Blizzard has announced the eighth expansion for World of Warcraft, titled Shadowlands.

A new cinematic takes us back to the Frozen Throne, where Bolvar has contained the scourge of undead since the fall of Arthas back in WoW's second expansion.

Bolvar has a visitor, with Azeroth's resident 'bad girl' Sylvanas reaping more havoc than Miley Cyrus with demolition equipment.

The resulting tear in the veil opens up the world of the Shadowlands – the new setting for the titular expansion.

New zones of Revendreth, Ardenweald, Maldraxxus, and Bastion feature ethereal and gothic inspiration.

One of Shadowland's new features is Covenants – a faction system similar to class order halls in Legion. Players will pledge fealty to a covenant, and unlock faction-specific gear as well as special abilities.

Covenants will also unlock an endgame leveling system called Soulbinding. There's not much information available at this time, but it's safe to assume it'll replace the artifact power grind (fingers crossed.)

There's also a larger focus being given to character customisation, while also opening up the ranks of Death Knights to new races. That's right – death doesn't discriminate, so now Pandarians, and all Allied Races can also roll as the hero class.

Beyond expansion features, WoW will be seeing a level squish to cut down the time it takes players to get to endgame content.

Instead of players leveling to 130 in Shadowlands, the new level cap will be 60, with all current max-level characters (120) starting the new expansion at 50.

New characters will play through a new starter zone designed to better showcase the game's combat and questing. After reaching level 10, players are then free to play through any expansion's storyline – the completion of which should see characters sitting at level 50 and ready to enter the Shadowlands.

Beyond reducing the time to reach level cap, Blizzard are also wanting to make each level feel meaningful again, with each 'ding' bringing with it new skills and abilities.

While a release date hasn't been confirmed beyond 2020, it's safe to assume Shadowlands will follow the same pattern as Legion and Battle for Azeroth and launch around July/August.