The next World of Warcraft expansion is Shadowlands

By Stephany Nunneley, Friday, 1 November 2019 18:46 GMT

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is your next expansion, WoW players.

Announced at BlizzCon 2019, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is your next expansion.

Like Diablo 4, Shadowlands leaked ahead of the show thanks to an artbook advertisement.

In the expansion, Sylvanas Windrunner has pierced the veil between Azeroth and the realm of the dead. In Shadowlands, you will have to deal with both the “wonders and horrors” of the afterlife as you deal with the consequences of her actions.

Here’s a short synopsis:

World of Warcraft players entering the Shadowlands will find the realms of the dead in upheaval. Under the normal order, departed souls were delivered to a realm appropriate to the lives they led, but now, all souls are being funneled into the Maw, where the most wicked are damned to suffer for eternity. As they seek to right the cycle and uncover the extent of Sylvanas’ designs, players will forge bonds with the Covenants who hold domain over different planes within the Shadowlands.

Here’s information on the aforementioned Covenants, which are basically the ruling powers of the Shadowlands. There are four factions:

  • The steadfast Kyrian of Bastion, whose discipline and duty compels them to safeguard souls from the mortal realm as they pass into the Shadowlands.
  • The mysterious Night Fae of Ardenweald, who fiercely defend the spirits of nature from those who would deprive them of rebirth.
  • The cunning Venthyr of Revendreth, who feast on the souls of the prideful and vain in a gothic realm of opulence and torment.
  • The warlike Necrolords of Maldraxxus, who forge the undead armies that serve as the first line of defense for the Shadowlands and honor those who seek power and glory in battle.
  • In their journeys through the Shadowlands, players will also come face-to-face with some of the departed legends of the Warcraft universe, such as Uther the Lightbringer, who struggles against dark forces that seek to transform him into a symbol of retribution, and Kael’thas, who pursues vengeance on an enemy from his past while confined to Revendreth for the crimes he committed in life.

Blizzard also sent over a list of features to expect with the Shadowlands expansion.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Features

  • Explore the Realm of the Dead: For the first time ever in World of Warcraft, players will cross into the Shadowlands and experience the wonders and horrors of the afterlife across five new zones—the gleaming fields of Bastion, the scarred battlefields of Maldraxxus, the eternal twilight of Ardenweald, the opulent keeps of Revendreth, and the horrific Maw.
  • Claim a Covenant’s Power: Players will be called upon to forge a bond with one of four Covenants that rule Shadowlands’ new zones, setting the tone for their journey through the expansion with a full Covenant Campaign. As they level up, they’ll get new abilities based on their choice, including class-specific abilities for each Covenant—as well as developing Soulbinds with specific Covenant members, which grant them access to that character’s specific traits and bonuses.
  • Ascend the Tower of the Damned: At the heart of the Maw lies Torghast, Tower of the Damned, a cursed otherworldly prison where the wickedest souls in the universe are locked away. Highly replayable and inspired by roguelike games, heroes are invited to explore its ever-changing halls and chambers and do battle with the minions of the Jailer, Torghast’s vile ruler. Those who brave its trials can claim legendary treasures and help free the heroic spirits wrongfully trapped within.
  • Every Level Is Meaningful: Shadowlands will introduce a new leveling system, meant to provide a meaningful sense of advancement with every level achieved. Current max-level characters will begin Shadowlands at level 50 and work toward the new level cap of 60.
  • A New Army of the Dead Rises: To combat Sylvanas’ assault on Icecrown, Bolvar Fordragon— the revered former paladin who took on the mantle of Lich King to keep the Scourge at bay—has raised heroes from among all the peoples of Azeroth to bolster the Death Knights of Acherus. With Shadowlands, pandaren and all allied races will now be able to become Death Knights.
  • Improved Character Customization Options: A host of new appearance options for all races will be made available to players when they create new World of Warcraft characters (or alter existing ones at the in-game barber shop).

The expansion is coming next year “on or before December 31,” and is available for pre-purchase today. Three different options are available starting with the base edition for $39.99.

There’s also the Heroic Edition ($59.99) which includes the expansion; a level-120 character boost; and the Ensorcelled Everwyrm mount, which provides access to a questline through which players can earn the Vestments of the Eternal Traveler transmogrification set. 

You can also opt for the Epic Edition ($79.99) includes the Anima Wyrmling pet; the Wraithchill cosmetic weapon effect; the Eternal Traveler’s Hearthstone, designed with a unique visual effect; and 30 days of game time, in addition to all of the contents from the Heroic Edition.

All bonuses from the Heroic and Epic Editions are unlocked immediately upon pre-purchase. In addition, pre-purchasing any edition will open the ability to create Pandaren and Allied race Death Knights once the Visions of N’Zoth content update for the current expansion arrives in the coming months.

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