blizzard interviews shadows rising world of warcraft: shadowlands prequel novel

Recently, Blizzard staff have done a variety of interviews about the upcoming World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion. Here are some of the highlights of what we learned.

Taliesin & Evitel’s lore interview with Lead Narrative Designer Steve Danuser

Taliesin of Taliesin & Evitel hosted Steve Danuser on T&E’s Twitch stream, where he asked questions specifically relating to the lore.

Shadowlands will have less of a “wait and see” storytelling approach.

According to Steve, the story of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is pretty much complete, in that they’ve set up something quite in-depth, and they know how it ends and ties into things to come. One thing players found annoying in Battle for Azeroth was too much ambiguity at the end of patches. Since before the expansion came out, players have been speculating and asking questions about certain lore moments and where they would lead, only to feel like they were being told to “wait and see” more than they were actually being given answers. This frustrated players when answers received weren’t satisfying enough to justify so much waiting. Steve has stated that, while a healthy amount of speculation is desired, players shouldn’t feel “lost,” and Shadowlands should be more generous with hints about what is to come.

Sylvanas loyalists… aren’t.

While Battle for Azeroth played around with split story threads in the name of player choice, offering Horde players the decision between staying loyal to Sylvanas and joining Saurfang’s rebellion against her, the threads couldn’t stay split forever. Characters loyal to Sylvanas won’t be able to continue to be loyal to her in Shadowlands¬†– apart from everything else, it would just be impractical.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands: Everything we know from interviews

Tyrande will feature prominently.

Ever since her home was burned and her people massacred by Sylvanas, Tyrande has been having a bit of a day. She’s expressed anger with Anduin for not being hard enough on the Horde. Steve has explained that the Tyrande/Night Elf storyline has felt too big and important to quickly wrap up by the end of Battle for Azeroth, but both will be explored in depth in Shadowlands.

Towelliee’s Torghast and The Maw interview with Senior Game Designer Paul Kubit

World of Warcraft streamer Towelliee spoke to Paul Kubit about two of the most central and important features of Shadowlands: Torghast, Tower of the Damned, and The Maw, the Shadowlands endgame zone. Torghast is something we haven’t really seen before in World of Warcraft — a never-ending tower often compared to roguelikes. So what can we expect?

Torghast will need a key.

This is already proving to be a controversial subject. Torghast is on the alpha, and feedback so far is overwhelmingly positive — with a catch. On the alpha, access to the tower is unlimited, so when a run finally ends, players can easily dust themselves off and rush back in. Limiting Torghast, however, is likely to be less fun, which is why any mention of keys tends to cause worry. Thankfully, keys to Torghast can technically be farmed infinitely: You’ll just have to do other content to get them. Whether or not that’s good enough remains to be seen.

shadows rising world of warcraft: shadowlands prequel novel

The Maw will be focused.

As the endgame zone, the objectives of the Maw will be few and clear. However, there is a limited amount of time you can spend in the Maw. Once you’ve attracted the Eye of the Jailer debuff, you’ll find your play more and more difficult until you have to leave. The debuff lasts for the rest of the day, but you can spend Anima to remove the debuff. You will be able to collect this Anima in the other four zones.

Zoltan’s Shadowlands interview with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas

Twitch streamer Zoltan spoke to Ion Hazzikostas about all things World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.

There are no playable High Elves, at least not as a Blood Elf customization.

Playable High Elves have become a bit of a sore spot between the World of Warcraft community and Blizzard, with Ion Hazzikostas seeming to get the bad luck of having to deliver bad news time and time again. Along those lines, Ion has confirmed that the blue-eyed option for Blood Elves will not be a player customization option. What he did not say is that High Elves would never make it into the game, so, you know, hope springs eternal.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands: Everything we know from interviews

You will be able to leave a Covenant easily, but rejoining it later won’t be so simple.

With Covenants playing a key part in Shadowlands and four Covenants to choose from, players have been both excited and nervous. Joining a Covenant will grant players special transmog and cosmetic options, but they will also grant players unique powers. But what happens if you join a Covenant and find that it’s not right for you? Or that another Covenant’s powers are vastly superior? Will you be locked into your choice?

Ion says no. Leaving a Covenant to join another one will be easy. However, if you change your mind again and want to rejoin, that might be harder. The idea is that you’ve insulted that Covenant now, broken all your promises, lied, etc., and now you have to show you’re sorry. That means switching Covenants quickly between situations is still off the cards for now, but at least making a choice won’t mean you’re stuck with it forever.

These are all the major highlights garnered from World of Warcraft: Shadowlands interviews with Blizzard so far!

Laura Shortridge-Scott
Laura knows just a little too much about the lore of her favourite games than is healthy. On the rare occasion when she can't be found in Azeroth, it's usually because some other RPG has caught her attention.

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