World of Warcraft’s next epic expansion, Shadowlands, was supposed to be released in just a few weeks (October 27), but that’s no longer happening. Executive Producer John Hight announced earlier this week that the update would be delayed to an unspecified date later this year.
We’re guessing that the expansion should be out by late November or early December, but those of you who have already preordered and are mad about the delay can request a refund by hitting up Blizzard’s support team. As some users on r/wow have pointed out, the developer has to do this or risk getting sued in certain countries.
“I wanted to let you know that we’re delaying the release of Shadowlands to later this year—and while we’re still in the process of determining the right new date to launch, we felt it was important to let you know about this change in plans as soon as we could,” wrote Hight. “This was an incredibly difficult decision for the team, as we’re as eager to get the expansion into your hands as you are to play it—but ultimately, we feel it’s the right decision for the game—and for our players.”
“…as everything started coming together and we’ve been listening to and building upon your feedback, it’s become clear we need a little more time for additional polish, and to balance and iterate on some interlocking pieces—particularly those related to the endgame,” he explained. “Shadowlands is one of the most intricate expansions we’ve yet created, and while we’ve made great progress, the challenge of tuning the endgame was compounded by the team having to work from home.”
Hight did provide a date on when the pre-patch would be out, however. This is essentially a transitional update that preps the game and servers for whatever changes an expansion is set to introduce.
“In the meantime, we’re excited to announce that beginning October 13 we will be releasing the Shadowlands pre-patch, which lays a lot of the groundwork for the expansion and includes our revamped character leveling, new-player experience on Exile’s Reach, and a host of new character customization options,” Hight revealed. “And once we get closer to Shadowlands’ release, you’ll be called upon to defend Azeroth against a resurgence of the Scourge during our pre-launch event.”
Releasing later this year (presumably), Shadowlands will take players to the realm of the departed following Lady Sylvanas Windrunner’s splitting of the Helm of Domination – the crown popularly worn by the Lich King. The expansion features five new zones (i.e., Bastion, Ardenweald, Maldraxxus, Revendreth, The Maw), as well as a new player hub: Oribos, the eternal city.