World of Warcraft's new expansion "Shadowlands" takes players to Azeroth's afterlife

"World of Warcraft: Shadowlands" will be a follow up to "Battle for Azeroth" and is slated to arrive in 2020, Blizzard announced at Blizzcon on Friday, November 1

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
World of Warcraft

After months of rumours and leaks, Blizzard Entertainment has officially announced "Shadowlands," the seventh major expansion for "World of Warcraft" at the company's annual Blizzcon gaming convention on Friday, Nov. 1.

"Shadowlands" will be a follow-up to "Battle for Azeroth" and is already available for pre-order. As predicted, the upcoming expansion of the popular multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) will take players to an alternate dimension of death and decay as they try to stop former Horde Warchief turned master villain Sylvanas Windrunner from unleashing death upon the world of Azeroth.

Blizzard showed off "World of Warcraft: Shadowlands" with a cinematic trailer, which starts off with Sylvanas returning to Icecrown Citadel, which the current Lich King Bolvar calls home. Sylvanas and Bolvar engage in battle with each other before the former takes his crown and claims it for herself, tearing it apart and cracking open the sky to create a portal to the Shadowlands – an alternate dimension of death and decay where your soul ends up after you die.

World of Warcraft / YouTube

The "World of Warcraft" lore has dropped several hints that it would eventually be heading to the Shadowlands. A recent leak on the Blizzard Gear store was one such indication, fueling speculation over the game's direction. However, there were many in-game hints as well.

In "Shadowlands," players will make their way through five separate zones. These include "the gleaming fields of Bastion, the scarred battlefields of Maldraxxus, the eternal twilight of Ardenweald, the opulent keeps of Revendreth, and the horrific Maw."

Another key feature of the expansion is that it is built around "choice," allowing players to align themselves with one of the covenants. Each zone you travel to is ruled by a faction, who have a specific purpose in the afterlife. As you help each faction, you will be rewarded with faction-specific gear along with two special abilities; one that is specific to your class plus one universal ability.

Although a specific date has not yet been set for the release of the upcoming expansion, game director Ion Hazzikostas did confirm that it would arrive in 2020. Most expansions are launched between July and August and "Shadowlands" is no exception so it's likely to arrive in the summer next year.

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