World of Warcraft update brings many fan-requested changes to Shadowlands
World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands Update 9.1.5 will be available in the game’s public testing realm this week. It brings with it a host of player-requested changes and suggestions, as well new efforts to curb toxic behaviour and punish players who don’t get the message.
The 9.1.5 content update closely mirrors the 9.1 patches. It launched in June, four years after it was announced. The World of Warcraft Shadowlands’ first major content update since November’s expansion was released. This patch will allow players the ability to swap Covenants without restrictions (including their cosmetic rewards) and will also remove the Conduit Energy restriction, which was cooling down a restriction that prevented players from swapping special powers. It was something many players didn’t like.
The end of Conduit Energy is a concession that “the system simply has not played out the way we hoped it would,” Blizzard community manager Randy Jordan wrote on Friday. Its removal in the upcoming patch is indicative that there has been a greater fan service and quality-of-life effort behind most of Shadowlands updates.
Jordan wrote that while we hope many players will enjoy the greater accessibility and freedom to experimentation these changes allow, we know you may be wondering why it didn’t happen sooner. “After all, the majority of the community have been vocal about wanting changes along these lines ever since mid-2020 when Shadowlands still existed in Beta.”
Jordan stated that the original restrictions on switching Covenants were beneficial in that “millions” of players saw Shadowlands through the lens of the Covenant of their choice. This would not have been possible if the choice was less weighted from the beginning. The Chains of Domination campaign ends with all Covenants in the same place narratively. This has caused us to reevaluate our approach.”
Twitter sent at the same time Friday also mentioned changes that would allow “better visibility into your in-game harassment reports and more severe penalties for those who engage in disruptive behavior.”
Jordan’s updated more in-depth update and the accompanying preview did not mention what it meant. In the same tweet, Jordan also mentioned: “changes to certain content to better reflect our common values.” This follows an August promise to remove in-game references made to a developer in gender discrimination and sexual harassment complaint against Activision Blizzard.
The 9.1.5 update will also include customizations for Draenei, Void Elves and new travel forms and Soulshapes to Night Fae. The preview post has an accounting of all the changes. One of these is Legion Timewalking, which will allow players to return to Legion and Legion Mythic Plus dungeons. The event will last for two weeks starting with the full 9.1.5 content launch. It will then continue on a weekly basis.