You’ve heard it from the World of Warcraft development team over and over: Anima for your covenants in Shadowlands will not be a grind. A recent interview with production director Patrick Dawson goes into even more detail on this point, explaining that the team is working hard to move away from anything that feels like it might be a grind. Indeed, the process as outlined in another interview with game director Ion Hazzikostas sounds more akin to upgrading the current legendary cloak, with two potential weekly sources of anima and more available through regular play if you’re below the cap.
The Dawson interview also notes that Soulbinds are meant to both provide a unique flavor to reinforce Covenants beyond the pair of active abilities and provide some extra punch in terms of player power. Hazzikostas also pointedly notes that despite rumors, the “timey-wimey” talk about the Shadowlands isn’t indicative of any sort of time skip, meaning that it’s more about perception than anything. If you’ve missed one or both interviews, now’s a good time to get caught up.