Shadowlands, is one of World of Warcraft’s most unique expansions to date. They have introduced a bunch of new complex, interlocking progression systems.
Along with the standard content such as Arena, Dungeons, Raid & Rep Grind. They have introduced new progression systems such as the Covenant and Seed nurturing Systems.
For a returning/existing player, Shadowlands has so much to offer that would suit for each different gamer, whether its being a lore-master, collecting pets, mounts toys, a money goblin, an achievement nerd, PVPer or Mythic Key Pusher or Mythic Raider.
At the same time, there is a little too much going in the background that would easily overwhelm casual and new players.
The Redemption Arc
While Battle for Azeroth has it’s highlights, it was widely opinioned as one of the terrible expansions in WoW’s history. This puts Shadowlands in a tough spot, a heavy burden to ensure Shadowland’s success, especially when other massive MMOs such as FF14 are only getting better with each expansion.
While shadowlands has shown massive improvements over Battle for Azeroth, the art has been seemly getting better over each expansion but the gearing system has failed alot of the players.
With the demotion in iLVL rewarded in Mythic Keystone content and the drop nerfs to both Raiding and Keystones, players are finding it much more difficult to gear and rely largely on Luck & RNG.
A great success they had over BFA was PVP gear vendors, they are back and they are upgradable making PVP much more viable for anyone to get into right away.
Plenty of new content, from lore, quests, new arena maps, dungeons, raids, pets, mounts, toys, achievements, you name it.
An never ending list of things to do in WoW already never ending list already.
Similar to Legion, there are perspectives from individual classes, but this time in the name of Covenants. This pleases all the lore masters out there since apart from novels and books, Shadowlands is a land never explored before, It’s all new.
A revamp of certain classes such as Balance Druids & Shadow Priest, some classes desperately needed a complete remake as it was either not engaging, not fun or not competitive at all. Blizzard did exactly just this when they revamped these two classes, now performing top tier in all content. Sometimes I personally believe a bit too much but as they were at the bottom of the barrel for so long, I do understand to an extent of this design.
The biggest drawback I personally encountered is class imbalance. With all the new skills and revamp of classes and skills, skill balance must be a nightmare for the balancing team. However, we had super ridiculous issues such as being globaled to death by Sub Rogues or 2 globaled MM Hunters. Or 1 shotted by Convoke the Spirits by Feral & Balance Druids. Along with multiple other underlying unbalanced gameplay.
This makes PVP whether its instanced based or open world very unenjoyable for all classes directly or indirectly involved.
The second biggest issue is time gating, WoW is very known for time gating it’s content. Shadowland is no different, however this time, among the things they have time gated, lore was one of them, this was very frustrating to players like myself who enjoy the lore. We could only access a small portion each week. For all the TV Shows/Anime/Manga viewers out there, yes it’s doesn’t seem like a big deal since each episode is weekly long, but the main difference is, some purely log in to play for lore, and we don’t want to pay months worth of subscription when we could enjoy it in 1 month.
All the non-money goblins out there, or trying to be a F2P player in WoW has never been easier in Shadowlands. Aslong one makes the effort to do their dailies, and on multiple of characters, their reveune stream will multiple like never before.
Remember back in BFA, there was a chance for the Emissary to give 2k gold. Well in Shadowlands, each day the callings (Emissary) gives an estimate between 1.5k and 5k gold. Most of these callings take less than 30 minutes to do, with some as simple as killing 1 Rare Boss. If one does 15 characters a day, they have an average of 22.5k – 75k gold that would take them less than 7 hours to complete. With this amount, you can easily put aside 100k a month for a token, sub.
There are obviously much better ways to make gold in WoW, but not everyone is a gold goblin and enjoy playing the game as it is.
Currently the Christmas Holiday is here & Blizzard is doing a Holiday Sale. If you are into collecting toys/mounts and pets, they are on sale currently up to 65% until January 4th 2021. Don’ t miss out, there are some bundles too which is a nice chunk of discount.
I would definitely recommend to check out Shadowlands if you have never played WoW before, or looking for an MMO. It’s a great game with a stable success and constant player base to enjoy with. As for the returning players, unless you are returning for collector, raider or mythic keys progressioner, I would recommend to hold off for a little longer as you will hit the time gate super quick and feel quite frustrated.
I’ll be playing WoW on and off as the latter fits me more and the time gating frustration has gotten to me lately.