Shadowlands Beta Start
The first wave of Shadowlands Alpha invites launched on April 9th and over the last 3 months, the Shadowlands builds have updated the game with new content every week. We should have a Shadowlands Beta announcement soon!
Looking at the dates for the Alpha and Beta of the last two expansions:
Battle for Azeroth
Expansion Release Date
The Battle for Azeroth release date was revealed on April 5th, 2018. If Blizzard is planning the same schedule as BFA, we should have a release date announcement soon!
Shadowlands Physical Collector’s Edition
While Shadowlands has been available for pre-order digitally since BlizzCon 2019, we haven’t gotten any news of the physical Collector’s Edition. For Battle for Azeroth, the CE contents were revealed in early April 2018, alongside the release date for the expansion.
As the Battle for Azeroth reveal took place three months after the alpha started, and we’re hitting the three-month mark for Shadowlands, it’s likely we could receive details on the Collector’s Edition. Battle for Azeroth was a departure from past Collector Editions, featuring a novella and medallion instead of the usual art book, so we’re curious if Blizzard will continue with unique products or go back to traditional art books for the Shadowlands CE.
Another Shadowlands Cinematic
The Shadowlands cinematic at BlizzCon was extremely hype, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen anything new. With the Shadows Rising novel releasing on July 14th, and Blizzard’s history of releasing cinematics at events such as “Safe Haven” at the 2019 Media Summit, perhaps we’ll get a new cinematic dramatizing more missing pieces of the story. While Shadows Rising answers many long-standing plot questions, there are still key dramatic moments left to tell. One particularly exciting moment that could be dramatized is depicting the first round of heroes–Anduin, Baine, Thrall, and Jaina–deciding to enter the Shadowlands, as this moment takes place after the novel’s conclusion but before the player’s introductory quest line starts.
While we know the Shadowlands pre-patch will contain a massive leveling revamp and character/ilvl squish, we don’t know details on the actual event. It’s shaping up to be a “Scourge 2.0” event, referring to the popular pre-patch event leading up to Wrath of the Lich King. With the Helm of Domination shattered and the path to Shadowlands open, the situation is ripe for chaos. Even if Blizzard doesn’t announce a Shadowlands release date, perhaps they’d announce more details and a release date for the pre-patch.
All 4 leveling zones are now available on the Shadowlands Alpha, with “The Maw” being the only zone not to be available. The Maw is a max level zone where you’ll have to choose what content you want to do in it, because you only have a certain amount of time before the Jailer notices you and being an end-game zone, hopefully we’ll get a preview and more information about the Maw, the dangers and what you’ll have to do there!
Shadowlands Zone Overview
We’ve seen bits and pieces of the Maw in the Shadowlands Intro Experience, but the complete max-level experience with The Eye of the Jailer timed mechanics has yet to be seen. From the Towelliee interview with Paul Kubit, there will be Dailies and World quests present (but limited at the start), but every objective will stack the Eye of the Jailer debuffs on you which will last for the day, but you can also remove Eye of the Jailer by collecting Anima from objectives outside of the Maw.
Here are some of The Eye of the Jailer debuffs that we’ve found through datamining but some of these could be outdated.
Covenants are a major system in the Shadowlands Expansion with many different activities being a part of them. In the Shadowlands Alpha, we haven’t seen many of the features that Covenants will offer other than the Covenant Class and Signature abilities and we hope that more information about Covenants are coming in this stream!
Covenant Class and Signature Abilities
We know almost nothing about the Covenant Campaigns currently. While it’s unlikely that Blizzard will include any specific details as to the plot of each of the campaigns, we may get more information about what they entail and their rewards.
We recently datamined some of the Soulbinds; 12 talent trees that provide large power buffs to your character. We are missing details, including how many traits you’ll get to unlock, in what order you can unlock them, if unlocking them carries over between soulbinds and since this is one of the major sources of player power in the expansion, hopefully it will be revealed in more details soon.
Datamined Soulbind Abilities
The Covenant Sanctums are an alternate player hub to Oribos, but not much has been seen of the Covenant Sanctums themselves. With Covenant choice being a focal point of the expansion, it’s possible that Blizzard will be revealing this soon.