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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Announced

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Shadowlands is the next World of Warcraft expansion coming after Battle for Azeroth.

For more details check out our BlizzCon 2019 Content Hub!

We're going to the Shadowland which is the afterlife of the entire Warcraft universe. We will meet some of the fallen and learn more about their destiny. King Terenas told us there must always be a Lich King, and in the official reveal cinematic, Sylvanas took Bolvar's mask at icecrown, revealing the Realm of Shadow.

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Official Reveal Cinematic

Shadowlands is coming in 2020 and will be available for play at BlizzCon. Pre-orders will be available starting later today. We'll have more details available after the panel.

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Great animation, although it is like me and many have predicted. Sylvanas is now more like Kerrigan, with some plan to "set us free", hopefully she won't turn good later.

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Well at least their writers aren't completely out of mind by putting the crown on Sylvanas, that's good. Wonder if finally she will find the use of all that azerite everyone was so mad about and now completely forgot.
Tho i feel how addon's theme is so out of nowhere, they will need to do a ton of explanation of what shadowlands actually are to capture some interest. "New" and "Mysterious" lands is just bland by itself, there need to be something backing of it with story, which shadowlands completely lack so far, they really need a patch to tie it all together.

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Reminder: One of the key Kul Tiran heroes in BfA was Taelia Fordragon, daughter of the (last?) Lich King. Wonder what'll be her next move once she learns of her father's story or will this conclude the return of Bolvar in some form.

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Yet more Sylvanas fanboy-ism, solo-ing the most powerful character in lore. The write-up looks promising, however, but BFA looked good too and it's been pretty "meh". Looking forward to it, but I'm not too hyped either.

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6 minutes ago, Brutalis said:

Yet more Sylvanas fanboy-ism, solo-ing the most powerful character in lore. The write-up looks promising, however, but BFA looked good too and it's been pretty "meh". Looking forward to it, but I'm not too hyped either.

"the most powerful character in lore" the Lich King isn't the most powerful character in lore. This also isn't a full power Lich King, he has no Frostmourne, the helm of domination isn't even what it once was, the original Lich King WITH frostmorne fought Illidan and it ended in a draw.

Not saying he isn't strong, but he's definitely not the most powerful character in lore.

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Sylvanas plot armor is starting to become really ridiculous. She fights the Lich King's entire army ALONE, wins against him in a 1v1 AND destroys his helm with her BARE HANDS.

This is ridiculous. It's like they're trying to please SJWs to have strong female representation, but Sylvanas is becoming a Mary Sue.

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Does Sylvanas mean she's gonna break the fourth wall and save the NPCs from the imprisoned fate of being endlessly grinded by the players by shutting down this game?

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Their giving her all the power she was denied in Warcraft 3 and making her into this big-deal until she either dies or becomes some martyr. She was always a behind the scenes Hero. Coming back to Icecrown Citadel to introduce Shadow lands only proves my point. Even though we all know Syl accepted that Arthas aka the Lich King was done and dealt with. What more needs to be said. Next! The trailer is pretty cool

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1 hour ago, Valhalen said:

Sylvanas plot armor is starting to become really ridiculous. She fights the Lich King's entire army ALONE, wins against him in a 1v1 AND destroys his helm with her BARE HANDS.

This is ridiculous. It's like they're trying to please SJWs to have strong female representation, but Sylvanas is becoming a Mary Sue.

I mean, it's been shown she's pretty hopped up on at least void maybe void and death magics. 

She's definitely a plot point, but it's hardly "Oh appease the SJWs" it's because she's been entwined with this death story from the beginning. Who else would they use for it?

Edited by Aegrotat

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After watching this cinematic, you feel even more sad for Saurfang... but respect his courage and resolve even more. Poor guy.

What do you think happens to Bolvar now? The way he looked helpless at Sylvanas reminded me of the same defeated pose Gul'dan was in at the end of the Warlords cinematic.

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4 hours ago, Aegrotat said:

I mean, it's been shown she's pretty hopped up on at least void maybe void and death magics. 

She's definitely a plot point, but it's hardly "Oh appease the SJWs" it's because she's been entwined with this death story from the beginning. Who else would they use for it?

