Plunderstorm Overview: a WoW Battle Royale Game Mode

Plunderstorm Overview: a WoW Battle Royale Game Mode

Written by Method - 21st March 2024

In a twist to the traditional MMORPG experience, Blizzard introduces Plunderstorm, a thrilling Fortnite inspired Battle Royale mode for World of Warcraft, available with the release of patch 10.2.6 on March 19th 2024 for a limited time.

Plunderstorm offers a unique, limited-time, PvP (Player versus Player) experience that combines the thrill of survival in a Battle Royale all within the familiar setting of WoW. Whether you're a seasoned WoW veteran or a curious newcomer, here's everything you need to know about stepping into the storm.

Arrrrr-ye ready?

What is Plunderstorm?

Plunderstorm is a 60 player Battle Royale game mode, separate to World of Warcraft’s main game. Set in the iconic Arathi Highlands, it provides a fresh twist to the game, where players drop into a high-stakes survival match either as a solo or duos, collecting abilities, leveling up and fighting against creatures and other players, competing to be the last ones standing.

The mode is accessible directly from the World of Warcraft game menu in the top left, and requires only an active WoW subscription to play. It stands apart from the main game, meaning if your gear is way behind or you’re just coming back, everyone is on a level playing field!

How do you play Plunderstorm?

To dive into Plunderstorm, players must select the new game mode from the Retail WoW game menu.

Plunderstorm Party Lobby Screen

From there, you can customise your character specifically for this mode, with all races for Horde and Alliance unlocked regardless of your main game progress.

Before or after customizing your character, you’re then able to choose either solo or duo queue. Duos can be formed with friends through invites or through automatic matchmaking - so be ready to make some new friends.

It’s worth noting that duo and solo queues are separate, so you won’t be playing against duo teams when you queue into solo mode.

Plunderstorm Gameplay Mechanics

Plunderstorm gameplay focuses on survival, strategy, and quick adaptation. All players begin with the same basic attack and heal abilities, landing in Brew Bay (Lobby) before the real action kicks off. When the match is ready to begin, a cannon launches players into the battlefield, where they choose where to land by flying their parrot and must scavenge for spells and abilities, confront mobs, and battle other players to be the last one standing.

Tip: The Parrot does damage when it lands, so you should always try to hit some enemies with it to get some XP in quickly at the start.

New mechanics such as a shrinking storm zone, no fall damage, and the ability for everyone to double jump add an all too familiar aspect of Battle Royale games to the new World of Warcraft game mode.

Plunderstorm Storm Map

Everyone starts the match at level one with a basic attack and a healing potion (Health Brew), as the game progresses, you level up by earning XP, gaining more health, finding and looting abilities with different rarities. You'll experience a mixture of PvE and PvP elements, mostly starting with killing creatures during the early stages of the game as you plunder chests and mobs for abilities (when players are generally more spread out), then later as you encounter more players, PvP becomes the focus.

Abilities are found at different levels (common, uncommon, rare and epic), and you can see your duo player’s abilities under their health bar; using your own and your partner’s abilities to make a devastating combination will result in you truly wreaking havoc on your opponents. You can either get lucky and loot a high rank of the ability straight away, or loot duplicates (doesn’t have to be of the same rank) of that ability to rank it up to the next level. These abilities reset between each match, so every time you queue, you start again.

Unlike in regular World of Warcraft, you have a reusable Health Brew (with a cooldown) and have the ability to resurrect your teammate in duos by standing on their body until the resurrection cast is completed.

Abilities and UI

The Plunderstorm UI although familiar visually is still markedly differently from the main game, presenting an action bar with 7 slots, with 1 basic attack ability, 1 re-usable healing potion (with a cooldown), 2 offensive abilities, 2 utility abilities and 1 usable item slot (items are consumed on use).

Plunderstorm Action Bar

In Plunderstorm, there are no bags or an inventory, everything is handled by your action bar. If you want to swap an ability with one on the floor, you can tab through the respective ability slots and drop that ability onto the ground.

Abilities, acquired by killing mobs, killing other players and looting chests, can be upgraded by finding duplicates, enhancing your equipped spells' potency. The abilities available include a mix of different types of spells, compelling players to make strategic decisions on which spells to keep as they strive for dominance. With some combinations proving to be more powerful than others, but a lot of which depends on your playstyle and how quickly you get the abilities to max rank!

These abilities are almost all new to World of Warcraft, with a variety of instant cast, channeled, single target, AoE, crowd control, movement and spells that require aiming.

There are also no addons allowed in Plunderstorm, so everyone is playing with the same UI.

All aspects of the game are clearly displayed on the screen, including:

  • When the storm is moving (safe-zone getting smaller)
  • How many players or duo teams are left alive
  • How much plunder you have collected
  • Your active World Quest for that match
  • What abilities your duo teammate has active (under their player frame)

And similar to a more recent World of Warcraft feature of Pings, you can ping in Plunderstorm, to highlight what to attack or to warn your duo of enemy players being spotted. The ping system is by default bound to the G key, but is shown in the bottom right of your screen during gameplay.

You can read our Recommended Builds and Strategy Guide for suggestions of which our content creators like the most.

Rewards and Progression

Plunderstorm introduces a collection of new rewards, including mounts, pets, and cosmetics, of which are awarded in Retail or Wrath of the Lich King Classic versions of World of Warcraft. Your activity in matches contributes to your progression through 40 levels of the Keg Leg’s Crew Renown track, earning plunder and unlocking distinctive pirate-themed rewards.

A full list of the rewards can be found on our List of all Plunderstorm Renown Rewards (Keg Leg's Crew) article.

Plunderstorm Renown Track Rewards

A lot of players may be asking “What if I dislike PvP, but still want to earn the rewards?”; you can still unlock the new game mode rewards, and hopefully enjoy the experience, as each match also requires some aspect of PvE, and by completing the World Quest (shown on the right of your screen after your land) during the match, looting chests, killing monsters and most activities you will earn plunder towards renown levels, earning the rewards.

This system ensures that even if you don't clinch victory, participation alone is rewarding. With each renown requiring 2500 plunder, on average it would take four games per renown level. However, this can vary based on if you have completed your Daily Quest and match World Quest, how many chests, creatures and players you have killed, and generally how much plunder you can collect in a single match.

Note: In a recent update to Plunderstorm, they have increased the amount of plunder you get from most activities! This includes both PvE and PvP, as well as if you are the final pirate remaining.

If you are focused primarily on farming renown with Keg Leg's Crew, you should try to kill other players later into the match (when they drop the most plunder) and earlier into the game make sure to focus on killing creatures, looting as many chests as possible and picking up piles of gold while prioritising completing the following quests:

  • Daily Quest (once per day): Grants 800 Plunder for completing the first captain’s orders quest of the day (first World Quest of the day)
  • World Quest (once per match): Grants 250 Plunder

For more details on farming Plunder quicker, you can read our How to Farm Plunder guide.

We hope that this overview helped clarify some of the details of the new gamemode, happy plundering!