Four reasons World of Warcraft: Shadowlands could "save" the game - Dexerto
World of Warcraft

Four reasons World of Warcraft: Shadowlands could “save” the game

Published: 6/Nov/2019 22:52 Updated: 7/Nov/2019 4:50

by Scott Robertson

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Blizzard has been taking extensive notes on the success of WoW Classic, and are taking some of the best ideas, among others, and applying them to their next retail expansion. But will it bring subscribers back to the base game?

Blizzard announced Shadowlands during the opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2019, with an exciting trailer showing Sylvanas directly challenging the Lich King.

In their various panels throughout the weekend, they revealed plenty of features, changes, and new ideas coming in the next expansion. Let’s go through some of their excellent ideas.

Squishing the out of control level cap

BlizzardThe changes coming to leveling in Shadowlands

The numbers were just getting too high. Following the release of the Battle for Azeroth expansion, the level cap for World of Warcraft officially doubled what the original cap was, going from 60 to 120. 

Classic fans experienced the simplicity of a much more obtainable, less daunting cap, and now Blizzard is taking their digital index finger and thumb, and squishing the current cap.

Current level 120s will be squished to level 50, allowing them to grind up the new level 60 cap in Shadowlands. Rather than simply extend the cap to 130, Blizzard is opting to not continue to just spread out the leveling experience, and condense it into something more palpable and rewarding for current and potential returning players.

Players can also choose expansion story they want to experience during levels 1-50, and speaking of story…

A linear story-driven expansion

BlizzardThe Tower of the Damned within The Maw, the new endgame zone

One thing that’s always been a detriment to World of Warcraft is the lack of a proper linear narrative for the player to experience. Which is a shame given the immense amount of lore created for the game. In opening up the world for players to level in any zone they feel free to, that freedom has come at the expense of enjoying a proper campaign.

This is where Shadowlands comes in with new areas that you advance through in order, and with a story that goes along with it. Players will progress through different areas of the Shadowlands themselves before arriving at the endgame area known as The Maw and choosing a Covenant and can enjoy a full narrative campaign in the process.

Mass improvements to getting end-game gear

BlizzardSome examples of gear changes coming to Shadowlands

Your gear. It’s what you’re working towards when you log in day-after-day. In shifting to a greater focus on player agency, it appears that Blizzard is doing away with less randomly generated gear and are giving the players more options. This includes being able to forge more legendary items instead of getting them randomly in BFA.

In addition, Blizzard wants professions to be more useful in determining end-game gear, so now there’s an option to determine what stats your crafted item will have. Players will also have options in their weekly loot chest, instead of just being assigned a single item.

Any race can be a death knight

Any race!

Death Knights are also getting a new starting zone and will start at level one like the other classes. Finally, the Pandaren Death Knight will become a reality.

With all of these ideas coming, it looks like the main version of World of Warcraft is due for some rather large changes. If these changes can spur just a portion of the excitement that WoW Classic did, then the future of World of Warcraft is looking bright.

Gaming

WoW Shadowlands Pre-patch update 9.0.2 notes: Class changes, trinkets

Published: 17/Nov/2020 11:56 Updated: 17/Nov/2020 12:00

by Ava Thompson-Powell

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With the MMORPG Giant’s upcoming expansion, Shadowlands, on the horizon, the developers have released the upcoming changes for certain classes and trinkets. We’ve detailed all of them here for you.

With the 9.0.2 pre-patch dropping on November 17 (or November 18 if you’re in Europe), you can expect to familiarize yourself with these changes in time for Shadowlands’ launch. We’ve compiled all of the changes Blizzard posted here for you below, breaking them down into each class for easy reading.

Death Knights standing together in a dark, stone room with their weapons and armor
Activision-Blizzard
How do the new class changes affect you?

With this small pre-patch update, Blizzard hasn’t released a standalone patch note list. Instead, they’ve added these changes to the prior notes list with highlights in gold to indicate further changes.

There was also a small Hotfix on November 16, 2020, relating primarily to Battle for Azeroth. We have also included these here in their respective categories.

Class Changes

Death Knight

  • Dark Command is now learned at level 9 (was 14).
  • Anti-Magic Shell is now learned at level 14 (was 9).
  • Death and Decay damage has been increased by 25%.
  • Death Strike damage has been increased by 21%.

Demon Hunter

  • Havoc
    Unbound Chaos has been redesigned – Now causes your next Immolation Aura cast to increase the damage of your next Fel Rush by 300%. Lasts 20 seconds.
  • Glaive Tempest is now affected by Mastery: Demonic Presence and its damage has been reduced by 15%.

