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BlizzCon > WoWNov 1, 2019 5:42 pm CT

The four Covenants of the Shadowlands are the new Class Halls

Sylvanas is bringing us all to the Shadowlands, whether we like it or not. There, we will have access to a new way to earn abilities, items, and cosmetic rewards: Covenants. In today’s What’s Next panel for World of Warcraft, Ion Hazzikostas revealed the first details about this new system.

The Covenants are the four ruling factions in the Shadowlands. As players, we will choose one of four to swear allegiance to. Each Covenant will offer a unique endgame questline like the War Campaign of the Horde and Alliance in Battle for Azeroth. Checking the math, yes, that means twice the number of major storylines.

In Shadowlands, we’ll increase our character’s power via the new Soulbind system. Ion said that the Warcraft team used the lessons learned from Artifacts and the Heart of Azeroth to design the Soulbind system, which he promises will have no endless grinding of points. The system will be tied into the four Covenants.

Each Covenant has a Sanctum that Ion described as a cross between Class Halls and Legion‘s Suramar experience. You will develop your Sanctum, complete quests to recruit allies, and add portals and other features.

Beyond Soulbinding, the Covenants offer a number of sweet rewards. Players can unlock two different active abilities. One is general to the Covenant, and one is unique to your class and Covenant combination. The angelic Kyrian Covenant, for example, unlocks Unburden, which gives you a movement speed increase, a slow fall, a short Fel Rush-esque leap forward, and a detection radius decrease all at once. Warriors who join the Kyrian will get Spear of Bastion, which launches an arcane spear, dealing damage, rooting enemies, and generating Rage.

Covenants will also give cosmetic rewards, including mounts, armor sets, and cloak replacements that are Covenant themed. The Kyrian cloak replacements give your character wings, halos, and similar angelic accoutrements.

All in all, Covenants make me a bit nervous. Players are weary of “disposable” expansion systems and this seems like yet another one. While the rewards seem quite cool, it will all depend on the details. Will there really be no grind? How will we unlock all of a Covenant’s rewards? Will the choice be irrevocable for each character, even after abilities get nerfed or buffed? There’s a lot to think about.

We’ll learn much more about Covenants in the WoW systems panel tomorrow.

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