Blizzcon 2019: World of Warcraft – Shadowlands Deep Dive

The World of Warcraft Deep Dive focused on four aspects of the Shadowlands expansion
  • Covenants
  • New levelling flow
  • Classes
  • Torghast and the Maw

Covenants

You quest through four zones, learn about the four covenants, make a choice of which covenant to join at level 60.

  • Kyrian – Spirit Guides
  • Necrolords – Defenders
  • Night Fae – Shepherds of Cycle of life and death
  • Venthyr – Punishers of the wicked

You will have a Covenant Sanctum, which is somewhat equivalent to your Class Order Hall in Legion.

Each Covenant has an ability exclusive to that covenant. The Night Fae’s Soulshape was used as the first example and it was mentioned that Soulshape could be customised so you could be a glimmerwing or a runestag among other possibilities. There was even the possibility of some forms being available as prestige rewards for completing the Night Fae campaign.

Kyrian

Unburden

  • 1 Second Cast Time
  • 1 Minute Cooldown

Dissolve into pure anima, increasing your movement speed to 300%, slowing your falling speed, and propelling you forward for 4 seconds.

Greatly reduces the radius at which enemies will detect you.

Night Fae

Soul Shape

  • Instant
  • 1.5 Minute Cooldown

Turn into a Spirit Fox, increasing your movement speed by 30% and causing enemies to ignore you. Lasts 10 seconds, or until cancelled while in a rest area.

Necrolord

Transcend the Flesh

  • Instant
  • 3 Minute Cooldown

Separate your soul from your body for 20 seconds. Your soul is invisible and untargetable, though your body remains vulnerable.

This effect will end early if you move further than 60 yards from your body. When Transcend the Flesh ends or is cancelled, your body rejoins your soul.

Venthyr

Door of Shadows

  • 40 Yard Range
  • 2 Second Cast
  • 2 Minute Cooldown

Wend through the shadows, appearing at the targeted location.

The Class abilities combine what’s unique about your class with what’s unique about your covenant, and gives you the ability to solve your problems by murdering them in typical Warcraft fashion.
Mage was the example class given for class abilities.

Kyrian

Radiant Spark

  • 2,000 Mana
  • 1.3 Second Cast
  • 40 Yard Range
  • 30 Second Cooldown

Conjure a radiant spark that causes 4,854 Arcane damage instantly and an additional 1,892 damage over 8 seconds.

Your next four direct damage abilities that hit targets affected by Radiant Spark deal 25% increased damage, up to 100% damage.

Necrolord

Contagion Bolt

  • 40 Yard Range
  • 2 Second Cast
  • 1.5 Minute Cooldown

Deal 5,000 Shadow damage to the target enemy. For the next 8 seconds, your single target spells cast on the affected enemy cause the disease to splash to nearby enemies, dealing 3,000 Shadow damage.

Night Fae

Shifting Power

  • 15 Yard Range
  • Channeled
  • 45 Second Cooldown

Draw from the ground beneath you for 3 seconds, dealing 5,500 Nature damage to nearby enemies over the duration. Every second spent channeling increases your Haste by 5% for 15 seconds.

Venthyr

Mirrors of Torment

  • 40 Yard Range
  • 2 Second Cast
  • 2 Minute Cooldown

Conjure three mirrors that rotate around the targeted enemy for 6 seconds. Whenever they cast an ability or spell they take 7,000 Shadow damage and are rooted for 1.5 seconds.

Soulbinds

In lore, Soulbinds are a way of affirming a bond between two characters who might have a close relationship such as good friends or close brothers at arms. These soulbinds bind the two people together giving them both a boost in power. In the players’ game, you can choose a person to soulbind to, and gain an extra ability. Two of the Venthyr possibilities were used as an example.
Theotar, the Mad Duke
  • Arrogance — You have 5% increased critical strike chance against targets whose current health percentage is lower than yours.
Nadjia, The Mistblade
  • Deflecting Flourish — Your Parry is increased by 6%. If you are normally unable, Nadjia will teach you how to parry.

Soulbinds increase your power over time as you build your relationship with the character you soulbind to, and you can customise your soulbind through a new item: Conduits.

Soulbinds will be as easy to switch as Talents.