Druid

  • Growl is now learned at level 9 (was 14).
  • Moonfire (Rank 2) is now learned at level 14 (was 9).

PvP Talent changes

  • Master Shapeshifter: Balance Affinity no longer reduces the cast time of Starsurge and now also increases the damage of Wrath and Starfire by 20% for 10 seconds.
  • Master Shapeshifter: Feral Affinity now only increases bleed damage by 30% (was 25%).
  • Deep Roots now increases the damage required to break your Entangling Roots and Mass Entanglement by 250% (down from 400%).

Balance

  • Moon and Stars now trigger each time you enter an Eclipse, instead of when using Celestial Alignment.

Hunter

  • PvP Talent changes
    Survival Tactics now reduces damage taken by 90% (down from 99%) and can now be used to reduce damage from spells that are already mid-air.
  • Marksmanship
    Trueshot now increases your Focus regen and Focus generation by 50% while active in addition to its current effects.
World of Warcraft Shadowlands Pre-Expansion Event
Activision-Blizzard
With the expansion’s release nearly here, things are being tuned further.

Mage

  • General
    Rune of Power (Talent) duration is now 12 seconds (was 15 seconds).
  • Fire
    Flamestrike damage reduced by 8%.
  • Frost
    All damage abilities reduced by 4%.

Monk

  • Provoke is now learned at level 9 (was 14).
  • Roll (Rank 2) is now learned at level 14 (was 9).

Paladin

  • Hand of Reckoning is now learned at level 9. (was 14).
  • Lay on Hands is now learned at level 14 (was 9).

  • Holy
    Light of Dawn healing has been increased by 25%.
    Divine Favor now reduces the cast time of Holy Light and Flash of Light by 60% but no longer reduces their mana cost.
  • Retribution
    Vengeance Aura’s range has been increased to 40 yards (was 20 yards).
    Luminescence now heals up to 5 allies, preferring injured targets (was all allies). Additionally, the range of this ability has been increased to 40 yards (was 20 yards).

Priest

  • Discipline
    Spirit Shell (Talent) absorb shield cap of 60% health is now shared among all casting Priests.
    Spirit Shell (Talent) absorb shield duration is now 10 seconds (was 15 seconds).

Read More: World of Warcraft: The best expansion to level through

Creatures and NPCs

  • Rare elite creatures have received a health boost when faced with more than 20 players.

Items and Rewards

  • To fix several visual issues with the S.E.L.F.I.E. Camera MKll, characters will no longer hold the camera in selfie mode.
  • Heart of Azeroth’s secondary stats have been reduced by 20%.

The power of several legacy trinkets has been reduced in all content. The effectiveness of the following trinkets have been reduced by 15%:

  • Dead-Eye Spyglass
  • Harlan’s Loaded Dice
  • Lustrous Golden Plumage
  • Peerless Alchemist Stone
  • Tiny Electromental in a Jar
  • Torment in a Jar
  • Vial of Animated Blood
  • Writhing Segment of Drest’agath

The effectiveness of the following trinkets have been reduced by 25%:

  • Azshara’s Font of Power
  • Corrupted Gladiator’s Badge
  • Corrupted Gladiator’s Insignia
  • Galecaller’s Boon
  • Manifesto of Madness
  • Vita-Charged Titanshard
  • The effectiveness of the following trinkets have been reduced by 40%:
    Ashvane’s Razor Coral
  • Highborne Compendium of Storms
World of Warcraft Shadowlands Hotfix Patch
Activision-Blizzard
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is set to release later this month.

Player Versus Player

  • The damage required to break root and fear effects while engaged in combat with enemy players has been increased by 25%.

World Events

  • The additional second-week content of the Shadowlands Pre-patch, Death Rising, is now available. New quests can be found in Icecrown and capital cities, and you are advised to take extra precautions. Zombies are invading!
  • The minions of the Maw are calling the rare spawns of Icecrown much more frequently.
  • Players working on the Quel’Delar questline are now able to continue their adventures during the Death Rising events in Icecrown.

WoW Companion App

  • When Shadowlands launches, players will be able to play Adventures and manage companions in the app after the Adventures system is unlocked.
  • When Shadowlands launches, Shadowlands maps, World Quests, and Callings will become visible after the player has joined a Covenant Sanctum.
  • Fixed an issue with Mac’Aree World Quests failing to display.
  • Fixed an issue with Legion and Battle for Azeroth mission success chance and bonus loot displaying incorrectly or disappearing.
  • Fixed an issue with character level up from Legion missions displaying the incorrect level.
  • Reverted character sorting algorithm back to “descending level” followed by “alphabetical”.

The WoW pre-patch drops on November 17/18. It’ll give you plenty of time to get used to the changes prior to release.