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MrGM Shadowlands Interview with Frank Kowalkowski & Steve Danuser
03/11/2019 à 22:14
MrGM recorded a group video interview at BlizzCon with World of Warcraft Technical Director Frank Kowalkowski and Narrative Designer Steve Danuser, talking about Shadowlands. While most of the information discussed was also hit on in Sunday's World of Warcraft Q&A, there were a lot of little bits of information worth reiterating. For simplicity, the questions and answers are being paraphrased, but you can watch the
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This Article is Part of our BlizzCon 2019 Coverage
Opening Ceremony Liveblog
Virtual Ticket Holders to get Deathwing in Heroes and WC3 Reforged Demo Access
Descent of Dragons is the Next Hearthstone Expansion
BlizzCon Panels Revealed
Battle.net Launcher Beta Updates
Community Night Cosplay
Diablo IV - By Three They Come Trailer
Diablo IV Unveiled
Diablo IV Panel Recap
Diablo IV Gameplay
Diablo Immortal Update & Gameplay Trailer
Artists at Work
Diablo IV Gamplay VoDs and Interviews
Diablo Day 1 Recap (D4, Lilith Wings, Immortal)
Diablo IV Systems Liveblog
Art of Diablo Panel
Diablo IV Talent Trees and Skills
Diablo Immortal Post-BlizzCon Update
Diablo IV Item Affixes
Overwatch 2 Cinematics - Zero Hour and Gameplay Trailer
Overwatch 2 Panel Recap
World of Warcraft Panels & Announcements
Shadowlands What's Next Panel
Shadowlands Expansion Revealed
Shadowlands Collector's Edition Pet and Mount
Classic Phase 2 Arrives November 12th
Shadowlands Pre-order: Unlock Pandaren and Allied Race Death Knights
Dotty the Baby Alpaca Chairty Pet - Make-A-Wish and WE.org
Voices of Azeroth: A Hero's Journey
Designers at Work: World of Warcraft World Creation
World of Warcraft Q&A
Shadowlands General Info
All Races Can be Death Knights
FinalbossTV and Preach Interview with Ion Hazzikostas and Steve Aguilar
MRGM Interview with Frank Kowalkowski & Steve Danuser
Faction Divide Staying in Shadowlands
Legendaries Return in Shadowlands
Customizable Legendaries & Forge of Domination
Anima Power and Soulbinding
Anima Power & Soulbinding - No Infinite Grind
Shadowlands Deepdive - the Unpruning
Returning Class Abilities - The Unpruning
Torghast, Tower of the Damned
Shadowlands Level Squish
Choose Which Expansion to Level in Shadowlands
Talent Level Unlocks After Squish
Shadowlands Leveling Changes Spotlight
Leveling Paths in Shadowlands
Demon Hunters and Death Knights Start at Level 1
Shadowlands Zones and Covenants
Bastion and the Kyrian Covenant
Kyrian Class-Specific Covenant Abilities in Shadowlands
Covenant Armor and Cloaks
Utility Abilities for All Covenants
Mage Covenant Abilities
Cosmetics and Customizations
Draenei Customization Options in Shadowlands
Human, Dwarf, Troll, Undead Customization Options
Uuna Returns and More Secrets in Shadowlands
Covenant Armor and Cloaks/Back Attachments in Shadowlands
Shadowlands Pre-order: Transmog and Illusion
Legendary Transmog in Shadowlands
Sylvanas/Saurfang Narrative Wrap Up Interview
The Jailer is the Main Villain of Shadowlands
Sylvanas in Shadowlands - Edge of Night, Jailer of the Damned, and Vol'jin's Mystery
Heroes of the Storm
Deathwing, Toys II - Mephisto's Revenge
Faction Differences in Shadowlands
Not many; the war is behind them and the Covenants don't care about your faction. If the problems within the Shadowlands aren't fixed, they'll doom Azeroth as well. The Horde and Alliance split will still exist within the game however.
Not giving it away, but they like to start off every expansion with one, so chances are there'll be something!
The Heart of Azeroth Stays
Wrapping up the story in 8.3, but unlike artifacts, it will still exist as a usable item... just not in Shadowlands. You're still the Champion of Azeroth, but you won't be on Azeroth anymore. Essences and Azerite powers will still work in timewalking and Azeroth-based content.
