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#1 Posted: 21 Jul 2023 @ 14:16 CET quote
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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is the eighth expansion pack for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft, following Battle for Azeroth. It was announced and made available for preorder at BlizzCon on November 1, 2019. Originally scheduled for release on October 27, 2020, its release was delayed until November 23, the sixteenth anniversary of the release of the original game.

The expansion opens up the Shadowlands, the realm of the dead in Warcraft lore. It features the game's first "level squish" and a completely overhauled leveling system, access to the Death Knight class for the races that did not previously have access to it, Covenants in the new zones, and new dungeons and raids.

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On February 20, 2021, Chains of Domination (Patch 9.1) was announced. A new location, Korthia, was added to the Shadowlands. Chains of Domination also released a new raid called "Sanctum of Domination" which features iconic World of Warcraft character Sylvanas Windrunner as the final boss.The patch went live on June 29, 2021 for the US region, and on June 30 for EU.

On February 22, 2022, Eternity's End (Patch 9.2) was released, including a new zone known as Zereth Mortis, home of the originators of all reality.A new raid, "The Sepulcher of the First Ones", concludes the story of Shadowlands by having the expansion's main antagonist, Zovaal the Jailer, as its final boss.

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Shadowlands involves a level reduction ("level squish") with player characters at level 120 (the level cap in Battle for Azeroth) reduced to level 50, with level 60 being the new level cap (as it had been in the original game). In what Blizzard has called a "New Game+ experience", newly created characters have an updated starting experience on an island called "Exile's Reach", which introduces them to the game and its systems. For players new to World of Warcraft, characters who finish the starting experience on Exile's Reach proceed to Battle for Azeroth content, while veteran players who create new characters can choose the expansion experience they wish to play through to level 50, at which point they proceed to the Shadowlands.

Shadowlands features five major zones - Bastion, Ardenweald, Revendreth, Maldraxxus, and the Maw. In the center is the city of Oribos, which functions as the main player hub similar to Shattrath City in Outland in The Burning Crusade or Dalaran in Wrath of the Lich King and Legion. There are four new dungeons for leveling, four more at maximum level, and a new raid. In addition, a new roguelike "endless dungeon" called Torghast, Tower of the Damned, was introduced for both solo and group play.

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All playable core races (not allied races) received new customization options (for example, humans are able to customize their ethnicities, dwarves and trolls gain tattoos, and undead are able to show varying degrees of decay). The Death Knight class (added in Wrath of the Lich King) was opened up to pandaren (added in Mists of Pandaria) and to all allied races (added in Legion and Battle for Azeroth); players who pre-ordered Shadowlands received access to death knights for these races with the release of Patch 8.3.0, Battle for Azeroth's last major content patch, on January 14, 2020.

Covenants

The four zones that comprise the Shadowlands are ruled by "Covenants", similar to the Class Orders introduced in Legion. Each Covenant has its own campaign, similar to the War Campaign in Battle for Azeroth, with gear specific to the faction and abilities both universal and determined by class. The four covenants are the Kyrian of Bastion, the Night Fae of Ardenweald, the Venthyr of Revendreth, and the Necrolords of Maldraxxus. Players experiencing the Shadowlands content for the first time are required to reach level 60 before they can choose to pledge themselves to a Covenant, while alternative characters are able to do so at the start of the Shadowlands content.

Throughout the Covenant campaigns players will be able to insert conduits into the "Forge of Bonds," a system which increases a player's stats and abilities.The Covenant campaigns also introduced a progression system known as Renown, which when raised gives the players rewards. The maximum Renown you could have at the launch of the game was 40, although this was increased to 80 with the Chains of Domination update. Completing dungeons and raids on any difficulty also awards players with Renown for the Covenant that they have chosen.

Torghast, Tower of the Damned

Shadowlands introduced a rogue-like dungeon at launch, Torghast, Tower of the Damned. Parts of the Shadowlands campaign are centered in Torghast. The tower introduced runecarving memories, which you can augment into items to make them more powerful. In order to make these legendary items you need an armour or jewellery piece that coincides with your armour type as well as Soul Ash, a currency found while progressing through Torghast.Players wishing to create the highest power legendary items must embark on difficult challenges on the highest levels of Torghast to obtain a second currency, Soul Cinders.

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Reception

Shadowlands has received "generally favorable" reviews with a score of 83 on Metacritic[and an 8 out of 10 from IGN. PC Gamer gave the expansion an 80/100 in their review, describing Shadowlands as [a]mbitious but uneven” and “an exciting evolution of World of Warcraft.”Screen Rant claims that Shadowlands is “immensely fun,” deserving of an excellent 4/5 score. The expansion “recaptures the allure of Wrath of the Lich King while preserving the accessibility of Battle for Azeroth."PCMag wrote rated the expansion as excellent with a 4/5. Writing that “[w]hile its endgame suffers a few stumbles, Shadowlands” offers the player “meaningful narrative choices … [and] new gameplay elements that combine to make an excellent experience.” Game Informer ranked the expansion with a score of 8.75/10. They argue that “Shadowlands plays it safe with numerous … systems and structures, but … also takes chances with a deadly zone,” called The Maw alongside a fantastic roguelike run tower” known as Torghast “that’s full of surprises. As a result, Shadowlands is a satisfying addition to … World of Warcraft.

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Edited by iCCup.CLAY (21 Jul 2023 @ 14:37 CET)
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