With WoW: Shadowlands, the eighth expansion of the MMO ends in the coming weeks and makes room for Dragonflight. With that, we’re saying goodbye to a whole range of features and systems that most players never really got excited about or at least weren’t able to satisfy. Whether it’s the pacts and their soul ties, the Maw enthusiastically announced by the developers, Torghast or the Legendary farm – we won’t really miss much of it.
Nevertheless, we will remember some things – whether positive or negative. Even today, when the name of an extension is mentioned, many of us immediately have a feature in mind that we inseparably associate with it. This is how Wrath of the Lich King brought the still controversial dungeon finder into play. With Legion, on the other hand, we think directly of the cool class quests and the new Mythic Plus system. Cataclysm, the overhaul of the world and Warlords of Draenor with the garrisons brought us an unprecedented look at how housing in WoW (buy now ) could look like – or maybe it shouldn’t look like.
What remains of WoW: Shadowlands?
Actually, the question should be divided into two, which is what we do. Because in addition to the question for which Shadowlands is rememberedthe question still arises what remains of Shadowlands. However, the two are somehow related.
What is Shadowlands remembered for?
Ten years from now, what do you think is the first thing that comes to mind when someone says, “Remember back in Shadowlands?” We have a few ideas, but we’re not sure how quickly some of them will be forgotten. Because many a big expansion feature, which was enormously important at the time, we push out of our memories faster than a paladin bubble/hearthstone can throw up. Or does the mention of Mists of Pandaria jump straight to the sometimes great 3-player scenarios? But let’s get back to Shadowlands and what’s left of it.
- The Pact System: In ten years from Shadowlands, let’s think straight back to the “meaningful choices” feature. After all, it was the dominant theme of the enlargement. However, it was softened fairly quickly and was ultimately just a “talent change with extra steps”.
- torghast would also occur to us. After all, we spent half the expansion getting soul ash out of the tower. If we had only been paid a dollar for every visit, Twitter would now belong to us and not to Elon Musk.
- The Maw: Although we hope that we will never have to remember this nightmare again.
Aside from the obvious things, there were plenty of little things that have the potential to define our memories of Shadowlands in the future.
- The hardest (and best?) raids of all time: Even if the Classic fans come around the corner again with some statistics from undefeated bosses: Anyone who has put a toe in the various raids in WoW knows that there have never been raids that were as difficult as these in Shadowlands. In particular, of course, the Mausoleum of the First. Maybe ten years from now we’ll remember the week-long World First Race and the hundreds of nerfs thrown at the live servers by the developers.
- Chaotic Story: Whether the confusing story about the jailer as cosmic villain (which most of us have not really understood until today) sticks? We hope that in ten years’ time we’ll only be thinking “Oh yes, the trip to the afterlife before we were allowed to go to the Dragon Islands”. Or we indulge in the unworthy endings of iconic characters…
What’s left of Shadowlands?
Most Shadowlands features disappear with Dragonflight into the afterlife, which is where they came from. However, a few things will definitely be taken into the future. In addition, Blizzard experimented so much in Season 4 that we can well imagine that some of it will be standard in a few years and WoW can no longer be imagined without it. Hence the question: What Shadowlands features are left over from the expansion?
- The fun season at the end: Of course, what immediately catches your eye is Season 4, which is where most of the experiments took place. It wasn’t just the developers who found this a good thing. We suspect that at the end of an expansion we can always expect a similar fun season. Why not, as long as they don’t last as long as normal seasons. Maybe here’s a feature that Shadowlands brought and that will never go away.
- The new loot system: We don’t mean personal loot or returning group loot. More like things like Dinars and the Creation Catalyst. Towards the end of Shadowlands, the developers pulled a lot of cool mechanics out of the hat that greatly mitigated any bad luck with the loot. These features have been so popular (at least in my filter bubble) that some are frustrated that nothing of the sort has been announced for Dragonflight yet. If the developers are clever, they’ll implement something like that and we’ll think back to the expansion in the future, which made the production of animal set items, buying raid items and upgrading the like socially acceptable.
The End of Horde and Alliance: In our opinion, the most likely thing is that we think back to Shadowlands as the expansion that dissolved the outdated system of two factions. Immediately after the “Faction War” expansion BfA (yes, the quotation marks are intentional and meant to express irony), Shadowlands tore down various walls between Horde and Alliance. We can now raid, quest, trade and communicate together. In Dragonflight, the developers are going even further and there will no longer be a Target tab for a faction. We are sure that we will soon be able to be in a guild together and that the border will ultimately disappear completely. Shadowlands made the start.
Now it’s your turn! What do you think Shadowlands will be remembered for? Do you agree with us on one of the points or do you have something completely different on the bill? Perhaps none of these apply at all, and Shadowlands becomes the “Unnamed Expansion.” Although it will be remembered for its shitty (yes, I just made that word up).