World of Warcraft: Shadowlands in-game screenshot of the Night Fae Covenant

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

[Update]: Blizzard has announced a variety of major changes coming to the Shaman class with Shadowlands.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will be coming at some point later this year, bringing with it a variety of new zones to explore, four of which will be themed after their respective Covenants. One of these new zones will be the ethereal forest of Ardenweald, the home of the Night Fae Covenant and a sacred place where wild spirits return after their time on the mortal plane has come to an end.

The Winter Queen leads the Night Fae Covenant and personally oversees the great cycle of rebirth, and as the land before her flourishes, so does she. Unfortunately, the anima drought caused by Sylvanas' meddling has taken a heavy toll on her power and forced her to abandon many of the sacred groves, as well as the spirits that dwelled within them. As you might imagine, it'll be up to us as the players to restore the balance, figure out what in the world is happening, and potentially even join the Night Fae Covenant by the end of it.

That last decision is likely to be quite a popular one as some of the Night Fae abilities revealed so far are incredibly useful, especially for slow classes like Paladins and Death Knights. For example, Soulshape will transform you into a Vulpin which greatly increases your movement speed for a short time, as well as gives you the ability to teleport a short distance forward - perfect for pretty much any sort of end-game content!

There will also be additional abilities, mount, cosmetic armor sets, and even a brand new back piece to toy around with should you decide to join up. While I'm personally not a fan of the cloth or leather armor sets, the wooden 'plate' set looks pretty darn enticing right about now!

You can check it out, as well as read more about the Ardenweald zone and Night Fae Covenant, over at the official website. Enjoy!