It doesn’t matter if you love them or hate them. You can’t deny that Blizzard has done the Warcraft franchise right. At least, most of the time.
In particular, their handling of World of Warcraft has mostly been good if not excellent.
Keeping an MMO alive for nearly two decades is no small feat. Sure, the player base has fallen far from its heyday. Still, the fact remains that World of Warcraft is one of the most popular games available today.
A huge reason for the continued relevance of World of Warcraft is the constant updates and expansions. The latest one is Shadowlands.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is set to be the game’s latest expansion. It’ll be the eighth, in total, and was first teased way back in November of 2019.
So, remember to get your Battlenet Gift Cards ready to purchase the expansion when it comes out. And to keep playing the game without any interruption, you might want to get WoW Game Cards as well. Now, without further ado, read on below to find out everything there is to know about World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.
What Exactly Is The Shadowlands?
Physically, the Shadowlands is a darker version of the physical world. It is a place that players can actually visit whenever they die. It’s governed by four major Covenants who each rule their own realm within the Shadowlands. Each will serve a huge role in the eighth-ever expansion of World of Warcraft.
If the term sounds familiar to you, it’s because it should be. Even long-time players will have heard of the word “Shadowlands”. The place has been either spoken of or alluded to by numerous characters in-game. This includes the former Queen of the Forsaken, Sylvanas Windrunner, and Helya, the ruler of Helheim.
However, the expansion marks the first time that players will get a chance to see the Shadowlands.
As for how we got here, the opening cinematic reveals that Sylvanas has traveled all the way to the Icecrown Citadel to do battle against the current Lich King, Bolvar Fordragon. Her reasons are still not clear at the moment.
Either way, being more powerful now than ever, Sylvanas is able to overpower and defeat Bolvar. Upon the defeat of the current Lich King, Sylvanas decides to shatter the Helm of Domination into pieces, much to the shock of Bolvar.
In doing so, Sylvanas has caused a breach in the veil between the land of the living (Azeroth) and the dead (Shadowlands).
Now, it’s up to players to try and fix this breach.
When Will World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Release?
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands was expected to release on October 27th. However, weeks before its expected release date, Blizzard announced that it’ll have to delay the release of the expansion. They stated that it will come either in November or December, with no locked date yet.
Less than a month later, Blizzard would go on to confirm that the release date for the expansion was now on November 23rd.
In addition to this, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will be preceded by a November 10th pre-patch event.
If you’d like to have a glimpse of what the latest expansion has to offer, be sure to log into the game by then.
What’s New In World of Warcraft: Shadowlands?
Just like every other expansion released before it, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will bring new things and changes to the game.
Namely, these are:
Four of the ruling classes of the Shadowlands, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will let players choose who they want to align themselves with. In doing so, they’ll find themselves rewarded with everything from special abilities, unique armor sets, cosmetics, and more.
The four Covenants and their respective realms are: the Kyrian of Bastion, who are humble angelic beings devoted to serving their order; the Necrolords of Maldraxxus, who are made up of undead liches, warlords, and spies that defend the Shadowlands; the Night Fae of Ardenweald, fairies with an affinity with nature who guide spirits through the life-death cycle; the Venthyr of Revendreth, who are responsible for punishing and rehabilitating the souls of the sinful.
By choosing to align with a particular Covenant, players will gain access to new and more powerful skills. These can either be combat-based or something of practical use.
According to in-game lore, Torghast, the Tower of the Damned, is where the Forge of Domination is located. This forge is particularly important because it is where the Frostmourne and the Helm of Domination were crafted.
Apparently, by completing the tower, players will gain access to the forge itself, where they can create their own legendaries using materials they picked up along the way.
Unfortunately, completing the tower is much easier said than done.
New Mythic+ Affixes
First added way back in 2016, the Mythic+ system has gone through several updates since. The latest string of which includes new affixes.
For the latest expansion, numerous affixes will be added to Mythic+. Although we’re not really quite sure just how much yet. But, if it’s any consolation, we do have information on a couple of them. Like, for example, the “Inspiring” affix giving non-boss enemies at random a buff that makes their allies more powerful.
Other confirmed new affixes include “Prideful”, “Storming”, and “Spiteful”.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will include six new zones and an all-new hub area.
The first one to arrive is Exile’s Reach, which will come during the pre-patch and serve as a new starting area.
The other four we’ve already mentioned by name previously. Namely, these are the floating land of Bastion; the nightmarish Maldraxxus; the enchanted forests that is the Ardenweald; and the Revendre, which is every bit how you’d imagine a place for vampires in World of Warcraft would be like, bats and gothic castles and all.
Then there’s the Maw, which the most grotesque of creatures in all of the Shadowlands call home.
The Eternal City of Oribos will also be introduced in the latest expansion and will function as a city hub that will act as a bridge that will connect these zones together, similar to what Dalaran did during the Wrath of The Lich King expansion.
A Much Lower Level Cap
The lower level cap is one of the most controversial things that World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will change once it arrives.
From the current max level of 120 introduced in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth years ago, the new level cap will go down to 50 during the pre-patch and eventually settle into 60 once the actual expansion releases.
Apparently, this is Blizzard’s way of streamlining the World of Warcraft experience and making it more beginner-friendly.
Once this new level cap is introduced, players will be able to begin in an all-new area known as the Exile’s Reach, which is designed to help new users go from Levels 1 to 10 in a more foolproof manner. Then, once they feel ready to venture out, players can then choose to decide which area they want to go next to hit the level cap.
This is great since players can focus less on leveling up and maxing out before a new expansion arrives and spend more time getting to know the story and lore, among many other things.
More Robust Customization Options
Most of the newer customization options included in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands feel like they are a long time coming.
For example, existing characters will now have the option to change genders, free of charge. Also, every standard race will get new options. This includes more skin tones, faces, eye colors, and hairstyles to choose from. In-game humans will also now be able to access Asian and African facial features.
Other notable changes include Night Elf characters being able to add leaves to their hair; Draenei now being able to change the size of their tendrils and tail; Tattoos for Dwarves; Blood Elves with darker skin color options; Bodypaint and Warpaint for Trolls and Orcs, respectively; Fully-formed bodies for the Undead; and Minotaurs being able to add flowers to their hair.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Special Editions
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will not have pre-order bonuses and will come in three different editions.
The first one is the Base Edition. It’s available for $39.99 and will come with zero additional content. The second is the Heroic Edition. It’s available for $59.99 and will come with a new mount (Ensorcelled Everwyrm flying mount), set quest (Eternal Traveler transmogrification), and one character boost up to level 120, although it’ll most likely be up to level 50 after the pre-patch.
The third and last one is the Epic Edition. It sells for $79.99 and will come with everything previously mentioned. On top of this, it will come with a new pet (Anima Wyrmling), a new cosmetic weapon effect (Wraithcill), and Eternal Traveler’s Hearthstone, as well as 30 days worth of game time.
The World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion gives older players a laundry list of reasons to come back to the world of Azeroth. However, the expansion doesn’t just cater to veterans. It’s also designed specifically to make the aging game more attractive to a newer and younger set of players.
Whether or not it’ll be successful with the latter is something that we’ll find out soon enough when the expansion launches on November 23.
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