Shadowlands Developer Update

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

47 Likes

Can you also remove Ion?

Why the Maw intro hasn’t been slashed too?

65 Likes

Cross faction rated pvp when?

8 Likes

Id like to adventure in Azeroth as a Draenei rogue. So more race class options or removing all restrictions would be nice.

8 Likes

Does this patch also include a new heritage armor or did Blizzard scrap that project?

7 Likes

Expac would have been several times more enjoyable if you just allowed it from the on-set.

Who could have foreseen that? :thinking:

Well… better late than never i guess.
Good decisions all around for patch 9.1.5, hopefully it comes out soon.

10 Likes

Thank you for this, Blizz!

4 Likes

About time. we told you so.

Now how about allowing the respecing of conduit from anywhere with alchemist tomes without having to teleport to the convenant?

10 Likes

Exciting :smiley:
So one will basicly belong to all covenants now. As a collector, will i be avle to track the armor sets of the other covenants in the set list? Becuse some armor sets doesn’t show (thinking of the arathi and darkshore elite sets).

Also, can we have 1 handed weapons sheated on back like monks do?

Things seem to start moving now and i look forward to see what else will be revealed from the wish list.
Thank you for listening.

3 Likes

If we are getting free covenant swaps, make it accesible like in this picture. U guys are capable of making us going to oribos every time.

46 Likes

Can you PLEASE fix legendary base item crafting. I understand corporate heads TOLD you to keep shilling the Token to the filthy casuals who are supposed to bleeping PAY MONIES and buy on AH, but enough of this pay per win malarky and crafting castration.

I know you will now have problem, having to protect the investment of the few AH Whales who put millions of their gold to get into this garden of unlimited gold printing, but you already did blow them up by taking up slots with the Domination socket items, so why not make another step towards normalcy?

Putting vendor value on base leggos is moot point, because you need to use several thousand gold of direct vendor purchase mats per each item.

However, you could lessen the pain, if you did the same you did in BfA for crafted items. Just put a scrappable flag on the items, and make them refund some decent percent of materials used.

You could also consider just toning down the idiotic amount of materials needed at higher ranks, or better even - just upgrade the yield and accessibility from vendor sources: the Oribos anima/weekly vault of fail vendors.

At current 10 calluous 20 ore, and NO OPTION for vault tokens, this literally feels like a SPIT IN THE FACE.

Really?

7500 anima on average, with fully upgraded sanctum, takes 30-50 world quests. And all you offer for this is 10 calluous hides? Which is the yield from about 1 hour of skinning? FFS.

The fact that the only reasonable purchase for weekly vault fail is 5 korthite crystals, also feels like being shat on. If I can’t have a useful item, then at least give me enough currency to outright buy a socket for what I already have, or enough anima to get some mats.

Oh, and by the way, the amount of vault currency should scale - ideally number of coins should be base 1, and increase by 1 for every extra vault choice earned, to a max of 9. Korthite cluster price should get adjusted to 1 in this scenario.

14 Likes

Awesome news, glad to see many covenant changes finally implemented!

Did you consider removing anima cap and doing something with Redeemed Souls? For old characters it is another useless currency, and for new characters it takes 3-4 months to fully get all upgrades while sitting on 35k anima almost all the time (assuming you don’t want to spend it on crafting mats).

2 Likes

I am happy now, these updates will literally give me loads of content to do. Thank you for communication and coming forward with acknowledging the shortcomings.
Lot’s of players will be cynical and sceptic - I don’t think I can blame them. But hopefully this will actually be a turning point.

Love most of the changes so much, especially Legion Timewalking with M+, i really appreciate that :slight_smile:

1 Like

Good change.
After i switch cov, will my renown reset aswell?

Could we get clarification on Legion M+? like… actual… m+? and… can we… keep it… please?

4 Likes

It’s all good stuff, but I refuse to congratulate you for listening to us. You want a pat on the back for that? Invent a time machine, travel back a year, and tell the developers to do all this BEFORE the game launches rather than as a mid expansion band aid.

And why the salt?

Because you keep doing this. You keep introducing systems you have no hope of balancing, which fight against us, which waste our time, which offer horrible grinds and then you fight us as much as you can in changing them until as close to the end of the expansion as possible and THEN, THEN you fix them only to toss it all out in the trash with the next expansion and to begin repeating the cycle.

The only reason these changes are coming now is nothing to do with the lore, or the narrative, or how impactful the Covenant system was at the beginning. It’s because millions of players have voted with their feet and they’ve left and this is an attempt to show you are capable of listening. Which this does, you are indeed capable of listening.

When your backs are against the wall and you are bleeding subscribers faster than you’d like.

So I will take these changes. I will even acknowledge that they are good changes. But I won’t thank you for them because these should have been in place since launch and it was the arrogance of the dev team which blinded them to the fact that what they were introducing was going to end up in a horrible mess.

You want plaudits? You want thanks? You want the adulation of your community? Then take this as a lesson learned and apply it to 10.0. If whatever expansion comes next doesn’t require a mid expansion dismantling of your failed systems as Shadowlands AND Battle for Azeroth have both done, THEN you’ll get some thanks because you’ll have done something.

I will not gush over someone cleaning up the mess they made when they were told repeatedly not to go and make that mess and they arrogantly went ahead anyway.

839 Likes

Good changes. Please reduce the honor/conquest grind on new characters, its not fun to do bg’s for 100+ hours and then grind arenas, undergeared, for another 30 hours. Not to mention farming leggo & conduits.

7 Likes

I do hope that I won’t have to go to oribos everytime I have to change my covenant, just integrate it to the talent UI, also I hope my soulbind settings stays when I change back and forth, and next time just try listening to the community and not wait till your game dies to change obvious stuff.

6 Likes