This week was jam-packed with news because of the World of Warcraft Shadowlands alpha new content and interview. World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas posted a developer update on the official website. He let
This week was jam-packed with news because of the World of Warcraft Shadowlands alpha new content and interview. World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas posted a developer update on the official website. He let the community know that the alpha was going to drop sometime this week.
Then during the week, Wowhead began datamining the alpha build. We received juicy information some of which included new mounts and new models for existing characters. The WoW community waited patiently for the alpha to be available so we could watch our favorite streamers try the new content. Yesterday, the alpha finally opened and we were able to get an in-depth look at Bastion.
During the afternoon, Hazzikostas surprised fans by interviewing with Twitch streamer Sloot. The interview was great and Sloot asked Hazzikostas good questions. Hazzikostas touched upon the covenant and player choice controversy, GCD (global cooldown) concerns, tier sets, and changes to RNG (random number generator). Sloot did an amazing job asking Hazzikostas questions the fans have been wondering for a while.
So, let’s get into the highlights of all of the exciting news which came out for World of Warcraft Shadowlands this week.
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World Of Warcraft Shadowlands Alpha New Content And Interview
In The Beginning…
Let’s begin with WoW Game Director Ion Hazzikostas’s developer update. Earlier this week he posted his update on the official website. His note not only mentioned that the alpha would be coming this week, but that we could expect new class changes. Classes were going to be ‘unpruned’ which meant we were going to see old abilities return.
Hazzikostas also mentioned the return of conquest points as a PvP currency in Shadowlands. Players will be able to use conquest points to purchase PvP gear from vendors in the city of Oribos. He also discussed a new questing interface. The new 3-D quest indicator is a work in progress and will lower the need to open the map, as it will show you if a quest objective is in front of you.
The game director also stressed that Shadowlands is focused on ‘player agency and empowering choice.’ He was aware that data mining this week would unearth information on Soulbinds, Covenant Sanctums, and crafted Legendary Items. Hazzikostas urged fans to remember that everything was still a work in progress and that the WoW development team had learned from past mistakes. So they are seeking feedback from the community during the alpha and beta process.
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Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, let’s datamine let’s go!
Wowhead got to work on datamining the alpha right away. They discovered a treasure trove of goodies related to the World of Warcraft Shadowlands alpha new content. Fans can expect new mounts, pets, and models for popular characters. Hunters will be getting significantly more stable slots. I main a Hunter so this news is exciting for me. Hopefully, this means Hunters can tame more spirit beasts in the Shadowlands.
Death Knights, Demon Hunters, and Allied Races will start Shadowlands at level 10. All new players will begin the game in Exile’s Reach. The new starter zone should be faster and easier to understand for newbies. Veteran players can choose between Exile’s Reach or the normal starting zone experiences.
Players will now have new customization options to choose from in Shadowlands. Characters can have darker skin tones, makeup, and new hair options. There will also be changes to which classes can use one-handed, two-handed, or dual-wield weapons. All of this is part of Blizzard’s effort to unpruned the classes and return a sense of class identity.
There were also spoilers featuring story scenarios for Tyrande and broadcast text for Voljin. Allied races will no longer require a reputation to be unlocked. Each covenant features a cloak transmog, and you’re also able to view the Oribos and Bastion armor sets. There are also epic weapons to check out in the data mine. We also received new screenshots for zones and characters like the Jailer. Thanks to Wowhead for the information.
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Now…For the Interview!
World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas was interviewed by Twitch streamer Sloot during his Shadowlands alpha stream on April 9, 2020. During the hourlong interview, Hazzikostas answered questions about the GCD (global cooldown), tier sets, RNG, and more. Regarding the GCD, Hazzikostas said that the development team wants WoW gameplay to focus more on skill rather than a twitch reaction. Sloot voiced concern that players have the skills but, the GCD is preventing us from using an ability we know comes next. But, Sloot understood Hazzikostas’s answer and moved on to the next topic.
Hazzikostas said that tier sets may be making a comeback, but that we need to see “how they translate to the modern era.” The game director also said that Shadowlands will be more alt friendly to players. He was aware that BFA was grindy especially when it came to essences, and he said the team is trying to make sure that Shadowlands will be more fun.
“Shadowlands will have no long-tail grind and should be significantly alt friendly,” Hazzikostas said.
There will also be a counterbalance coming to the game for RNG. So if you run your usual mythic run per week you’ll be able to choose an item. Hazzikostas also talked about loot changes in general.
“Our plan for Shadowlands is to take a step back and to produce the amount of loot that drops. Just let loot be loot. We aren’t planning warforging, titanforging, no avoidance, or anything. Let loot be loot,” Hazzikostas said.
When asked about covenants, Hazzikostas said they’ve been a hot topic at Blizzard headquarters. Covenants have also been a controversial topic among the fans. He said they see them as a gameplay mainstay and that down the road they hope that there will be enough knobs and tolls to balance the differences in the long run.
What the team has learned from Classic WoW
Hazzikostas also said that what the development team has learned from Classic WoW is about the social aspect. They want WoW to be a place where you can make friends.
In regards to world quests, they will be a thing but there won’t be any emissaries. They’re going to replace those with callings from your covenants. So world quests have been remixed and reimagined. Hazzikostas said they’ll have a little more to talk about in a few weeks.
He also talked about Torghast and rewards, leaderboard support, AOE targets and more. You can check out the full interview below. Thanks to Sloot and @watcherdev for the amazing interview.
Have you always wanted to learn more about World of Warcraft’s game development? Then check out The World of Warcraft Diary: A Journal of Computer Game Development by John Staats on Amazon.com. John Staats worked on Vanilla WoW and he was the game’s first level-designer.
World Of Warcraft Shadowlands Alpha New Content
More To Come Soon
The World Of Warcraft Shadowlands alpha new content may have just dropped but we can expect more soon. Hazzikostas said the development team wants to release Revendreth and Torghast by the end of April. Also, this is only the first round of alpha invites.
Don’t forget you can opt-in to the Shadowlands beta. The beta is the next phase of testing after the alpha. More players will have a chance to get into the beta test. Players are chosen at random. If you don’t opt-in though, you won’t have a shot of getting into the beta. Good luck!
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Don’t forget to take advantage of the Wind’s of Wisdom 100 percent leveling boost. If you missed out, check out these helpful tips on how to level faster in WoW. Check out the WoW Shadowlands alpha Torghast interview. Check out the pathfinder changes coming to Shadowlands and the Revendreth zone preview. Also, account-wide essences are finally here so be sure to get your alts up to date. Have you considered using a VPN (a virtual private network) to play World of Warcraft? Learn more about using a VPN to play WoW and other computer games.
Thank you for hanging out at my Hearth.
Spyells is a published author and blogger. She’s played World of Warcraft since the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Geeking out over Warcraft, Disney, Kingdom Hearts, and Harry Potter is her favorite thing. She enjoys traveling and loves to cook. On most days you can find Spyells in Azeroth exploring it’s many wonders and protecting its ancient lands.
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