World of Warcraft Executive Producer John Hight and Game Director Ion Hazzikostas participate in a planned WoW Shadowlands developer update where they will share more information about the upcoming expansion and its content & features. Where: World of Warcraft Twitch and YouTube.
Despite Shadowlands being in alpha for quite a while, there isn’t that much we know about the latest expansion to Blizzard’s MMORPG. The developers revealed that Shadowlands is coming in Q4 2020 and published a series of blog posts to introduce players to the leveling areas, their inhabitants and the related Covenants:
- Oribos (the player hub)
- Revendreth and the Venthyr Covenant
- Ardenweald and the Night Fae Covenant
- Maldraxxus and the Necrolord Covenant
- Bastion and the Kyrian Covenant
Hidden realms of wonder and horror await any who would pass to the other side. The Shadowlands is home to an entire realm of the departed; it is a world between worlds whose delicate balance preserves life and death itself. As one of Azeroth’s greatest champions, you have been granted the power to cross over in body and soul. Now you must investigate a conspiracy to unmake the cosmos, and help Warcraft legends journey back… or fulfill their ultimate destiny.
Join us for a live blog of the developer update to find out what has been discussed and revealed.
World of Warcraft Executive Producer John Hight appeared first and thanked the amazing WoW community and remarked on how the pandemic changed the everyday interactions between the developers. WoW allows players to keep friendships across great distances.
- World of Warcraft Shadowlands is coming this Fall even if the developers will have to continue working from their homes. John Hight then went on to show off Shadowlands’ physical Collector’s Edition, mousepad, pin collection and the Shadowlands artbook.
- Shadowlands Beta is coming next week, opening The Maw – the max level zone.
Game Director Ion Hazzikostas then took over and started talking about what happened in the Shadowlands alpha and what is coming in the beta. He went on to thank players for the invaluable feedback both in-game and across various social platforms such as the official WoW forums, Reddit, etc.
All keys have been removed from Torghast. If you find it fun, you can run it to your heart’s content.
Switching from alpha to looking forward in the game’s future:
- Beta state means that the framework is complete while a lot of work still remains.
- The level cap is increased to 60.
- First look at endgame – soulbinds, dungeons, etc.
- More invites coming!
- Starts next week!
Players will be able to choose from one of the four Covenants once they reach level 60 – you can read more about them at the beginning of this article via the official reveals from Blizzard.
Having chosen a Covenant, players will be able to form Soulbinds that are effectively an extra talent tree. The empty places in the Soulbind tree mark the places for Conduits that you can receive from various forms of endgame content such as PvP, raids, etc. Those Conduitds (like Relics from Legion) are spec-specific and allow you to change the tree to suit your gameplay.
Once you’ve joined a Covenant, you will start earning Renown on a weekly basis, unlocking more rewards from your chosen Covenant. So that players are not getting behind, Renown will have in-built catch-up system.
- Each Covenant has its own Sanctum, each with their own features.
- There is also something called Anima Conductor that is present in every Covenant. Directing anima to objectives in a zone would unlock objectives in the area and also can change the world, leading up to being permanent.
- Covenants also feature Adventures – the evolution of the Warlords’, Legion’s and BfA’s table missions. It will feature something like a mini-matching game. You can level up your soulbinds, recruit more troops, send them out on missions to get some sweet loot, etc.
On top of the three features above, each Covenant will have its own, fourth unique feature. For example, Venthyr throw rad parties and Necrolords allow you to build your own Abomination!
Over the summer, there will be a series of blog posts outlining the special features of Covenants.
The beta will also open the last (currently unavailable) dungeon: the Theater of Pain.
Players will be able to visit the outer space of The Maw – the max level zone.
The Maw is inspired by WoW’s sandbox content such as Timeless Isle and Mechagon: loose structure, general objectives, and a lot of ways to go about it. The Jailer watches you, and you are not welcome in the Maw. If you cause too much of a ruckus, you will find yourself on the receiving end of the Jailer’s wrath and you will be lucky to get out alive.
The beta will be unfolding over Summer, including:
- Castle Nathria raid testing
- Shadowlands Mythic+
- Legendary Runecrafting
- Covenant campaigns – max level narrative questline, similar to War Campaign in BfA, featuring cosmetic rewards, new soulbinds, etc.
- Focused PvP testing
- Character copies, end-to-end testing
- Lots of polish, iteration, and tuning