If you played in BFA, your character has essences, Azerite armor and corruption gear.
In Shadowlands expansion, starting at pre-patch, the corruption will be removed totally.
You will still have essences and Azerite armor, but those will be inactive every time you enter shadowlands zones.
The pre-patch will come out around a month before the expansion starts. It seems that it will have a touch of the Wrath of the Lich king pre-patch.
The Shadowlands expansion will come out in Autumn, which means between September and December for United States time.
In Shadowlands, you will not be level 120 anymore. The system is squished to a max level of 60. A 120 character will be 50 instead.
The entire leveling system is changed in the way that you can level up from level 10-50 in one expansion zone. For example, if you choose to level up in Mist of Pandaria expansion zone (Pandaria) you can do that, all way to 50. Once you are 50, you can enter Shadowlands.
There is a new zone called Exile´s Reach in which you can level from 1-10 with a brand-new dungeon as well. This zone and dungeon are meant to be for new players so that they understand how World of Warcraft works.
Veteran players can choose to do the area for their race between 1-10 or hop into Exile´s Reach. But new players must do Exile´s Reach.
Heirlooms will still work EXCEPT for the experience boost.
The zones in Shadowlands are the afterlife they got based their judgement on how they lived when they were alive. It is the Arbiter that sends their soul to one of the zones to find purpose in the afterlife.But for some reason, the Arbiter went dormant and all souls are going directly to a nasty place called, the Maw.
There are 5 new zones and a new city.
Each zone (except for The Maw and the city) has a covenant. Covenants are like factions.
You will level through each zone and each covenant. Then at max level, you must choose one covenant to belong to.
The zones are
This is the worst place to be in the afterlife.
It is only the worst of the worst evil souls that ends up here.
This zone is ruled by the Jailer (no covenant).
No one comes back from the Maw and no one can escape.
Since the Arbiter went dormant stopped directing souls to their just afterlives, all have instead been damned to the torment of the Maw.
This is the first place you start in and it will also be a max level zone together with the place Torghast, Tower of the Damned.
Ruled by Kyrian covenant.
They get sent here toward a state of goodness and letting go of their life burdens.
Ruled by Necrolord covenant.
The heart of the military of Shadowlands.
They are mostly evil, but not all. Their soul is “survival of the fittest”.
Ruled by Night Fae covenant.
An enchanted forest and a dark mirror to Emerald dream.
Souls that are deeply attuned to nature.
Ruled by vampiric Venthyr covenant.
Prideful or flawed souls are sent here to seek their redemption through torture.
A place of dark secrets.
Oribos, the Eternal City
The arrival point when you die and judged.
The central hub from players (gathering point with brokers, wheelers, dealers, and soul-traders)
You can change to another covenant without any problems, BUT if you for some reason want to change back, you have to earn their trust again by doing some quests etc that takes around 1-2 weeks to complete.
Choosing a covenant will give you A SIGNATURE ABILITY (UNIVERSAL ABILITY)
No matter class, spec, race. Everyone that choose a covenant will get the same covenant ability it has.
Kyrian Covenant: Summon Steward
Call your steward to bring you a Phial of Serenity that can be consumed to restore some of your health and remove all Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed Effects. Your Steward additionally offers access to a selection of useful amenities, each once per day.
Venthyr Covenant: Door of Shadows
Wend through the shadows, appearing at the targeted location.
Necrolord Covenant: Fleshcraft
Form a shield of flesh and bone that prevents damage equal to a portion of your maximum health. Standing near the corpse of a defeated enemy when the ability is cast will create a larger shield.
Night Fae Covenant: Soulshape
Turn into a Vulpin, increasing movement speed. You may reactivate Soulshape to teleport a short distance forward.
Choosing a covenant will give you A Class ability
Based on what class and spec you have, you will get a new one from the covenant that is specific for your spec.
Choosing a covenant will give you the power to Soulbinding
During your travels in Shadowlands you will meet key members from each Covenant.
Once you chosen a covenant you will be able to Soulbind with them.
