessary item levels to unlock the higher difficulties.

How to earn Azerite in Island Expeditions

The primary focus in Island Expeditions is exploring the island to recover as much Azerite as possible. The Expedition is completed once one team reaches the set Azerite goal, which is depicted by a meter in the UI. You’ll be competing against the enemy team to meet that goal. After a certain amount of time has passed, all Azerite veins will be revealed.

On the island, pretty much everything is a source of Azerite. You’ll receive Azerite for defeating enemies, collecting chests, mining Azerite veins, and by completing quests and objectives on the island. More difficult enemies and larger lootable items will reward more Azerite, so you’ll want to get your hands on these before the enemy team. You can even kill the enemy team, be they AI-controlled NPCs or actual players, for an Azerite reward.


Azerite veins can be found scattered across the island. Bigger veins = more Azerite!

Once an Island Expedition has ended, you’ll receive an Azerite reward, as well as an additional bonus if your team reached the goal first. Even if you lose, you’ll still receive an Azerite reward, you just won’t receive the bonus reward. It's worth noting that this Azerite is, unfortunately, not for you, so you won't be gaining insane amounts of Azerite each week. You also have a chance to receive an additional Azerite token as a bonus reward.

Completing your weekly quest for bonus Azerite

Once you’ve reached player level 120, each week you’ll automatically receive a quest to collect 40,000 Azerite from Island Expeditions. Completing this quest will award a bonus 2,500 Azerite along with reputation for your War Campaign faction (Honorbound for Horde or the 7th Legion for Alliance). You’ll want to try to complete enough Expeditions to reach this goal each week, but if you don’t manage to do so, any Azerite you’ve earned toward it in the previous week will carry over to next week’s goal.

Earning loot and rewards in Island Expeditions

In addition to those sweet Azerite gains, new Plundered Weapons have been added as drops from Island Expeditions, featuring recolors of weapon models from previous expansion content as well as some all-new models. These items are Bind on Equip, so you can send them to your alts for decent weapons to equip once they hit level 120. Or you can hold onto them and sell them to transmog lovers. There’s something for everyone!


Reach the Azerite goal before the enemy team and you'll be victorious!

You’ll also have a random chance to receive exclusive rewards at the end of an Island Expedition. Presumably, higher difficulties will have a chance to award better items. Possible rewards include reputation-awarding quest items, battle pets, toys, and even mounts! If you’ve ever wanted to fly atop a giant parrot or run around with a drunken crab following behind you, now’s your chance!

Earning and spending Seafarer’s Dubloons

Seafarer’s Dubloons are a special currency earned and spent in Island Expeditions. You have a chance to randomly receive a bag of Seafarer’s Dubloons as a reward for completing an Expedition, and they can occasionally be found and looted on the island. Seafarer’s Dubloons are used to purchase unique consumable items from randomly spawning vendors on the Island. These items can be used to provide valuable player buffs and abilities in Island Expeditions.


You can spend Seafarer's Dubloons at vendors are located on the boat at spawn

Seafarer’s Dubloons are bind on account, so you can send them to your alts to use in Expeditions, as well. You can also farm them in easier difficulties and then use them on buffs in more challenging Expeditions. You can increase the amount of Seafarer’s Dubloons you receive by researching Island Plunderer at Eitrigg (Horde) or Alleria Windrunner (Alliance) at player level 120. Happy exploring!

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