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What's Coming in World of Warcraft Shadowlands

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Game Director talks about Shadowlands and what's next for World of Warcraft.

Check out our BlizzCon 2019 Content Hub for the latest news!

The Warcraft Afterlife

  • Souls cross the veil between life and death
  • Brought before the mysterious Arbiter
  • They are then routed to one of its realms, each ruled bu a powerful Covenant
  • Souls bear something called Anima, which is the blood of the Shadowlands

The Shadowlands will have six new zones: The Maw, Oribos, Maldraxxus, Revendreth, Bastion, Ardenweald.

blizzcon zones.JPG

We will encounter Uther in Bastion. You can find more concept art here.

A Covenant is the ruling powers of the Shadowlands. Each of them seeks your aid. Each offers power and rewards:

  • Kyrians in Bastion
  • Necrolords in Maldraxxus
  • Night Fae in Ardenweald
  • Venthyr in Revendreth

Covenant Systems

  • A full endgame narrative campaign, similar to BfA's War Campaign
  • Two active abilities, one universal and one class-specific
  • Endgame progression system: Soulbinds
  • There will be no Artifact Power grind in the Shadowlands
  • A wide array of cosmetic rewards
  • A Covenant Sanctum to restore to glory, similar to the Suramar questline

Covenant Rewards

Here's a look at the rewards, featuring a transmog set, mount, and abilities.

covenant reward.JPG

Each covenant comes with various cosmetic rewards including cloaks.

claos.JPG

Oribos, the Eternal City (Major Hub)

  • Ancient city that predates memory
  • The Arbiter stands at its core
  • Gathering point for brokers and soul-traders
  • Serves as our main player hub

The Maw (Possible End-Game Zone)

  • Covenant: None
  • Horrific prison for the vilest souls
  • A mystery even to Shadowlands natives
  • The domain of the Jailer
  • One simple rule: Nothing has ever escaped the Maw

Into the Shadowlands

  • The machine of death is broken
  • Souls are pouring directly into the Maw
  • Starved of Anima, the Shadowlands wither

Sylvanas' actions in Battle for Azeroth were calculated to cause the most death possible. She partners with the mysterious Jailer in the Shadowlands.

muehzala.JPG

Expansion Structure

  • Scourge marauding across Azeroth (Scourge Invasion coming in pre-patch)
  • Azeroth's heroes make for Icecrown
  • We will end in the Maw, from which none can escape... until now
  • With a unique bond to the World Soul of Azeroth, we will find a way to escape from the Maw.
  • Narrative arc weaves through the four zones
  • Work with each realm's leaders and borrow their powers
  • At max level, you will choose a Covenant

Alts in the Shadowlands

  • Playing an alt as "New Game+" experience
  • Choose a Covenant immediately
  • Level in any zone, do world quests, and more
  • Earn "endgame" progression while you level

Retrn to the Maw

  • Max-level zone
  • Fearsome area, free-form outdoor gameplay
  • You will venture here to unravel the mysteries of the Jailer and Sylvanas.

Torghast, Tower of the Damned

  • Endless, ever-changing halls.
  • Can enter solo, or bring up to 4 friends.
  • Ascend the labyrinthine tower.
  • Earn transformative power.

The Power of Anima (Shaman)

shaman.JPG

Dungeons

The Shadowlands comes with 8 dungeons.

4 level-up dungeons:

  • The Necrotic Wake
  • Plaguefall
  • Mists of Tirna Scithe
  • Halls of Atonement

4 max-level:

  • Spires of Ascension
  • Theater of Pain
  • The Other Side (Home of Bwonsamdi)
  • Sanguine Depths

Raid

Castle Nathria

is a 10-boss castle raid available at launch. Here is an early layout of the raid.castleraid.JPG

Systems and Rewards

  • Core Philosophy: Focus on player agency.
  • Profession updates - They want to make them relevant in the endgame.
  • Weekly loot chest - An example of randomness gone too far. You will be given the option to pick one from let's say five items. There will be a fallback option to prevent you from walking away disappointed.
  • Shadowlands Legendaries - Rather than have them randomly obtained, they want to make them craftable through your work in Torghast.
  • Return to class identity (as opposed to spec).

