Wow Shadowlands VenthyrSource: Blizzard Entertainment

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands releases this fall, taking players into the realms of the dead. Once you've finished leveling up, you'll have the chance to join one of the four factions that rule the Shadowlands.

This is a choice akin to which faction of Shattrath to work within World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. While you'll be able to change your mind, it won't be particularly easy to swap around. Once you choose, you'll unlock a unique campaign similar to what players experienced based on their class in World of Warcraft: Legion. We've put together guides to each of the Covenants to make your choice easier:

  • Kyrian: Shepherds of the dead who dedicate themselves to self improvement.
  • Necrolords: Warlike necromancers responsible for defending the Shadowlands.
  • Night Fae: Caretakers of the souls of loa, ancients, and nature spirits who prepare them for rebirth.
  • Venthyr: Noble vampires who rehabilitate wicked souls.

Membership benefits

Wow Shadowlands KyrianSource: Blizzard Entertainment

Joining a Covenant will give you a thematic special ability that augments your class powers. Each Covenant also has a signature utility ability given to all members regardless of their class. You'll get to preview the effects of these abilities as you level up.

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You'll also get the opportunity to Soulbind with three members of your Covenant, forging a close relationship that will allow them to lend you powers that will enhance both your Covenant and class abilities. You'll gain access to more of these buffs as you increase your Renown within the Covenant.

Prove your worth

Wow Shadowlands NecrolordsSource: Blizzard Entertainment

Rather than the usual reputation grind, the endgame of Shadowlands will focus on upping your Renown with your chosen Covenant. Each week, you'll have the opportunity to complete two quests that will up your Renown level. One has you venture into the endgame zone The Maw and rescue souls that belong to your Covenant while the other asks you to gather a set amount of anima, the precious resource that powers just about everything in Shadowlands. You will also earn Renown as you work through the Covenant campaign.

While the goal is to earn Renown steadily as you play, the developers are making it easier for you to catch up if you take some time away from the game or are splitting your attention between multiple characters. You'll gain additional Renown from completing endgame dungeons, raids, and PvP battles until you reach the game's current maximum level.

Increasing your Renown will raise the item level of equipment you earn from World Quests. It will also give you access to legendary recipes within the rougelike dungeon Torghast and Coventant-specific cosmetic items including tranmogs, mounts, and pets. It's also key to improving your Covenant's sanctum.

Home sweet home

Wow Shadowlands ConservatorySource: Blizzard Entertainment

Your Covenant choice will determine which faction's Sanctum will serve as your base of operations. Like with the Class Halls in Legion, you'll be regularly visiting to pick up quests and make use of its facilities.

At the Sanctum, you'll deploy allies on adventures in a version of the missions system that's been part of the game since Warlords of Draenor. You'll invest anima you've gathered from questing to unlock extra content while also gaining access to fast travel within your Covenant's zone as you increase your Renown. The Sanctum is also where you'll level up your Soulbinds and change out Conduits, socket-like equipment that modifies your class powers.

Work in progress

All of these mechanics are subject to change until Shadowlands is released and will likely be continuously tweaked throughout the lifespan of the expansion. Keep checking back for more updates on these systems and all other things World of Warcraft.

Prepare for battle

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

Get back in the game

The story of Battle for Azeroth is now complete and you can try to experience as much of it as possible before Shadowlands releases. Having extra gold will also make it easier to get into the expansion.

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