Yea people think it's bad writing because they have yet to tell us how she's getting this power. It doesn't mean they are going to ignore it, just means they're building towards an explanation.

6 hours ago, Aegrotat said:

"the most powerful character in lore" the Lich King isn't the most powerful character in lore. This also isn't a full power Lich King, he has no Frostmourne, the helm of domination isn't even what it once was, the original Lich King WITH frostmorne fought Illidan and it ended in a draw.

Not saying he isn't strong, but he's definitely not the most powerful character in lore.

Arthas LK > Bolvar LK, for sure. The mantle of Lich King is a husk of what it once was. Frostmourne, Ner'zhul, Arthas - all broken and purged. Once the supreme commander of necromancy, the current Lich King is an overpowered baby-sitter of the scourge and a guard to the eternal veil. From a lore perspective, he hasn't even been unfrozen that long.

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13 hours ago, Arcling said:

Great animation, although it is like me and many have predicted. Sylvanas is now more like Kerrigan, with some plan to "set us free", hopefully she won't turn good later.

 

For a minute there, I thought she's going wear the helmet.

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On 11/1/2019 at 2:56 PM, Arcling said:

Great animation, although it is like me and many have predicted. Sylvanas is now more like Kerrigan, with some plan to "set us free", hopefully she won't turn good later.

+1. StarCraft was great, Kerrigan was great..just wish the story was different..no need for "revenge".

 

I'm excited to get back into wow. I've never really played it too seriously but the fact that level squish is coming and all races can play DK, it's peaked my interest for sure! Might buy a physical copy of the expack and resub once it's released.

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9 hours ago, Knoxtane said:

I'm excited to get back into wow. I've never really played it too seriously but the fact that level squish is coming and all races can play DK, it's peaked my interest for sure! Might buy a physical copy of the expack and resub once it's released.

Same here. I would love to make a DK Vulpera. 😆

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    • By Starym
      We have a very different entry in our Shadowlands spec highlights series today, as Seliathan takes us on a trip down Assassination lane and explains the problems the spec has, and might have for a long time in the new expansion. The spec has gotten probably the least updates of all on the beta, being basically ignored, and so we take a look at what can and should be done, some history of the spec and how it works, the massive number of bugs present with it, as well as the usual changes, Covenants, legendaries, conduits and other highlights. Also, there's a surprise happy ending, so if you don't have time to read it all, definitely hop in to the last 2 chapters!
       
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       Gameplay changes in Shadowlands (or lack thereof)
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      Necrolord Ability - Serrated Bone Spike
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      Night Fae Ability - Sepsis
      Infect the targets blood, dealing Nature damage over 10 sec. If the target survives its full duration, they suffer additional damage and you Vanish from sight. Cooldown reduced by 60 sec if Sepsis does not last its full duration. 90-second cooldown. 
      This covenant ability scales directly with the usefulness of Vanish as a dps cooldown. With an entire talent-line dedicated to stealth-based functionality this provides some very interesting choices with Nightstalker , Subterfuge or Master Assassin. Having Access to these bonuses more often during a fight is a nice addition and seem like a tailor-made choice for Assassination. With the current number tuning however, this still does not warrant picking this covenant. Despite the synergy, both Rupture and Garrote simply don't deal enough damage for this Covenant to become the go-to choice. 
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      Venthyr Ability -  Slaughter
      Slaughter the target, causing moderate Physical damage. The targets anima mixes with your lethal poison, coating your weapons for the next 5 minutes. Slaughter Poison deals Shadow Damage over 12 seconds and steals 15% of the healing done to the target. Costs 50 Energy.
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       Class fantasy in trouble - An identity crisis
      Assassination has always been mixing bleeds and poisons together into one spec to deliver strong sustained single-target and AoE DPS. There was a heavy divide between poison and bleed builds in Legion, best represented by choosing either Toxic Blade  or Exsanguinate as a DPS-talent, and then choosing other talents and gear to further enhance this chosen identity.
      Battle for Azeroth united both aisles by applying it's Mastery: Potent Assassin to bleeds as well, introducing haste-scaling for bleeds, and providing multiple options for poison-based azerite traits while there was no significant bleed-based one besides the iconic Shrouded Suffocation . Thus all Assassination rogues were now using both bleeds and poisons, without any distinct differences between the two types. This was much less a unification than it was watering down the original ideas and fantasy of poison vs bleed, without improving on either of the two.
      A lot of our damage also did not actually come from bleeds and poisons, but from our builders or generators, with heavy emphasis on both Mutilate and Fan of Knives  for single-target and AoE respectively. While during the later stages of BfA we started utilizing Exsanguinate and a bleed-heavy build to deal high dps, we lost the sustained-dps niche in the process and instead became one of the strongest cooldown-based single-target DPS with only Fire Mages providing an even stronger 2-minute cooldown burst. 
      Shadowlands then finally promised a return to the old formula of strong sustained DPS by using bleeds and poisons. But as we already learned earlier, a lot of the promises were broken and a lot of the same mistakes are being made once more. 
      The current reality on the Beta does not reflect the initial class fantasy, and with both Outlaw and Subtlety gaining access to poisons and even bleeds, Assassination Rogues are left wondering how they are supposed to still feel unique. Some of the new abilities are poisons or bleeds, but they don't actually work or synergize with our poison and bleed toolkit. 
      While there is a new poison, it is not specific to the spec, and even Deadly Poison can be accessed by other specs when choosing the Venthyr Covenant. While losing a lot of uniqueness by giving poisons to all rogue specs at the same effectiveness, the opportunity was there to instead focus on Assassinations class fantasy by adding more interesting bleed-based effects and options, but sadly that has not been the case either. No new bleed abilities, passives or conduits exist, and instead we risk treading towards using our builders, not our damage over time poisons and bleeds, to deliver ever increasing amounts of our damage. Let the era of Mutilate , Ambush and Fan of Knives begin. Not very poison-y or bleed-y. 
       

