World of Warcraft: Shadowlands artwork for the vampire faction

[Update #2]: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Beta is coming next week, while the full release is set to arrive in Fall

[Update]: Shadowlands' latest preview is all about the Ardenweald zone and Night Fae Covenant.

In a recent conference call, Activision Blizzard has confirmed that World of Warcraft's Shadowlands expansion is on track to release in Q4 of 2020, despite the pandemic slowing things down a bit. The exact release date still remains a mystery, though it's highly likely that Shadowlands will be arriving during the holiday season.

When it comes to fresh content, the Shadowlands expansion will bring with it a brand new set of zones to explore, as well as four Covenants that will offer loyal players a variety of new abilities and cosmetics to toy around with. There will also be an endless and ever-changing dungeon in the shape of Thorgast, the Tower of the Damned. You'll be able to delve through its halls either solo or in a group, but regardless of your choice, there will be plenty of tricky enemies to face off against, bosses to test your skills, as well as even more powerful (but Thorgast limited) abilities to uncover and experiment with.

Before Shadowlands even arrives, however, there will be a pre-expansion patch that adds numeroues new features to Battle for Azeroth. Most importantly, the pre-patch will bring back an assortment of classic abilities to spice up most of the classes, and add a brand new leveling system that is not only significantly faster, but far less restrictive in terms of where you can quest and for how long.

Much like the Shadowlands expansion itself, no release date for the pre-patch has been given so far, but if you're willing to believe rumors, it might land at some point in July. The logic is that Blizzard might want to tie the pre-expansion patch with the July 14th release date of the Shadowlands Prequel novel "Shadows Rising." Personally, I think that's a little bit too soon, especially given how the main purpose of the pre-patch is to get everyone hyped up for the expansion's imminent release.

What I can say for certain, however, is that some of the Shadowlands previews released so far have been quite interesting, so if you're curious, you might want to check them out. Enjoy, and once the actual release date gets announced, I'll make sure to let you know.