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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Release Date: 2020

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'World of Warcraft: Shadowlands' Delayed Until Later This Year

by Rainier on Oct. 1, 2020 @ 2:00 p.m. PDT

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is a new expansion to the Blizzard's MMORPG in which Azerot's heroes will confront the wonders and horrors of the afterlife as they deal with the consequences of Sylvanas' actions.

World of Warcraft players entering the fabled 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:

  • 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.

Prior to the expansion’s release, Azeroth will begin to bear the effects of Sylvanas’s actions during a special pre-launch in-game event: “Death Rising.” This limited-time event will send players to the frozen wastes of Icecrown, where the veil between worlds has been shattered—and the reawakening of the undead Scourge heralds the stirring of more sinister forces.

The “Death Rising” event is part of the major pre-expansion game update to prepare for Shadowlands’ release, which also includes a newly revamped leveling experience that takes players to the new pre-Shadowlands level cap of 50, the addition of an epic introductory adventure for players new to World of Warcraft set on the accursed island of Exile’s Reach, a variety of updates to classes and abilities in preparation for the expansion, and more.

Blizzard Entertainment announced that World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, will be released later this year.

Originally slated for release at the end of October, the expansion is currently in public beta testing. Blizzard is extending the beta test and iterating based on great input from players, focusing on endgame-related tuning and polishing efforts that have been partially slowed due to the team working from home during the ongoing pandemic.

I wanted to let you know that we’re delaying the release of Shadowlands to later this year—and while we’re still in the process of determining the right new date to launch, we felt it was important to let you know about this change in plans as soon as we could. This was an incredibly difficult decision for the team, as we’re as eager to get the expansion into your hands as you are to play it—but ultimately, we feel it’s the right decision for the game—and for our players.

Over the past several months of testing, we’ve made significant progress iterating on and polishing the core features and gameplay of Shadowlands. We’re at a point where the zones, the campaign, the level-up questing experience, and the story we have to tell are essentially ready to share. We’re excited by the Covenants at the heart of the expansion, and it’s been a thrill to see Torghast take shape into a fun new kind of WoW experience, thanks in no small part to your input.

However, as everything started coming together and we’ve been listening to and building upon your feedback, it’s become clear we need a little more time for additional polish, and to balance and iterate on some interlocking pieces—particularly those related to the endgame. Shadowlands is one of the most intricate expansions we’ve yet created, and while we’ve made great progress, the challenge of tuning the endgame was compounded by the team having to work from home.

Blizzard has a commitment to quality. We believe Shadowlands will be something special, and we’ve heard from many of you who feel the same. We need this extra time to ensure that Shadowlands lives up to its full potential.

In the meantime, we’re excited to announce that beginning October 13 we will be releasing the Shadowlands pre-patch, which lays a lot of the groundwork for the expansion and includes our revamped character leveling, new-player experience on Exile’s Reach, and a host of new character customization options. And once we get closer to Shadowlands’ release, you’ll be called upon to defend Azeroth against a resurgence of the Scourge during our pre-launch event.

Thanks for your support and passion, and for your continued help and feedback as we head toward the finish line.

We’ll see you in the Shadowlands soon,

John Hight, Executive Producer of World of Warcraft

Key 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.
  • Explore Warcraft’s Afterlife—Discover the wonders and horrors that await in the world beyond the veil. Ride across the gleaming fields of Bastion, lose yourself among the gothic spires of Revendreth, find yourself at the crossroads of fate in the eternal city of Oribos, and much more.
  • 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).
  • And More. . .—Endure the Jailer’s watchful eye in the Maw, where the challenge mounts the longer you linger; Soulbind with key characters of your chosen Covenant to share their distinct powers; choose how to restore your Covenant’s Sanctum to glory . . . Shadowlands is unlike anything ever before experienced in World of Warcraft.

Pre-purchase Options

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is available in a range of editions to suit players’ interests:

  • Shadowlands Base Edition ($39.99, digital only), which comes with the expansion only, and provides a new lower entry point compared to previous expansions.
  • Shadowlands Heroic Edition ($59.99, digital only), which comes with the expansion; a character boost so players can be ready to enter the Shadowlands at launch; and the Ensorcelled Everwyrm mount, which additionally provides access to a quest line through which players can earn the Vestments of the Eternal Traveler transmogrification set.
  • Shadowlands Epic Edition ($79.99, digital only), which includes everything in the Heroic Edition plus the Anima Wyrmling pet; the Wraithchill cosmetic weapon effect; the Eternal Traveler’s Hearthstone, which provides a unique visual effect; and 30 days of game time.
  • Shadowlands Collector’s Edition ($119.99 SRP, retail only), a limited-edition boxed set that comes with the Epic Edition content along with mementos to adorn the physical realm, including four pins bearing the sigils of the Covenants; a mouse pad reflecting the shattered sky over Icecrown; a hardcover Art of the Shadowlands book; and a key to download the Shadowlands soundtrack. The Collector’s Edition is scheduled to begin shipping from retailers starting October 13, 2020; check with your local store for pre-order availability or information regarding their shipping policies. Players who pre-purchased a digital copy of Shadowlands and who upgrade to the Collector’s Edition will automatically be credited Blizzard Balance†† based on their original purchase.

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

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is scheduled for release in 2020.


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