Including Wrath of the Lich King, you should play as follows:
- The Burning Crusade
- World of Warcraft
- Wrath of the Lich king
- Present day and future expansions TBA!
- WOW Cataclysm
- WoW Mists of Pandaria
- World of warcraft Burning Crusade
- WOW Wrath of the Lich King
- WoW Cataclysm (all quests and zones completed also includes day/night cycle as well with a variety of dungeons, new lands to explore, and the equivalent level cap raised to 85).
- WoW The Frozen Throne (adds races such as troggs on Northrend continent increasing racial talents for death knight or troll shaman, enhances game-play experience for all classes).
- World of Warcraft Warlords Of Draenor.
- WoW Starter Edition
A perfect order for the World of Warcraft expansions is to start with The Burning Crusade, followed by Wrath of the Lich King, and finally Cataclysm.
If you have any interest in completing the Warcraft Lore, the expansions should be played in chronological order: 3-2-1 – TBC is one recent event, so it’s after WCIII. However, for hardcore PvE raiders that don’t care about Lore and only want to farm honor points/rare items you can go 2-1-3 because of some gameplay elements that are not available if you’re also playing other expansions. For example 2x Valor reward bonus that was removed as “Dragon Soul” was added. In this case, 3 would be last because it includes those draconic items which were introduced with Wrath of the Lich King expansion but toned down for Cataclysm
Here is one possible order:
- Burning Crusade
- Wrath of the Lich King
- Mists of Pandaria
- Warlords of Draenor
- Legion (released major quarterly patches after this point in time so order may vary slightly depending on which ones you want to play first). Alternatively if you start from 6 and work backward, it might make more sense because then the story is chronological.
There are also some overlapping quests between expansions for those who care about that stuff, but people vary on how much they notice these minor overlaps.
To save time, players are advised to follow this sequential order for the World of Warcraft expansions. You can also download the WoW Timer software which has a built-in timer so you will know when your next expansion is coming out.
- The World of Warcraft: Battle Chest includes both Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions
- The World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and other (i.e. Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor, Legion etc.) should be played in chronological order as they were released. If Alliance version is played before Horde version then there may be some spoilers that might have been missed by playing them out-of-order
If you are a casual player, then order does not matter as much. In fact, it is best to start with whatever expansion you enjoy the most. However, if you have a lot of time and dedication to World of Warcraft (WoW), there are many benefits to playing through the expansions in chronological order.
For instance, it’s helpful for players who haven’t played WoW. The previous expansions will offer more information about characters and events in the next one that they may not be aware of yet which can bridge any story loops. For example, when playing Pandaria after Cataclysm this would be helpful because Pandaria has ties back into Wrath of The Lich King which could leave novice players unsure how everything fits together.
WoW expansions in order:
- TBC (The Burning Crusade)
- Wrath of the Lich King
- Mists of Pandaria, and Legion are also recently released
- The newest expansion is Battle for Azeroth