The Mission Table gets a much-needed glow up in Shadowlands, and it looks like an Auto Battler
The Mission Table has been a staple of the past three expansions of World of Warcraft, with much the same gameplay since Warlords of Draenor — recruit followers, send followers to go get stuff for a couple hours, collect loot. In Shadowlands, the classic mission table gets a overhaul with a new Adventures system. Instead of just sending out your followers and twiddling your thumbs until they return, you’ll get to play out their mission in a gameplay system reminiscent of the Auto Battler genre.
First announced by Ion Hazzikostas and now explained further in this new developer blog, the followers you typically amass during your journeys will still have unique abilities, and those followers will be closely linked to the Covenant you choose. Your followers will use their abilities to attack mobs on the battlefield, hopefully successfully completing the mission as they do so. Ion said that this system is intended to be played in a short time period, for people who don’t have a ton of time to log in every day, much like the previous incarnations.
On the surface, Adventures seems like a much simpler version of Auto Battler games like Riot’s Teamfight Tactics. In those games, your champion’s positioning, skills, and levels all matter, but you have a whole battlefield to play around with. In the samples we were shown, some of our followers may heal, while others seem to have special offensive DPS abilities. However, the playing field is rather limited, using slots rather than a full field to play around with. The slots will determine much about which characters take the brunt of an opposing attack, for instance, but once they’re placed there’s not much you can do but watch the battle play out. The end result seems like an improvement on the old Mission Table, but in practice it plays like you’re really just trading the “do I have a unit that counters X ability” minigame for a positioning puzzle minigame.
There’s another thing that’s similar to games like Teamfight Tactics, which is a much-missed feature from the Warlords version of the Mission Table — you can play this on the upcoming revamped mobile companion app. The new Adventures system is available to test now in the Shadowlands beta, but there’s still no ETA for the mobile companion app update.
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