Shadowlands Expansion Overview 1
by Aether in
Shadowlands Guides

Last Updated on October 18, 2020 by Tilly

World of Warcraft’s latest announcement of a new expansion has fans from around the world waiting patiently in anticipation for a release date. Shadowlands was first announced at Blizzcon 2019 and since then the hype around it has continued to grow. Blizzard have announce plenty of changes coming our way, and it seems as if they’ve really taken in what their players have been asking for over the years.

Pre-Orders

So far we’re still waiting on a release date, although they have said it will be before December 2020, with this being said you can still pre-order yourself a copy via the Blizzard launcher. There are three editions of the the pre-order to pick from, these are:

Shadowlands levelling

Blizzard announced its first ever level squish, with the level cap being reduced down to level 60, giving us those Classic feels. Anyone who is currently at max level in BFA will be squished down to level 50, ready to start their journey into Shadowlands. Blizzard are yet to confirm how players bellow 120 will be squished yet, and we’re excited to see how they will do it.

With the new expansion comes a whole new levelling system which is extremely new player friendly, allowing for an easy levelling experience through all of WoW’s previous expansions. Blizzard has said that levelling systems should be a lot faster than it currently is in BFA, although there is currently an 100% XP buff sticking around until the Shadowlands pre-patch.

1-10

Levelling from 1-10 is a whole new experience, and tailored around new players introduction to WoW. Exile’s Reach is a new starting area where new players will have full tutorial on the basics of WoW. The tutorial has its very own story line, and finishes it off with a dungeon, enabling new players to experience and learn the basics of levelling and dungeons. The storyline only changes slightly on Horde and Alliance, but the quests base objective is the same.

New players will not have the option to skip this area, but players that have already levelled a character will have the option to skip this area, allowing them to start in the normal starting zones if they wish. The only exception to this is Demon Hunters, Death Knights, and Allied races, who will start at level 8/10 and will begin their levelling within their own starting zones, and will not have the option to go through Exiles Reach.

Please note, that at this current time, Heirlooms are not allowed to be used in Exiles Reach, and there is no mailbox.

10-50

Once the starting area is complete you will then head off to the main city of your faction (Stormwind or Orgrimmar). New players of Alliance will end up in Kul Tiras, where as Horde new players will end up in Zandalar. Blizzard have said that players will be able to hit level 50 by playing through the the storyline of the expansion they pick, although new players will not have the choice to pick an expansion. Instead they will be playing through BfA as it is the latest storyline coming into Shadowlands.

Like previous, existing players will have the opportunity to pick which expansion they wish to level through. Upon hitting 10, you will be approached by Chromie who will allow you to pick whichever expansion you want. You will have the chance to jump between expansions if you grow tiresome of where you’re levelling, meaning you can pick all your favourite spots from each expansion.

50-60

Once you hit level 50 you will be entering Shadowlands. You will start at this point if you already have a 120 character in BFA. Below, we will go through all the new areas and dungeons that you will encounter whilst working towards hitting level 60.

New Zones

Shadowlands brings us six new zones, which included four levelling zones, as well as a max level area and a main city for the expansion.

The main city is Shadowlands is Oribos, which is found in the centre of the other Shadowland islands. This will be the main entry point into Shadowlands, where upon arrival, your soul will be judged by The Arbiter. The Arbiter will look over all the deeds of your character and you will then be sent on your way to the new areas after completing the main introductory quest line.

Bastion

The first levelling zone you will be greeted with in Shadowlands will be Bastion, home of Kyrian Covenant. This is one of the more impressive looking zones in Shadowlands, with its soaring angel statues and soft architecture, this is a place that is a real representation of Heaven.

Maldraxxus

This Area is ruled by the Necrolord Covenant, a war torn area with no end in sight. With a missing leader, there is a continuous fight for leadership and power with the zone. Maldraxxus is filled with abominations, plague, and spores, with a very plaguelands/Naxxramas look to it. This is the second area you will visit on your journey through Shadowlands. You will need to be level 53 and have completed the storyline quests in Oribos and Bastion.

Ardenweald

Ardenweald, the Emerald’s dream dark mirror, a dreamlike area ruled by the Night Fae Convenant, this place could easily be just filled with Night Elf druids. Although Ardenweald may look beautiful and nourished, there is a dark cloud hanging over it. With not enough Anima to feed all the souls, choices must be made that carry a heavy burden on its leader. This is the third area you will travel to, it will become available after you hit 55 and have completed all the previous storyline quests.

