6 things you should do in World of Warcraft before Shadowlands gets here

World of Warcraft Shadowlands
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World of Warcraft's next expansion, Shadowlands, is set for release sometime before the end of 2020. And, as with previous expansions, certain titles, achievements and mounts will no longer be obtainable as soon as the pre-patch drops, which usually happens about a month before launch. But don't panic: you've still got a little bit of time to tidy up some of those loose ends.

While no date has been set for the release of Shadowlands, we do know that the pre-patch has just dropped on the PTR (public test realm), so it's unlikely that we've got too much longer to wait.

So, if you're unsure what you should be focusing on as Battle for Azeroth winds down, we've put together a handy list of some of the things you may want to turn your attention to in WoW before Sylvanas Windrunner pulls us all into the Shadowlands.

Pick up the Brutosaur mount (if you can afford it) 

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If you've had your eye on the Caravan Brutosaur mount, now's the time to pick it up. While it's not being removed from the game entirely, this much-sought-after mount – often affectionately referred to as 'Long Boi' – will be removed from its current vendors in Dazar'alor and Boralus when the Shadowlands pre-patch drops. 

Of course, you'll first need to save up five million (yes, that's five million) in-game gold in order to purchase it. Why is it so expensive? While it's certainly not a looker, it does come with a fully working Auction House NPC as well as a vendor, both of which can be de-seated to allow two friends to jump on your mount with you. 

But if you don't happen to have that sort of capital lying around, you'll still have a chance to get the Brutosaur in Shadowlands via the Black Market Auction House. Though with the demand, I'd hate to think how much gold it will be going for whenever it comes up.

Ahead of the Curve and Cutting Edge achievements 

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As with the end of any expansion or raid tier, the associated achievements are removed for defeating the final boss of the current raid on heroic and mythic difficulties. The Shadowlands pre-patch will mark the deadline for grabbing the Ahead of the Curve: N'Zoth, the Corruptor (heroic) and Cutting Edge: N'Zoth the Corruptor (mythic) achievements.

Unless you're already in a guild that's running mythic Ny'alotha, the chances of you getting the Cutting Edge achievement are fairly slim. However, if your guild is still battling through the heroic difficulty, you might want to pick up the pace to avoid missing out on this achievement (no pressure). Of course, if you're guildless, there are plenty of pugs (pick-up-groups) to be found via the in-game Looking for Group tool that are clearing the raid on heroic difficulty but it can be very hit and miss – and more than a little frustrating – trying to find a decent group.

The good news is that, while the achievements may disappear with the pre-patch, the mount – the Uncorrupted Voidwing – is still obtainable for killing heroic N'Zoth up until the launch of Shadowlands. 

Mythic Plus and PvP Season 4 rewards

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The launch of the Shadowlands pre-patch will mark the end of the current season for both Mythic Plus and PvP. This means that players will no longer be able to obtain certain season-based rewards from either content.

For Mythic Plus, this means that you'll no longer be rewarded with the Awakened Mindborer mount from completing all dungeons on mythic level 15 or higher. For PvP, you'll no longer be able to obtain the Season 4 Elite Sets, which require an 1800 rating in any Rated PvP bracket to complete the whole set for the season.

Mad World achievement (and title) from Horrific Visions 

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This is another one for the completionists out there that don't want to miss out on an achievement and a title. The Mad World achievement will be removed as soon as the pre-patch hits, along with the 'Faceless One' title reward that goes along with it.

If you've been putting off running Horrific Visions with all five masks active, you may want to bite the bullet and start practising those runs. It won't be easy though as each mask adds a debuff that increases the difficulty substantially. You'll need a rank 15 cloak - or close to it - and you should have most of the Titanic Research options unlocked.

To unlock all five masks, you'll need to clear all five areas in a Horrific Vision. It doesn't matter whether that's Stormwind or Orgrimmar – though the latter is probably the easier of the two. This will unlock the first mask and you'll now need to complete the 'lost' areas in both Stormwind and Orgrimmar with one mask active to unlock each of the other four.

You're now ready to attempt a five mask run. But before you do, it might be worth taking a look at this Wowhead guide for further details and tips.

Rank 4 essences 

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Picking up the rank 4 essences might not have been much of a priority for you, especially when they only offer a cosmetic enhancement rather than a boost to your power. But these will be removed when Shadowlands launches*, along with the achievement 'Phenomenal Cosmic Power' and it's associated title, 'Azeroth's Champion'.

Much like the lesser essence ranks, the rank 4 essences are obtained in a variety of ways, including raids, Mythic Plus dungeons, PvP, or from Paragon reward chests. You can find more information on how to obtain each one here.

*The rank 4 upgrade for the Vision of Perfection essence will be unobtainable after the pre-patch as the achievement requirement for it will also be removed. If you want to grab it now, you'll need to complete the Mechagon dungeon on Hard Mode with no deaths to earn the achievement, 'Hertz Locker'.

And if you're still at a loose end – level alts

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If you dipped your toes into Azeroth over the last few months, you're probably aware of the Winds of Wisdom buff that is active until the Shadowlands pre-patch. The buff provides 100% bonus experience while levelling and, as you might expect, speeds up the process dramatically. And it's even faster still if you have a full set of heirloom gear to equip which provides a further percentage-based experience bonus per piece.

If you've been thinking of holding off levelling any characters until Shadowlands, based on the incoming level-squish, that may not be such a good idea. There will be a lot of new content to keep you busy with the new expansion, so the last thing you'll want to do is be stuck levelling a new character. Of course, if you just want to explore the new levelling experience it may be worth waiting, but if you have Allied Race heritage armour you still need to get or your thinking of switching to a new class for Shadowlands, it's probably a good idea to take advantage of the experience buff now.

It's also worth mentioning that the experience bonus from heirloom gear will be removed in Shadowlands, and replaced with 'set bonuses' that increase rested experience and stats.

Sarah James is a freelance video game writer with bylines at PC Gamer, TechRadar, Official PlayStation Magazine, PCGamesN, Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, GamesRadar, Red Bull Gaming, GAMINGbible, and more.