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WoW Shadowlands release date and everything we know

The latest updates on the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion

When is the WoW Shadowlands release date? It looks like there’s not long to wait until the next World of Warcraft expansion, Shadowlands, arrives. Alongside a heap of gameplay changes and shiny new content, the expansion will further WoW’s epic story, featuring new adventures set in the realm of the departed. The Shadowlands lore is centered around Sylvanas Windrunner, who has ripped the barrier between Azeroth and the dark, foreboding Shadowlands.

Blizzard is also focusing on the new player experience with Shadowlands – not only is the character creator receiving a total overhaul, with plenty of new options, but new players will begin their journey on a new starting island called ‘Exile’s Reach’. Once they’re done with the starting zone, they will then move to their capital city to play through Battle for Azeroth content before progressing into the Shadowlands.

As for the Shadowlands themselves, there will be five new major zones: Bastion, Ardenweald, Revendreath, Maldrazzus, and the Maw. Four Covenants rule the first four of these zones, and players will choose which WoW Covenant to forge a bond with as they progress. There’s also the Tower of the Damned, a roguelike challenge where players rescue wrongly imprisoned spirits from an ever-changing prison.

When is the WoW Shadowlands release date?

The WoW Shadowlands release date is October 27, 2020 – this comes hot from the Gamescom 2020 presses. The WoW Shadowlands pre-patch is currently on the Public Test Realm – the pre-patch adds the framework for the upcoming patch, in preparation for the expansion content itself to be subsequently released. Updates typically stay on the PTR for four to six weeks before they’re added to the main game.

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Alongside the release date announcement, Blizzard also shared a gorgeously cinematic animated short introducing us to the Bastion zone for the Kyrian Covenant, which we’ll be able to join in the Shadowlands expansion.

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WoW Shadowlands trailer

The WoW Shadowlands cinematic trailer shows Sylvanas battling Lich King Bolvar Fordragon in the wastes of Icecrown. After striking him down, she pries his helmet from his head and holds it before her, musing on wielding its power. Bolvar warns her, “That power will be your prison”. She replies, “This world is a prison” before tearing the helmet in two, causing a shockwave that cracks the fabric of reality, opening up the sky to the Shadowlands. “And I will set us all free”.

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You can also watch the Shadowlands release date reveal trailer – that really shouldn’t be a thing – above.

WoW Shadowlands gameplay

What will be changing in WoW Shadowlands? So far, we know there will be four new linear zones in the expansion – Bastion, Ardenweald, Revendreath, and Maldrazzus. Each of these will belong to covenants, which you’ll be able to align yourself with after reaching the new level cap. These covenants and new zones boast plenty of bonuses such as buffs to loot from key dungeons, unique armor and abilities, and access to special activities.

There will also be navigation improvements, and the return of the popular PvP World Quests. We’re also getting a good old Shadowlands stat squish – and for the first time since WoW was released, there will be a level squish, too, as the max level falls from 120 to 60. Your level 120 characters, however, will be taken down to level 50, giving you plenty of room to climb as you play through new Shadowlands content.

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Though the Corruption mechanic from Battle of Azeroth will be removed, Horrific Visions, Island Expeditions, and Warfronts will all remain. Shadowlands alpha players have also datamined a new Adventures System, which looks like an autobattler game and possibly an upgrade to the Mission system. You’ll choose five allies – each with unique abilities – to be sent to battle, and receive results in your combat log. We also know WoW Shadowlands will add ray tracing, which is now live in the Shadowlands beta.

That’s everything we know so far about WoW Shadowlands – but we’ll update you as soon as we know more about the Shadowlands release date. Until then, here are the top ten things to do before the WoW Shadowlands changes kick in – things to do in WoW, that is, though if you’re making a real life checklist, we’ve got some suggestions for the best gaming monitor and best gaming headset so you can experience Shadowlands in all its glory.

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