Revendreth

The darkest zone of Shadowlands is Revendreath, home of the sinful and run by the Venthyr, where only the most evil of souls arrive. A place that will make your nightmares look like a fun day out. Here, souls work to undo all the evil they have caused and ready themselves for a pure reincarnation. This is the last area players will play through and is only obtainable by completing the other zones and reaching 57.

Covenants

Once you have finished all four zones, experienced each Covenant, and hit level 60 you will then be able to make your decision on what Covenant you want to join. There are a lot of perks and things to take into consideration when choosing a Covenant. We will give a brief overview of each Covenant below, with more in-depth articles for you to explore if you want some more information to help you make your decision.

Covenants are realms in which control the Afterlife (Shadowlands), it is said that there are many realms within Shadowlands, but there are four main ones that are in control. Each of these Covenants are based in one of the four levelling areas players are introduced to, and each one has its own perks if you choose to join. Upon hitting level 60 you will be faced with the choice of picking a Covenant to join, you will pick between Kyrian, Necrolords, Night Fae, or Venthyr. Once you have picked a Covenant, players will unlock different abilities, armour sets, soul binds, battle pets, mounts, and perks, working their way through to unlocking everything. We will go through an overview of each Covenant as they appear in game.

Kyrian

The first covenant you will encounter will be Kyrian who are based in Bastion. Those who are within this are angelic beings whose main focus is passing souls between life and death.

Upon joining each player will receive one general ability, and one class specific ability. The general ability for Kyrian is:

Summon StewardCall your steward to bring you a Phial of Serenity that can be consumed to restore some of your health and remove all Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed Effects. Your Steward additionally offers access to a selection of useful amenities, each once per day.

Class specific abilities for Kyrian can be found in our more in-depth guide.

Armour sets for Kyrians are a real representation of Bastion, it captures the angelic land in which these noble servants live. The armour set currently has four different variety of colours, this is likely to be unlocked via progression within the covenant, although this hasn’t been confirmed as of yet.

Necrolords

Home of the heroic souls and an army of the dead, Necrolords is a Covenant only for the brave. Necrolords reside in Maldraxxus, an area fitting for the relentless warriors that are the epitome of strength and honour.

Upon joining each player will receive one general ability, and one class specific ability. The general ability for Necrolords is:

Fleshcraft: Form a shield of flesh and bone over 4 sec that prevents damage equal to 20% of your maximum health. Channeling near a corpse claims their essence to grow the shield, up to 50% of your maximum health. This is most effective against powerful enemies.

Class specific abilities for Necrolords can be found in our more in-depth guide.

The Necrolord armour set is one of the best looking sets as of yet. It takes in all aspects of the covenant and creates this intimidating bone set that portrays the souls that join the Necrolords. Like the other sets it comes in four colours, this is yet to be confirmed but we believe the colours will unlock as you rank up (like the artifact weapon in Legion).

Night Fae

The Covenant of nature and life cycles, the keepers of autumn and winter, the Night Fae’s are a vital part in keeping Shadowlands balanced. The Night Fae Covenant is based in Ardenweald, the dark mirror of the Emerald Dream, and just from that you can tell the nature of this covenant. The Covenant (and area) have a Night Elf feel to it, although it welcome anyone who will protect nature regardless, of race.

Upon joining each player will receive one general ability, and one class specific ability. The general ability for Night Fae is:

Soulshape: Turn into a [Shape], increasing movement speed by 30%. You may reactivate Soulshape to teleport 10 yds. forward. Lasts 12 seconds, or indefinitely while in a rest area. 

The general ability for Night Fae has to be one of the more interesting abilities available. Players can collect different shapes to transform into, the first being a spirit fox. So far blizzard has announced the following to be collected:

  • Bear
  • Cobra
  • Crane
  • Dragon Turtle
  • Feathered Drake
  • Grython
  • Hippogryph
  • Hyena
  • Lion
  • Moose
  • Moth
  • Nightsaber
  • Owlcat
  • Raptor
  • Runestag
  • Stag
  • Teroclaw
  • Tiger
  • Unicorn
  • Wolf
  • Wolfhawk
  • Wyvern

Although there isn’t any indication on how to unlock these, its expected that they will be quest or achievement rewards. Class specific abilities for Night Fae can be found in our more in-depth guide.