Each Covenant allows you to access to unique things:
  • Weapons and Armour
  • Backpack-style cloaks
  • Upgradable Mount
  • World Benefits (Such as being able to build an abomination if you choose the Necrolords)
  • Covenant Campaign

It will be possible to switch Covenants if you feel you made a mistake, but it will take time to earn their trust.

Levelling

Current Levelling Issues
  • Levelling takes too long
  • Not every level is meaningful
  • Confusing timelines and stories

Rescaling fixed some of the issues with outlevelling zones but hasn’t fixed all of the issues. It also doesn’t fix the fact that you can go multiple levels without getting anything new, or the fact that for levelling to ever higher level caps you’d need to gain a level every few minutes to keep the levelling time reasonable.

There are also multiple time anomalies, most noticeable if you’re playing Horde.

Blizzard’s goals with the revamp are:
  • Streamline levelling
  • Choose the story you want
  • Make every level rewarding
  • Modernise the introduction to Azeroth
What’s new:
  • Level range 1-60
  • Good level pacing
  • Every level should unlock something
  • Significantly faster levelling, i.e. 60-70% faster depending on your levelling style
  • Choose your story: level 10-50 in the expansion you want to level in.
  • New starting Zone: Exile’s Reach

Existing 120s will become level 50; any character lower than that will be scaled to the appropriate level or part of level.

  • All starting zones will be scaled 1-10 including the Death Knight and Demon Hunter starting zones.
  • Levels 10-50 will be played out in the expansion of your choice, such as Mists of Pandaria.

New players will have a remarkably different experience. They have to start in Exile’s Reach.
Exile’s Reach will end in a Mini Dungeon that is optional, and can be soloed.
A first time player has to level through Battle for Azeroth the first time, it gives them the story set-up needed for Shadowlands.

Existing players can choose to start in Exile’s Reach, which will negate trekking across the continent to meet the friends you want to play with when you first start. They can also choose to play through any of the existing starting experiences. You will then go to the capital cities where Chromie will reach out to you and you can experience an ‘outdoor timewalking’ where you can level 10-50 in the expansion of your choice.

You will still be able to do the Warchief ShuffleTM if you want to.

At 50 you leave Chromie Time and resume ‘real’ time to rejoin the rest of the community in Shadowlands.
Allied Races start at level 10 going directly to the Chromie Choice.

An interview published on Eurogamer has clarified that while the levelling experience will be scaled by Chromie, we will still be able to go back to previous expansion raids and farm for transmog or pets once we have left Chromie Time.

Class

In Shadowlands classes will return to playing level 1-10 as your class with your spec being chosen at level 10.

Class defining mechanics will be returning; this includes auras for paladins, persistent totems for all shamans such as Healing Stream Totem, poisons for all rogue specs, and all warlock specs will have access to curses.

You’ll still be able to Leap of Faith your friends into raid bosses, but you’ll still be able to Shadow Word: Death your enemies even as a Holy Priest.

Iconic Class abilities will be returning such as Raise Dead, Frost Shock, Consecration. These abilities were assigned to specific specs and will now be able to be used by all specs.

Talents that were previously core iconic spells will be returning such as Demonic Circle, Summon Gargoyle and Hunter’s Mark.

Abilities that had been removed for good will be returning such as Shattering Throw, Kill Shot, and Eyes of the Beast.

Torghast and the Maw

The Maw is the main access point to Torghast.
It’s the home of the Jailer.
It’s a place for the vilest souls who are irredeemable.
It’s now an unjust prison for innocent souls including the dead of Teldrassil and the casualties of the Fourth War.

You can leave the Maw, which is why the Covenants want you to work with them.

Anything you do in the Maw, including killing mobs, being killed by mobs and completing objectives will attract the attention of the Jailer. The Jailer will send increasing punishments your way the more you do in the Maw. This can include things like increased aggro radius on mobs and hit squads that specifically hunt you.

Torghast is scalable for 1-5 players and you can take in any composition of roles including 5 DPS.
The floors start easy and get progressively harder.
The floors are different each time you enter and encourage exploration.
This is not timed.
You can find Anima to give you power-ups that give you better survivability through the tower.
There are also powers that can give you information rather than power, such as the golden idol which allows you to see which mobs have Anima on them.
There will also be events that change what is happening both in the Maw and in Torghast.
Climbing Torghast allows you to find Runes that will allow you to forge legendaries.

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