WoW Island Expeditions - Farm pets, mounts and Azerite easier than ever
World of warcraft island expeditions
Island Expeditions are the new addition to the game that came with the Battle for Azeroth expansion. They are 3-man instanced scenarios where players travel to an uncharted Island to find Azerite veins. Island Expeditions were created as the primary way to gather Azerite. After the arrival, players will be able to collect it from the new location by defeating monsters, mining veins, and completing objectives. In this guide, we will explain to you in detail how the new system works and what you can achieve on your Island Expedition journeys.
During your first time with Island Expeditions, you will be required to complete a short tutorial which will show you the basics of how this system works. If you have this tutorial completed previously on another character, you won't have to do it again as it is account-wide. The main quest line starts becoming available after setting up two footholds. The quests you have to complete start with The Azerite Advantage for both Alliance and Horde.
After you have completed your introduction quests and short tutorial, you will be able to start with regular expeditions. They can be completed for as many times as you like, and you are not restricted to any amount of rewards besides only one weekly quest reward per 7 days. To begin, head to the expedition map, which is located in Port of Zandalar for the Horde players and Borealis Harbor for Alliance. After clicking on a map, a window will pop up where you will be able to choose the difficulty of your journey. Once you have made a choice, press the "Find Crew" button to be assigned to a team. As mentioned before, these are the three-man scenarios, so you will need to cooperate with two other players.
In the selection window, you can also find additional information about your journey to the Isle. Weekly Quest progression will show you how much of your weekly quest have you already done and how much more you will have to do. If you can't manage to get enough Azerite in one week, then your progress will be carried to the next week's quest. Island sketches will briefly introduce you to three places that you can travel to during a given week. You will also be informed about their names. Primary Enemy Type will be drawn next to the map. For example, a Kobold drawn next to the island means that this place is inherited mostly by enemies from a Kobold race. Base rewards are listed at the bottom of the window. You will be able to see which prizes you can earn through Island Expeditions repeatedly.
There are four levels of difficulty available for players on the Island Expedition selection screen.
Normal - Available after completion of introductory quests. 6000 Azerite to collect.
Heroic - Requires hitting a level cap from all players and a specific item level. 9000 Azerite to collect and 50% increase in all Azerite gains.
Mythic - Only for premade groups with high item level. 12000 Azerite to collect, and all gains increased by 100%.
PvP (Player versus Player) - Fight against three players from opposing faction. Enabled PvP talents. Race to the 18000 Azerite with 200% Azerite gains bonus.
On all difficulties besides PvP, players will be challenged to collect Azerite on Island inhabited by AI-controlled monsters and AI-controlled players. This system, where enemy faction heroes, which look like real players, are controlled by computer, is called "Advanced AI." It is worth noting that more serious difficulties at Island Expeditions come with a better chance to receive mounts, toys, and pets.
How does it work?
Island Expeditions were designed as randomly generated maps where players compete against each other in the race to collect a certain amount of Azerite. It is up to the adventurers to decide what approach this goal they will take to achieve it before others do. Understanding how Island Expeditions work and what benefits players can gain from specific ways of playing will be crucial to success.
What do you need to win
After arrival at the island, you will start on the pirates' ship, where you will be given 45 seconds of queue time. Use that time to prepare for your journey - eat food, drink flasks, and buff your team up. If you have any time left, make sure to check the map and plan the route which you will be trying to take. There you will be able to see some Azerite nodes that you could acquire. You can also speak to the NPC found on the ship to spend Seafarer Dubloon, which you have earned on your trips before, in exchange for some of the items.
Once the timer hits 0, the gate will unlock, allowing players to leave the ship. Now is the time to take a glance at the map once again since all Azerite sources, bonus objectives, and rares that inhabit the island will be revealed to both your and enemy team. Both teams also will be able to see the progress bars that show how much more Azerite will be needed for a victory. This bar gets filled by a bit every time a team collects some of the Azerite, whether it is by Killing a Creature, Opening Chest, Mining Azerite, Completing Bonus Objectives, or by Killing the Other Faction representatives. There will also be a message in chat stating how much Azerite was collected from any source.
It is worth noting that stronger enemies will give better rewards. It applies not only to creatures that inhabit the island but also to other players. The longer your enemy stays alive, the more Azerite you will get for killing him. If you want to determine how much you can earn by a particular kill, you can see that on the enemy debuff bar. The maximum amount you can get is 250 Azerite, and it is awarded for killing players that have been alive for a longer than 8 minutes and 20 seconds.
What islands will you come across
Currently, there are 11 Island Templates available in the game. Their names are Molten Cay, Dread Chain, Whispering Reef, Skittering Hollow, Rotting Mire, Verdant Wilds, Ungol Ruins, Havenswood, Jorundall, Crestfall, and Snowblossom Village. When you choose to enter Island Expeditions through the map, the menu will inform you of current map rotation. It means that only three of the Islands stated above will be available for players throughout the week. It changes during Wednesday reset. Although the Islands are similar, they work differently every time. You will get new spawn locations for your ship, for nodes, and the enemy team.