       Legendary effects in Shadowlands
      There are quite a few legendary effects available in Shadowlands, so we have picked out some of the strongest ones for Assassination rogues **(power level subject to change).** 
      Master Assassin's Mark is back and provides a 100% increased crit-chance for 5 seconds after using Vanish. Using this makes the Night Fae ability Sepsis quite a bit more powerful, and might deliver some very strong burst opportunities by lining this up with Shiv and Vendetta . Zoldyck Insignia makes a return as well, boosting your bleed and poison damage once the target hits 35% health. Coupling this with Blindside will make for exceptional execute.  Dashing Scoundrel is a slightly reworked set bonus we used to have during Antorus, the Burning Throne. It significantly increases the amount of energy we generate, especially on AoE, and allows for a faster and smoother rotation on single-target while putting bigger emphasis on having a very high Envenom uptime.  There are plenty more legendaries with different power levels, these are just a few that currently perform strongest and offer the most opportunities to build around for Assassination. We will keep you updated on the individual strength of each legendary once we get closer to release.
       
       Conduits in Shadowlands
      There are many conduits coming in Shadowlands, so this is just a selection of some of them.
      Lethal Poisons increases the instant damage of lethal poisons, allowing for more damage from auto-attacking on single-target, while boosting your AoE damage whenever you cast Fan of Knives and proc your poison.   Poisoned Katar further boosts the idea of using Fan of Knives as the ability to carry your AoE damage, by providing even more chances of applying your lethal poison and also increasing its base damage. Maim, Mangle increases your Mutilate damage whenever Garrote is active, which should be the case at all times. 
       
       Conclusion - Can someone call the Exterminator? It just keeps going to voicemail.

