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Island expeditions are 3-player scenarios introduced in Battle for Azeroth. Both factions sail across the Great Sea to harvest and steal Azerite from the islands. The maps for the expeditions will be provided by the gnomes and goblins, who have developed a new technology to find which islands may contain azerite. Ships to the islands will depart from faction hubs.
Expeditions are role agnostic, and take around 15-20 minutes to complete. They can be played in four different modes, Normal, Heroic, Mythic, and PvP. The goal is to collect Azerite and mystery treasures. An island has 4 possible starting points. The enemy team uses an advanced AI designed specifically for this feature. NPCs on the island are randomized, the context can change entirely each time one visits an island. One time it might be populated with plundering ghost pirates, and next time with conquering mogu. There could be a thousand possible scenarios with the available islands and the possible mix of "puzzle" like mix of mobs. 
There are currently 7 islands in rotation, with 3 available each week.
- Dread Chain - A frozen landscape.
- Molten Cay - A volcanic island with Zandalari ruins.
- Rotting Mire - A swampy island chain.
- Skittering Hollow - A dark and rocky island filled with spiders.
- Un'gol Ruins - A tropical island with ruins.
- Verdant Wilds - A forested island with mogu ruins.
- Whispering Reef - A forested island with night elf ruins.
The Uncharted Island is visited as a tutorial scenario for island expeditions.
Each time a island expedition is queued up the island has different features, a list of features is seen bellow:
- Different creatures with different organizations with different amounts of Azerite
- Chests and Azerite Nodes of all kinds
- Different questgivers
- Consumables and Shrines
- Every island has at least 4 start locations
- Caves, Ships...and more!
- Different weather effects.
|Humanoid groups||Encountered on||Additional interactions|
|Amathet tol'vir||Molten Cay, Rotting Mire||Swirling Sands portal to Dusty Tomb|
|Bloodwake vrykul||Dread Chain, Molten Cay|
|Brineshell makrura||Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef|
|Bristlemane quilboars||Un'gol Ruins|
|Coldlight deep sea murlocs||Whispering Reef|
|Craghorn yetis||Dread Chain, Molten Cay|
|Keepers & dryads||Verdant Wilds|
|Feral shapeshifted druids||Verdant Wilds|
|Frostbeard wendigos||Dread Chain|
|Dampscale gorlocs||Molten Cay, Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef|
|Gulan yaungol||Molten Cay, Un'gol Ruins|
|Icetusk ice trolls||Dread Chain, Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef|
|Kunzen hozen||Un'gol Ruins, Uncharted Island|
|Kvaldir||Dread Chain, Un'gol Ruins||Eerie Fog and Fetid Mist weather effects that reduce visibility
Misty Gateway to Quarters of the Damned on the The Naglfar
|Mirelurk saurok||Dread Chain, Molten Cay, Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, Verdant Wilds, Whispering Reef|
|Muckfin murlocs||Whispering Reef|
|Mudwhisker kobolds||Skittering Hollow, Un'gol Ruins|
|Oomgut pygmies||Un'gol Ruins|
|Pebblestone troggs||Skittering Hollow, Un'gol Ruins|
|Razorfin jinyu||Rotting Mire|
|Rockmane wendigos||Dread Chain|
|Saltfur hozen||Un'gol Ruins|
|Sandscalp sand trolls||Molten Cay, Skittering Hollow, Whispering Reef|
|Slitherblade saurok||Molten Cay, Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef|
|Spitefin naga||Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef||Swirling Postern portal to Animated Cavern|
|Southsea pirates||Molten Cay, Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef||Shoot yourself from a cannon to a pirate ship|
|Stonebound mogu||Dread Chain, Rotting Mire, Skittering Hollow|
|Venture Company||Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, Verdant Wilds||Profit-O-Matic cannon operated by a Venture Goon|
|Voru'kar nerubians||Skittering Hollow|
|Witherbranch trolls||Rotting Mire, Skittering Hollow, Un'gol Ruins|
|Zara'thik mantid||Molten Cay||Creatures and Azerite encased in amber|
|Zian-Ti mogu||Dread Chain, Molten Cay, Skittering Hollow, Un'gol Ruins, Verdant Wilds||Spirit Gateway to Unknown Crypt|
