After defeating the Lich King, Sylvanas breaks the Crown of Ice and here is that the veil between death and life suddenly disappears, literally breaking the sky and leading the world of Azeroth into the valley of shadows (Shadowlands, in fact), a realm between realms. This is where our adventure begins, within the kingdom of the Jailer, figure who led Sylvanas into the Battle for Azeroth, thus bringing as many souls as possible to the whole of his kingdom, in order to make the latter, his jailer and all his subordinates, incredibly strong. Now it will be up to us to restore peace to the world of souls and the various regions that form it: Maldraxxus, Ardenwaeld, Revenderth, Bastion. During Blizzcon a lot of information was revealed, and below we will tell you about our experience with the beta of World of Warcraft Shadowlands, but rest assured as ours will be an “Out of Spoiler” article in terms of information on the lore of the expansion.
Between narrative and leveling
Speaking of narrative, while keeping us out of any notion potentially capable of ruining your experience, we can tell you that throughout the leveling phase you will be introduced to each available area with long insights. This happens because, unlike the previous expansions where the areas were on average in a single continent - and therefore close only in geographical positioning but not in alignment of history - here each setting will support its own storytelling through well-diversified quests that aim to increase immersion in the game world, all in order to help you choose which faction among those present is best to join. To give a positive push up, there is the freedom to create your own leveling path through monster scaling and quest experience, all based on your level. Such an interesting immersion in the storytelling of the quest-lines has never been seen in the franchise and we are sure that this will help to offer an even more captivating play experience.
Speaking instead of the missions present in World of Warcraft Shadowlands, these will be differentiated between main and secondary: the first will be marked with an exclamation point inside a small banner while the others will be identified by the classic yellow exclamation point, so as to always know how move to progress in the main story. From a more purely technical point of view, this new expansion manages to make a leap forward to say the least significant in terms of visual quality. Thanks to a wise use of the color palette, in fact, all the creatures and architectures present in-game appear well characterized and differentiated. Of course, in some settings you will still feel a palpable sense of already seen, but the work done is undoubtedly of a high level. The soundtrack turned out to be equally excellent, with music that blends perfectly with everything that will be happening on the screen.
Start with Shadowlands
Starting a new adventure in this expansion will also be a real novelty. As many surely know, launching for the first time in World of Warcraft can prove to be a substantial hell, between basic mechanics to understand and a complex script to be studied point by point. In World of Warcraft Shadowlands instead we will have an initial dungeon-like area where we will be instructed on the game mechanics: how quests, talents, rotations work and how to deal with the specializations chosen in the dungeons. This first phase of the game will keep the player from level 1 to 10 busy and once this is over, we will be able to choose to face levels 10 to 50 in an area of your choice and from 50 to 60 in the Shadowlads. Thing? No, I didn't count badly; as has already happened in other expansions, even in Shadowlands we will have a reinterpretation of leveling with Cap at level 60 (Vanilla vibs incoming).
The only element that clashes with the intriguing choice of giving each player a complete leveling experience based on where you choose to level is summed up in a difficulty that is at least peculiar ... that is to reach the end content of that expansion. Let's take an example: let's say that once we finished the tutorial, we chose to do our beautiful 40 levels in the Outlands and then we decided, as an expansion to be exploited for leveling, to launch with The Bruning Crusade; once we reach the end of the story we will not be able to finish the available content as the expansion quests do not involve a fight with Illidan, the final historical boss of that expansion at the lore level (yes, Kil'jaeden does not count). Here, this lack violently strips away the sense of offering even a new player a complete experience of the expansion chosen, since at the end of the day you will be stuck in limbo, without the possibility of facing the final boss. We sincerely hope that in the near future Blizzard will be able to revise this choice.
Check the situation
Focusing instead on the Condotti and the weekly coffers, we can say that both will help the player to better equip themselves during the adventure. The Conduit is summed up in an intricate system of talents that you can unlock after making a pact with one of the factions present in Shadowlands, all by obtaining specific materials. However, what stands out from the past can be summed up in the bonus allocation system with which the talent system itself was structured. Until now, in fact, in case we wanted to replace any of the equipped objects - and able to confer useful bonuses to our talents -, we would necessarily have to destroy those already in our possession to make room for something else. Now, however, it will be possible to exchange them at any time, without the need to lose them forever.
Unfortunately, however, there is still a restriction; in fact, the talents will be resettable only after a countdown that will last a whole week… perhaps not exactly the best of the solutions that could have been adopted. As for the speakers, however, in-game we will be able to face weekly missions regarding Raids, Dungeons and PvP Actions. We will thus have the possibility to choose a piece of equipment of your choice for each mission we unlock: for example, if we complete all 3 missions of the raid, we will be able to choose between three different objects. We still do not know how the item level will be managed, but surely everything will be announced in the next few weeks. In short, we are talking about mechanics designed to overcome one of the biggest problems that have afflicted World of Warcraft for years, the randomness with which objects and elements are obtained, a change that if well managed could represent an important turning point for the franchise.