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Starym

A Massive Pre-expansion Event? Beta? What Can We Expect from the Shadowlands Reveal Event?

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The postponed Shadowlands event stream is coming tomorrow and a lot of us have been speculating about what exactly we can expect from it. Seemingly we've heard all the big hitters of the expansion since it was announced, from the story elements, Torghast as the new big activity, level squish, class changes, etc, so what else is there that Blizzard can wow us with tomorrow?

What we probably won't be seeing

First off let's eliminate one big possibility, post-release content details. Due to the nature of the Shadowlands story and narrative it seems very unlikely we get any sort of info on patches 9.1 and on, as we still don't really know the actual plot of the main Shadowlands experience, and a lot of effort has gone into making it interesting and mysterious. Finding out how the Jailer/Sylvanas/Arbiter/souls narrative will continue into later patches during the event would be a pretty anti-climactic thing to do and would definitely annoy a lot of players, so it's very unlikely that it'll happen.

The minor things we definitely will be seeing

You can be sure to expect developer explanations on some of the choices made throughout Alpha, the changes that have been implemented, basically a recap of all the bigger news we've already heard about from the Alpha itself, with a lot of behind the scenes details on why things were done the way they were. We might also get a deeper dive into the class balancing that's been going on.

The release date

This one's pretty straight forward, we get the exact release date for Shadowlands, and maybe it's earlier than expected. At the moment, with all the pandemic issues, the release date would most likely be expected around November, but we might get a surprise announcement for August or similar.

The Beta is announced/big Beta news

This one seems extremely likely, as it's a big hype moment and doesn't really require a lot of additional work. There are plenty of variations and extensions to this, with the hypest of things being "and it's starting tomorrow!", and that one might actually happen and is my No.2 pick for what's actually going to happen. The other big beta-related move would be "and everyone's invited!" aka it's an Open beta right off the bat. The end of expansion period is always long and pretty boring, and with Shadowlands still being quite a ways off, especially with the possible extension related to the pandemic, any additional content is a plus, which leads me directly to my No.1 pick and the thing I'm actually really excited for.

A Massive Pre-expansion Event

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This is the one I'm personally pulling for: a big event following or preceeding the Shadowlands intro cinematic that has us dealing with the repercussions of the shattering of the helm/the gate to the Maw being opened or with events preceding the cinematic, more related to BfA, as an epilogue. We know there will be an event already, and we're assuming it will be of comparable scale to the other pre-expansion events, but what I feel would be a great move is the announcement of the event actually being basically half a patch sized. Blizzard previously announced we wouldn't be getting a patch 8.3.5 and Shadowlands is still a long way away, so this would be the perfect time to introduce a major event, with quests, dailies, invasions and perhaps even a raid? Now what exactly the event is is a little unclear, but whatever the theme might be, it could be a bigger chunk of content than we've ever gotten for the pre-event, and that would certainly be reason enough for a big stream reveal event like this.

There is a pretty logical and great setup for the event already, basically WotLK 2.0, as the Scourge become leaderless after the helm shatters (and we know Arthas, and Bolvar after him, have been keeping the legions of undead in check), but that might not be what we get. The Shadowlands intro event seems to pick up quite soon after the events of the cinematic, with Bolvar "having recovered" from the confrontation with Sylvanas and is getting us ready to go into the Shadowlands. However, there might still be a period of time in-between the cinematic's end and the start experience, with Bolvar incapacitated/recovering and needing our help with the unleashed Scourge, which would be a great setup for invasions, world quests and even (wait for it) Naxxramas 3.0! Obviously it wouldn't be Kel'thuzad in charge of it, but some other random lich taking control of a bunch of undead (who suspiciously look like and have the same mechanics of all the Naxxramas bosses) and deciding to invade Azeroth, which would be a nice re-vamp of the original WotLK event.

Obviously what the event specifically is isn't really relevant, but getting the news that it will be a much bigger one than usual and that there's a lot more content coming before Shadowlands (perhaps even the level squish and some other Shadowlands features) would be huge, so let's hope! There's also the same hyper-hype factor as for beta, as the stream could end with a big "and it's coming tomorrow!" closing.

 

In the end, it seems there should be some big announcement coming with the stream, but with so much of the Shadowlands content already covered in the Alpha, hopefully it won't be underwhelming. We don't have to wait long to find out, as the stream starts tomorrow, July 8th at 6 PM CEST!

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Personally I'd be fine with only a minor pre-expansion event covering a smaller zone and a bit of catch-up gear that will outscale the first 1-2 levels of Shadowlands. There are still so many BfA goodies I haven't unlocked that a bigger patch would be too much. Make it lore heavy, include some nice transmog for collectors, easter eggs for fun and it's just enough for the casual-hearted.

My beta prediction is around ~21st July, 9.0 ~September-October.

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It has been confirmed we won't see any big content patch before expansion, so it's likely going to be something small (if anything at all).

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16 minutes ago, Arcling said:

It has been confirmed we won't see any big content patch before expansion, so it's likely going to be something small (if anything at all).

But this wouldnt be a patch, just an event. The scale of pre-expansion events is aready pretty solid by default, it wouldn't rise to a patch even in this embiggened version.

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25 minutes ago, Starym said:

But this wouldnt be a patch, just an event. The scale of pre-expansion events is aready pretty solid by default, it wouldn't rise to a patch even in this embiggened version.

But then it would be coming with expansion's pre-patch, there isn't anything in game files pointing to it, right (neither live or beta)? Unless there is something encrypted that we don't know of.

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2 minutes ago, Arcling said:

But then it would be coming with expansion's pre-patch, there isn't anything in game files pointing to it, right (neither live or beta)? Unless there is something encrypted that we don't know of.

I didn't mean there wouldn't be a patch like in terms of gamedata, just in terms of comprable size. Like 8.3 is huge and is the patch, even in my wildest dreams I wouldn't expect the event to be even close to that in size, just a lot bigger than the usual preexpansion stuff.

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Uncommon Patron

A pre-event like Starym describes would be nice. I really don't see the expansion dropping before November so it would be nice to have some new content other than beta.

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