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WoW Dragonflight pre-patch ends Shadowlands, and it’s amazing

The second stage of the WoW Dragonflight pre-patch ushers in the next World of Warcraft expansion and casts Shadowlands into the MMO's history books - thank God

WoW Dragonflight pre-patch ends Shadowlands, and it's amazing: An elf woman with long white hair and blue skin raises a hand which has dark energy swirling around it in an icy setting

Yes folks you read that right, the WoW Dragonflight pre-patch has finally brought about the end of a turbulent Shadowlands, one of the least impressive World of Warcraft expansions to date. As we look forward to the next chapter of Blizzard’s MMORPG, drop an ‘F’ in the chat for this ill-fated tale of sorrow and strife – or don’t, I don’t mind.

Despite its numerous accolades, WoW Shadowlands has etched itself into history as one of the MMO’s most divisive expansions. While our WoW Shadowlands review praised the mysterious otherworldly feel of Ardenweald, Bastion, Maldraxxus, Oribos, and Revendreth, Azeroth’s afterlife quickly became more of an annoying grind than a pleasure to play.

Corrupted by a disjointed storyline that saw main protagonist Sylvanas Windrunner retconned entirely while the big bad Jailer pulled the strings, the Thanos-style villain was defeated after only a few patches in an anti-climatic battle, in turn meaning Shadowlands ended in disappointment despite its initial promise.

With the WoW Dragonflight pre-patch in full swing, phase two (debuting on November 15) introduces the all-new Dracthyr and their starting zone, The Forbidden Reach, as well as the all-new Primal Storms event. With this, Shadowlands content is officially being moved to Chromie Time, meaning it is no longer mandatory for levelling. Just like that, the flame is snuffed out, and fans couldn’t be happier.

“As of tomorrow, after maintenance, Shadowlands is no longer required content for levelling to 60,” writes one fan on the official WoW forums. “Dracthyr become playable and the real pre-patch begins.”

There’s hardly much sympathy for Shadowlands, though, with one player writing “my last day of Shadowlands was when we patched over to 10.0. Moved all my characters out of Shadowlands zones, rebound them elsewhere. Hope to never go back.”

“Started new toons on a brand new server and made sure to park them at 45 so the Shadowlands intro quest doesn’t even get put in my quest log.” echoes another. “That’s how much I hated Shadowlands. Good riddance.”

While I can empathise with the sentiments on this thread, I’ll always have a soft spot for Shadowlands – and no, that isn’t because I have a serious crush on Sylvanas. While I had played WoW before, my multiplayer game experience was relatively non-existent so I just played through the story quests on my own and called it a day. With Shadowlands I actively got back into WoW and started raiding at a high level, making friends and actually enjoying all the game had to offer. While I drifted off as my guild dissolved, I still have fond memories of playing Shadowlands with them – especially raiding the Sanctum of Domination for the first time.

But alas, the book has closed on Shadowlands, and if my WoW Dragonflight alpha preview is anything to go by, the next WoW expansion looks to be a good one (and no, that isn’t because I also have a serious crush on Alexstrasza). If you’re looking to explore the magical world of the Dragon Isles, too, be sure to check out our list of the best WoW addons to help keep you right.