Patch 9.1.5 for Shadowlands launches on Tuesday, November 2nd 2021 in the US and later in the same week elsewhere in accordance with the maintenance schedule for each region.
With the patch comes…well, not much, but the changes there are interesting.
Chief among the changes are the full set of quality of life changes for Covenants and other Shadowlands systems. Players will be able to freely swap Covenants at no penalty upon reaching 80 Renown with their current choice, a victory which then extends to all characters on an account. While Renown does not transfer over, a vendor item will allow you to buy up to 40 Renown and then mow through the remaining 40 in fast-forward, while once a story campaign from 9.0 is finished for a Covenant, alts in that same Covenant no longer need to do the story quests from 9.0 (with 9.1 still needing to be done on each character wanting to make the climb to 80 Renown). You’ll be able to send alts anima at a 1:1 ratio with no penalties through a simple vendor item, and you’ll be able to redeem anima token items from Korthia in addition to your Covenant sanctum, reducing the amount of travel needed in the standard weekly gameplay flow.
Torghast is also seeing another round of facelifts, with a couple of significant rewards changes that do not affect the gameplay of it – the first being that alts on the Threads of Fate leveling path will now have a daily quest option to do Torghast for XP sub-60, while Torghast rewards will now be effectively infinite as you can repeat runs each week and receive the full Soul Ash and Soul Cinder rewards, which will be great for the 8 of us still doing Torghast for legendaries and Death Bound Shards (which are still limited to 1 per week, as far as I can tell).
For alt catchup, Korthian Armaments are now expanding to a slot-based choice at the vendor, allowing you to spend the same 1,000 Stygia but pick and choose armor slots, making getting an alt a baseline set of item level 200 pieces much, much easier and less reliant on crafting. Although, with Stygia income still being somewhat slow, this isn’t a cure-all for gearing a full slate of alts and you’ll definitely need to do Korthia content on those same alts to get the armor quest rewards that pop up from time to time and gather the Catalogued Research to upgrade those pieces.
The cornerstone feature of the patch is Legion Timewalking however, an event we now know will kick off and conclude before the early access launch of Endwalker in FFXIV. During the first two weeks of the patch, we’ll have the ability to run Legion Timewalking dungeons in the normal TW mode, run Timeworn Keystones in those same dungeons as a new, unique hook for equivalent M+ rewards, and we’ll have the Mage Tower 2.0, back from the dead, and with a set of restrictions designed to make its balance evergreen. This is the only “new” content to look forward to in the patch, and thus, the patch may not hold sway for much longer than those two weeks – but I’ll discuss that more in a post later today.
Lastly, the game is getting some tuning under the hood to fix some player complaints. There is some small numbers balancing being done, and the largest fix documented is the removal of the AoE cap that was added with Shadowlands to many abilities, instead capping their damage in different ways through soft caps or damage limits rather than hard target count caps. This should have a few effects – chief among them, Mythic Plus will be ever-so-slightly easier as big pulls will now be easier to AoE through with damage splits being much more even when compared with the current, hard-capped AoE in the game.
Are these changes enough to save the game from doldrums over the holiday season? Well…we’ll discuss that today, but not here.
For me, this is an easy-enough win personally – two weeks to grind out Mage Towers without cutting into Endwalker is a score, as I might have just not played WoW at all had the placeholder dates on PTR been accurate. For the game as a whole…I think there is a lot more to say, and say it I will!