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Despite developers having to work around quarantine restrictions, World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands expansion is still planned for release this fall. During today’s game update stream Blizzard announced the eighth expansion to the long-running MMO moves from alpha to beta next week.


Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.

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I am so incredibly ambivalent about WoW right now. Like, all the new character and class options for Shadowlands look amazing, but a big part of an MMO like this is immersing yourself in the world, and after the massive dumpster-fire that was BfA’s plot, I have been burned so hard by the developers that I really don’t want to trust them again. “Sylvanas isn’t going to be Garrosh 2.0!” Nope, she was worse. “Sylvanas is morally grey!” Nope, mustache-twirling villainy. “The story will be about the war between the factions!” For about five minutes, then it was back to teaming up for end-of-the-world stuff. “The story will have so many twists!” All the twists ended up being blatantly obvious. Azshara and N’zoth, two of the villains with the biggest, most long-running build-up (we were getting teases for what these two were planning since Wrath!) ended up getting introduced and resolved in a patch each with very little impact.

With the exception of Legion, it’s become increasingly obvious that the writing team behind WoW has no damn clue what they’re doing, with no clear vision and no idea how to properly deliver what they do plan out beforehand. Even if Shadowlands turns out to be fantastic, there’s no guarantee the expansion after that won’t squander any gains they make, and they’d still need to do a mountain of retcons to salvage some of their major characters.