For folks who celebrate Thanksgiving in the U.S., the matter of what people will do over the holiday weekend is a complicated one this year. The pandemic means extended family gatherings (should) be a no-go and the maddening rush of Black Friday shopping is sure to be diminished this year. Perhaps you'll be chugging through some new World of Warcraft content?
After announcing a delay to "late 2020" at the start of the month, Blizzard's Executive Producer on WoW John Hight has just set a new launch date for the Shadowlands expansion: Monday, Nov. 23.
Set to go live globally at 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET, that'll give Shadowlands a couple days of buffer time before—here's hoping—many Blizzard developers and support staff get to take a long weekend off for the holiday.
When announcing the sudden delay on Oct. 1, Hight emphasized that the bulk of the expansion was "essentially ready to share" but that the extra time being taken on its development would be largely devoted to tuning endgame content. Hight also pointed to the challenges of executing that work remotely due to the pandemic as a reason for the delay.
Now, in his new statement released today, Hight says Blizzard has "used the time to further polish the expansion and shore up the endgame, including overhauling the combat and rewards in the Maw[.]" For an in-depth look at the sorts of activities that await players in Blizzard's now re-tuned endgame, be sure to read Reviews Editor Mike Williams' preview from back in July.
The delay also means that the dates for the pre-launch event for Shadowlands and its raid debut have shifted accordingly. WoW players can expect the pre-Shadowlands event to begin on Nov. 10, and they'll have about two weeks after the expansion's launch to get ready for the opening of the Castle Nathria raid on Dec. 8.
Already, as part of the new game-wide Shadowlands feature patch released two weeks ago, WoW players can now enjoy some greatly expanded and diverse character creation options. Blizzard is also dropping the longstanding $15 fee for changing a character's gender.