Shadowlands Preview: The Maw
Today Blizzard posted a preview of the most unforgiving zone in the upcoming Shadowlands expansion, The Maw. This Tartarus-like zone is where the most evil and wretched souls from Azeroth and beyond are tortured for eternity.
Keeping with the Tartarus theme, you’ll earn a currency called Stygia within the Maw that you can use to purchase Cyphers and cosmetics, including pets! You’ll lose some Stygia if you die, but, if you go back to where you died, you’ll be able to get it back. How that will work in practice or if there is an expiration time on reclaiming it, the post doesn’t say. It will be interesting to see how the system works on the beta.
Progressing through the Maw will attract the Jailer’s presence and increase your Threat Level. At each level, the Jailer “will torment you with increasingly treacherous punishments,” the most dangerous of which is at the final Threat Level of 5. At Threat Level 5, your HP will gradually be siphoned. If you die from this, you’ll not be able to re-enter the Maw again until the next day.
Clearly the goal in the Maw is keeping a low profile and getting in and out quickly so you don’t lock yourself out of the zone altogether. It will be interesting to see exactly how much havoc you need to cause to reach Threat Level 5, because the balance of the Threat Levels will really affect how punishing the Maw truly feels.
To be cast into the Maw is to be doomed to a bleak eternity. In this tumultuous, hopeless land, the vilest souls in the cosmos are imprisoned and tormented forever. Should the ancient evil chained here break free, all of reality will be consumed.
RETURN TO THE ABYSS
The Maw is where you’ll begin your journey in the Shadowlands—and after you’ve traveled through the realms of Death, you will once again be called upon to return and face its horrors. Here, you will engage in an ongoing conflict with the Jailer to restore balance to the Shadowlands. Your ventures and accomplishments in this dreadful place will help you better understand your enemy and gain power to withstand his relentless assaults. However, every triumph draws the watchful eye of the Jailer, who will send his forces to assail you until you succumb to darkness.
Before the emergence of mortals who could walk the Maw, the Mawsworn knew their enemies had no hope of escape. But with the power to leave and enter as you wish, you are a threat who must be taken down.
When you defeat enemies in the Maw or complete quests, you will earn Stygia that you can use to purchase Cyphers—powerful tools and buffs—to aid your survival within this terrible place as well as Torghast, Tower of the Damned. One of the Cyphers you can purchase from Ve’nari ensures that you will always get to pick from at least two Anima Powers from any source that grants them. For those who wish to take a bit of the Maw with you on your travels, you’ll also be able to trade in your Stygia for cosmetics, including pets.
Should you succumb the Jailer’s forces in the Maw, some of your precious Stygia will slip through your fingers. However, if you are daring enough to return to the place where you fell, you’ll be able to reclaim your lost Stygia.
Since the Arbiter went dormant and stopped directing souls to their just afterlives, all have instead been damned to the torment of the Maw. Many souls in the Maw are already too far gone, but a few possessing strong enough will to endure the Maw’s torments can still be saved. If you free these souls and bring them back to your sanctum, then not only have you righted a cosmic wrong, but you’ve also recruited a new member to your Covenant!
THE JAILER’S DOMAIN
The entities that roam the Maw are powerful enemies not to be trifled with. You will need to use every ability, tactic, and trick at your command in order to survive.
The Jailer’s minions who bring pain and punishment to the most wicked of souls.
Mawsworn Avenger: Circling the skies above, these winged warriors use their spears to impale intruders.
Mawsworn Shadowcaster: Powerful magic wielders, Mawsworn Shadowcasters lob powerful bolts of dark energy to destroy those who oppose the Jailer’s will.
Soul energy trapped within the Maw for untold ages coalesce into malevolent manifestations that wander the dark reaches of the Maw.
These brutish iron-clad creatures crave carnage and use their brawn to pulverize everything that stands in their way.
Acting as eyes for the Jailer, Soul Seekers keep an ever-watchful gaze over the realm for any suspicious activity and will eliminate intruders—no questions asked.
Malicious beasts that lurk the Maw, these savage terrors rend their prey with wicked talons, relishing the screams of their victims before consuming them soul and all.
Burning hatred coalesces as Blazing Stygia that mindlessly pace back and forth, unleashing their fiery fury upon hapless souls.
EYE OF THE JAILER
As you progress through the Maw, slaying Mawsworn and dismantling the Jailer’s forces, the Jailer will notice your presence. Completing quests, opening treasures, and defeating rare enemies in the Maw will attract the Eye of the Jailer. The master of the Maw will torment you with increasingly treacherous punishments—including siege fire that will deal devastating damage and assassins that will hunt you down. There are five different Threat Levels. Once you reach Threat Level 5, your life will be siphoned until you fall, and you will not be able to re-enter the Maw again until the next day.
We look forward to sharing more information as development continues, and we hope this preview prepares you for the Maw and all it has to offer.
What mysteries are you most looking forward to unveiling in the Maw? Join the discussion on the forums.
Rewards and mechanics are still in development and subject to change, so be sure to check back for periodic updates on worldofwarcraft.com as we approach the release of Shadowlands.