Because the amount of enemies on the island is predetermined, the shape and size of the land will have a high impact on their location. If you are going to play on a small island, your enemies will be clumped up into big groups. On the bigger island they might be spread out across a wider area. It makes smaller isles better for farming pets and mounts and quick gains in general.
What enemies are waiting for you
As we mentioned before, the race of the enemies you will encounter will be stated at the beginning of your mission (it's the graphic next to the island sketch on the selection menu). When it comes to their rarity, there are some rules of their occurrence.
Common enemies - Every Island, besides its main inhabitants, will be populated by smaller creatures like spiders, crocklisks, slimes, and other enemies that are not as dangerous. With every island, their population might differ, so it is not guaranteed that you will see spiders or slimes on every island.
Island inhabitants - The main antagonists of your island and your prime enemies. When you see the sketch of a Kobold near the map at the selection menu, it will mean that you are going to meet mostly Kobolds during your journey in that place. Although the race of enemies might differ - their strength stays the same. There are no races easier or harder to kill.
Event creatures - On every island, there is a small chance that you will find a rare beast that does not fit to the theme of the current expedition. These NPCs appear only during special events and invasions occurring on the island. The majority of these enemies are much stronger than any other creature on the island. Understanding their skills and mechanics will be crucial to defeating them as they can even instantly kill using one of their abilities. On higher difficulties, they can be tough to kill, so make sure to cooperate with your team to succeed.
Collecting Azerite from other sources
Island Expeditions offer more content than mere mindless brawl against everything that moves. The key to victory lies in understanding every mechanic that this place has to offer. Mining Azerite straight from the nodes, opening chests, and finding the best places to gather this resource will be crucial to increase your chances for a win. It is especially vital on harder difficulties as killing fierce enemies always takes more time than opening a chest or mining Azerite. Your opponent will have much more health on Mythic difficulty, so avoiding fights might be more profitable than engaging. It is very easy to determine whether your resource contains a small or much more substantial amount of Azerite.
One of the smartest things that you can do during your Island Expedition runs is to assign party members who will pull away mobs and those who will gather chests. Because they are worth so much and they are so easy to loot, it is less challenging to get points from collecting them than from any other source. Chests guarded by NPCs are worth more than the monsters that defend them. Even if your team dies trying to pull mobs, you will still benefit from collecting their treasure. Make sure to constantly look at the map as every source worth at least 100 Azerite will be market with a crystal.
During Island Expeditions, you might come across certain unexpected events. The most common thing that you might bump into is the invasion. It will result in a big group of monsters appearing in a particular area on the map. Enemies will be guarding many chests, and they will drop much more Azerite than regular monsters. When this event happens, it is announced by Captain Rez'okun for Horde players and Flynn Fairwind for Alliance. On top of that, the exact location of invaders spawn will be marked by a red cross on the map. Because all sources of Azerite at this event are incredibly profitable, teams should respond to them immediately.
Some of the invasions might be game-changing. They can change the weather, limit the vision, spawn enemies, add new mechanics, or even add new assets to the island. It takes a long time to learn what every event brings to the game, but it is also essential to be efficient at farming Island Expeditions. If you are there for significant drops in the form of pets or mounts, then make sure to study what special events can bring to the table.
To make the trip more comfortable for the players, Blizzard created a special NPC who sells goods that can help during your adventure. Seafarer Dubloons is the currency used to trade with this individual vendor, and it is obtained during previous Island Expeditions.
As it does not expire after the completed run, players can farm Seafarer Dubloons during multiple runs. Activities, where you can get your coins from, may vary, but most of them will be awarded to you at the end of the expedition. It is worth noting that goods sold by the vendor change with every weekly reset, so it might be worth to prepare some coins beforehand. During one of the patches, Dubloons were disabled on PvP Expeditions, so you won't be able to use consumables that you have bought with this currency to have an easier time fighting other players.
Seafarer Dubloon is an essential currency for Pet and Mount collectors as the vendor has them in his stock. On top of that, you might find in his shop some toys, transmog items, and consumables.
Have you ever played Hack' n'Slash games like Diablo or Path of Exile? If yes, then shrine mechanics might be known to you already. If not, then you might want to know that these obelisks are here to give you either a buff or a debuff. They provide 10-minute effects, and it is not possible to determine whether the shrine you take will have a positive or a negative impact on your journey.
On top of that, there are plenty of items lying on the ground that you can use to your advantage. Some of them might stun the enemy on use, and some heal a percentage of your health. Make sure to utilize them for your profits.
