There were two Shadowlands Beta builds released today. The first one (35256) was released on July 22 around 6pm ET. The servers were offline until 9pm ET. At that point servers went online for a few seconds and suddenly displayed Incompatible version — signaling a new build was available.

Build 35282 was deployed, and I started to check out for any new in-game updates. For datamined stuff, you know where to go. This is what I found in-game.

Exile’s Reach

Exile’s Reach doesn’t have updates other than most of the NPCs now have voice over throughout the entire level 1-10 experience. Before this patch, only two NPCs had voice over: the Warlord Breka Grimaxe and another. Build 35282 is missing voice over for only two NPCs, so there is still work to do in Exile’s Reach. One of them is Won’sa.

The cutscenes might have gotten some refinement, but remain with the red X across the screen as “work in progress.”

Shadowlands Intro Questline

In previous builds, the Shadowlands Intro Questline had you starting out of the blue inside Acherus (The Ebon Blade nexus). Build 35282 added the first quest that players get on Day One wherever they login into.

The quest titled “A Chilling Summons” is given by Highlord Darion Mograine, but this is a quest that appears onscreen beneath the mini-map.

The quest begins the Shadowlands Intro questline’s achievement: Through the Shattered Sky.

What catches my attention is that we still don’t know how the leaders were captured, and it is not portrayed in the Shadows Rising novel either.

This leads me to think that the heroes will be captured during the Battle for Azeroth Finale event at the end of the Scourge invasion. This should happen around two weeks before the Shadowlands launch.

The Shadowlands Intro Questline now has almost all of the voice over lines except for Thrall, and some missing Darion lines. Some of the Oribos NPCs don’t have voice lines but it is basically all there ready for launch.

Night Fae Covenant

Two builds ago introduced testing of the Covenants. I had uploaded the Night Fae Covenant Questline Part 1-5 videos. That covered at least the Chapter 1-2 (out of 8) of the Night Fae campaign storyline. Covenants are the equivalent of the Alliance and Horde War Effort Campaigns, but this time around there are four and you can choose one Covenant to pledge to.

Build 35282 now makes chapter 3 available for testing. The mask of Bwonsamdi appears and gives you a quest. Chapter 3 is titled: The Other Side.

Bwonsamdi asks you to investigate seeds of the Loa. Earlier we tended to a seed that turned out to be Ysera. Now we are checking on other seeds that are actually dead Loas.

Mueh’zala is sending his forces to collect these seeds and empower them with bad mojo to resurrect the Loas before their scheduled time. We check on Dambala and Hakkar the Soulflayer whose seeds are husks. Their spirits have been juiced up with bad mojo.

During the dialogues, Mueh’zala reveals that Bwonsamdi was formerly a Priest of the Loas, and Mueh’zala empowered him to become his servant. Mueh’zala regrets giving power to Bwonsamdi, as now he opposes his master.

Bwonsamdi sends us to seek an audience with the White Queen to notify what is happening in Ardenweald. The White Queen, however, doesn’t want to meddle between the affairs of Bwonsamdi and Mueh’zala.

What Bwonsamdi tells the White Queen catches her attention. Mueh’zala is a threat to Ardenweald and her minions.

The White Queen commands the player to notify 3 armies around Ardenweald to rally toward The Other Side’s entrance to take the fight to Mueh’zala’s forces.

I had to stop recording at the fight against Dambala the loa. Too much server lag prevents winning the encounter. The healing spell isn’t working through the lag. You fight transformed in the shape of a rune stag. I will upload the video as soon as the lag is over, and I managed to stitch together the video clips — editing out all the times the client crashed, and stuck in loading screen. Bear with me.

Night Fae: Queen’s Conservatory

If you liked the Mists of Pandaria’s Farm in Valley of the Four Winds, then you might want to head over to the Night Fae Covenant.

Once you enroll into the Night Fae Covenant, you might have to do several runs in the Maw and Torghast to gather Anima, and complete daily quests in the Heart of the Forest to earn enough currency to research.

I don’t know if you need the Travel Network upgrades, but you can read more about how to unlock that and watch the video in my recent article.

Talk to Zayhad, the Builder to open the Sanctum UI.

The icon at the bottom opens the Queen’s Conservatory tab where you can research “First Planting.”

When that research is completed, you gain access to The Queen’s Conservatory. Conservator Saola spawns next to this mushroom ring.

Step on the Mushroom Ring portal to access the Queen’s Conservatory. A spell button appears onscreen named: Traverse to the Queen’s Conservatory.

These are the maps of the Heart of the Forest. You enter the room down this ramp.

The Mushroom Ring to access the Queen’s Conservatory is here:

You teleport into the Queen’s Conservatory.

Warden Casad greets you with a quest which tells you everything you need to know about the Queen’s Conservatory lore and purpose. Thereafter, he gives about 4-5 new quests. All of them are to upgrade to the next Queen’s Conservatory Tier — which is researched at the recently shown Sanctuary UI.

There are three types of Catalysts:

There are seeds per Covenant: Venthyr, Fae, Maldraxxus, and Revendreth.

Then there are three quality types of seeds among each of those for a total of 12 different seeds: Green, Blue, and Purple.

Green ones are named simply Venthyr Spirit, Fae Spirit, Maldraxxus Spirit or Revendreth Spirit.

Blue ones are named Greater Venthyr Spirit, Greater Fae Spirit, and so on.

Purple ones are named Divine Venthyr Spirit and so on.

To be honest, I came to test this feature having big expectations, but I came out of the experience (40 minutes into it) with disappointment.

All the rewards I got were basically profession materials. You get materials for all professions including Fishing, Herbs, Mining, leather, Cooking, Enchanting and Tailoring (Shrouded cloth).

Nothing else dropped. No pets. No mounts. No items that start quests. It didn’t feel rewarding beyond profession materials I can use or sell at the Auction.

Among the spirits that emerged from the Seeds, I didn’t recognize any Loas or Ancients with epic rewards. Maybe it is simply that this is an early iteration that got into Beta testing. I am hoping there is more to it than what I got access to test. There is potential here for epic questlines as seed rewards to help those spirits come into the living — and at the end of the questline for resurrecting that Loa or Ancient, a new mount or a new pet, or something else like a legendary conduit upgrade. Here is hoping a developer reads this.

Searching for new updates in this build. Follow @blizzplanetcom

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