Looking for some tips for WoW Shadowlands? There's a lot to learn with the inevitable new zones, hubs, and systems that mark the launch of any new World of Warcraft expansion. And Shadowlands, in particular, has much more to get your head around with the introduction of the level squish and the overhaul of most core class abilities.
You won't need to worry about most of the new systems, such as WoW Covenants (opens in new tab) and WoW Shadowlands legendary crafting (opens in new tab), until you reach level 60. But with so much change afoot, you may be struggling to know where to start as you journey into the afterlife for the first time. Fear not, champion—this WoW Shadowlands guide has some great tips to get you started on your new adventure.
WoW Shadowlands guide: Don't skip the side areas
Blizzard has rebalanced levelling XP for Shadowlands repeatedly, to the point where you can get to level 60 doing relatively few side quests. Indeed, if you’re Alliance and willing to risk war mode, you may not need any at all. But this doesn’t mean you should give up on all those non-campaign quest hubs. They’re worth doing, whether it’s before or after you’ve hit 60 and finished the campaign.
Side quests offer reputation with the faction in that zone. Some also unlock world quests, increasing the rewards available to you at maximum level. Depending on your gear level and the zone, several offer key upgrades, while most of the mount, pet, toy and 'fun' item rewards come from side quest chains.
At level 60, focus on finishing endgame quests
Many of the game’s key features don’t unlock until you complete the related quests. This includes collecting Soul Ash from the endless dungeon Torghast, used create legendary items, alongside upgrading your Covenant Sanctum home base. This means for most players, completing all quests you get in your Sanctum, Oribos or from Ven’ari in the Maw take priority when you hit 60, as they’ll unlock content that you want to progress in.
It’s tempting to jump into that more grindy content right away, tooling around the Maw or Torghast running dungeons and the like. But in some cases, unlocking these quests will get you more-lucrative rewards from those activities.
Stock up on Goblin Gliders
Shadowlands’ zones vary greatly in height. Two in particular—the angelic planes of Bastion and the gothic vampire spires of Revendreth—can be frustrating to navigate if you have to find a way down every time.
If you don’t have the ability to throw yourself off tall places and live, it’s worth investing in a giant pile of gliders so you can soar from one destination to the next. As a bonus, the views of the landscapes are lovely, and you may find that you can get directly where you need to go, traveling a chunk of the zone on a single glider.
Do level professions, but don’t stress about them
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When you first hit Oribos as part of questing, it’s worth training in the next ranks of your professions. But don’t worry too much about using them. If you have a gathering profession, definitely hop on those herbs or ores as you pass them. But if you need the gold, you might consider selling those supplies rather than using them to level up. Prices are never higher on raw materials than at the start of an expansion.
For the rest of your professions, hang onto the raw materials, but don’t obsess too much about farming them. There are so many upgrades available when you first hit maximum level that you’ll get more bang for your buck elsewhere for personal upgrades.
When you do level your crafting skills, your priority should be making the ‘base’ legendary items others will use to upgrade, or the supplies used for those base items. This will be a steady source of income for most crafters.
Pick up some Inky Black potions
In case you’ve never tried them, Inky Black potions are a revelation. Purchased from the vendor at the monthly Darkmoon Faire, they apply a weather effect that turns off all ambient natural lighting. This leaves behind the special lighting effects Blizzard puts into landscapes, such as torches and lanterns, but it also retrains the lighting highlights that add depth to every scene.
Shadowlands’ zones look particularly amazing with Inky Black potions up. The Maw looks stunning when the lights are turned off, while Bastion turns into a starry world of streaming anima and glowing creatures. Revendreth amps up its vampire vibe (after all, its residents do love the dark).
Pick one thing, work on it, move on
As a new expansion, Shadowlands is stuffed with activities, both for while you’re levelling and when you hit 60. It’s hard to know what to do first, but don’t worry. Unless you’re a high-end progression raider, there is little you’ll miss out on if you don’t do it immediately. Pick something you like, work on that for a bit, then move on.
Most importantly, take the time to relax and enjoy whatever it is you’re doing. There are daily quests, called Callings, from your Covenant Sanctum, and you’ll want to run Torghast weekly to collect Soul Ash for your legendary items. If you want to kick up your preparations, do the ongoing quests from your Sanctum, the Maw and Oribos.
Re-learn your class
Shadowlands reintroduced a pile of abilities for all classes and specializations, some of which may affect your experience more than others. If you didn’t play much during the pre-patch, these will be relatively new to you. In addition, many classes feel very different to play at the start of an expansion than they do at the end, thanks to the drastically reduced player power as you’re first levelling up.
The solution is to educate yourself. That means visiting your class’ community Discord server and asking friends for recommendations for sites that are great for your class and specialization (even if your friend is Google.) It’s worth taking this time, when we all hit like kittens, to relearn things you thought you knew about your character.