There were some major announcements for the worlds of WoW Classic and Shadowlands on the first day of BlizzCon 2021.
From The Opening Ceremony
During the opening ceremony, we were introduced to the remake of the Burning Crusade expansion for Classic, which will open its beta in 2021. Players will have a chance to play the beta, and then decide to move fully into the fire, or stay in the classical setting of Classic. We saw the Dark Portal reopen, with a familiar foe coming back from the dark.
For Shadowlands we were introduced to Chains of Domination as the newest part of the expansion. The last we saw of Shadowlands featured King Anduin chained, and the Jailer preparing to break free. In Chains of Domination we walk into a meeting with the Archon and her subjects, as she agrees to meet with a legendary king, Anduin, who, unfortunately, we learn is under the control of the Jailer as he attacks her.
From The World of Warcraft What’s Next Panel
The What’s Next section of the WoW stream featured a deep dive into the expansion and re-release of an updated Burning Crusade for WoW Classic. This new expansion will be similar to the re-release of WoW Classic in that it will still be the Burning Crusade of 20 years ago, but with significant bug fixes and gameplay improvements. There will be work done to balance out the alliance and the horde in terms of strength, specifically with a seal switching feature for Paladins of the Horde and the Alliance when they reach max level, so that both can experience Seal of Blood and Seal of Vengeance.
Another exciting feature of this new Burning Crusade is there will be pre patch early access for Draenei and Blood Elves, so players that choosing those races can have plenty of time to level up before the patch is released and the Dark Portal is opened. Adding to the expansions openness towards helping gamers choose their playstyle is, when the patch is released, players will get to choose to stay in Classic servers, or move into the Burning Crusade. The choice will be available for each of your characters, allowing the players the choice to experience both expansions, or, if you so choose, to pay to copy characters, allowing the characters to exist in each. Once the Burning Crusade begins, the Classic expansion will be locked in as it is, but with so many options to copy characters, or send different characters to each place, you will still have complete freedom to play the way you want.
There will also be a boost available for players who haven’t been exceptionally into Classic but who want to start Burning Crusade on solid footing. If you’re starting with this new expansion, you’ll be able to purchase a level 58 boost (one per account) with the standard blocks on purchased boosts. You won’t have total freedom, but you’ll be off to a great start in catching up with your Classic playing friends.
This patch also comes with new gameplay features, including the option for larger team rosters, so if a teammate doesn’t show up, players won’t be left high and dry. This will go a long way to making sure everyone can play and experience as much of the game as they want.
The Burning Crusade expansion will be divided into five content phases, to keep everything spaced out. Phase one will feature Karazhan, Gruul’s Lair, and Magtheridon’s Lair raids. Phase two will have Serpent Shrine Cavern and Tempest Keep. Phase three will be the Battle for Mount Hyjal and Black Temple raids. Phase four will be Zul’Aman, and phase five will be Sunwell Plateau. This separation of the sections will keep the Burning Crusade moving along at the perfect pace for everyone who is playing it, be it Classic players, or people who are brand new to WoW.
While the beta for Burning Crusade doesn’t have a specific set date yet, we can look forward to seeing this new expansion within 2021.
From The World of Warcraft Deep Dive Panel
The WoW Deep Dive section of BlizzCon day one gave us many updates on what we can expect from Shadowlands in 2021. This new look into Shadowlands and Chains of Domination will have us diving deeper into the Maw, discovering places we have only ever been able to glimpse before the eye of the Jailer caught us and had us chucked out. The teaser trailer for this new move into Shadowlands shows Anduin plunging his sword into the heart of the Archon and taking a key from her (presumably killing her). The trailer reveals and confirms Anduin is under the control of the Jailer (we can only hope he is being controlled unwillingly) and is being used to help the Jailer collect the three keys needed to unleash new terrors on the world.
This deep dive into Shadowlands through Chains of Domination will lead us into even more of the Maw as the four covenants of Shadowlands come together to enter and fight to the Jailer to seek revenge. We will explore a new space within the Maw called Korthia, which holds ancient secrets surrounding the mysterious entities known only as The First Ones. We will also explore the Sanctum of Domination, a ten boss raid deep into the structure that holds the Maw’s, ending in a fight with Sylvanas Windrunner herself.
We will also explore the area known as Torghast, which will have a host of new areas and monsters to explore. All of these areas will come together to give us brand new experiences with the world of Shadowlands.
Chains of Domination will also bring with it a Megadungeon for players to really stretch their skills, complete with eight bosses and a variety of adventures. The Megadungeon will take place in the broker trading city, and will go through two parts, starting with broker adventures, followed by a heist style adventure. For now, this new dungeon will be Mythic only, but it gives us a glimpse of how much we have to look forward to in this new world within Shadowlands.
In this new adventure within Shadowlands and Chains of Domination we will see new cosmetic armor options (which are delightfully designed around the covenants), a new no rep grind approach to learning to fly, and many more options for specializations and power leveling. As we go deeper into the Maw than ever before, we will meet new dangers, and make new alliances as we fight the Jailer on his home turf. There will be new beasts to fight, and new rewards in return for these legendary battles.
This first day of BlizzCon 2021 was an absolute whirlwind of updates for World of Warcraft and season two of Shadowlands. There is so much to look forward to, and we at Syft look forward to adventuring with you, into the Maw and worlds beyond, as we step in the 2021 updates in Chains of Domination.