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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

Genre: Role-Playing Game
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Release Date:
Thursday, 18 November 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:49pm 18/11/21 | 0 Comments
We sit down with the WoW team to talk about the conclusion to the Shadowlands story with the upcoming release of Eternity’s End. One that leads to a strange new location, Zereth Mortis. The cosmic birthplace of, well, everything afterlife.

A snippet.
“It's challenging to go to the place where all the afterlives are made, where the Progenitors originated whole areas of our cosmos,” Maria Hamilton, Lead Quest Designer on Eternity’s End explains. “We had to really think about what that place might be like, and how it would reflect their somewhat unknowable desires and plans for us all. We knew the Jailer’s goal was to get to the Sepulcher, and we needed to think about what the place was like before he got here, then what his impact would be. It was exciting to stretch our imagination in that way, and at the same time challenging.”

And that’s because there’s an unknowable quality to Zereth Mortis, a place where familiarity and strange cosmic beauty come together. In order to bridge that gap, the team came up with a ‘Cypher of the First Ones’ system tied to the story and overall player progression.

“As you start to play the automa will be speaking with one another and you won't understand what they're saying, but as you progress, you'll begin to understand a bit more,” Maria says. “You may not know what it all means, but you’ll begin to see what they're saying. It’s a nice progression system built around the Cypher of The First Ones.”

Head Here For Our Full World of Warcraft: Shadowlands - Eternity's End Interview
Wednesday, 30 June 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 04:29pm 30/06/21 | 0 Comments
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands' big 9.1 update 'Chains of Domination' is now live bringing with it the next chapter in the afterlife saga, as the Covenants band together to take the fight to the Jailer. Plus, a new Raid, Mega-Dungeon, and more.

As depicted in this very cool cinematic launch trailer.

New Area: Korthia – Discover the new quests and secrets waiting in this mysterious new area that the Jailer has pulled into the Maw.

New Raid: Sanctum of Domination – Climb the far reaches of Torghast in this 10-boss raid leading into an epic showdown with the Dark Lady herself, Sylvanas Windrunner.

New Mega-Dungeon: Tazavesh, The Veiled Market – Explore the exotic wares, merchants, and creatures of this Broker bazaar, which culminates in a high-stakes heist involving powerful artifacts from Azeroth.

Shadowlands Flying – Take flight in the four Covenant’s zones of Bastion, Maldraxxus, Ardenweald, and Revendreth.

And More – Players can look forward to Shadowlands Season 2 for Mythic+ (with a new keystone affix, Tormented) and PvP; updates to Torghast, Tower of the Damned; as well as new cosmetic armour, pets, mounts, and achievements.

Ahead of the launch we had the chance to sit down with World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas to chat about its development and what's in store. Including the long-awaited showdown with Sylvanas.

“It’s a heavy burden on the shoulders of our narrative team, of our encounter designers, to deliver something that's been years and years and multiple expansions in the making,” Ion Hazzikostas says. “Getting the chance to face off against a figure of her stature, people are going in expecting a lot.”

“The encounter that has been crafted at the end of the Raid - I think it's epic,” Ion continues. “It’s on a scale that exceeds the vast majority of what we've ever tried to pull off in past Raids. And there is a combination that I can't spoil, but I am looking forward to seeing the community discuss and dissect as they try to figure out what's next for her. And what's next for the Shadowlands as a whole.”

Head Here For The Full Interview
Friday, 25 June 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 06:20pm 25/06/21 | 0 Comments
We sat down with Ion to chat at length about the big changes coming with the 9.1 ‘Chains of Domination’ update, developing Shadowlands, community feedback, the differences between Modern and Classic, and what’s in store for Sylvanas Windrunner.

A snippet.
From an overhaul to the rogue-light Torghast mode to the introduction of new progression tiers and a brand new end game quest zone called Korthia. Plus, a few little wish-list items like the ability to mix and match shoulder transmogs. And fly. Chains of Domination also sees players finally go up against Sylvanas in the new ‘Sanctum of Domination’ Raid. An event that has been years in the making.

And it’s there where our conversation with World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas began. A lengthy chat where we talked about the challenges of developing WoW during the ongoing pandemic, what goes into the smaller changes that come alongside major content drops, and the philosophy behind the mysterious new zone Korthia.

“It’s a heavy burden on the shoulders of our narrative team, of our encounter designers, to deliver something that's been years and years and multiple expansions in the making,” World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas says. “Getting the chance to face off against a figure of her stature, people are going in expecting a lot.”

World of Warcraft - Our Big Interview with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas

Wednesday, 9 December 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:36pm 09/12/20 | 0 Comments
No doubt this year has been a big one for World of Warcraft, especially in light of games emerging as a key form of escape for many. And with the release of its latest expansion, Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has become the fastest selling PC game of all time -- selling more than 3.7 million copies in a single day.

