Wowhead Analyzes First Preview Of New World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands Zone, Ardenweald

Wowhead Analyzes First Preview Of New World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands Zone, Ardenweald
Credit: World of Warcraft via YouTube

As datamining efforts continue, Wowhead has compiled a list of the reveals Blizzard gave earlier on one of the new zones in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. This zone, Ardenweald, is one of the four that adventurers will travel through in their time in the Shadowlands.

Each zone has its own theme, some much darker than others. While zones like Revendreth are based in unholy and vampiric themes, Ardenweald is heavily influenced by the Fae, and serves as a font of nature.

The primary inhabitants of Ardenweald are Sylvan-esque creatures like Fauns, Sylvar, Vorkal, and Faeries. There’s a heavy connection here with spiritual druidism, leading many to wonder about potential lore connections to the Emerald Dream.

“The ethereal umbral forests of Ardenweald are where wild spirits return after their time on the mortal plane comes to an end so that they can again be reborn,” Wowhead writes in their analysis of the new zone. “However, this lush afterlife paradise has suffered greatly from the mysterious anima drought plaguing the Shadowlands.”

It seems that one of the primary goals of the adventurers that the players lead through the upcoming expansion will be to help restore the Shadowlands, which have been heavily affected by a still-unknown force.

While the cause of the catastrophe remains unconfirmed, much of the fan base assumes that the issue causing the Anima drought is likely caused by the now-renegade Sylvanas Windrunner. Given that she quite literally shattered the barrier between the material plane of Azeroth and the Shadowlands, it’s a good assumption that repercussions are reaching farther than we thought.

While players work to restore the stream of Anima and help the inhabitants of Ardenweald, they’ll travel through a zone similar in atmosphere to Warlords of Draenor‘s Shadowmoon Valley. The link provided above shows a full album of screenshots that invoke the same tranquil aesthetic.

In the Ardenweald, death and reincarnation are part of an inherent cycle. Nature grows and dies to be reborn again, just as the Fae spirits that inhabit the realm do.

However, with the Anima that fuels the cycle now having fallen away, that cycle of reincarnation is being thrown awry. Instead, the quasi-immortal inhabitants that die are staying dead as the Ardenweald itself slowly rots away.

We still don’t have a confirmed release date for the Shadowlands expansion, but Wowhead is doing us all a favor with their datamining to provide us with sneak peaks to tide us over through the content drought. As the expansion grows ever closer, expect to see more reveals of the hauntingly beautiful zones of the Shadowlands.