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WoW: Shadowlands’ big endgame zone is a blasted hellscape with GTA-style wanted levels

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World of Warcraft’s endgame zones just keep getting weirder and weirder. In Legion, for example, Suramar was a resplendent elven metropolis that players had to sneak around, hiding in barrels and avoiding guard patrols like Ezio in Assassin’s Creed. In Battle for Azeroth, one of the endgame areas was a giant trash pile populated by cyborg gnomes. And in Shadowlands, players will venture into The Maw, a nightmarish hell where wayward souls are sent for eternal torture by a bare-footed monster known as The Jailer, and it’s up to us to save them. Make too much of a ruckus, however, and a GTA-style wanted level goes up—only instead of cops coming for you, it’s a hitsquad of demon assassins.

In The Maw, I’m having to think twice before pouncing on an enemy. I love it.

Aside from devil-is-in-the-details concerns over the big choices level 60 players need to make, Shadowlands is looking very exciting. This week I got the chance to play another big piece of the endgame puzzle that Blizzard is slowly putting out on Shadowlands’ test servers: The Maw. It’s the fifth zone in Shadowlands, where players will spend a good chunk of time when they aren’t in raids or Torghast, the enormous roguelike dungeon that towers over it. Like Mechagon from Battle for Azeroth, The Maw is a big open sandbox with precious few markers telling you where to go. I’d say it’s an exciting place to explore if literally everything there wasn’t constantly trying to kill me.

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