World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is live - and there is largely silence. A good sign, because the big shit storm, which is almost mandatory when starting a new add-on, is canceled. Fans are often satisfied with what Blizzard has brought to the screens with the eighth expansion. Shadowlands is noticeably different, however: Is the new World of Warcraft expansion worth it?


No server restarts in the middle of the night, no queues, no lag, hardly any disconnections: Blizzard managed to start World of Warcraft: Shadowlands surprisingly well. After the chaos of the publication, including postponements, only a few players would have expected that. In fact, the community is relaxed, benevolent - but above all satisfied. The eighth expansion makes a lot of things different in terms of play, relies on a common thread - and that is exactly what benefits the story.

Shadowland's gentle launch is scary

Everything runs smoothly, only a few fans report problems. Visually, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands looks significantly revised, it seems as if the developers were able to tease out the last reserves from the now-aged basic structure. At the same time the game is running smoothly, some fans speak of a “silky smooth start” in the forum. This is a good sign for Blizzard, after all, given the Corona crisis and extended home office sessions, things could have been significantly different. The Californians managed the launch as smoothly as never before in the history of the successful MMORPG.

Again and again the story is driven forward by cutscenes and text narratives. Source: Spielpunkt

Again and again the story is driven forward by cutscenes and text narratives. Source: Spielpunkt

Fans have to get used to World of Warcraft: Shadowlands first. Instead of free choice in the quest areas, the game takes you by the hand, but also guides fans through an interwoven background story. You can still vote at the roadside, there are side quests waiting there, many of them rely on tried and tested patterns: collect this, kill that, escort those. You don't feel the great innovation in the gameplay, but in the presentation. The story is much more the focus this time, Blizzard is not stingy with cutscenes or text narratives. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands sucks you into the expansion, it has never been more interesting to follow a story. We don't spoil, of course, but let’s say so much: you meet many familiar faces even in the realm of the dead - and that’s exactly what creates “wow” moments in the WoW universe.

It's not a vile Legion that annoys players with their invasions; not a conjured up conflict that has happened umpteen times; The developers present nothing less than a drama about anguish and new opportunities, and that is exciting for a long time. You want to know what happens next - when was the last time you could say that about an expansion to World of Warcraft? And because everything runs so smoothly on the screen, it's even more fun.

Visually, the zones differ significantly. Source: Spielpunkt

Visually, the zones differ significantly. Source: Spielpunkt

Sure, if you ignore the side quests on the first run, if you follow the main strand of the story, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is over after a few hours. True to the motto “short and painless”, you plow your way through the quest lines, sprinkle a few dungeon runs and prepare for the endgame content that Blizzard will unleash on the players in just a few days. If you want to experience the story of Shadowlands in all its facets and all its details, you have to continue to quest, but above all to do the secondary tasks. They often offer standard food, but every now and then there is a task that is really fun - sometimes because the quest design is particularly successful, sometimes because the joke ignites - but sometimes just because the loot is comparatively good.

Also successful: Music and atmosphere, almost across the board, the presentation in the individual zones - whether Bastion or Maldraxxus - is at a high level. Boredom for the eye? That does not exist. The individual zones differ so clearly that you feel transported to other game worlds.

Maintain the dungeons as well, and some boss mechanics already give an idea of ​​the challenges that players in the mythical levels of difficulty could face. The rock solid concept of the expansion is fired by level squish and class changes. In many cases the adjustments have been successful, some classes have been changed in detail, others have been given adjustments with the rough trowel. But here too: Most of the time there are no shitstorms, players are satisfied. It seems as if Blizzard did what it had announced over and over again in the past few years: learning from mistakes.

By the power of... wait... Source: Spielpunkt

By the power of... wait... I have the power. Source: Spielpunkt

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is a comprehensive add-on: New maximum level, eight new dungeons, new world bosses, mounts, pets, the Torghast roguelike tower, new raids - and of course a lot of loot. The spiral of equipment begins to turn. You can feel that from the start. It tingles while playing WoW, finally again.

Yes, at some point the routine creeps in, even with World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. At some point curiosity gives way to grind; at some point it's all about loot and gold and successes. Sometime. But not yet. Not now.

Oh, and now back to the initial question. Is the new World of Warcraft expansion worth it?

Yes.


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Last updated on 6.10.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API