Soulbinding allows you to gain access to traits that provide bonuses or enhance your skills so you can effectively combat all who stand in your way.
You basically lend their power to use as your own.
At launch, there are 3 soulbind characters that you can have, but you choose one of them per time when you lend their powers.
The first two Soulbinds are available as soon as you join a Covenant and do a little bit of questing—no other activity or currency required. The third Soulbind is unlocked when you complete the Covenant Campaign quest line.
Each soulbinding character has its own talent tree.
Each talent tree has 8 rows of traits.
You unlock rows by leveling up your “reputation” through a system called Renown system.
Some rows and slots are Conduit slots, sort of gem slots for something called Conduit.
Conduit are socketed passives that enhance your Class and Covenant Abilities.
You can choose between Soulbinds in rested areas or with a Tome of the Clear Mind or Codex of the Clear Mind.
Soulbind traits and Conduits can only be changed at the Forge of Bonds, located inside your Covenant Sanctum.
Renown - is a leveling system with your covenant
In Shadowlands you will have a leveling system with your Covenant.
It seems like a new sort of reputation system with your covenant.
The higher level you reach with your covenant, the more things you will unlock with them, such as
- Covenant Transmog
- Third Soulbinding character
- Unlock Soulbinding talent rows
- Pathfinder Achievement for flying
- Increasing the item level of items you receive from World Quests.
- Earning legendary recipes for the runecrafter in Torghast.
- And more
You can craft legendary gear in Shadowlands
In Shadowlands, you can craft legendaries.
You can only wear one legendary at the time (for now)
You will do a small questline in Torghast to unlock a Portal to the Runecarver´s Cell.
In order to craft Legendary gear, you must craft for materials that you want to have on your legendary gear.
Each legendary gear need 4 parts.
- One crafted gear
A specific crafted gear to start putting cool things on it.
This is either rings, necklace, feet, chest, legs, head, shoulder, hands, wrist, waist
Doesn’t seem to be able to craft trinkets.
- Two Secondary Stats
You need a Rune (haste/Critical Strike/Mastery/Versatility) to add on your legendary gear.
Runes come probably from inscription profession.
- One Legendary Power
Most of what these powers do are similar to old tiers in previous expansions and legendaries from legion but also new ones.
You get these by getting materials needed from the Torghast, Tower of the Damned scenario.
Torghast, Tower of the Damned
This is available at max level.
Torghast is an endlessly replayable, ever-changing dungeon that can be played by 1 to up to 5 players.
Your runs are randomized, and you will progress floor by floor. The higher up, the harder it will be.
The further you progress, the greater your likelihood of retrieving materials to craft the legendary weapons and armor
There are 3 difficulties
- Easy – Starts at floor 1
- Normal – Starts at floor 13
- Heroic – Starts at floor 25
There is no timer, It is based on death.
Each floor lets you die a certain amount of time (3). When you come to the next floor, the death count resets. If you reach max death times, a nasty Giant add spawns and hunts you down to kill you.
You boost your character A LOT with overpowered abilities with anima. This only occurs in Torghast, not outside of it.
There are different types of anima powers
Heroic – purple
Rare – Blue
Common – Green
You can free souls in here. With enough freed souls you may be able to advance aspects of your Covenant Sanctum.
Soul blessing buff – every soul you save gives you 1% primary start (only the time you are inside)
Looting mobs will give you Phantasma (leaving Thorgast will destroy all Phantasma).
There are vendors in there that you can buy stuff with your phantasma to help you in there.
There are chests in there that contains legendary components.
- Pre-patch Class changes - Warrior
- Pre-patch Class changes - Warlock
- Pre-patch Class changes - Shaman
- Pre-patch Class changes - Rogue
- Pre-patch Class changes - Paladin
- Pre-patch Class changes - Priest
- Pre-patch Class changes - Monk
- Pre-patch Class changes - Mage
- Pre-patch Class changes - Hunter
- Pre-patch Class changes - Druid