Grab your best gear, folks. It’s expansion day. World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands is out now so it’s time to take a peek behind the veil. The global launch of the newest campaign has kicked off so you can get your grind on now if you’ve already committed to a trip to the afterlife.
If you’ve not kept up with the details on WoW’s next adventure, the long and short is that you’ll be headed to those titular Shadowlands and the five new zones they’re comprised of. Dark lady Sylvanas Windrunner has done a yikes on the lich king’s helm and broken the barrier between life and the afterlife. Sounds like you’ll be in charge of attacking and dethroning death itself.
The expansion is adding four new “covenants” associated with the afterlife that you’ll choose to align yourself with. There’s a new tutorial zone called Exile’s Reach as well that revamps how new players get introduced to the game. On the technical side, current max level players are getting squished down to level 50 to fit inside the new (old) level cap of 60.
Whether you’re a new or old player, Christos Reid had good things to say from an early look at the expansion. “The amount of tutorial upgrades is immediately obvious–clear, concise tooltips guide players through everything from movement and user interface basics, to buying and selling items, combat, and group/dungeon roles. It’s all tailored to your class, too–my goblin mage was taught how to use frost magic to slow the advance of my opponent, fire for burst damage, and utility spells to manipulate the battlefield,” Reid says. “You’re not just cautiously hitting buttons and hoping, any more–you’re being taught to understand your character as a dynamic toolkit.” There are lots of quality of life changes for long-time players too, Reid says, and it should be easier than ever to talk your pals into trying WoW for the first time.
In October, Blizzard made the decision to delay the expansion. When announcing that they’d set today as the new date, they gave an update on what else players can expect since those first impressions landed. “We’ve used the time to further polish the expansion and shore up the endgame, including overhauling the combat and rewards in the Maw, and reworking the Covenant systems to make your choice more immediately impactful and have clearer long-term goals,” they said.
For all those details and more, check out the Shadowlands content patch notes before you jump in.
Shadowlands is out now, so you can snag the expansion over on Battle.net for $40.
If you’re sitting around waiting in the inevitable launch day queue, perhaps you might like some Shadowlands-themed lo-fi beats to grind to.