As we suspected, several months ago, during last year’s BlizzCon, Blizzard announced a new expansion for the still-current World of Warcraft, which we plan to play this year. It’s World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. And what can we expect in 2023 – read in the text that follows.
We’ve been playing World of Warcraft for fifteen years with some interruptions, and as things stand – our friendship will continue for a while. Of course, we don’t have as much time as we did in the vanilla WoW era and the expansion of The Burning Crusade, but as the expansion comes out – we give it a few months until we’re fed up.
Then, we take a break, and a few months before Blizzard releases a new one, we re-pay the subscription, grasped the ends of the story and saw the content of the upgrades that had arrived in the meantime.
The only exception was the World of Warcraft Classic. Though we overcame all existing content, both now and fifteen years ago, it is still not letting us go, but that will probably come to an end. However, World of Warcraft has been upgraded with seven expansions so far, with the eighth, dubbed Shadowlands, announced at BlizzCon 2019, and it’s time to get acquainted with its contents.
A previous addition, Battle for Azeroth, has once again inflamed the rivalry between the Alliance and the Horde. The blame for that fell on the shoulders of Sylvanas Windrunner, who became the leader of the Horde.
Through their actions, they led the Alliance to retaliate against the Undercity, which was totally destroyed. To gain the upper hand, both factions embark on a search for new allies, found by the Alliance in the Kul Tiras Islands, with the Horde joining the Zandalar trolls.
Although in the story where Sylvanas suddenly becomes evil and Horde loses another leader was not very popular – we reconciled with it and expected that she would be the last boss in the final raid. However, the developers decided to spare her – at least for now.
What Is Happening Next?
Specifically, the exiled Sylvanas manages to open the passage between Azeroth and the empire of the dead, the Shadowlands – thereby disrupting the balance and souls of the dead instead at The Arbiter, who decides their further fate.
For the Sylvanas, members of both factions move into the realm of the dead and end up in Maw (hell) immediately, but due to their connection to Azeroth, they manage to escape, with great losses.
Then they realize that many of their allies have remained imprisoned. To free them, they must first understand and understand the specific structure of the Shadowlands, so when they reinforce and get better equipment, they owe Jailer debts.
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What Does Shadowlands Offer?
The Shadowlands are divided into five new zones, with the eternal city of Oribos, which is also the central gathering place for players, and except Maw itself, which is the final area, we will have the opportunity to meet four new fractions. The alliance with each of them gives you different bonuses and even specialties.
Therefore, choosing a player is especially important and you should study each of them because subsequent change is expensive. As BfA had Azerites as the main resource that players farm around the clock, Shadowlands has the Anima as the main driver. Anima practically feeds the land of the dead and can be acquired in many ways – and also leveraged by the new Soulbinding system.
As the developers point out, the goal is to allow players to quickly collect Animo for new talent or ability at the beginning of a gaming session. Then, they can dedicate themselves to other things, and those are many.
What Else Can You Expect?
Of course, besides new adversary models, additional character beautification options, etc – the authors have also provided new dungeons for the initial Shadowlands release. Four of those are available during character development – while the remaining five and one raid will be visited by those who reach the maximum or sixty levels.
It’s no mistake, considering that for the first time in the history of WoW, with a new expansion comes a numerical reduction in character development and a new system of progress. Specifically, players who reached level 120 in the BfA, in Shadowlands, start at level 50 and advance a further ten levels.
The progress of the characters, however, is far more interesting than before, and according to the announcements, fresh players will be as high as 50 to 70 percent faster from the 1st to the 50th than instantaneously from creation to the maximum of the 120th level.
What Does It Represent In A Practical Sense?
In particular, from 1st to 10th level fresh players will go to the new Exile’s Reach area, where they will learn the basics, along with a go to the final dungeon. Veterans, however, will be able to choose whether to venture into the new zone or up to tenth grade – to play the old way, just like the Death Knights and Demon Hunters who will choose between Exile’s Reach and their special starting zone.
After reaching the tenth stage of development, newcomers will be teleported to Kul Tiras or Zandalar, where they will advance to level 50 to familiarize themselves with the events that preceded the Shadowlands. Veterans, that is, those who have already developed characters and create fresh ones, will approach Chromie in their capital and offer them the opportunity to “level up” to level 50 in any expansion so far with scaled content.