Hazzikostas: Ok, now putting this all together: So! Expansion launches. Just before the Expansion launches, we have, you know, pre-patch events as we enjoy having to get people up to speed, get you caught up, maybe help leveling some Alts here and there… this time around, as we’ve said, and as we’ve been told by Terenas, the Helm of Domination worn by the Lich king was essential to keep the undead of Azeroth in check, to keep them under control.

Well, without it, what are they doing? They’re rampaging across the world. And so sort of a Scourge Invasion 2.0 that we’re cooking up, that will set the stage for the journey that awaits us. So in the weeks leading up to Shadowlands, as the heroes of Azeroth fight to defend their homes and families and friends from the rampaging undead, it will also muster their forces to make for IceCrown and try to attack the source of this evil where it began.

A key leader in this is actually going to be Bolvar himself. He did not die. He was defeated. But he actually offers us some unique insight into the situation. Because he actually more than any other being has one foot in each realm and understands them both.

When he was seared by the dragonfire of Alexstrasza, he was infused with the power and the energy of life. That was able to allow him to keep the powers of the undead at bay as he wore this Helm. But having worn the Helm, he has seen into the other world and understands what awaits us; and he and his Death Knights can also help us cross over into that world, to understand what’s going on there and to have a chance at saving our own; and so, we will make for Icecrown, we will cross over and we will end up in The Maw, because that’s where everything that goes into the Shadowlands is going — and our journey ends there. It’s a really short expansion.

(Audience laughter)

Now that, obviously not. So, we, heroes of Azeroth, with a unique bond to the World Soul of Azeroth herself, find ourselves uniquely able to escape The Maw. Not all who come with us will be able to escape. Some of our friends and great champions of Azeroth will be trapped behind; but we escape, and we move on to Oribos — where we begin to learn about the nature of this new world, and set out to level up through 4 zones.

In order: Bastion, Maldraxxus, Ardenweald, and Revendreth. So, unlike the last couple expansions, we want to get back to having a strong narrative arc that can span multiple zones. And so, all people entering the Shadowlands will go on this journey. As you do this, you’re going to work with each zone’s powers, with each zone’s Covenant. As you earn their trust initially, they’ll let you borrow their powers, so you can actually play with the active abilities that you’ll have down the line, you get a sense of what your Covenant’s ethos is, their aesthetic, and all this is as you’re learning about the world as you are trying to understand the foes that face you, and defeat them, you’re also getting prepared for a fateful choice: Which Covenant do you want to join? Because that’s the big choice that awaits you at max level.

Audience Member: “All of them!!”


Hazzikostas: Exactly, you will choose one of them.

(Audience laughs)

Hazzikostas: — and after joining that Covenant you have its powers permanently, your Covenant campaign begins, and you move into the endgame.


1. Intro to the Shadowlands2. Zones3. Covenants4. Oribos & The Maw
5. Pre-Shadowlands World Event6. Alt Characters7. Dungeons & Raids8. Systems & Rewards
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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts