I know that I need all the previous expansions to play the latest one. So since I want to buy the game and with all of the expansions at once, can I play all the expansions contents on the latest expansion?

Including the original features of world of Warcraft. In other words, can I play everything that is in the original:

  • World of Warcraft
  • Burning Crusade
  • Wrath of the Lich King
  • Cataclysm

In the mists of Pandaria?

Or do I have to reach the maximum level on the original, then play Burning Crusade to level up more and its content and once I'm finished there move on to next one, etc. I don't want to waste any money if I get the wrong thing.

  • The "original" WoW ceased to exist ever since Cataclysm, even for those who didn't own the expansion.
    – Nolonar
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 21:16
  • Sorry I meant that the contents that world of warcraft gives you without any of the expansions installed. I have edited it now so please answer the main thing in my question.
    – user62943
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 21:21

5 Answers 5


Much of the original content (quests, dungeons, raids, etc.) from each of those old expansions is still available and is still playable. Some exceptions exist; for example, the level 60 version of Naxxramas from version 1.11 is no longer accessible within the game, since it was replaced with the Northrend version in Wrath of the Lich King. Many old quests, NPCs, and zones were removed or redesigned completely when Azeroth was reshaped for Cataclysm. Some things have endured unchanged since their implementation, however (such as most of the Outland content) and that content is mostly still perfectly accessible.

However, wide system-level changes have occurred to the game many times over in the intervening time, and those changes apply to all players, regardless of their level or what expansions they own. For example, the talent system has been redesigned several times over the lifespan of the game, and all characters are subject to the latest version of that system; it's impossible to play the game today using the talent system from an earlier period in time. Similarly, more recent feature additions such as pet battles, achievements, and the dungeon finder are accessible to all characters.

As far as "what content can I play with which expansions," you need to own every expansion in order to level up to the maximum level cap. It is not possible to play through all of the previous content all the way up to the current level cap simply by buying Mists of Pandaria and skipping all previous expansions. (Since the base game now automatically includes all expansions up through Mists of Pandaria, though, this point is largely moot.)

  • No, what I mean is that I will buy all the expansions then as I own them can I play all of their content ( that is still available) in the latest expansions which would lead to be mists of pandaria?
    – user62943
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 21:27
  • @user62943 I feel like I'm having trouble understanding what you mean by "in the latest expansion," then. If you own those expansions, you can play that old content today, aside from whatever parts of them have been removed, as mentioned in my first paragraph.
    – Cloudy
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 21:29
  • What I mean by the latest expansion is the newest expansion like mists of pandaria is the fourth one today and soon when a new one comes that will be the latest expansion. And what I also mean by my question is that I want to play all the available contents in the previous expansions on the latest one. So if i install the burning crusade,wrath of the lich king, cataclysm and the mists of pandaria, can I play all the expansions content including mists of pandaria on mists of pandaria, so I won't have to keep on reinstallin whenevr I want to play somethin that is only avaible on the other thing
    – user62943
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 21:40
  • and by other thing i mean another expansion. sorry I ran out of chatacters :(
    – user62943
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 21:41
  • 2
    You will keep access to the "old content". In fact, you must play through the "old content" in order to level a character, due to the way the "leveling flow" works. You will roughly spend levels 1-60 in the Original areas, then 60-70 in the Burning Crusade areas, then 70-80 in the Wrath of the Lich King areas, then 80-85 in the Cataclysm areas, and then be able to do the Mists of Pandaria areas at 85-90. New expansion races and classes usually start at level 1, so must level through low areas like everyone else (except Death Knights, who start at 50). Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 3:13

Updated for Shadowlands (patch 9.0) If you buy the base game...

  • You get the basic races and can unlock the allied races.
  • You get all classes, including deathknight, monk and demonhunter.

You get access to all content that is in the game prior to shadowlands to level from 10-50. This includes Burning Crusade (Outlands), Wrath of the Lich King (Northrend), Cataclysm (Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor), Mists of Pandaria (Pandaria), Warlords of Draenor (Draenor), Legion (The Broken Isles) and Battle for Azeroth (Kul Tiras and Zandalar).

You get access to a separate installer/server for wow Classic content (Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor). To play that content, make a character specifically for that server.

Shadowlands is the current expansion available for purchase. If you buy it then you get level 50-60 Shadowlands content.


You don't "install" expansions; everyone uses the same game client and the same servers regardless of what expansions you have purchased.

Instead, the expansions only unlock the higher level content associated with them.


As per the Blizzard.net shop, if you buy the base game you get all the 1-90 content.

Can be seen here.

Then to get access to the latest Warlords of Draenor, you buy the expansion pack.

Contents can be seen here.

So to answer your question, you only need to buy the base game which gives you all 1-90 content, and WoD which gives you the final 91-100 content. Vanilla, Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria are all included in the base game.


Not that a Pandaren Monk is particularly fond of necromancy, but for those people looking at this question at the present time:

All prior expansions to the current expansion of WoW are included in the "base".

For example: at the current moment World of Warcraft: Legion is the current expansion. It requires a prior purchase of World of Warcraft ("base"), which includes all previous expansions (WoD, MoP, Cata, WotLK, TBC, and Vanilla). This trend has continued since at least MoP where all prior expansions to the current one are included in "World of Warcraft" or the "base" game.

You can play all non-current expansions with the WoW purchase. The current expansion requires a separate payment. The nice thing starting with WoD is that Chromie keeps popping up in various places so you can see the same zone at different points in the timeline, meaning that you can see the present day or journey back in the past (at least for zones changed from WoD onward - as of 1/2018 Blasted Lands and Silithus).

  • How is this answer different from the others? Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 8:00
  • @DanmakuGrazer "All prior expansions to the current . . ." "You can play all non-current expansions with the WoW purchase . . ." And the part about Chromie taking you back in time to see the same zone from a prior expansion. It's hard to not put specific expansion information in to illustrate the point but I have intentionally not included level information and added the specific disclaimer about the current time and Chromie.
    – RudyB
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 8:13

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