World of Warcraft Shadowlands Update

Blizzard recently announced the delay of their newest World of Warcraft, Shadowlands.  As one of the premier marketplaces which players can purchase World of Warcraft accounts, this announcement caught us off-guard.  The reason for this delay, aside from delays in schedule brought about by the pandemic, was so the Blizzard team could have time to polish the expansion. Taking the time to deliver a more finished expansion is a move that has been generally well-received by the players and fans, despite the delay. In fact, most WoW players seem content with the extra time to get adjusted to the pre-Shadowlands patch, considering the amount of core gameplay changes that are coming with the newest expansion.

            There are, however, a few people who view this delay rather cynically, feeling that their time and money aren’t well spent on a company that cannot meet the deadlines they set for themselves. This is, perhaps, a legitimate criticism. Or at least, a criticism that the WoW development team can understand, have since they have taken the time to name the changes they thought were important enough to delay the launch.

            The changes in question, as Blizzard is happy to point out, come specifically from the feedback from the Shadowlands players in the beta. These are changes, beyond bugs and glitches, that actual WoW players thought were necessary to preserve the integrity as well as the, dare we say, the fun of World of Warcraft. That is great, right? Or at least it can be, but we definitely think we need to take a closer look at the specific feedback being addressed before we go jumping to conclusions.

            In one of the most recent posts about the continued work on Shadowlands, after the delay that is, there were a couple of key areas that the development team decided highlight. They opened with their commentary on The Maw.

            As one of the stand out new environments in the expansion, it has to be ready to make an impression on veteran players. Blizzard said that the point of The Maw is that it is supposed to be bleak and inhospitable. That being said, they clarified that they know that game fun beats world theming, and that the feedback they were getting from players was they missed the mark on that. Blizzard said that while they want to preserve the “sandbox” feel they had set out to create when designing The Maw, they planned on restructuring the area to make it feel like ti has more direction. They also said that there would also be a focus on making visuals and combat in The Maw feel more varied.

            These changes to The Maw sound solid but at this point, with the information that we have, it is definitely a “wait and see” scenario. We simply don’t know what sort of changes are in the works, but at least we know they are listening, and that is some comfort to long-time players.

            The other key point that the WoW development team wanted to address was the feedback they were receiving on Conduits. The number one thing they were hearing was the conduit system and its current build were too restricting to allow for fun and diversified play. While the dev team defends the week-long cool down for the conduits as appropriate for higher-level players they can understand waiting for so long would feel limiting. The system they are replacing it with does seem more flexible if more than a tad complicated. The conduit switching now works on a charge system. The charges start at 10 when unlocked and recharge at a rate of 1 a day. Unlocking a new conduit also ups the charges back to full. Blizzard says this will allow players to try new builds and still have access to the conduits they need.

            There is some criticism about this change, though. Some players think that taking the time to develop another system of restrictions was a waste, especially considering that restrictions still exist. It would seem that the primary issue players were having is that the conduits are being restricted at all and that making the system more flexible isn’t really addressing the problem. We are going to heir a bit on the optimistic side as far as giving the new conduits system a shot before coming to any conclusions.

            The last note that Blizzard has to make on the changes in Shadowlands is about the combination of covenants and classes. This comes as no surprise to anyone following the news of this expansion as the balancing of this particular aspect of gameplay has been a topic of much controversy. The dev team posted that they had been focused on the extremely underpowered and the overpowered ends of the spectrum, but as they work their way through the issues, and towards the center, there is a lot more work to be done fine-tuning the combinations of these new abilities and the soulbinds that pair with them.

            That was all that was said on the matter. We are a bit wary about how little information is being given about fixing one of the top concerns on most players lists. We get it, a lot probably has to be done to achieve the perfect balance required for Shadowlands to work. We don’t need a detailed list of changes to put faith that the right ones are being done. But compared to the information about The Maw and the conduits system, the vagueness here is concerning, especially when the expansions delay coming only a month before the official launch date.

            Blizzard is no stranger to biting off more than they can chew. In fact, the recent level squish is probably a testament to the forethought that is put into power changes from expansion to expansion. You can hardly blame the player base for being a bit wary at this point.

            Even without the announcement of a new launch date, Shadowlands has still been promised for later this year so players will probably not have to wait longer than an additional two months. Will Shadowlands be ready by then? Should it still it be released if it isn’t? No probably not, but they will release it anyway and WoW players have come to expect nothing less.  Regardless of the changes, we expect the expansion will be popular and we stay committed to being the #1 website for buying and selling WoW accounts safely.

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