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'World of Warcraft' update: Blizzard explains move to reduce levels in 'Shadowlands' expansion

From the “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” cinematic trailer | Photo credit: World of Warcraft channel/YouTube screenshot

“World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” was one of the biggest announcements at the recently held BlizzCon 2019 last weekend. Like most fans have already anticipated, it is the game’s eighth expansion. But aside from the new gameplay plot, zones, and other content, the expansion will also introduce an all-new leveling system.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands’ gameplay: Blizzard announces ‘level squish’ mechanism with the new expansion

The launch of “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” will also mark the arrival of a new leveling system in the modern title. The current highest level in the game is 120, and the new leveling scheme will cut that down in half.

New players will all begin at the new starting zone called the Exile’s Reach. They will be staying there until they reach level 10. While in Exile’s Reach, they will complete tasks that would also allow them to learn the basics of the game.

“World of Warcraft” lead gameplay engineer Patrick Magruder told Eurogamer that the level 1-10 quest will conclude in a dungeon-like activity. This way, new players will get enough experience through the first 10 levels to understand the basics of the modern title well.

New players will spend levels 11-50 in the “Battle for Azeroth” expansion. On the other hand, players with more knowledge and experience on the “World of Warcraft” can choose to proceed on the Classic gameplay or other expansions. Once they reach level 50, all players will move to the “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” expansion.

Developers explained that they are not squeezing all contents and activities of the 120 levels into 60 levels. Magruder said it will take 60 to 70 percent less time to level up from 1 through 50. But each step is promised to be filled with new abilities and new contents so players will always have something to look forward to level up.

World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands’ release date: New expansion set for 2020 launch

Fans will have to wait for months, possibly a year, before seeing “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” go live. Blizzard announced that the expansion will go live sometime in 2020, but a more specific release date window has not been revealed yet.

By Jess Ferrera
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