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Blizzard unveiled the trailer for the new World of Warcraft: Shadowlands trailer at BlizzCon 2019. The World of Warcraft: Shadowlands trailer shows Sylvanas Windrunner returning to the current Lich King, Bolvar Fordragon, and tearing his helmet in two. This creates a massive energy blast, opening up a rift into the titular Shadowlands, which is the Warcraft universe’s afterlife dimension.
The rift forms directly above the Icecrown castle, and a spire similar to Icecrown’s comes down out of the portal, seemingly indicating that the Shadowlands are a sort of parallel to Azeroth in some way. Sylvanas tells Bolvar that, by opening up the rift, she plans to somehow free Azeroth’s citizens from the “prison” that is their current lives.
Blizzard also revealed a gameplay trailer for the expansion, which showed off several new, varied zones in the Shadowlands. It looks like the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will take players to different realms of the afterlife, where angels, demons, vampires, and more dwell. Blizzard said onstage that the expansion will emphasize player choice, allowing players to choose from new factions called “covenants,” siding with the trailer’s vampires, the Valkyr, or another faction to earn unique armor sets. As with every new expansion, there will also be new raids and dungeons for players to explore.
The trailer also shows Sylvanas standing before some large, chained-up being in the Shadowlands and transforming into a wraith-like being, so it appears she will be one of the expansion’s main antagonists. And between the large being’s chains, the spectral chains Sylvanas uses to bind up Bolvar in the cinematic, and Sylvanas’ comment about the world being a prison, it seems imprisonment will be a major motif in the expansion’s story.
Blizzard said it would reveal more about the changes coming in the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion during a BlizzCon panel later this afternoon. The expansion is set to launch sometime in 2020. Although Blizzard did not give a specific date, it did say the expansion is available for pre-purchase today.