In some circles better known as Minyaelin or simply Min. Master of Education, who prefers to look at monitors, especially at World of Warcraft. When he's not sitting at his computer, he organizes "Saturdays with Board Games" in Belchatow, watches football matches, plays Dungeon and Dragons or reads books. Fan of Tolkien, Wolverine and "The Four Armoured" - such a strange combination.
Blizzard does not intend to give up its flagship title, which is World of Warcraft. Just introduced to the series eighth consecutive addition - Shadowlands.
Journey to the Land of Shadows
Let's recall where the Battle for Azeroth ended. Lady Sylvanas not only killed Varok, tried to kill Thrall, burned Teldrassil, left Horde and undead but also went to Icecrown to fight Bolvar there. After defeating the Lich King, she opened the gate to the afterlife and fled Azeroth. It was certain that this was no mere attempt to avoid the consequences of her actions. As you can guess, the Dark Lady already has another plan, which probably won't please the inhabitants of the world in which the game takes place. Especially since, using her loyal minions, our Banshee Queen managed to kidnap Anduin and Baine and take them to the "other side". Now the defenders of Azeroth must travel to the Shadow Realm to rescue the Champions, as well as the souls of the warriors who can help in the fight against the new threat, which is a certain Jailer.
Heaven? Hell? Not for us!
In the world of Warcraft, there is an afterlife where the souls of the dead go. They are divided into several realms. Spirits are assigned to these planes based on their life's actions and choices. The worst criminals, deserving of eternal damnation, are sent to The Maw. However, there has been no court for some time and even the good ones end up here. This is where the Jailer rules and where Lady Sylvanas and the Champions she kidnapped have moved to. Jaina Proudmoore and Thrall followed her. However to save Azeroth one more mortal was needed. And this is where the player characters enter the scene. Everyone becomes a hero on which depends the fate of the world. At the beginning we'll help the most famous warriors and then we'll have to wander around Shadowlands and discover its secrets. We'll move to Orbios and Eternal City, where the judgments of souls take place. Later, our path will lead us to the Bastion, a heavenly dimension for noble souls, full of winged angels called kyrians. Its inhabitants serve for the good of the Shadowlands, are willing to sacrifice and know their purpose. They wish to cast off the burdens of their mortal lives from their shoulders and pursue the highest virtue. Next we visit Maldraxxus. Though unholy necromancers rule here, it is to this place that the warriors of old will come. As in Valhalla, duels are still fought here, and the dead strive for eternal glory with sword and axe in hand. Once we have met the brave inhabitants of this place, we will move on to Ardenweald. It is here that all who were bound to nature during their lives come. The vast forest is a refuge not only for druids, but also for centaurs, fey, woodchucks and simply animals. Finally, there is a tour of Gothic Revendreth. It is a purgatory ruled by vampires who prepare souls for service in the Shadowlands and willingly torture them to gain redemption in return. Once proud and haughty warriors, they must now serve and suffer to enjoy eternity. But this is not the end of the story. In the netherworld there is the mysterious tower of Torghast, whose layout changes constantly. If we don't get lost in its labyrinths and manage to get through the floors, we'll receive extremely valuable rewards in return. You have to admit that life after death in Azeroth looks interesting, right?
Level down, level up
Those who play World of Warcraft non-stop are well aware of this, but here's a note for those who are returning to the title after a break. Do not be surprised that your characters suddenly received several tens of negative levels. Blizzard decided to apply this treatment to everyone. And so, at the end of the Battle for Azeroth, our characters who were level 120 were suddenly reset to level 50. From this very moment, we'll start playing in Shadowlands, and our maximum achievement in this case will be level 60. To get it, we'll have to perform tasks. In this regard, virtually nothing has changed in WoW. Quests will still consist mainly of killing enemies, collecting items, escorting NPCs or moving from point A to B. But it won't be a monotonous gameplay. However, the gameplay will not be monotonous. Blizzard this time put a lot of emphasis on the development of the story. Many of our missions will have a visible contribution to the development of the story, and along the way there are a lot of cinematic interludes, showing the results of our actions. Shadowlands will change under our influence and it will be noticeable. At this point, people who are not very good with the English language and will not be able to translate the content of the order will complain, as well as players who notoriously interrupt the video images posted in the game. It's really not worth it! It's quite nice to see our hero appreciated by the Champions of the Shadowlands, and the whole story shown in the newest addition will become truly epic.
What's new in WoW?
Of course, Blizzard has prepared a few new things for players, although in reality we already know most things from previous expansions. I've already mentioned the new lands to explore and the story. There's also a new type of enemies, mounts, pets and NPCs. There are also numerous achievements to get. As usual, raids were also introduced. In addition to the already mentioned Torghast, during the expo you'll be able to visit The Necrotic Wake, Theater of Pain, Halls of Atonment and Mists of Tirna Scithe. Plaguefall, The Other Side, Spires of Ascension, and Sanguine Depths will also be unlocked upon reaching max level. At the moment, it has not been decided to add any new map for battlegrounds. As far as races are concerned, Vulpery and Mechagnomy were introduced earlier and that's probably why we don't get any new ones with the expansion. But we can modify our heroes. There are new hairstyles, tattoos, skin and eye colors and other modifications. As for the classes, we didn't get any more, but now every race will be able to become a Death Knight.
In Shadowlands we don't have to upgrade our gear as we did in previous expansions. We no longer have to upgrade legendary weapons or collect Azerite to strengthen the medallion. Instead, we'll have to make a pact with one of the discussed spheres. We will have to choose whether we want to serve and help Bastion, Revendreth, Ardenweald or Maldraxxus. After making a decision we will receive a power pack from a given coven. Later, we will begin to perform so-called world quests and gain "anima" allowing us to build better and better relationships with the factions. In return, with time, we'll get a unique outfit, mount and grow in strength thanks to the new, unique skills.
No easter egg to go on!
Blizzard has already accustomed us to the fact that in the game we can find a number of references to other productions or the world of pop culture. Probably everyone has heard about NPC Harrison Jones or Haris Pilton. Reading the quests, achievements or names of enemies and allies we'll always find something interesting. This time I managed to find a book called Necronom-i-nom, one of the escorted allies, hiding in the shadows, repeated Hello darkness, my old friend, I was led by a strange creature running on all fours and calling me Master, and I found the skeleton of a mermaid with a crab and a yellow-blue fish hanging around. The most frequently mentioned easter-egg from the newest addition to the game is the possibility to meet gloomy Gwynceirwa known as The Winter Wolf and his singing companion Daffodil. It is for them that we perform the task called Toss a Seed to Your Hunter.
See you in the Shadowlands
Talking with fellow guildmates (greetings Barbarians) and reading the comments on the pages I conclude that Shadowlands was very warmly received by the players. I also share this opinion myself. Some felt very bored with the end of Battle for Azeroth, and the new addition gave a breath of fresh air. An interesting story line, numerous choices we have to make, quests, character development and interesting cinematics make it hard to leave the computer. The story is really engaging and you want to know it to the end. However, before this happens, we have a long gameplay ahead of us and further patches completing the lore of the Shadowlands. Won't we be bored by then and will we still want to roam the netherworlds? Well, we'll find out in the coming months. For now, we can not complain. Time to face the latest addition from Blizzard Entertainment yourself!