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 occasionally fans report problems. Visually, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has been significantly revised, it seems as if the developers were able to tease out the last reserves from the now aged framework. At the same time, the game runs smoothly, with some fans speaking in the forum of a “silky start”. This is a good sign for Blizzard, after all, given the Corona crisis and extended home office sessions, things could have gone significantly differently. The Californians managed the launch more easily than ever before in the history of the successful MMORPG.
Fans have to get used to World of Warcraft: Shadowlands first. Instead of free choice of quest areas, the game takes you by the hand, but also guides fans through an interwoven backstory. You can always choose along the way, because side quests are waiting there, many of them rely on proven patterns: collect this, kill that, escort that. You don't feel the great innovation in the area of 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, never has it been more interesting to follow a story. We won't spoil things, of course, but let me say this much: you meet many familiar faces even in the realm of the dead - and that's exactly what always 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.
Of course, if you ignore the side quests on the first run and follow the main strand of the story, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will have had breakfast after a few hours. True to the motto "quick and painless", you dig through the quest lines, throw in a few dungeon runs and prepare yourself 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 keep questing, but above all you have to do the side tasks. They often offer standard food, but every now and then there is a task that's really fun - sometimes because the quest design is particularly successful, sometimes because the joke sparks - 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.
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?
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Last updated on 8.03.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API