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BlizzCon > WoWNov 2, 2019 4:23 pm CT

Tyrande will play a significant role in Ardenweald’s story — and what is Elune’s role?

Yesterday, Blizzard Watch had the honor of sitting in on two World of Warcraft interviews — one with Production Director Patrick Dawson and Senior Exterior Level Designer Sarah Boulian-Verrall and the other with Lead Game Designer Morgan Day and Game Producer Shani Edwards. During our interviews, we learned a bit more about the systems, features, and story of the upcoming Shadowlands expansion. One of those story bits involved everyone’s favorite — and currently MIA — Night Warrior, Tyrande.

When asking about returning characters and plot threads, Shani specifically wanted to bring up Tyrande. Obviously, she couldn’t say a whole lot, but it definitely sounds like those disappointed in her lack of vengeance or prominence in Battle for Azeroth’s story will be in for a treat in Shadowlands:

 “We’re gonna learn more about Tyrande’s story. Obviously, she is still very upset about what happened to her people. That’s going to lead her to Ardenweald. She’s gonna get some answers to some questions, and there’s gonna be some stuff coming with her that’s too spoiler-y to talk about but there’s more Tyrande…. All I can say is she has a pretty big story moment in Ardenweald. Very big role also.”

“Are we gonna learn more about Elune while we’re there?”

Morgan: “That’s well into spoiler territory!”

Shani: “Can’t [talk about that]!”

Look, y’all, I tried. But they were clearly well trained in how to react should someone ask about Elune. Of course, tantalizing glimpses at story weren’t the only things we discussed in the interview. Read on for the rest.

Shani and Morgan on weekly Mythic+ chests

To help avoid the disappointment that comes with waiting a whole week just to get a piece of gear that you end up scrapping, the team is working on a system that will allow you to choose from a set number of rewards. In their example, opening a weekly chest would offer something like three gear rewards and a currency to choose from. Ideally, the three options help ensure one of the choices is an upgrade, and the currency is there as a backup just in case (or if you’re far enough into the season that you have everything you need). To me, it sounded almost exactly like choosing rewards after completing a quest — a system which isn’t as prevalent as before, but is all over WoW Classic.

Leveling in Shadowlands will be linear — but just the first time

Going back to the Warlords model of leveling, your first time from 50 to 60 will have to be done linearly. There’s a story to tell with Shadowlands, and it’s told in a specific order. However, unlike Warlords, completing the main story and leveling to 60 will allow your alts to level through Shadowlands in whichever zone order you choose.

And yes, this does mean that everyone is going to be funneled into the same zone at the start of the expansion. They were confident the engineering team would be able to handle the server stress thanks to the strides their tech has made over the past several years.

What are some of the new customization options available? And will Allied Races receive any?

Right now, Allied Races aren’t getting any new customization options (understandably so). However, the team talked about how Forsaken will finally be able to cover their bones if they want and that doing so will mean armor no longer has a break at the elbow or knees! Another exciting customization option being added is tattoos and other features that will allow Dwarves to appear as part of the Wildhammer clan.

Many of the interviewees are most excited for Torghast!

As we’ve covered here, Torghast is a roguelike dungeon with loot and story galore. And considering it’s a combination and evolution of several systems we’ve seen before — the Mage Tower, Chromie’s scenario, the upcoming Horrific Visions, etc. — it’s not too surprising many of the developers are excited to see how it plays out.

But they did make it clear that this tower/dungeon is not intended as a Final Fantasy XIV-like Palace of the Dead. It’s a max-level experience designed to reward players with phat loots. But part of the iterating on old systems involved adding dozens (if not hundreds) of temporary abilities that players will be able to enjoy (and be incredibly strong with) as they move through the dungeon. It’s hard to put into writing just how excited the devs seemed for Torghast.

Another aspect of the dungeon they were excited about was that running it will help you get closer to the legendary you want. Yes, Legion legendaries are making a return, but with less randomness and more work towards the one you have your eye on. It’s a shame it’s not available for testing, because they managed to get me incredibly hyped for it!

Are tier sets returning?

They have nothing to say at the moment. That said, Morgan seemed interested in picking my brain about why exactly I liked the idea of tier sets (set bonuses? power? looks?). And even though other outlets have reported that tier sets aren’t returning, it felt like it might not be off the table.

And that just about covers it! For more Shadowlands and BlizzCon 2019 coverage, be sure to keep an eye on the site.

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