World of Warcraft: Shadowlands review-in-progress

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands review-in-progress

The complex, interlocking progression systems in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands sometimes captivate me. Now that I’m level 60, I’m chipping away at leveling up my Covenant’s headquarters, renovating a ballroom so I can host posh vampire parties, or a machine that blasts an area with special energy, creating new monsters and quests to kill for loot. All the while, I’m beating the usual mix of dungeons and world quests, while occasionally exploring Shadowlands’ fantastic new roguelike dungeon, called Torghast, earning wild new abilities that make me obscenely powerful, but only within the confines of the dungeon itself. It’s one of the most ambitious endgames World of Warcraft has ever had, and it’s easy to get swept up in it.

And then there are moments where I step back and see Shadowlands as nothing but another World of Warcraft checklist, an endless treadmill of mostly brainless tasks. Run here, kill this, run there, loot that. Push this button 40 times over the next week to receive a treat that’ll eventually be replaced by a slightly different treat with slightly better ingredients. It all feels a little pointless—especially when World of Warcraft’s gradual shift toward emphasizing playing solo means I can’t even say the real Shadowlands were the friends I met along the way.

Highway to hell 

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