World of Warcraft

WoW Shadowlands: Blizzard on pact stories, BfA lessons and underrated features

With the announcement of WoW Shadowland s upcoming beta launch, the upcoming expansion has already become much more tangible. However, there are still some question marks regarding our trip into the beyond of Warcraft. Therefore, we discussed some important aspects of WoW Shadowlands


Executive Producer John Hight - from the beta launch to the Pact campaigns to underestimated features as well as brainstorming at Blizzard.

Table of Contents1

. Beta launch and the amount of invitations2. The Pact stories - can we experience them all?3. No call grind for flying in Shadowlands!4. New affixes in Mythic+ - they are watching us closely5. How does an idea become a feature in WoW?6. What upcoming features are players underestimating?

Beta launch and the amount of inv


We asked John Hight, Blizzard's executive producer, about WoW Shadowlands. Source: Blizzard Although the developers are keeping quiet about the day the beta will start in the week of July 13-17, it will probably open its doors at the beginning of the week. Not all beta participants will get access at the same time - the developers want to send significantly more people to the beta servers than was the case with the alpha, but this is still a stress test: the population will be gradually increased in waves to build up a good amount of daily active players. In doing so, the developers want to discover, for example, bottleneck cases of the system, such as when many players rush to the same quest.

The Pact stories - can we experience them all?

The campaign of the four Pacts in Bastion, Ardenwald, Revendreth and Maldraxxus will not be available in its entirety right at release, but will instead continue with each subsequent Shadowlands content update. Depending on the type of player, this can keep us busy for many hours or even weeks, as we still unlock Soulbinds later on, which in turn enable new tasks. However, if we want to experience the content of all four pacts, we also need to have four heroes at maximum level - one character can really only experience the story of one pact. John Hight compares this to choosing a faction, only with the possibility of continuing to explore dungeons, raids and Torghast together.
The pacts not only differ visually and thematically - their campaigns are only open to one character at a time. So if you want to experience them all, you need four heroes at maximum level. Source: Buffed However, there will also be areas where friends of different pacts can only benefit from a limited amount of content. For example, if we as Kyrian supporters help a Maldraxxus buddy with one of his pact-specific quests, he will receive different rewards. Regarding direct bonuses such as "Higher speed in Bastion" for Kyrian friends, the developers are still working on how to make sure that they don't literally run away from their allied players of other pacts.

It is not yet

known whether we will be able to experience the Pact campaign together with players from other Pacts.

No Call Grind for Flying in Shadowlands!

There is a

particularly nice piece of information for all those who are probably suffering from Call Grind trauma caused by the requirements for the Pathfinger achievement: Unlocking flying ability for our mounts will no longer be tied to shouts in Shadowlands. Instead, at some unspecified point after release, we will once again teach our mounts to fly via the Pact campaign. This way, every player will naturally get the coveted feature again. Initially, however, we should only be able to explore the afterlife on foot on purpose, in order to really perceive the world appropriately. No more Rufgrind for flying - the flight feature is unlocked over the course of Shadowlands via the Pact campaign. Source: buffed

New Affixes in Mythic+ - They're Watching Us Closely

Dungeon fans

can look forward not only to new dungeons, but also new affixes for Mythic+ mode. John Hight points out that the developers are listening closely to feedback on what affixes are most fun, but also looking at stats to see which affixes players prefer to avoid.

More on Myth

ic+: What'

s changing about the Bursting and Volcanic affixes

How does an idea become a feature in WoW?

With Shadowlands, in addition to big content like story, areas, dungeons, and raids, we're also getting smaller new features, like the reworked AoE skills or the change in how battle potions work. John Hight told us how exactly such a feature finds its way into the game. Of course, all developers also play WoW (buy now 14,99 € ) and thus get ideas directly, whether they are part of the reward team or the encounter teams responsible for raids, dungeons or even battlegrounds. There is also a simple mail thread where everyone can contribute. A cool idea? Just drop it in! The bosses of the different teams keep an eye on it. Every week there are discussions about which of these ideas are promising. Sometimes it simply boils down to "Oh yeah, let's implement that right away!", but it can also lead to "That's a lot of work, we'll have to work on that first". It's also possible to simply say, "We'll save that for the next expansion, it's a much better fit thematically."

According to Hight, the developers know quite early on what is planned in this regard.

Table of Contents1

. Beta launch and the amount of invitations2. The Pact stories - can we experience them all?3. No reputation grind for flying in Shadowlands!4. New affixes in Mythic+ - they are watching us closely5. How does an idea become a feature in WoW?6. What upcoming features are players underestimating?

What upcoming features are players underestimating


We asked the Executive Producer what feature of Shadowlands is awesome - but not really on players' radar. According to John Hight, world quests will definitely be more interesting than in Battle for Azeroth. The developers realized that players didn't like how world quests often followed the same pattern. In this respect, there should be more varied tasks through "Callings" (similar to emissary quests), which let us quest or send us into dungeons, for example. These callings are partly pact-specific, i.e. dailies that are the same for all pact followers.


other underestimated feature is the new follower system, which, thanks to a mobile app, should make gaming fun even away from the gaming computer by allowing us to plan missions.

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