|Lone giants||Encountered on|
|Beach Strider||Dread Chain, Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef|
|Deepsea Tidecrusher||Skittering Hollow, Verdant Wilds|
|Earthliving Giant||Rotting Mire, Skittering Hollow, Un'gol Ruins|
|Frozen Stonelord||Dread Chain|
|Gemshard Colossus||Molten Cay|
|Goldenvein||Dread Chain, Skittering Hollow|
|Island Ettin||Verdant Wilds, Whispering Reef|
|Magma Giant||Molten Cay|
|Black||Dread Chain, Molten Cay|
|Elemental groups||Encountered on||Additional interactions|
|Air elementals||Dread Chain, Molten Cay, Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, Verdant Wilds||Tornadoes that lift players of the ground and damage them
Gusting Portal to a visible sanctum in the sky above the island
|pandaren spiritsAir||Dread Chain, Rotting Mire|
|Azerite elementals||Encountered on all 7 islands in rotation|
|hell houndsBrimstone||Molten Cay|
|Earth elementals||Verdant Wilds, Whispering Reef||Sandstorm weather effect
Cristalline Ingress portal to Cristalline Depths
|pandaren spiritsEarth||Rotting Mire, Verdant Wilds|
|Fire elementals||Molten Cay, Skittering Hollow, Verdant Wilds||Blazing Sky weather effect with fires that break out periodically
Volcanoes that erupt rocks in a location that damage players
Blazing Gateway to Blazing Cavern
|pandaren spiritsFire||Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef|
|Thistlebrush sprites||Dread Chain, Verdant Wilds|
|Nettlevine sprites||Un'gol Ruins|
|Water and ice elementals||Molten Cay, Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef||Snowstorm weather effect
Frozen ground that slows movement speed
Swirling Postern portal
|pandaren spiritsWater||Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins|
|Wild beasts||Encountered on||Additional interactions|
|wormsBonescale||Molten Cay, Dread Chain, Un'gol Ruins|
|vulturesBreakbeak||Encountered on all 7 islands in rotation|
|wind serpentsBrightscale||Rotting Mire, Skittering Hollow, Whispering Reef|
|tarantulasBristlethorn||Dread Chain, Molten Cay, Skittering Hollow|
|crabsCoralback||Dread Chain, Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, Verdant Wilds, Whispering Reef|
|goatsCraghoof||Dread Chain, Molten Cay, Un'gol Ruins, Verdant Wilds, Whispering Reef|
|crabsDeepsea||Molten Cay, Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef|
|snakesDreadfang||Molten Cay, Verdant Wilds|
|tigersDuskcoat||Dread Chain, Molten Cay|
|hydrasFrostscale||Dread Chain, Rotting Mire, Skittering Hollow, Un'gol Ruins, Verdant Wilds, Whispering Reef|
|wormsGarnetback||Skittering Hollow, Whispering Reef|
|basilisksGritplate||Molten Cay, Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef||Other island denizens as statuesque Petrified Foes that can be released|
|bearsGrizzlefur||Molten Cay, Verdant Wilds|
|spidersIronweb||Dread Chain, Molten Cay, Skittering Hollow, Un'gol Ruins, Verdant Wilds, Whispering Reef|
|boarsMudsnout||Dread Chain, Molten Cay, Skittering Hollow|
|yaksMuskflank||Molten Cay, Rotting Mire|
|wind serpentsNightscale||Dread Chain, Molten Cay, Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef|
|deerRunehoof||Molten Cay, Verdant Wilds|
|wolvesRustpelt||Dread Chain, Molten Cay|
|wolvesSnowfur||Dread Chain, Molten Cay, Skittering Hollow, Whispering Reef|
|crabsSparkleshell||Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef|
|crabsSpineclaw||Dread Chain, Un'gol Ruins, Whispering Reef|
|spidersVenomfang||Molten Cay, Un'gol Ruins, Verdant Wilds|
|hydrasVenomscale||Molten Cay, Un'gol Ruins, Verdant Wilds|
|crocolisksVicejaw||Encountered on all 7 islands in rotation|
Explorers that can be found on island expeditions are listed below:
- Aerin Skyhammer
- Apprentice Karyn
- Arwan Beastheart
- Gimzy Trickelbank
- Glint-Eyed Frankie
- Grubby Beard
- Old Li
- Royston P. Crutchley III
- Spooner the Scalawag
- Tweets Lightsprocket
- Vizio the Cartographer
- Waterspeaker Deshi
Advanced NPC opponents
In three difficulties Normal, Heroic, Mythic the 3 person player group faces off against a team of 3 Advanced NPC opponents from the opposite faction in a race who can gather more Azerite to reach the required amount of Azerite for victory.