      Let's finally talk about the elephant in the room. While the new additions to the spec are questionable and the identity crisis should've been addressed in BfA already, the most frustrating thing about playing Assassination on Beta right now is the plethora of bugs. They're everywhere. And Blizzard isn't talking to us at all. While the most recent build (35938) fixed a variety of bugs, this was also the first time any rogue bugs have actually gotten fixed, and some of them have been around since early Alpha. There is also still a whole lot left that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. A lot of rogues would like to play around and test certain legendaries or interactions, but getting good data and information is almost impossible when things don't work the way they're supposed to, the way they're described, or simply don't work. I'll list some of the most egregious ones in no particular order, to give everyone an idea on what we have had to deal with for almost five months now. 
      Remember the hyped up Improved Poisons ? It doesn't actually work on beta right now. Hasn't worked in 5 months. While the cast-time reduction and proc-rate does work, the 100% application chance, one of the main points in the first look at the spec, isn't there. I've already mentioned it before, but what happened to the promised Crimson Vial and Shiv upgrades? They're nowhere to be seen, and a lot of people are left wondering if or when these things will come. Speaking of Shiv , it is supposed to be an enrage dispel (at least it used to) but that part has been missing for months. Slice and Dice Rank 2? Unavailable on beta right now.  Tiny Toxic Blades is one of the new legendaries, that could potentially work with some of the Covenant abilities and create very interesting synergies. That is, if it was actually available on beta. This legendary power hasn't  functioned at all on beta since it was first datamined.  Numbing Poison isn't actually affected by Master Poisoner. Yet another hit at the Master of Poisons.  Zoldyck Insignia another legendary, doesn't currently work for poisons, only bleeds. Dashing Scoundrel crit-chance also applies to Envenom (which isn't stated at all in the tooltip). Is this intentional? We don't know. At least the other 3 bugs this legendary had were finally fixed last week. Slaughter Scars only applies the damage bonus to Slaughter. The crit bonus is applied to the poison, creating some weird and powerful synergy between Slaughter and Dashing Scoundrel. While most of these are easily fixed, it still leaves a lot to be desired. We would like to test certain interactions and a lot of that is still not possible.
      Thankfully Blizzard seems to be paying more attention to rogues now, with the most recent build fixing a variety of important bugs. Sadly, these bugs have been around and reported for months, and they've just started getting on top of them now. There is still a total of 46 open bug reports on the BugTracker, some of which were first reported back in May. 
      The total lack of communication is exemplified by our Rogue Class Feedback Post on the official forums. A single Bluepost which was made in late August, after both Outlaw and Subtlety had Placeholder talents for 5 whole months. When other classes had their talents changed or become baseline, a replacement was ready immediately. When Rogues have placeholder talents and Blizzard finally adds the new ones, they're riddled with bugs that have yet to be fixed.
      This lack of communication creates a lot of confusion and makes the entire rogue community feel ignored. Questions are being asked, answers are not being given. Bug reports are made, but fixes come months later, if at all. It didn't help that most rogue legendaries and conduits were introduced with the same patch that removed the vendors from Beta realms. We could datamine legendaries, but we could not test them until they eventually re-introduced the vendors. That was another four weeks of potential testing gone. It took another month, with the build last week, until they finally started fixing some of the bugs we encountered months ago. Shadowlands is slated to be released in a month, the pace needs to be picked up or the class will be a mess on release.
      Overall Blizzard has done a much better job throughout the Shadowlands Beta than they did during the BfA Beta cycle, responding to Feedback of most classes within days or weeks, and addressing concerns and issues with manifestos describing their design goals and explaining decisions. Some classes however have fallen behind, best seen when comparing blueposts and communication towards certain classes. This picture shows the amount of Blueposts for Druid, Shaman and Rogue (from left to right). And keep in mind, that there is exactly 0 blueposts that are in any way relevant to Assassination. During the entire alpha and beta. While missing key-features that were teased and revealed before Alpha went live. I'm sure the Monk and Windwalker community in particular can share this sentiment of frustration and feeling of being ignored. A bit more effort and communication shouldn't have been that difficult. 
      And while we're on the subject of things that really shouldn't have been that difficult, the final complaint that echoes the lack of attention for all rogue specs, not just Assassination:
      We didn't get Alpha access, at all. By "we" I mean people within the rogue community. While there certainly is a lack of prominent rogue streamers or content creators, there definitely are people who provide rogue-centric content on a regular basis, myself included. There are plenty of rogue theorycrafters and community figures that are active within the community, on the class discord, twitter, authoring guides or opinion pieces and on their own personal streams. Ravenholdt has a list of active community figures and theorycrafters. Not a single one of them received an Alpha invite initially. A single person got Alpha access a few months in. Only a handful of these people received Beta Access when Beta started. I myself did not receive Beta Access immediately. Some of the community figures are still lacking access. When the main goal is supposed to be to test and try out newly introduced abilities, changes to the spec and figuring out interesting and potentially overpowered or underpowered interactions, one would assume that inviting some or all of these people would be the best way to ensure that people with deep knowledge of the class would be able to give feedback as early as possible. Instead we couldn't do so until very late into the beta cycle, and the current state of not just Assassination but all three rogue-specs is a perfect reflection of this lack of testing that could've been done by dedicated rogue players early into Alpha, if we would've received access.
       

