World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is postponed to 2021, this fear is circulating among fans and also on one or the other website. However, there is no official information on a postponement, so far it has only been guesswork. As before, the new WoW expansion Shadowlands will appear in 2020. We have summarized what is currently known. Below is everything you need to know about World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.


In the next expansion for World of Warcraft, fans will travel to a world they have never been allowed to travel to before: the afterlife. It doesn't sound particularly inviting, but players would like to be able to visit the Shadowlands today rather than tomorrow. Before the release of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands there will be - this is mandatory at Blizzard - a test phase, i.e. an alpha and beta. There are no dates for this yet, and an exact release date is in the stars. Nevertheless, according to official information, a release can be expected this year.

When will World of Warcraft: Shadowlands be released?

There is currently no official release date for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. However, game director Ion Hazzikostas has confirmed several times that the new expansion will be released in 2020. The information was not much more precise, 2020 is always better than a cryptic “when it's done”.

Auch der new live stream on July 8th did not bring any new findings in this regard. The good news: We are still talking about this year, otherwise Blizzard would probably have used the opportunity to point out possible delays early on. During the developer update, Blizzard had again named “in the fall” as the release period.

All new details are also available in the recording of the developer stream:

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If one follows the previous publications of the WoW extensions, a release in the summer can still be assumed - due to the advanced course of the year with regard to the current test progress, possibly in late summer. The release window of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands can therefore probably be narrowed down for July to October. In the absence of official information, publication in 2020 is currently still considered certain. If there was actually a shift in the room, Blizzard would probably have openly addressed this in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

After all, the roadmap for the final spurt in the development of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has been addressed - and it has it all. The focus is on the raid Nathria, Shadowlands Mythic +, rune crafting, the pact campaign, as well as the PvP system and, at the end of the day, “LOTS of polish, iteration and tuning”, ie a strong focus on detail improvements and troubleshooting. The developers have also learned the publishing processes of the now eight add-ons, says game director Ion Hazzikostas. Blizzard effectively excludes premature or hasty publication. 

Will there be a beta for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands?

Of course. A beta for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is considered safe. Alpha is currently running on the new expansion, which only a handful of select testers have access to give Blizzard important feedback. Over time, more and more players are expected to have access, first to the alpha version, then to the beta. A comprehensive beta for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands would have to take place in early summer at the latest in order to be able to keep the planned release plan.

Update, July 8th: There is now the official confirmation for the beta start. In the next week, the beta for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands should begin, so from July 13th. Accordingly, Blizzard wants to send more invitations so that the most intensive feedback possible can come from across the board.

The Ardenwald becomes a dark fairy kingdom. Copyright: Blizzard

The Ardenwald becomes a dark fairy kingdom. Copyright: Blizzard

Those who have already been there in the alpha will be able to continue playing in the beta phase. There are also details on the content of the beta: Players can explore the intro of Shadowlands, the shadow realms and the entire level phase - there is no cap, players can reach the maximum level of 60 in the beta.

The new character customizations are also available, as well as eight new instances, the endless dungeon Torghast. In addition, there is the Maw, professions and, with the “Pact”, one of the new mechanics.

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Even if there is no official information from Blizzard so far: the global coronavirus pandemic could also affect the development process of Shadowlands. Activision-Blizzard had already announced in mid-March that it would move work to the home office. There is no information on whether and how well tests can be implemented in everyday work at home. The pandemic may also be the reason for the lack of information about a playable alpha client. According to WoWHead, a playable Shadowlands Alpha is at least in the starting blocks.

As a rule, around six months pass between the alpha and the release of a WoW expansion. With alpha running, it could actually work with a release of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands in September or October. Blizzard itself specifies December 31, 2020 as the release date in its shop, but it will probably be a placeholder that should reflect: Shadowlands is coming later this year.

What is World of Warcraft: Shadowlands about?

In the new expansion, Blizzard kidnaps players into the afterlife. The story is directly linked to the events of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth on. The story of Sylvanas Windläufer continues. After defeating the old god N'Zoth, Sylvanas goes to Icecrown, meets the current Lich King Bolvar Fordragon and defeats him. The Banshee Queen then destroys the helmet of dominance - and thus opens a transition to the realm of the dead.

What follows then sounds more familiar: There is an imbalance of powers. In the hereafter, souls are bunkered by an overseer in the “throat”, which is pretty bad for the entire Shadowlands. It is up to the players to restore the balance between souls and anima.