Pretty impressive global sales figures no doubt, and it beats the previous record holder Diablo III which sold over 3.5 million copies back in 2012. Again, it's been a massive year for WoW with the game hitting decade-high numbers of monthly players.

“It’s been a huge thrill to enter this whole-new dimension of the Warcraft universe together with millions of players around the world,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “It’s been equally rewarding to see players enjoying all of the new features and content in Shadowlands—whether they’re exploring new aspects of their characters with the Covenants or setting foot in WoW for the first time with the new-player experience in Exile’s Reach—and there’s much more to come.”

Related: World of Warcraft Shadowlands Interview - Inside Maldraxxus

Related: Blizzard on World of Warcraft’s Exiles Reach - The Brand New Starting Zone

Monday, 23 November 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:30pm 23/11/20 | 0 Comments
For Australian players, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands goes live tomorrow morning (10am AEST for Sydney/Melbourne), where the long-awaited new expansion will see them travel to the afterlife. And to celebrate the launch Blizzard has partnered with some prominent lo-fi hip hop producers to take the Shadowlands soundtrack and give it a dose of chill.

The lo-fi beats phenomenon has seen the rise in popularity of permanent YouTube streams sending out chill vibes into the airways, usually accompanied by some anime-inspired art of someone studying in their bedroom. Which, in a very cool move, is what we get here. With the following tracks giving the actual Shadowlands soundtrack the lo-fi treatment.

Maldraxxus: “Sans Primus” Lo-Fi Remix by Casiio
Revendreth: “Decadence Hospitality” Lo-Fi Remix by Josh Carter
Ardenweald: “Nocturne Melancholy Dream” Lo-Fi Remix by Eevee
Bastion: “Aspirants Journey Doubt” Lo-Fi Remix by Bishop Nehru

You can checkout the playlist here, grab some wallpapers here, or simply listen to all of the above on loop - in this 4-hour video.

Friday, 30 October 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:25pm 30/10/20 | 0 Comments
After its recent delay, Blizzard has finally given the latest WoW expansion a new release date - with World of Warcraft: Shadowlands set to drop November 23. With the extra time taken "for fine-tuning and polish based on [beta] feedback". No doubt the eighth World of Warcraft expansion will let players loose in a more stable afterlife.

And to celebrate the announcement we also got a new story trailer with impressive real-time cinematics setting the scene.

The eighth World of Warcraft expansion sends players on a journey into the Shadowlands, a realm of infinite afterlives where mortal souls go to find new purpose—or suffer eternal torment at the mercy of the Jailer in his Tower of the Damned. As players explore this otherworldly frontier, they’ll discover the fates of Warcraft legends, forge a bond with one of four Covenants who rule over the Shadowlands’ disparate domains, and ultimately confront a threat shrouded in darkness with designs to unmake the cosmos.

Blizzard has also outlined some additional Shadowlands events timings too with a pre-event dealy and word on the first Raid drop.
The Scourge Invade Azeroth November 10 – With the Helm of Domination torn apart and the sky over Icecrown shattered, the undead Scourge make a resurgence—and Azeroth’s heroes must confront this Death-born threat before it consumes the mortal world of Azeroth. This Shadowlands pre-expansion event goes live starting November 10.

The Gates of Castle Nathria Open December 8 – Castle Nathria, the first epic 10-boss raid of Shadowlands, will be available starting December 8. The opening of the raid also signals the start of Shadowlands Raid, Mythic Dungeon, and PvP Season 1.

For more on World of Warcraft: Shadowlands be sure to check out our massive interview with with Lead Narrative Designer Steve Danuser.
Friday, 2 October 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:02pm 02/10/20 | 0 Comments
With Blizzard noting that World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, the latest expansion to the long-running online role-player, is being pushed back from its planned October release to "later this year". With the reasoning being more time to ensure it's "something special".

As per the announcement above, from World of Warcraft Executive Producer John Hight, "This was an incredibly difficult decision for the team". Adding, "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."

The delay is not a mark on the state of the expansion with Blizzard highlighting that the campaign, story, and overall questing experience is in a state that is ready to share. The additional time will be used for polish, iterating on features, and things associated with the end game portion of the release. As is the way of 2020, working from home has impacted the World of Warcraft team and presented new challenges as it moves towards Shadowlands release.

The good news though, is that the expansion pre-patch is on track for October 13 which lays the narrative groundwork for Shadowlands in addition to introducing the new level-squish feature and new starting zone Exiles Reach.