A Team Competition
Island Expeditions are a Horde versus Alliance competition. You will face the other faction many times during your journey, and you will have to be prepared to challenge them face on. The amount of resources that you can collect is limited as both creatures, and other Azerite sources will not spawn again. You might even call it a race of who takes over the control of better Azerite resources. It is exactly why killing members of the opposing team might be extremely efficient. Not only does it slow down your enemy, but it also gives you a chance to take control of a major objective. Even the kill itself grants Azerite - so every time you see an enemy wandering without a team close by - make sure to punish him for it.
One of the new mechanics implemented in Island Expeditions is the tagging. Damaging monsters leave a "tag"' on them, meaning that only a specific team will be available to get the Azerite reward from killing them. Tags are dropped upon either leaving a fight with tagged monsters or by killing them. If you come across creatures with grey nameplates, it means that the other team tagged them, and you should avoid killing them. When the enemy team fights a tough enemy, you can wipe them to take their tagged monster for yourself. It will not only assign a tag to your team but also give you a full reward for killing it.
The difficulty you will play on might have a significant impact on the outcome. Against AI opponents, you may come across different strategies. Because it is a new AI developed by Blizzard strictly for Island Expeditions, you may find out the hard way that they can use some smart tactics. From time to time, they might pull you away from chests and other objectives to steal them. When you attack the enemy who tries to collect resources, they might get all aggressive, focusing only on one of your team members. These behaviors prove that Advanced AI indeed works, and you should pay attention to what the mobs are doing.
Against real players, the tactics may vary. Sometimes the two teams will always be fighting against each other to secure objectives, or they will be trying to avoid enemies and going strictly for the objective. Fight against the enemy team can be extremely profitable since killing members of the opposing team grants Azerite, unlocks objectives that they were defending, and puts them in unfavorable place waiting for a respawn on the ship.
Island Expedition Rewards
At the end of your run in Island Expeditions, you will be awarded some special prizes. They might be insignificant, but at times you have a chance to get a delicious reward for your efforts. What you get highly depends on your performance during the run. By playing better, you will be awarded a higher amount and better quality of items. The other factor which might determine what you get is the species of monsters which has inhabited the island. For example, you will get different rewards for Kobold Islands than you would get for Goblin ones.
You can get some precious drops from Island Expeditions like pets, mounts, and toys. It is hard to estimate how often these drops are since it would require a tremendous amount of completed runs. It is worth noting that for greater difficulties, you will have better chances of receiving these rare drops. On top of that, you might also get achievements. Most of them can be acquired through Mythic and PvP difficulties on every island. The most desired one among the players doing this form of activity is without a doubt Expedition Leader, which grants the titles with the same name.
Are WoW Island Expeditions worth it?
As mentioned before, Island Expeditions can be a decent way to farm pets and mounts. Some collectors will be entertained since it is not a bad piece of content. There was a lot of crying and hate over Island Expeditions. They lacked content before 8.1 or 8.2. Changes made later in the game drastically improved the experience that players have on said minigame. It is also worth noting that lesser difficulties (Normal and Heroic) aren't as entertaining as higher ones - especially PvP.
This piece of content was designed as a PvP activity, but Blizzard also implemented lesser difficulties for more casual players. Facing "Advanced AI" is not as entertaining as fights against real players who can immediately change strategies or imply some genius plays. Because of that, it is highly advised to do only the PvP version of Island Expeditions and leave Normal, Heroic, and Mythic for players who want to learn how the system works.
When we take into consideration only the PvP version of Island Expeditions, we can surely call it a fun activity. They are more entertaining than regular PVP since you have higher variations of strategies that you can use, and events on the island can drastically change the course of battles. The rewards are also much better. Pets, mounts, titles, and cosmetic items are desired by many players who even commit to Island Expeditions only to acquire those items. It is also the main Island Expedition issue. Besides reputation with Honorbound and Azerite Power collected from them, it is not a place where you can quickly obtain items and gear which would help you in progression. Because of that Island Expeditions are done almost exclusively by collectors and for quick Azerite Power. It is a shame that Blizzard have not put enough love into this piece of content. We can only hope that this would change in the future.
It is the end of our World of Warcraft Island Expeditions guide. We hope that you have learned everything that you wanted to know about this topic. We were trying to cover every bit of information in the best possible way we could. Make sure to check out other articles and guides on our blog page. Make sure to check out all the features that our website has to offer. Read texts about reputation in World of Warcraft or patch notes or buy an account boost at the MMOAuctions market. As we value the opinion of our users, share yours in the comment section below to let our team know what you think about the site. Visit us also on Discord and become our friend on Facebook.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What do you get from Island Expeditions?
Many rewards, including experience, titles, pets, mounts, toys, and more.
What are WoW Island Expeditions?
A minigame where two teams compete in Azerite collecting.
How long do Island Expeditions take?
Usually, around 15 minutes.
Can I use Azerite collected on the island for my Artifact Power?
No. However, at the end of the expedition, you will be awarded some Artifact Power.