Blizzard Entertainment invited me today to the Shadowlands Alpha test. As usual, there are no intro quests. That’s added much later during late closed beta.
My character appeared in Bastion, one of the 5 zones of the Shadowlands.
Players spawn at the Vestibule of Eternity and greeted by Kleia — a female Kyrian.
Kleia gives you the quest titled: “Welcome to Eternity.”
Forgive my reaction. You see, the way from Oribos has been closed for quite some time. That it is open once more is surely a sign that all is well once more! Now you are here. You have arrived in Bastion, oh noble soul. Your deeds in life have earned you a most glorious fate. Before we begin your next journey, please tell me. What news from Oribos?
Playing through the first 15 quests or so felt a lot like the Mists of Pandaria’s Jade Forest experience. The player goes through meditation excercises to fight guilt and bad memories of their past, and to let go of inner demons in order to become worthy of the Bastion’s grace.
Shortly after the initial quests, the player is granted a special power ability only used by those who are members of Bastion. In my case, I played a Rogue class, so this is the unique ability gifted to me by the Kyrian:
Echoing Reprimand: Deal 388 Arcane damage to an enemy, extracting their anima to Aethercharge a combo point. Damaging finishing moves that consume the same number of combo points as your Aethercharge deal damage as if they consume 7 combo points. Awards 3 combo points. Instant. 45 sec cooldown. Melee Range.
Players start at level 50 in Bastion, but Bastion has areas in the north and northeast that are exclusively level 60 content.
I was able to level up in about 3 hours of gameplay. Half of that just obtaining XP by exploring the entire zone.
Something feels wrong about Bastion. The Kyrian evade many questions about The Maw, and about Bastion in general. As the story progresses in your adventures, you can see a renegade faction of the Kyrian: The Forsworn. Just coming across some kind of corrupted Uther wearing their colors tells you there is more to Bastion than it seems.
Something that caught my attention was a comment from one of the NPCs. She said that the Maldraxxus and the Kyrian are… allies. At least until recently. Maldraxxus is described as a defender of the Shadowlands realms, but for some reason the Maldraxxus now seeks to destroy them.
One of the datamined stuff mentions Kel’Thuzad in Maldraxxus. I assume he got something to do with what’s affecting the realms.