So, it happened, eh?
Shadowlands is officially 9.0, the eighth WoW expansion. It has a mix of expected lore and surprising new developments.
I’m literally in line at Blizzcon now and figured I’d fire off a quick impressions post!
– Newest leaks were accurate – the Bolvar print was a given, really, once the Blizzard Gear Store leaked it. The WoW standee art seemed less certain, but now we have seen for sure – Bastion is a zone, and the Shadowlands are where we are headed. The art style is bright and more colorful than the theme leads you to believe!
-My Shadowlands Prediction was Accurate – A lot of people speculated that Shadowlands would mean dark and dreary, but the preview of zones gave a vastly different vibe, one of brightness haunted by death and with a vast number of ecosystems represented. This is the only claim I can say I made early, besides the easy logical leap that they’d announce an expansion. (Guild Leader update: “not surprising”, “changed my mind based on new information”, but has not admitted to being wrong!)
-Sylvanas’ Role is Bigger than Expected – Sylvanas bridges us into the expansion in a really interesting way – she claims the Helm of Dominion from Bolvar just to destroy it, which seemingly manifests the Shadowlands? How she knew that would happen or chose that path remains to be seen, but it is what appears to pull us forward. Not much more to say there other than that the outright rejection of the Lich King powers and role and the line “this planet is a prison” are both very fascinating!
-Gameplay Features – big ol’ question mark here for now. Covenants seem possibly cool? Tower of the Damned looks like an FFXIV styled deep dungeon? The covenant sets look really cool, if that’s even what they are? So much remains, and Ion’s statement about choice and agency seems to indicate a systems-level change of some sort. What that is, I couldn’t even guess, but I’m intrigued to see more.
Overall, I like the art style, the use of color and the subversion of expectations. I don’t generally like how much was spoiled, but at the same time, now I’m just more curious to see what comes next.
Also, Diablo IV looks rad as hell!