World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Previews and Interview

Following the recent development update for World of Warcraft’s upcoming Shadowlands expansion, IGN had a chat with the game’s director Ion Hazzikostas, during which he discussed the upcoming Shadowlands beta, the expansion’s big level squish, and why it will be perfect for both new and returning players. Check it out:

Then, you might be interested in this official series of previews that cover Shadowlands’ Covenants, Soulbinds, and The Maw zone. Or, you can go one step further and check out PC Gamer’s preview of Covenants and their look at The Maw.

Finally, there’s also this WCCFTech article that primarily focuses on the expansion’s overhauled early game experience. An excerpt:

Everything you've come to expect from WoW except for truly high-end content is compressed into and represented in this introduction. Honestly, it works. Most of all, it's designed as a way of bridging that gap from you being nobody to being a hero. That's been an issue World of Warcraft has had for a long time now. A new player is essentially birthed into the world and barely out of the pram before the game jumps on them saying "here's the most dangerous thing the world has ever faced, you are the hero to counter this".

All I want to say is that, from my experience having started off Night Elf, Human, Draenei, Blood Elf and Orc characters, Exile's Reach seems to be the most complete and coherent introduction and tutorial in the MMO's history. It's not divisive by race, it's inclusive and draws everybody in, Alliance or Horde. Even your class will be catered to, with you learning how different abilities can be used in different ways.

To my knowledge, a brand new player doesn't have the option of choosing where they start, only those who have played the game before World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will have the option of choosing their race's natural starting area. Once you've completed Exile's Reach, you're teleported over to Stormwind or Ogrimmar and dropped right into Battle for Azeroth. Follow on the story there, hit the new level 50 and it's time for Shadowlands. It's a compressed, concise and - theoretically - engaging storyline that omits the need to follow through Ragnaros, Illidan, Arthas, Deathwing and whoever came after.