The pre-patch is always an awesome time in WoW since this is when we get to play with all the new features of the upcoming expansion. This time being the upcoming Shadowlands expansion. One important thing to note is when the BFA pre-patch went to the Public Test Realm (PTR), that was roughly 2 months before the expansion launched. This is not concrete proof that we are 2 months out but it does bring hope that the expansion could be launching sooner than expected.
What Are The New Features?
The biggest part of the pre-patch is the new class builds and abilities. This is a great time to test out the new system and get familiar with any new abilities you will be getting with the release of Shadowlands.
WoW is also receiving a level squish. All characters who are currently 120 will now be dropped to level 50. Gear level will also drop down to 100. This is quite significant as epics from raid content are now all listed as item level 100. Which means we could see a lot of people breaking out some cool older sets to start their Shadowlands experience. Corrupted gear effects are leaving as well. I know some loved it, some hated it, but like most things, it’s going away with the pre-patch.
The new 1-10 level experience in exiles reach will be available. Exiles reach is an interesting concept of getting players into the swing of things with their class. It comes with a neat storyline that finishes into a mini raid scenario. This is a super cool system that some Youtubers have stated, they would love to see this applied to the new revamped levelling experience between levels 10-50 (the choose your expansion experience). I love the idea of getting to see a fully fleshed-out story and once you are finished, you are already at a decent level.
One of the most iconic pre-patch events is making its return for better or worse. The scourge invasions originally happened in classic before the release of Naxxaramas, and again in the pre-patch to the wrath of the lich king. With the helm of domination shattered, the phrase “There must always be a lich king” has never rung more true. The scourge are restless and attacking all over Azeroth in Orgimmar and Stormwing.
The best thing about this event is the ability to turn into a zombie to infect others while other players will try and kill you. The downside of this is the story-related quest points can be impacted by this event. The quest givers in the capital cities can be killed by the previously mentioned zombie hordes. This will likely be a shit show, but I am there for it.
Things I Am Looking Forward To
With Shadowlands coming hopefully sooner rather than later, I have been trying to avoid spoilers. I like to go into it fresh but let’s talk about some cool things in the expansion we already know about.
The covenant system: I am pretty hyped about the idea of getting to pick my own mini faction being covenants. The idea itself has come under fire by many as it makes you feel locked into this big choice between 4 covenants, but I am remaining hopeful. I was worried about the classic blizzard motto of “There is really only 1 choice if you want to be good”, but it seems they will not be as strict. With covenants, you get specific abilities that seem to be a bit more focused on play style rather than BIS. You also get a transmog set and soul bonds which is a follower ability sort of system.
Torghast the Tower of the Damned: This concept is probably one of my favorite things coming with Shadowlands. This is an infinite dungeon. As you progress through the floors, dying is very detrimental. But the further you make it, the better chance you have of getting crafting materials for legendary items.
Like every expansion, there is also an amazing story. With heroes venturing into the afterlife, there is no telling who we will bump into again. And for that, I am so excited. From the brief parts that have been shown, the quests in some of the upcoming zones look unreal. Especially, the tense political climate between the factions.
Overall I am trying to remain optimistic about the expansion, but I am keeping a healthy paranoia about it. In the past Blizzard have given the impression of perfection but fallen short. Nonetheless, I play the game for the incredible lore WoW has created and I will no doubt be playing Shadowlands on release.