Looking for details on the upcoming Shadowlands 9.1 update? World of Warcraft’s latest expansion has taken us beyond the mortal realms of Azeroth and pulled us into the mysterious afterlife known as the Shadowlands. But now that we’ve had the chance to explore the zones and systems of a new expansion, we’re itching to jump into all the new stuff.
The first major patch for Shadowlands introduces a new raid, a mega-dungeon, and sub-zones in the Maw. Chains of Domination also introduces flying to most of the new Shadowlands zones within the first couple of weeks and will make getting around in the afterlife that much easier. There’s a lot to get into, so here’s what you need to know about the WoW Shadowlands 9.1 update.
World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands 9.1 update is launching with the weekly reset on June 29 for US regions and June 30 for the EU.
Being the first big patch of Shadowlands, Chains of Domination is going to roll out a bunch of new activities and systems for players to explore. When it was revealed at BlizzCon 2021, game director Ion Hazzikostas and principal game designer Jeremy Feasel didn’t have much to say about specific progression systems or nitty-gritty details. Instead, we got a general overview of the big new features. Here’s what they are:
Yes, master. So the Sanctum of Domination is the big new raid and Blizzard is saying it’s going to have one of the most dramatic conclusions in WoW history. That’s because, after being the main villain of World of Warcraft for the past few years, we’ll finally get to fight Slyvanas Windrunner. We don’t yet know what the outcome of this fight will be—will she die? Will she suddenly turn good at the last moment?—But we do know that the stakes are high.
Sylvanas is working alongside the enigmatic Jailer, a kind of god of the Shadowlands who was sealed away by the other four gods for being a huge dick. He and Sylvanas want to tear down the entire institution of death and the afterlife and build something new, which is why they worked together to tear a huge hole in the fabric separating the living world from that of the dead. Now, Sylvanas and the Jailer have conspired to abduct King Anduin Wrynn and have used nefarious magic to dominate his mind and make him a thrall, and during the cinematic trailer for Chains of Domination slave Anduin attacked the angels of Bastion and stole a key from them. We don’t really know what that key is for or what Anduin’s fate will be—and Sylvanas is clearly having second thoughts about this whole plan, too. All of these hanging threads are expected to be tied up in the Sanctum of Domination.
Beyond that, we don’t know too much. The Sanctum of Domination is the highest floors of Torghast, Tower of the Damned. It’s the big tower looming over the Maw, where the Jailer rules, and it houses the most evil and nefarious souls in the galaxy. Players are going to fight not only Slyvanas, but other minor villains like Kel’Thuzad too. Blizzard has yet to reveal the entire 10-boss roster.
Love it or hate it, we’re going to be spending a lot more time in the Maw in Chains of Domination. As part of the ongoing story, the four Covenants that players have aligned with are going to be uniting and launching a full offensive into the Jailer’s territory to stop him from furthering his mysterious plans.
Again, Blizzard didn’t have much to say on the specifics. But we do know that the Maw is going to be a lot less harrowing to explore and players will finally be able to use their mounts to get around. With the Covenant invasion in full swing, the Maw will be getting a total makeover to reflect the ongoing battle and new world quests and events will be swapped in to replace the old ones.
In addition to that, the Maw is being expanded with a new subzone called Korthia, City of Secrets. If you watched the Chains of Domination trailer, that’s the giant landmass that the Jailer was pulling into the Maw using enormous, magic chains. Korthia will be the focus of the new campaign, with players exploring its ruins and meeting the few surviving citizens to discover more of the Jailer’s plans. Players will also uncover a system to counter the Eye of the Jailer, the Grand Theft Auto-esque ‘Wanted’ levels that eventually force you to flee the Maw after causing too much trouble.
Like previous mega-dungeons, Tazavesh is more like two dungeons crammed together with one unifying theme. This time around, players are exploring a market exclusively used by the Brokers, the mysterious and shady merchants of the Shadowlands. The first five bosses will be focused on exploring the bazaar itself and learning more about life as a Broker—oh, and one of the boss encounters is actually a dysfunctional mailroom that players have to fix so everyone in the Shadowlands can get their mail on time. Weird.
During the final three bosses of Tazavesh, players will be chasing the leader of a corrupt Broker cartel who is looking to secure a powerful and mysterious item for some reason. Again, Blizzard didn’t elaborate much. What we do know, though, is that players will be traversing a series of portals to different locations around Azeroth like Boralus, and will get to fight a pirate dragon.
Tons of smaller features are coming with Chains of Domination, including fixes and overhauls to different progression systems. Here’s a quick rundown of what we know so far: