Would you look at that, yet another game has been delayed: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will now launch later this year. No new release date was given for the expansion, but the much anticipated pre-patch now has one. That means players can at least sample some of the wider changes the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion is bringing to the game, which should take the sting out of the Shadowlands delay.
Shadowlands delayed till later this year; pre-patch drops October 13th.
In a letter to the community from World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Executive Producer John Hight, it was revealed today that Shadowlands just wasn’t quite ready to ship October 27th. Citing fan feedback, Hight stated, “it’s become clear we need a little more time for additional polish, and to balance and iterate on some interlocking pieces—particularly those related to the endgame.”
Hight is likely referring to the contentious “Covenant” system, Shadowlands version of “borrowed power” first introduced in Legion with Artifact Weapons. Players have not been shy in voicing their concerns over the system, which they feel is too limiting, and will result in them having to focus on a single class and spec, despite Blizzard’s claims otherwise.
Essentially, there are four Covenants in the Shadowlands that oversee a distinct portion of the afterlife. Players can align with one in the endgame, and will be given a couple abilities and psuedo-skill trees to play with. The problems, however, are the restrictions between swapping in and out of not only the psuedo-skill trees, but the Covenants. Thus players are concerned the system will stifle flexibility, and force an undesirably rigid endgame meta.
You can read the full letter from Hight and Blizzard here. In the mean time set your calendars for the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands pre-patch drop on October 13th. It won’t contain any of the controversial bits, instead ushering in the revamped leveling experience and level-cap squish that’ll make getting alts to max-level a far less tedious affair. I’ve been trying it out in the PTR myself, so I’ll have thoughts on it posted soon.