Seeing Old Characters
Without giving away all their secrets, they have the opportunity to delve into characters of WoW's past and see where their fates have led them; Kael'thas, Uther, have been brought up, but there are many more in major and minor ways - you may be surprised by who shows up. Arthas has been brought up, though not even the Covenants may have been able to find Mankrik's Wife.
Bolvar is a Major Character
Shadowlands will be a chance to delve into him more as he's been a major background character for quite a long time, but hasn't really been seen in awhile. We'll find out how he's coped with becoming the Lich King and get to explore how much is still Bolvar and how much has become the Lich King. Because he exists in a unique place between life and death, he will also have insights on how the Shadowlands works.
Other Characters We'll See
Not spoiling too much, but as we go to confront Sylvanas in Icecrown, some familiar characters will go with us, and make their way into the Shadowlands as well.
The first time through Shadowlands, the zones follow a linear and non-scaling order from Bastion -> Maldraxxus -> Ardenweald -> Revandreath, working with the Covenant in each zone and getting access to their powers (both a class specific and generic ability) while there, giving the player a chance to test those Covenant rewards before making a (semi) permanent choice at the end. At max level you will be able to change Covenants, but it will come at a non-trivial cost. Subsequent characters will be able to play through auto-scaling Shadowlands zones in any order and pick their desired Covenant right away. They love the flexibility and freedom of choice in
zones, and want to retain that for subsequent playthroughs, but ensure they can tell a coherent story for a player's first time through the new expansion.
There will be reputations in addition to the Covenants, though some of them are still being worked out.
Shadowland Zones Size
Vary in size, but more or less similar to what we've seen in the last few expansions. Rivendreath might be a little bigger than the others.
Shadowlands Zone Diversity
The Shadowlands aren't just one thing. Death is a great power of the World of Warcraft Cosmos, just like Dis/Order, Light, and Shadow, which means something different to everyone and is represented throughout the zones - Bastion is full of bright and glorious, while the Ardenweald is dark and slumbery.
Flying in Shadowlands
Similar to previous expansions, they want to keep players grounded at the start in order to encourage exploration and interaction with the world. After some time has passed and once they're familiar with the new game world, flying will be added to make getting around and playing alts easier. Not sure if you can fly directly from one zone to another via Flying, they might require a loading screen as the Shadowlands zones aren't entirely contiguous; each zone being cut off from the other is a part of the Shadowlands expansion story.
2 dungeons planned for each zones (8 total); not sure if any will be Mythic-only as of right now.
Set in Rivendreth, a place where souls with a lot more baggage tend to wind up; sins to work off, brought down by pride. They're meant to get a chance of redemption, but some of the denizens there have twisted that purpose to something darker. The raid will explore some of those mysteries, and maybe explain what issues the Shadowlands are dealing with. The entire raid will have a very gothic feel to it and the artists are having a tremendous time bringing it to life.
Raid Tier Sets
No tier sets for now. They get talked a lot all the time, and the various pluses and minuses are brought up every expansion; they'd like to find a way to bring them back and make them fit nicely within existing itemization, but they're not in Shadowlands.
Legendaries will be crafted through materials gained from
- they will be targeted and customizable rather than random - planned to have some control over what slot they'll be in, what powers they'll have, and possibly what stats they'll have as well. They don't want to relive getting three legendaries before the one you wanted as in
What About Titanforging?
Too early to say exactly what they'll do in Shadowlands, but there will be
(Deathforging?!). Corruption replacing Titanforging in 8.3 is a bit of an experiment similar to Benthic, Mechagon rewards, and other bonuses we've seen in the game so far.
New Leveling Experience
First time player will start in a new curated experience, Exile's Reach (an island near Stormheim) from 1-10, before moving into
Battle for Azeroth
from 10-50 in order to understand the narrative leading up to
. Veteran players will be able to pick their expansion and go entirely from 10-50 in any of them. As much charm as there is for the original starting experiences, they're showing their age, and the team wants to modernize things a bit and bring everyone to a similar starting point.
Learning Spells While Leveling
One of the goals of the level squish is to make every level meaningful, rather than a bunch of levels where nothing happens waiting a dozen for a new spell or talent. In the new system you should get
New Death Knight Intro Experience
Coming in 8.3, set in a new sliver of time before Sylvanas breaks the Helm of Domination at the start of Shadowlands. You'll still be able to play through the old experience, but it doesn't make sense for allied races who wouldn't have been around at that time. It will play out similar to the current allied race intro experience, with Bolvar creating a new order of Death Knights. The allied races have some new skins (and a whole lot of additional character customization is coming in Shadowlands).
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