Recently we had the chance to chat about all things Shadowlands with John Hight - which you can read here. Additionally we've also spoken with Lead Narrative Designer Steve Danuser to talk about storytelling in the afterlife, specifically the realm of Maldraxxus.
Wednesday, 23 September 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 10:42am 23/09/20 | 0 Comments
The pre-expansion patch for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is set to introduce the long-awaited level squish to the game, where current Level 120 characters will become Level 50. As per a new post, Blizzard put up a chart to confirm that that the equivalent is roughly two levels or so between the old and the new.

Blizzard notes that the upcoming patch will adjust all items and stats accordingly and that overall the levelling experience will be faster than ever before.

Which is a good thing because the patch will also introduce Exile's Reach, the all-new starting experience for World of Warcraft. A new island designed to teach players their WoW fundamentals -- like an RPG version of a sports training camp. Exile’s Reach will cover the first 10 levels for new players, and then put them into Battle For Azeroth ahead of Shadowlands. Veterans rolling new toons will have the option to begin in the starting area for their race and also choose which expansion to play through as part of their own journey.

No word on when exactly the pre-expansion patch will drop, but with Shadowlands out next month odds are it will be soon. And on that note, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is on track for release on October 27.
Monday, 31 August 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:27pm 31/08/20 | 0 Comments
Beyond the realm of Azeroth lies that place your toon ends up if you forget to re-spawn, the Afterlife. Which is where World of Warcraft: Shadowlands takes place, in a journey that will see players side with a Covenant of the Afterlife -- and probably save a land or two from some sort of looming threat.

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.

Pledge Yourself to a Covenant—Align with one of the Shadowlands’ four Covenants, each with unique story campaigns, gameplay features, and powers that they bestow upon those who pledge themselves to their cause. Choose between Bastion’s valiant Kyrian or Revendreth’s prideful Venthyr, fight for the mighty Necrolords of Maldraxxus, or seek renewal with the wild Night Fae of Ardenweald.

Ascend the Tower of the Damned—The vilest souls in existence are locked away in Torghast, an otherworldly prison ruled by the terrifying entity known as the Jailer. This ever-changing, roguelike challenge is open to solo players and groups of up to five, and those who brave its trials will earn materials to commission rune-carved legendary equipment of their choosing.

Rise as a Death Knight—Bolvar Fordragon, the former paladin who once wore the helm of the Lich King to keep the Scourge at bay, seeks to bolster the Death Knights’ numbers—now, all Allied Races as well as pandaren can join their unholy ranks. (Available with pre-purchase.)

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.

“In Shadowlands, players will explore one of the Warcraft universe’s most mysterious undiscovered frontiers,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “And in selecting a Covenant to align themselves with, they’ll face one of the most challenging decisions they’ve ever made in the game—one that will impact nearly every aspect of their experience with this expansion. We can’t wait to see what paths players choose when Shadowlands launches this October.”

As per the Global Release Times -- the official launch for ANZ is October 27 at 10am AEST.

Naturally there will be a sweet Collector's Edition -- which you can find out about here.

For more on Shadowlands be sure to check out out in-depth two-part interviews with John Hight, Executive Producer on World of Warcraft.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands - Blizzard on Development and Enhancing the Existing Experience
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands - Blizzard on Covenants, Creating a Challenging Endgame, and the Road to Launch
Tuesday, 21 July 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 04:25pm 21/07/20 | 1 Comments
Yesterday we brought you Part One of our deep dive into World of Warcraft: Shadowlands where we discussed the new player experience and bringing it all back to 60-levels of progression. Here in Part Two we discuss Covenants, what the mean to the endgame, and how the sandbox that is the Maw was designed to test even the most hardened players.

“There's one story arc that takes you through all four of the Covenants,” John Hight, Executive Producer on World of Warcraft, explains. We’re talking about the groups overseeing the afterlife and their role in the afterlife of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, Covenants. An afterlife where after the main story reaches its climax, players will be asked to select a Covenant to align with. Well, not so much ask - this decision will major one and play straight into the endgame, Covenant-specific progression, and beyond.

“As you're levelling up through Shadowlands you will be exposed to and meeting all the major characters in each of the Covenants,” John explains. “That gives a good sense of the flavour, the culture of each Covenant, and we're hoping that people will make their choices based on what feels right to them. There's an R in RPG, and we want that decision to be a representation of who you are or who you want to be. With that we've tried to give a lot of flavour to the four different Covenants.”

For John and the rest of the WoW team at Blizzard, it’s their goal to make this decision as painstaking or seamless as choosing your character’s class.

