Can you believe it? World of Warcraft’s eighth expansion, Shadowlands is right around the corner and it is time to go where the franchise has never been before. As we step through the veil that separates our world from the countless realms of Death, we will learn a lot more about great cycles and cosmic machinery that most of us never even gave a second thought to.
But before I get into the implications of learning about what lies beyond dying and how that puts our lives into perspective, let’s talk about shiny boxes! Blizzard’s collectors editions are often some of the nicest boxes in the business and for Shadowlands they went all out. Besides the normal embossed treatment, the box itself has a holographic foil to it, similar to what you would see on rare trading cards. The box shows the break in the sky above Icecrown, with anima around the borders.
The same is on the back of the box, but with the symbol of The Jailer instead of the expansion’s logo. You can see how the embossing continues on the bottom side of the box.
The reason for the box being so massive (besides matching previous CEs on your shelf) is a hefty 200-page artbook full of concept art of the various places we will visit in the Shadowlands. If you read any of the Shadowlands deep dives from earlier this year (Bastion, Ardenweald, Maldraxxus, Revendreth) you might recognise some of the art from Matthew McKeown, Brian Youn, Laurent Pierlot, Ashleigh Warner and many more inside.
Everything from weapons to props, how the various back accotrements were designed, zone art, building scale and shape studies and more are in the many pages of this book.
The collector’s edition contains a code for the game, a mouse pad and metal pins of the four covenants. As an avid pin collector, I was surprised at how much effort went into these pins, with full 3D shape to showcase the various designs on some of them, rather than the flat versions that they could have made instead.
This isn’t part of the collectors, but Blizzard sent me a postcard with five large bookmarks, one for each zone. The bookmarks are those holographic style pieces that show you something slightly different depending on where you view them from. Four of them show a zone, a covenant symbol and an creature or NPC from each place (Bastion gets a Steward, because obviously), with the fifth showing The Maw and The Jailer.
Now to wait for next week, where I might be awfully ill on Wednesday.