World of Warcraft Shadowlands is upon us tonight as WoW turns 16 years old

Are you setting aside time to wait in the queue too?

    
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World of Warcraft Shadowlands is upon us tonight as WoW turns 16 years old

At long last – and I do mean long, since the expansion broke with modern tradition and actually saw a delay at almost the last minute earlier this fall – World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands expansion is finally launching today. Or tomorrow, depending on where on this planet you happen to be standing.

As anyone reading an MMORPG website surely already knows, Shadowlands is WoW’s 8th expansion; it introduces the five core zones of the Shadowlands (Bastion, Ardenweald, Maldraxxus, Revendreth, and The Maw), the new player hub (Oribos), the Covenant system and with its perks and sancta, the dynamic dungeon Torghast, and the new level cap, which dovetails perfectly with the new leveling squish and choose-your-own-campaign system that already made it into the game with the pre-patch (although do note the pre-patch events come to an end today). Don’t forget about the major character customizations that are live too!

Oh, and by the way: Shadowlands is launching on the literal anniversary of launch date for the game here in North America and Australia. Happy 16th birthday, WoW.

The expansion is set to roll out tonight at 6 p.m. EST and 3 p.m. PST, meaning it’ll be earlyish on the 24th for everyone further ahead in time than we are here. Check the chart so you know exactly when you can log in when you can get in the queue when you can start complaining on Twitter that the servers are busted.

The trailer, cinematics, and survival guides should keep you busy while you wait.

Here’s some of the big Shadowlands news and opinions from the last few months – it’s been quite a lot! If you haven’t played the new tutorial yet, give Justin’s hands-on a look, or you can theorize on the lore with us and check out all the things we’re excited about in the expansion.

Let us know… are you planning to play?

Leaderboard: Are you playing WoW Shadowlands?

  • Yes, and I've already been playing the pre-patch (36%, 63 Votes)
  • Yes, I'm jumping in at the launch (5%, 8 Votes)
  • Yes, but I'm not starting right away (8%, 14 Votes)
  • Maybe, I'm still seeing how it goes (13%, 23 Votes)
  • Nope, but I'm still playing WoW (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Nope, I'm not going back to WoW (29%, 50 Votes)
  • Nope, I've never played WoW and won't now either (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments) (0%, 0 Votes)
  • No response / view tally / newly customizable elf butts (2%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 173

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Update
Blizzard posted a bluename note on “a difference between the Shadowlands Beta and the live game that you’re going to experience” when it launches this afternoon:

“On your first character to explore the Shadowlands, you will not be able to queue for a Shadowlands dungeon if you haven’t yet restored access to that dungeon’s zone via the main quest campaign for that zone. For example, while Necrotic Wake will be available the moment you depart Oribos (when you first reach the Shadowlands), you’ll have to complete the Bastion campaign and reopen the way to Maldraxxus before you can queue for the Plaguefall dungeon. You’ll then later unlock Mists of Tirna Scithe and Halls of Atonement as you complete their associated campaigns. On subsequent characters, all dungeons can be made immediately available to you via the Threads of Fate system.”

Update
Have fun in the queues kids!

Update
Oh come on, you knew this wasn’t gonna go smoothly with everyone you know all trying to log in at the same time. “We’re aware of the log in issues, including characters not appearing,” Blizz CS wrote on the forums this evening. “They are being looked into.” The servers are expected to be offline in the morning too.

Update
Latest updates in the Tuesday morning thread!

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Bruno Brito

Nope, I’m not going back to WoW (30%, 49 Votes)

Proud member.

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Lonegun

I thought I was prepared, but I wasn’t… prepared to have fun. I am really liking this expansion so far. Of course I am taking my time to explore everything and enjoy the journey looking forward to the destination.

jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

What a buttery smooth launch. Almost 50 of us in guild tonight. Finally one of us hit 60 so I’m calling it a night. The tech behind this launch deserves merit. The launch happened seemlessly…unlike anything I’ve experienced in almost 20 years of playing mmorpgs.

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Darthbawl

There a new level cap and has anyone reached it yet? 🤣

quark1020
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quark1020

Don’t know. I’ll let you know as soon as it lets me log in XD

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Paragon Lost

I’m playing Classic off an on and didn’t buy Shadowlands. First expansion that I didn’t purchase before an expansion released. At this point and time I’m not planning on buying it at all.

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Loopy

Same. I’m watching the cutscenes online to catch up on the story, however i don’t have plans to play SL at this point.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Im playing it but Im not buying expansion. I missed so much content that I enjoy doing older expansions atm.

Justin Olivetti
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Justin Olivetti

Let’s do this.

my-body-is-ready.jpg
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SmiteDoctor

I’m playing WoW but I’m not starting the expansion right away, I have to work the next few nights, figure I’ll level another alt as well since with the linear story we’re going to be playing whack a mole with quest mobs/NPCs so better to miss the crowd by a week.

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Matthew Yetter

Right now I’m too busy with AC: Valhalla for anything else. Plus there are things like Cyberpunk 2077 and Immortals Fenix Rising in the pipeline.

I’ll probably be getting back to WoW for a little while at some point after the start of the year. Shadowlands looks interesting, but not enough to tempt me away from other things right now.