Part Two of Our World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Interview
Monday, 20 July 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 06:04pm 20/07/20 | 0 Comments
Recently we had the chance to speak to John Hight, Executive Producer on World of Warcraft at Blizzard, to chat about all things WoW. In Part One of our deep dive into Shadowlands we discuss development in 2020, the new player experience, and why 120 levels of progression was too many.

A snippet.
Since moving to remote work the World of Warcraft teams at Blizzard (which includes those working on the Shadowlands expansion and Classic) have looked to recreate the social side of working as a unit on an MMO by connecting, as we all have, via video platforms. But, not to run through the latest updates – but to simply, well, hangout. “Something like that lets us feel connected even though it's not the same thing as being in the same room with someone,” John adds. When it came to working on the actual game, it wasn’t until the team began seeing players dive into the Alpha that it felt energised, motivated, and in sync.

“Things were a little slower at first, but once we saw people playing the game and becoming excited about what we were doing as we started rolling out alpha updates, we got excited too,” John admits. “Influencers that in the past might've said critical things about the game, came out and were supportive of what we’re trying to do with Shadowlands. That was encouraging for the team and gave us all purpose.”

It’s a feeling that extends beyond simple feedback, seeing players experience things that the team has worked on for years. The current climate in which we all live, that weird place in time known as 2020, played its role.

Part One of Our World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Interview
Thursday, 9 July 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:11pm 09/07/20 | 0 Comments
And if there's one thing we can all count on is that each World of Warcraft expansion will receive an impressive Collector's Edition. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is no different and during the Shadowlands live-stream event from last night, Blizzard outlined the physical and digital goodies players can expect.

In terms of release, Shadowlands is on track for later this year with executive producer John Hight opening the stream (embedded below) with, "You have our commitment that we will be releasing Shadowlands this fall, even if we end up shipping it from our homes."

With all that's happening in 2020 a game like World of Warcraft is not only a form of escape but a way in which socialising with friends and a wider community takes on a special kind of importance.

Back to the Collector's Edition - first up, it looks cool. And one thing the image doesn't full convey is the holographic finish and funky afterlife effects all over the box.

Covenant Sigils – Four-Pin Collector’s Set: Add the symbols of all four Covenants to your pin collection and adorn your backpack, lanyard, or clothing with the sign of your chosen path.

Art of the Shadowlands - Explore the visual development of Azeroth’s multifaceted afterlife through this hardcover book, and learn about an aspect of the Warcraft universe that has been little explored—until now.

Shattered Sky Mousepad - Witness the moment Sylvanas shattered the veil between this life and what lies beyond, changing Azeroth’s fate forever.

Collector’s Edition Digital Soundtrack Key - Download the stirring orchestral pieces from the Shadowlands soundtrack, the perfect mood music to explore the realms beyond the veil.

In terms of digital bonuses, they've also been outlined as per below - with cosmetics rocking a sweet afterlife theme.

Ensorcelled Everwyrm mount - Set off on your next adventure on a supernatural being of pure anima.

Anima Wyrmling pet - Explore the afterlife alongside your new companion.
Vestments of the Eternal Traveler: Use your Everwyrm to begin a quest for the Vestments of the Eternal Traveler, an all-new transmog set.

Wraithchill cosmetic weapon - Unlock a chilling new cosmetic effect for your weapon. As with other Illusions, Wraithchill can be applied only to certain weapon types.

Eternal Traveler’s Hearthstone - Return to your Hearthstone bind location with a reality-bending cosmetic effect.

Shadowlands-Level Character Boost - Instantly boost a single character to be ready for Shadowlands-level content.

The stream also covered what to expect in the upcoming Beta next week (you can opt in over at the official site) in addition to a deep dive into Covenants, endgame, and the new sandbox zone called The Maw. We'll have a lot more on this in the coming days.
Tuesday, 9 June 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:19pm 09/06/20 | 0 Comments
We go behind the scenes with Blizzard to talk about World of Warcraft's next expansion and the trip to the afterlife. Focusing on one location in particular, Bastion, we break down the inspiration and process behind creating new adventures and the exciting new Covenants feature.

A snippet.
“One of the things we do when we're crafting a new world for players to explore is ask, what we can we only do here?” Johnny Cash V, Senior Game Designer on World of Warcraft expansion Shadowlands tells me. With the setting for Shadowlands being the afterlife it’s a proposition that feels endless. A timeless space, various zones, roaming souls, unfinished business. Energies from Azeroth and beyond converging. But also, a place of structure.

With one of the afterlife realms, Bastion, presenting an almost Elysium approach to what might happen if there was no such thing as being able to respawn. Home to angelic like beings called the Kyrian, it’s a beautiful location and one steeped in history, order, and rich narrative potential.

click Here to Read Our Full World of Warcraft: Shadowlands - Inside Bastion Interview