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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion is confirmed and coming next year

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is happening, and it's all because Sylvanas doesn't believe the Lich King was fit to rule. Both cinematic and gameplay trailers for Shadowlands dropped during BlizzCon, outlining the events that are leading us into the afterlife and what to expect once we get there.

Sylvanas narrates the trailer, and laments the rule of the Lich King, who she believes is a "usurper." "No king rules forever," she warns before attacking the Lich King, who rises from his throne with glowing red eyes that quickly change to an icy blue. As the two battle, the Lich King uses the environment around him against Sylvanas, but the Banshee Queen gets the best of him and takes his crown and power for herself. "That power will be your prison," the former king warns. "This world is a prison. And I will set us all free," Sylvanas declares as a portal to the afterlife widens above Icecrown Citadel.

The Features Overview trailer, also revealed at BlizzCon, gives a look into what you can expect in terms of gameplay when Shadowlands arrives next year, introducing four new zones: Revendreth, Ardenweald, Maldraxxus, and Bastion. We also see what it'll look like when we're asked to pledge faith to one of the Covenants that rule each zone. 

Detailed by game director Ion Hazzikostas at BlizzCon, Revendreth is "a land of Gothic spires and dark secrets" ruled by the Covenant Venthyr, Ardenweald is an "enchanted mystical forest" which lives under the rule of Night Fae, Maldraxxus serves as a stronghold for the Shadowland's military might under Necrolord, and Bastion is for the "ordered and purposeful" who look to "shed past burdens and seek virtue," looked over by Kyrian.

The Covenant you choose will set you on your way through a distinct campaign complete with unique abilities, so choose carefully where you assign your allegiance. The expansion also sets a new level cap at 60, seeing currently maxed-out players into the new undead world at level 50.

See where World of Warcraft currently ranks on our list of the best MMORPGs to play in 2019. 

Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.