Patch 9.1.5 Content Update Preview

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Patch 9.1.5 Content Update Preview
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker
)
With the arrival of the 9.1.5 PTR, we wanted to share more information on the variety of new features and updates arriving with the content update. Not all of these features and updates will be available immediately within the PTR, but we are looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback as they do.

Covenant Updates
Players who reach max Renown for their Covenant will be able to freely switch among any of the four Covenants without cooldown or restriction. Cosmetic rewards, including pets and mounts, that have been earned from that covenant will thereafter be available regardless of your membership in a different one. Covenant switching and the use of cosmetic rewards will also apply to any alternate characters once the Renown threshold is reached on one character.

Conduit Energy is being removed and Conduits will be freely swappable without any restrictions.

Completing a Covenant campaign on one character will allow alternate characters the ability to skip that same Covenant’s campaign, earning the Renown and a third Soulbind unlock immediately without needing to replay the full narrative arc.

Learn more about the design decisions behind these changes in our Shadowlands Development Update.

New Character Customizations
A variety of new character customizations are being introduced for Nightborne and Lightforged Draenei along with additional updates to ear size options for void elves, new travel forms for druids, and new Soulshapes for Night Fae.


Introducing Legion Timewalking
Delve back into Legion Dungeons with Legion Timewalking and take on the challenges within, including access to Legion Mythic+ dungeons. This event will run for two weeks the first time it runs within the game and then will resume a regular one-week schedule for subsequent bonus events.

Maw Introduction Skippable
Players who have completed the introduction in the Maw on one character will be able to speak to Highlord Darion Mograine in the capital cities to skip it on their alternative characters on their account.

Island Expeditions - Queue Solo or with a Party
Players who want to take on Island Expeditions are now able to queue for them solo or with a party to enter Normal, Heroic, or Mythic difficulties. There are a bounty of awards just waiting to be plundered.

Talent and Ability Improvements
In 9.1.5 we are working on additional updates to a variety of class talents and class abilities including Conduits, Runecarving, and Covenant class ability tuning.

Allied Race Unlocks
Allied races such as the Kul’Tiran humans, Mechagnomes, and Dark Iron Dwarves, which had a dungeon requirement to unlock them, will no longer need to complete the associated quest to gain access to these races. Players will be able to skip it instead.

Additional Travel Points in the Maw
Players will be able to take advantage of additional fast travel options from Ve’nari’s Refuge to Perdition Hold and Desmotaeron within the Maw by unlocking access to them.

Remote Anima Turn Ins
Completing quests from Archivist Roh-Suir will provide access to an Anima Diverter within Korthia where Anima can be directly deposited.

Transmogrification Linking
Show off your complete transmog outfit to chat or online by easily sharing a link to it from the Dressing Room. Players will be able to mouse over these items to see how they can be collected, if they’ve already collected the appearance, or if it’s an appearance that is accessible to the character viewing it.

Alt Leveling Improvements
A variety of improvements will be introduced in support of a smoother experience leveling alternate characters through Shadowlands, such as an additional rank of Heirloom upgrades, and improvements to Threads of Fate such as the addition of Torghast as an option and Renown gains for completing bonus objectives.

PvP Gear Power Adjustments
Lower item-level PvP gear will now scale to a higher item-level in PvP situations than before. This should reduce the power level gap so that new characters can feel that they're able to compete in Battlegrounds and Arenas more readily. This change will not affect high item-level PvP gear.

Runecarving Recipes
Drop rates for Runecarving recipes will be increased to 100% drop rate in any dungeon difficulty.

Battle for Azeroth Legacy Loot Rules
Legacy loot rules will be enabled for players at level 60 in all Battle for Azeroth raids and dungeons, causing encounters to drop the number of items as they would randomly drop for a 5-player dungeon party or a 20-player raid.

Keep an eye on the official World of Warcraft site for the complete 9.1.5 content Update notes and more over the span of development.

Shadowlands Developer Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker
/ Official Forums
)
In the next few days, we will be updating our Public Test Realm with a first look at Patch 9.1.5. Alongside feature updates like new Timewalking experiences (this time we’re revisiting Legion, with a couple of twists…), these “.5” patches, falling in between full content tiers, present an opportunity to focus on balance and revision of core systems based on feedback and data from the season so far. Patch 9.1.5 will include several significant changes to the Shadowlands Covenant systems in particular:

  • Once you’ve reached a high Renown threshold, you will thereafter be able to freely switch among any of the four Covenants without cooldown or restriction, as well as use cosmetic rewards that you have earned from one covenant even if you are currently a member of a different one. Both the Covenant switching and the use of cosmetic rewards will also apply to alts once the Renown threshold is reached on one character.
  • Conduit Energy is being removed - Conduits will be freely swappable without restriction.
  • When playing alternate characters, if you have already completed a given Covenant’s campaign on a different character, you will be able to immediately earn the Renown and third soulbind unlock without needing to replay the full narrative arc.

While we hope many players will be pleased at the increased accessibility and freedom for experimentation these changes will permit, we know that you might be wondering why we didn’t make adjustments like these sooner. After all, a large portion of the community has been vocal about wanting to see changes along these lines since mid-2020, when Shadowlands was still in Beta.

When it comes to the limitations on Covenant-switching, millions of players experienced Shadowlands for the first time through the lens of their Covenant of choice, and that would have not been possible had the choice carried less weight from the outset. Nevertheless, after the conclusion of the Chains of Domination campaign, the Covenants are united against the Jailer, and revisiting player feedback in that context has led us to re-evaluate our approach. In terms of the day-to-day player experience, the advantages of a rigid division between Covenants have diminished since Shadowlands launched, while the downsides (feeling disadvantaged in certain types of content, or having to choose between mechanical advantages and aesthetics) have only grown. That balance of factors no longer justifies the original limitations on Covenant-switching, so in 9.1.5 we’re looking to provide a way to circumvent them.

Conduit Energy, however, is a different story. The system simply has not played out the way we hoped it would. We should have heeded community feedback and taken a different direction a year ago. A majority of players largely ignore the system and are unaffected by it, while the minority who want to engage in multiple content types competitively feel constrained by it. Overall, that adds up to a negative experience. Conduit Energy isn’t really making the game better in any appreciable way, so we’re removing the system entirely.

As for the Covenant campaign skip for alts and the ability to freely swap Covenants on alts, that change is one outgrowth of many ongoing discussions within the development team, focused on feedback that at times players feel that the WoW content they most enjoy is locked behind experiences that aren’t nearly as appealing to them. Some of that feedback revolves around different playstyles and content types, but a consistent theme is that experiences that were fun the first time through start to lose their luster on repeat playthroughs on alts, especially when required for power progression. So just as the Threads of Fate system exists to allow players to skip the level-up zone narrative on subsequent playthroughs, we want to give max-level players a similar option to avoid having to replay a Covenant campaign they’ve already done.

As the 9.1.5 PTR progresses, we hope to roll out several other changes aimed at giving you more flexibility in choosing how you prefer to adventure in Azeroth. We’ll have more details to follow as we finalize our plans. Stay tuned for full PTR notes in the near future, and we look forward to discussion and feedback to guide us in our ongoing improvements to World of Warcraft.

–The World of Warcraft Team

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