The Night Fae armour set looks exactly how you’d expect it to, full of branches, gems and fairy wings. Very suited for those who connect with nature and the elements. Like the other covenants, the armour set comes in four colours and we believe this will be unlock-able via progression of your rank within the covenant.

Venthyr

If you thought the afterlife couldn’t get any worse, then head over to Revendreth, where the ruthless Venthyr covenant rule, full of prideful souls that will do anything to progress and leave their wrongfulness behind. Although those who do not wish to move on, will be punishers of the covenant, only growing in power and pride. This isn’t a place for the soft and caring kind, here you will find only the selfish, and those who only look our for themselves.

Upon joining each player will receive one general ability, and one class specific ability. The general ability for Venthyr is:

Door of Shadows: Wend through the shadows, appearing at the targeted location.

Class specific abilities for Venthyr can be found in our more in-depth guide.

The armour set is to be expected from a covenants that based in a gothic, vampire world. With wings and an almost regal look to it, it’s one of the more impressive looking sets that we’ve seen so far. As with all the covenants, there are four colour varieties to the set, and we believe that this will be obtainable through progression of the ranks within the Venthyr.

Souldblinds

Each covenant will have their own specific Denizens they can Soulbind with. Each Denizen will have its own soul tree to perk the player, and unlock further abilities for them. You will only be able to souldbind with one Denizen at a time, so we can imagine there will be some management of which you use for certain situations. Anima will be needed to strengthen soul binds and work through the soul tree (think of this as Azerite power), this will most likely be farmed in the same way as Azerite is currently. At the moment there are three for each covenant available, although we are unsure if more will unlock at a later date.

Full lists of the Soul trees and Denizens available within a covenant can be found in our full covenant guide. Although there isn’t much available about Soulbinds at this moment in time, we will continue to update this page when we get news.

Dungeons and Raids

At this moment Blizzard has announced four new levelling dungeons, five max level dungeons and one raid.

Leveling Dungeons

Cap Dungeons

  • The Other Side
  • Sanguine Depths
  • Spires of Ascension
  • Theater of Pain
  • Thorgast, Tower of the Damned 

Thorgast, based in The Maw, is set to be the new Mythic+ in Shadowlands. Each time you enter you will encounter different enemies, allowing for different loot drops. Although there isn’t set to be a timer like Mythic’s, there is a soft cap timer allowing players to earn extra bonuses if completed within a time frame. The towers difficulty changes with every level that you complete, and changing every time. Within each level there are extra quests to complete that give you extra loot and bonuses as well.

Raid

PvP

Shadowlands will be bring back PvP currency so players will be able to obtain PvP gear once again. This is one of the more anticipated returns we are looking forward to, with the option to upgrade your PvP gear through venders. Although Blizzard hasn’t released much about the future of PvP within the new expansion, we are extremely excited to see how these changes will impact PvP as we know it currently.

Character Creation

With the new expansion comes some new and exciting changes to our characters. This has been long overdue and we’re all extremely excited to see what Blizzard have come up with. So far Blizzard has announced these changes, although we do expect some more down the line. These are:

  • New skin and fur tones
  • New hairstyles, hair colour and eye colours
  • Customised tail length for Draenei
  • Goblins and Gnomes will have the option to change their nose and ears
  • Forsaken will get the option to change their decay amount
  • New tattoo options for Orcs, Dwarves, Trolls, and Night Elves
  • Diversity within skin tones for Humans, and the option to change face shape.
  • Make up for female Humans
  • New ear options and piercing customisation for Blood Elves
  • Tauren’s will now have the option to add/change body and face paint.

All these new changes will be available to due so at a barber shop, minus gender changes (although this is yet to be fully confirmed as of yet).

With new character creations comes a new character creation screen, which is more pleasant to the eye and user friendly.

Alts

Shadowlands is set to be extremely Alt friendly (finally!), with alts not having to to level through specific areas in shadowlands, and just levelling though Covenants if they wish.

As said previously, we are currently working with what’s available at this moment in time, and will update this as soon as we get any new news. We do have more in-depth guides of some of the aspects of shadowlands if you would like to know more on those subjects.

Aether has been playing World of Warcraft since 2006. In his youth he raided 7 days a week, but now just plays with friends doing Mythic dungeons and Arena. He swaps his main more often than he should.
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 by Bastion Zone Overview | Aether Flask in June 26, 2020

[…] If you’d prefer to look over the Shadowlands expansion as a whole, please check out our Shadowlands overview. […]

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