The “anima” is the essence of life in the realm of the dead. Because there is now an acute anima deficiency in the Shadowlands, players have a task with it. How exactly they are all interwoven is not yet known - because that's what World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will mainly be about. And because the meanest of all creatures live in the said Maw, there will be plenty of opportunities for epic brawls.

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In addition to the Maw, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands takes players into four other quest areas: Malxraxxus, Ardenwald, Bastion and Revendreth. While Maxdraxxus is a land of the undead where necrolords live, the Ardenwald is the exact opposite, namely a kind of dark fairy world. Exciting: Ardenwald is the counterpart to the emerald green dream - the world stands for autumn and winter and looks accordingly. Bastion, on the other hand, is home to the Kyrians and is a rather quiet quest area in which everything follows an order. Revendreth, on the other hand, is dark and reminiscent of a vampire world. Each of the quest areas has its own task with regard to the souls in the hereafter.

Of course, the peoples of the respective quest areas are not just decorative accessories. In World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, Blizzard has built a completely new game concept around the four factions: At their maximum level, players enter into an alliance with one of the races. This “covenent system” should then grant special abilities, encompass a campaign and extend into the endgame. There should also be cosmetic rewards and advantages in the quest areas. Also interesting is that Blizzard has already confirmed that the federal government will be a relevant decision. It can be assumed that switching will be difficult, but not unlimited.

What is the maximum level in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands?

The current maximum level of 120 will not be increased any further. Instead of questing to 130, Blizzard squeezes the maximum level down to 60. For players this means: they start with a level 50 character in the new add-on and then play ten levels.

In terms of play, this is a real revelation and perhaps one of the most important tricks for the future of World of Warcraft. At the moment the level phase is like chewing gum, with World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Blizzard is finally rowing back and taking the chance to get everything back on track. Also clever: new characters play fans up to level ten, then they choose one of the expansions to level up to level 50 - then the jump into the afterlife follows.

The Bastion quest zone will probably be a real feast for the eyes. Image: Blizzard

The Bastion quest zone will probably be a real feast for the eyes. Image: Blizzard

Why is that good? Because players can now calmly follow a story without having to worry about having to switch back halfway through an add-on.

This is especially exciting for beginners, who can now experience all the enhancements step by step without losing touch with the endgame. There is one caveat for them, however. Anyone who starts from scratch with WoW must go to the starting area “Exiles' Reach” and complete quests in Battle for Azeroth.

New character customization options are mandatory, but purely cosmetic changes are to be expected, such as tattoos or hairstyles. At that time it was an exciting announcement, but a reality for pre-orderers: allied peoples and pandaren can also become death knights.

There will be no new classes, however, the existing ones will be extensively revised.

Will there be raids in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands?

Definitely. A World of Warcraft without raids is unthinkable. Of course, Shadowlands will also offer players a variety of raids and dungeons after completing the level phase: the new expansion starts with eighth instances, a raid is initially opened after a while.

It is important that four of the instances can already be visited by players during the level phase, but the other half is only accessible after the maximum level has been reached. In addition, the Schlund is a classic endgame zone with one or the other challenge.

The tower of Torghast is an "endless dungeon". Image: Blizzard

In addition, with the Tower of Torghast, there is a new kind of occupation, namely an infinite instance that players can explore alone or in a group with four other players. Game director Ion Hazzikostas has described the tower of Torghast as rogue-like, so that a kind of progress can be expected within a running dungeon round.

What versions of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands are there?

Whenever the new expansion appears, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands can already be pre-ordered - and in several versions including some pre-order bonuses. There are three different versions in total:

  • a basic version for 39.99 euros, with which players can now create death knights with the allied peoples as well as the pandaren.
  • the heroic edition for 54.99 euros, which includes a level 120 boost, a flight mount and a transmog set
  • the Epic Edition for 74.99 euros, which also includes a cosmetic weapon effect, a hearthstone and 30 days of game time

The exact ones World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Collector's Edition content Blizzard announced in the live stream on July 8th. Accordingly, a set of four collecting pins is included, a bound volume of books on the “Art of the Shadowlands”, a mouse pad and a serial number for downloading the digital soundtrack. Regarding the in-game items, there are bonuses that are also available in the Epic Edition. The Hearthstone of the Eternal Traveler and the weapon illusion are particularly beautiful: ghost frost - both cosmetic items and effects. Incidentally, the Collector's Edition will cost 119,99 euros.

It is of course still possible to buy a digital version and then upgrade it later to a higher version.

All variants are available as pre-order versions through the official Blizzard shop. Incidentally, Blizzard recommends an Intel Core i7-4770 or AMD FX-8310 or higher as system requirements
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 4GB or AMD Radeon R9 280 or better.

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