Now is not only the best time to prepare for WoW Shadowlands, but also the best time to get started with Blizzard’s MMO. We will explain why this is so.
Do you feel like you’ve missed the WoW train for a long time? Don’t worry, because at the moment, entering the world of Azeroth is easier than it’s been since 2004. With the new pre-patch to prepare you for WoW Shadowlands, the entry barrier is lowered.
It doesn’t matter if you are an old WoW veteran who just missed out on some expansions or if you are a complete beginner who has never held an MMO in your hands before. This balancing act is made possible by two innovations in particular: the new maximum level and the freely selectable expansion.
For the very first time in WoW history, the new expansion Shadowlands does not raise the level limit, but lowers it. Instead of climbing up to level 130 soon, the current pre-patch drops you 80 levels back to level 50, and with the start of Shadowlands you can play up to level 60.
This brings WoW back to its original level cap that existed before the first expansion. The advantage of this reduction is obvious: You save an incredible amount of time by not having to play levels. According to the developers, you are about 70 percent faster than before the evaporation of your levels.
Apart from the time factor, the advantage is that you don’t get lost in an endless tunnel of meaningless level numbers when you ascend. In the past, you usually had to climb a full 15 levels to unlock a new ability in your talent tree, but now it’s often only 5 levels. So the progress becomes more noticeable and you have the feeling again that your character really gets stronger with every level.
The quest experience also changes. Before this so-called level quish, you had to fight your way through the areas of individual expansions at high speed. You didn’t get much of the story of the area or the expansion because you were so overleveled from halfway through the story that you had to move on to the next area to progress. Now you can play through the expansions of your choice in peace and quiet thanks to Chrome’s time travel camapgne.
Modular system with one hook
Chrome’s time travel campaign is the second major innovation introduced with the Shadowlands Pre-Patch and is a kind of modular system. Starting at level 10 you have the possibility to visit Gnomin Chromie and let her send you through time.
You can choose from all expansions except WoW Classic and Battle for Azeroth. To play both Classic and Battle for Azeroth, you can simply do without Chromies help. The advantage of this selective selection is that you don’t have to go through each expansion and then cancel it because you’ve become too strong and the quests don’t give you any experience anymore, but you can concentrate on one expansion at your leisure.
This way you can catch up on missed expansions or replay beloved areas and stories as you wish. You can also cancel an expansion and start another one with Chromies help. The game adapts to your level, so you can decide at any time which WoW experience you want to play.
The whole system has only two problems: Firstly, you will be automatically kicked out of the time travel campaigns when you reach level 50, which also cancels the stories and quests, and secondly, you can’t use Chromies’ services until at least one of your characters in the history of Battle for Azeroth has done quite a bit.
While these two factors may seem distracting at first glance, the limitation is not entirely absurd if you want to prepare for Shadowlands. After all, the story of the upcoming expansion follows on directly from the events of Battle for Azeroth. WoW will force you to prepare for Shadowlands before you can level and reminisce.
What is the current state of WoW Classic? We’ve analyzed updates, player numbers, and Blizzard’s plans for the future, twelve months after the release of the old new World of Warcraft:
Why you should not start with Shadowlands first
If you’re not in the mood for cold expansion coffee, but are hot for Shadowlands, you should also consider getting back into WoW right now to not miss the perfect start to the new expansion.