What to do in the hours leading up to the release of WoW’s latest expansion.
World of Warcraft’s latest expansion, Shadowlands, is set to launch globally on November 23 (or 24, depending on your location and timezone). If you’ve never been part of an expansion launch, you may be wondering what to expect and how best to prepare in the hours leading up to the release.
Now you’ve had plenty of time to get acquainted with the Shadowlands pre-patch, this guide looks ahead to what you should consider doing in the hours and days leading up to the launch itself.
WoW Shadowlands guide: 6 tips you help you prepare
Clear out your bags
If you’re anything like me, your bags are probably a mess. But when Shadowlands launches and you’re racing to level 60, the last thing you want to do is stop and waste time sorting out bag space when you could be questing.
You don’t need to get rid of it all forever—that’s what banks are for. But anything that’s been sat in your bags for the last two years ‘in case you might need it’ can probably be set aside, sold, or thrown onto the Auction House. And I’m sure you’ve all got one quest item you keep meaning to hand in, but haven’t quite got round to. Destroy it or bank it.
It’s amazing how much rubbish you pick up over the course of an expansion. You may be guilty of throwing random trash into your bank to hurriedly make space in your bags. If that’s you, now is a great time to sort through it all and decide what’s worth hanging on to and what can go.
Don’t forget to sort through your Reagent bank too. If it’s full of Battle for Azeroth mats and the like, you’ll need that valuable space for the loot you acquire in Shadowlands. It’s fine if you don’t want to bin it all, but it’s worth looking to see if you can free up some room.
Update your addons
This is a no-brainer, but you should make sure all your WoW addons are updated for the Shadowlands launch. Thanks to a recent change introduced with the pre-patch, you no longer need to restart the game to update addons. A simple ‘/reload’ does the job now. Nonetheless, it would be silly to expose yourself to potential crashes or errors, given the challenge logging into the game on launch night might pose.
Make sure any wireless peripherals are fully charged
If you favour a wireless keyboard, mouse, or headset, make sure they are fully charged before embarking on your journey into Shadowlands. Sure, it may only require plugging in a cable to get them working again, but you don’t want to be knee-deep in quest mobs when your keyboard decides to call it quits for the night.
If you live in Europe, Shadowlands launches at 12am on November 24—that’s 11pm on November 23 for anyone in the UK—so you’ll want to ensure you can stay awake long enough to see at least one of the new zones. Levelling into the wee hours of the morning might see you flagging, so if you’ve arranged time off to play, consider a pre-launch snooze.
The timing of the Shadowlands launch might be less obnoxious if you live in the US, but that doesn’t mean you won’t also be levelling into the small hours of the morning. A quick nap earlier in the day could prevent you from cutting short your play time.
Log in early
If the previous expansion releases are anything to go by, you should expect massive queues to log into the game on launch day and up to a week afterwards at peak times. You might get off lightly if you play on a low-population server, but you should plan for some queue time nonetheless.
The only way to get around this is to log in at least a couple of hours before Shadowlands is set to launch (though the earlier you can get on, the better). The starting quest for Shadowlands will be pushed to the live game without a server shutdown or any other disruption, so there’s no reason to wait.
The starting quest for Shadowlands will send you to your faction’s capital city. So if you can’t log in early, make sure you at least log out in Orgrimmar (Horde) or Stormwind City (Alliance) to bypass an additional loading screen.