WoW's Shadowlands Expansion Gives You A Very Big Decision To Make

WoW game director Ion Hazzikostas speaks to GameSpot about the new Covenant feature for the Shadowlands expansion.

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Among other things, World of Warcraft's upcoming Shadowlands expansion introduces a new feature called Covenants. Players can choose to align themselves with one of four Covenants, which are "mysterious sects" that are each after their own path inside the Shadowlands.

In a new interview with GameSpot, WoW game director Ion Hazzikostas shared more insight on the Covenant system and how he believes it provides players with the biggest choice they've had to make since creating their character at the start of the game. Hazzikostas mentioned that the Covenant system borrows elements from WoW's previous expansions to create something new and special.

"The Covenant system draws upon lessons learned and features from a number of different expansions. There's an element of the Garrisons from Warlords of Draenor expansion, these bases you can build up and customize; there are elements of artifact weapons from Legion and the customziation and the talent trees that each of the weapons had as you could power them up and wield," Hazzikostas said. "There are elements of Battle for Azeroth war campaign that was Alliance or Horde each having a separate max-level story."

In Shadowlands, players will learn about the four superpowers of the Shadowlands--Night Fae, Necrolord, Kyrian, and Venthyr. With all the knowledge you've assembled on your way to the new level cap of 60, you'll then make a big choice of aligning with one of them.

"I think [this is] is probably the single biggest choice, and the most exciting choice, that any player has ever had in World of Warcraft, going all the way back to the choice you had when you made your first character and picked which class you wanted to be and what faction you wanted to join," Hazzikostas said.

"When you hit max level, you'll have learned about the four superpowers of the Shadowlands. What their ethos is, the aesthetic that motivates them, and what powers they have to offer you," Hazzikostas said. "And you'll pick what excites you most. And that will create and shape a lens through which you will see the rest of your journey through the shadowlands. And that means everything that WoW entails--everything from power progression to unlocking cosmetics to a hopefully compelling story."

Once you choose a Covenant, you're granted access to their sanctum, a place where you can take on new quests as part of a new campaign that introduces another narrative to the MMO. Each Covenant class also has unique abilities, an exclusive mount, and specific appearance items.

Shadowlands is due for release later this year, despite some challenges related to COVID-19 and the new work-from-home setup that Blizzard is working under. It was also recently confirmed that Blizzard will stop charging players to change gender with the new expansion.

Here are some more insights from GameSpot's own interviews with World of Warcraft game director Ion Hazzikostas.

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