       Conclusion 2 - Is Assassination a hopeless case for release?
      No, not at all. I would even go so far as to say that Assassination as a spec will be fine. Most of the bugs that need fixing should be easily fixable. As initially stated, Assassination at its core is a spec that works well without rental power and temporary power gains. This still holds true, and it is the saving grace amidst a situation that could only be described as messy and disorganized, with little to no communication or thought put into it. But Assassination can handle that, and while it might not be the best out of all three rogue specs once Shadowlands finally releases, it will not be the worst DPS spec in the game either, and only needs a few specific changes to become the raiding powerhouse it has been for the last couple of years. 
       

      Other Spec Highlights:
      Vengeance Demon Hunter Balance Druid Restoration Druid Beast Mastery Hunter Marksmanship Hunter Arcane Mage Frost Mage Outlaw Rogue Elemental Shaman Enhancement Shaman Shadow Priest Affliction Warlock Protection Warrior
    • By Starym
      We're back with another update on the cat in the box that is the Shadowlands pre-patch, as the PTR has flipped back to Release candidate once more! Somewhat shockingly, however, we did not get a release date for the patch today, bringing even next week's fairly late pre-patch launch date somewhat into question.

      Also, as player frustration, impatience and hype grows for the pre-patch, meme production and demand has soared, but we'll just share this one, as it clearly solves everyone's problem with the long wait:

      Source.
    • By BluePosts
      War Mode bonuses are not going anywhere and the automatic bonus scaling will continue to work as it does in Battle for Azeroth.
      (Source)
      Will alliance keep their increased 30% xp and rewards buff when Shadowlands releases?
      Hello.
      The automatic bonus scaling will continue to function in Shadowlands as it does in Battle for Azeorth.
      Of course, it’s not only for Alliance players! Players could choose to shift the relative numbers between the factions, and the bonus would scale accordingly.
    • By BluePosts
      There's a stress test coming to the Shadowlands PTR tomorrow, and Blizzard need your help to see how some server updates worked out! Hopefully these issues are key to speeding up the arrival of the pre-patch, which we still hope is coming next week.
      Stress Test (source)
      The World of Warcraft server team needs your help!
      Please join us on the Anasterian and Benedictus PTR realms tomorrow, Wednesday September 30 at 12:00 Noon PDT and 7:00 p.m. PDT (3:00 p.m. EDT and 10:00 p.m. EDT) for a stress test. We’ve implemented some behind-the-scenes server updates in the Shadowlands expansion, and we’re looking to bring as many testers as possible onto those realms.
      While the changes being tested will not be highly visible to you, they are quite meaningful to our game service. The Shadowlands Beta is already running these changes and we’ve had success testing them there, but never with as extremely high a number of testers on a single realm as we’d like to see.
      The format of this test will be straightforward. Please log into the Anasterian or Benedictus PTR realms, create a character, and then enter the game and play however you like for as much time as you can spare us. We expect that we’ll be done with our data gathering after about 20-30 minutes. Due to the potentially extremely high load this will place on the game service, we recommend that you create or copy a character ahead of time. It’s possible that the realm will crash, and it’s also possible that we’ll disconnect players a few times to generate more load spikes. Please re-enter the game on your chosen character if you’re disconnected.
      Thank you very much to anyone who can test with us tomorrow. We’re looking forward to the chaos of this test, followed by a smooth Shadowlands launch.
    • By Stan
      MrGM discovered that the custom Premade Group Finder is only available on the Beta to characters Level 50 or higher. Blizzard maybe did this to stop low-level boosters from advertising their services.
      It seems Blizzard wants to stop boosters from advertising in the Premade Group Finder because they limited the feature to characters Level 50 or above on the Shadowlands Beta.
      Placeholder for tweet 1310907443187257345
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