The Advanced NPC groups seem be mirrored between the Alliance and Horde, with a pirate group on each side, gnomes on one side and goblins on the other, Horde pyromancers against Alliance cryomancers, so on.
- Briona's Buccaneers: dwarven and gnome pirates (Briona the Bloodthirsty, Varigg, "Stabby" Lottie)
- Auric's Angels: male hydromancers (Frostfencer Seraphi, Squallshaper Bryson, Squallshaper Auran)
- Light's Vengeance: Lightforged and normal draenei (Vindicator Baatul, Anchorite Lanna, Archmage Tamuura)
- Razak's Roughriders: Gnome soldiers and engineers (Razak Ironsides, Dizzy Dina, Tally Zapnabber)
- Riftrunners: Void elves (Riftblade Kelain, Shadeweaver Zarra, Duskrunner Lorinas)
- The Wolfpack: Worgen (Gunnolf the Ferocious, Fenrae the Cunning, Raul the Tenacious)
All of them can be seen resting in Dazar'alor.
- The Headhunters: Zandalari and jungle trolls (Berserker Zar'ri, Shadow Hunter Ju'loa, Witch Doctor Unbugu)
- Warbraves: Highmountain tauren (Spiritwalker Quura, Mahna Flamewhisper, Sunwalker Ordel)
- Greenbelly's Raiders: orcs and Forsaken pirates (Captain Greenbelly, Dorp, Sneaky Pete)
- The Blazing Sunhawks: blood elf pyromancers (Phoenix Mage Rhydras, Phoenix Mage Ryleia, Sunbringer Firasi)
- The Highborne: nightborne (Moonscythe Pelani, Rune Scribe Lusaris, Astralite Visara)
- Gazlowe's Greasemonkeys: engineers (Gazlowe, Skaggit, Lady Sena)
Announced or datamined islands
These islands are known to have been announced and are going to be released with upcoming patch content:
- Jorundall - an island inhabited by Vrykul.
- Havenswood - abandoned Gilnean castle and city (Originally announced at BlizzCon 2017 and was datamined before being slated for release in 8.1.)
These islands are known to have been in development prior to the launch of Battle for Azeroth it's possible some are added in the future if the number of islands expands:
These island names were shown on maps at BlizzCon 2017:
Notes & trivia
- Island expeditions will introduce a new type of tactical AI being tested in Battle for Azeroth.
- A magnaron was shown as an example of an enemy on the isles on a slide at BlizzCon 2017, despite them not being from and on Azeroth at all and only encountered in the alternate Draenor in Warlords of Draenor.
- The Ultimate Visual Guides state that many small islands dot Azeroth's oceans and explorers agree that more remain to be discovered.
The Spirits of Vengeance, now changed to The Headhunters.
- ^ MMO-Champion: World of Warcraft – Gameplay and Systems Deep Dive
- ^ Battle for Azeroth Muffinus Interview - Island Expeditions, Wrathion
- ^ MMO-Champion: Shadow the Fox Plush, Collegiate Dungeon Race, Developer Interviews, WoW History
- ^ World of Warcraft Gameplay and Systems Deep Dive - BlizzCon 2017
- ^ http://www.wowhead.com/news=283331.2/battle-for-azeroth-media-day-interview-roundup-weather-2-0-more-collection-achie
- ^ Achievement Helping Hand