Leveling Updates

  • A streamlined leveling experience
  • Level from 50 to 60 in the Shadowlands
  • Offers better pace for content, but also skills
  • Every levels should unlock something.
  • A modern new player experience.
  • Unprecedented flexibility for alts. Like Pandaria? You will be able to play through the whole thing and go directly to the Shadowlands.

Character Customization

More customization options will be available for all races in the Shadowlands.

Trolls

trolls custom.JPG

Dwarves

You can create Wildhammer Clan dwarves and have various paints/skin tones to choose from.

dwarves.JPG

Humans

Customization options include new faces.

humans.JPG

Undead

You will be able to pick if you want the bones to protrude through armor in the coming expansion.

undead.JPG

All Races Can Be Death Knights

Finally, Ion confirmed that all races will be able to become Death Knights in the Shadowlands.

ok.JPG

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1 minute ago, durdyenglish said:

Calling it right now - the Jailer is Arthas.

I thought it was Mueh'zala.

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14 minutes ago, Stan said:

I thought it was Mueh'zala.

It may be, but there's something about all these Arthas references that keeps catching me - especially the one line in this reveal cinematic: "No king rules forever." 

I think Arthas, lost in the Maw since he was defeated, found a way to dominate his surroundings. There is something about Sylvanas's righteous mission to free us all through undeath that rings close to how Arthas (as the Lich King) felt that enveloping Azeroth in the scourge would eliminate conflict, injustice, and strife; that only through undeath could they resist the Old Gods and the Void. She found Arthas in the Oblivion when she flung herself off Icecrown, could she have had an epiphany? Her mission seemed to dramatically shift after that moment. Aligning herself with her former nemesis would be one hell of a plot twist and could set Sylvanas up to be the Gul'dan of the expansion. 

I don't think it's Mueh'zala as the figure seems chained. Also, Mueh'zala would not want the Shadowlands to whither and die as it is the realm from where he draws power. I wouldn't doubt we have to fight the Father of Sleep in a Crucible of Storms type raid, something of a "prove our worth" moment where we will be empowered by him to restore balance to the realms. 

We're obviously missing a lot of information, but when I look at the shadowy figure chained before Sylvanas, I hear the name "Arthas."

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Sylvanas' actions in Battle for Azeroth were calculated to cause the most death possible.

Yeah... not too sure about that one Blizzard...

I'm pretty sure there could be way more deaths in that last battle than just Saurfang and running away.

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1 hour ago, durdyenglish said:

Calling it right now - the Jailer is Arthas.

Yeah because Sylvans would be soooo fine to work for arthas again. Willingly this time.

Plz dont give them ideas that can butcher the lore even more.

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3 hours ago, Kurosu said:

Yeah because Sylvans would be soooo fine to work for arthas again. Willingly this time.

Plz dont give them ideas that can butcher the lore even more.

Characters in Warcraft tend to align themselves with whomever best suits their plans. Especially the nefarious ones.

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Why has it taken Blizz 15 years to make 'humans' more representative of RL humans?

I mean, 'FINALLY' and 'GREAT' but when many other titles have long (the single player Neverwinter games come to mind) since been fully representative I have truly wondered at this since I started playing in 2011.

 

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12 hours ago, durdyenglish said:

Calling it right now - the Jailer is Arthas.

You mean Arthas, the good paladin soul who is trying to assist us and Sylvanas in combating a new, unknown threat, or Arthas the prince of darkness who is plotting to take over Azeroth once again? Originally he wasn't such a villanous character, mostly Ner'Zhul and Frostmourne tainted him and since we somewhat freed his mind/spirit from that effect, I'm not sure if his goals will be evil or nefarious once he reappears. As we can't say 100% either that Sylvanas did what she did with malicious intent, she may just have saved our world by shattering the Helm of Domination.

Edited by Badadada

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9 hours ago, durdyenglish said:

Characters in Warcraft tend to align themselves with whomever best suits their plans. Especially the nefarious ones.

I think you need to play wc3 ( with expansion) and wotlk expansion in wow.

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4 hours ago, durdyenglish said:

I've played both religiously.

Then replay them and then rethink what you replied earlier.

Edited by Kurosu

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On 11/2/2019 at 10:17 PM, durdyenglish said:

Good to know, I suppose.

I still think we're going to run into Arthas at some point.

How about obtain his wretched soul as a battle pet? I would love that.

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