I’ve been playing Shadowlands since its release on November 23rd, 2020. In the amount of time that it’s been out, I’ve managed to level 3 characters to 60, clear all eight new dungeons on mythic difficulty, conquered the new raid Castle Nathria, and spent many agonizing hours in both The Maw and Torghast. God do I hate The Maw and Torghast. Needless to say, I’ve enjoyed a majority of the content the game has to offer and at this point, I’ve just been working on getting better gear for my characters and learning Castle Nathria on Heroic difficulty. I’ve seen the entire storyline unfold and I’ve just been waiting on Blizzard to let me know what the next big update has in store for us. Well last weekend at Blizzcon, which happened digitally for the second year in a row, I finally got my answer: Shadowlands Update 9.1, Chains Of Domination.
To give you a quick recap of the story so far: Sire Denathrius, who’s been holding all the anima for The Jailer, has been defeated in Castle Nathria.
You’ve also managed to go into Torghast and rescue Baine Bloodhoof, Jaina Proudmoore, and Thrall from the evil Jailer. But The King Of Stormwind, Anduin Wrynn is still trapped in the tower. After finding some clues of his whereabouts, Bolvar Fordragon uses the Helm Of Domination to peek into Torghast to see where Anduin is being held. We find out that The Jailer is building a new Mournblade and plans to have Anduin wield it to do his bidding. Sylvanas goes to Anduin with the blade and gives him the choice: “Join our cause… or be made to serve.”. Players are left with this cliffhanger unaware of what happens next… until now.
Blizzcon treated us to a brand new cinematic entitled “Chains Of Domination – Kingsmourne” which shows us that Anduin has been made to serve and it’s up to us to stop Sylvanas and The Jailer. After the lore has been set up for us and we know where the storyline is going, Blizzard lets us know about all the new content that comes with that storyline.
New Raid: Sanctum Of Domination
Located in The Maw, Sanctum Of Domination will be a brand new 10 player raid. Players will have a chance to face off against a few big baddies including The Tarragrue, someone I’ve grown to hate every time I’ve depleted my lives in Torghast. This giant beast will hunt you down and make you leave the tower by force. After all this anger built towards him, I’ll finally get my sweet sweet revenge. The Eye of The Jailer is another one you’ll have gotten to know spending lots of time in The Maw. Once you’ve caused a big enough ruckus, it shows up and violently asks you to leave. At the end of the Necrolord campaign, you manage to stop Kel’Thuzad’s plan to take over Maldraxxus and he gets banished to The Maw where you’ll have a chance to end him once and for all. But the biggest, and in my opinion what will be the best fight is once that’s been built up for years: a showdown with Sylvanas Windrunner. In an interview with Gamespot, World of Warcraft technical director Frank Kowalkowski had some thoughts to share on the battle that’s been long overdue:
“This has been years in the making. This has been a very long story arc,” he said. “And tying back to Domination. It’s fitting that she’s at the top of the sanctum of Domination. Sylvanas’ own life began at the hands of Domination and she’s followed this path to eventually align with the Jailer going down the path that she’s had. So I think it’ll be a satisfying fight. I think it’s going to be very unique. We have some very cool things planned for players. Wish we could share them now! But players will see soon enough what we have planned there.”
Of course, a fight of this caliber comes with some major consequences as Kowalkowski noted: “The aftermath of that fight is going to be a very pivotal moment, not just for the Shadowlands but for Sylvanas as well,”.
I’m excited for what the Sanctum Of Domination has in store for us in the 9.1 update and I can’t wait to finally have that showdown against Sylvanas.
New Zone: Korthia, The City Of Secrets
At the end of the Chains Of Domination cinematic, we witness The Jailer send out his chains and pull a mass of land into the Shadowlands. Korthia will serve as an area for the four covenants of the Shadowlands to create a foothold and begin their assault on The Maw.
What’s currently known is that Korthia will have new quests as well as new rewards such as mounts and pets. Thanks to this landmass being pulled into The Maw, players will finally be able to use their mounts within The Maw. At the moment the only way to travel around The Maw is by foot, or by unlocking one of three Maw exclusive mounts. I’m excited to learn more about this zone as time passes, and it might actually let me enjoy The Maw more now that I don’t have to walk everywhere trying to complete my daily quests.
New Megadungeon: Tazavesh, the Veiled Market
At the end of the Chains Of Domination cinematic, we witness The Jailer send out his chains and pull a mass of land into the Shadowlands. Korthia will serve as an area for the four covenants of the Shadowlands to create a foothold and begin their assault on The Maw. What’s currently known is that Korthia will have new quests as well as new rewards such as mounts and pets. Thanks to this landmass being pulled into The Maw, players will finally be able to use their mounts within The Maw. At the moment the only way to travel around The Maw is by foot, or by unlocking one of three Maw exclusive mounts. I’m excited to learn more about this zone as time passes, and it might actually let me enjoy The Maw more now that I don’t have to walk everywhere trying to complete my daily quests.
The Brokers are one of my favorite new races introduced to Shadowlands. They’re these humanoid energy beings who function separately from the covenants and The Maw. Information and knowledge are two of the most important currencies to a Broker. Ve’Nari is a broker you quickly become familiar with the more time you spend in The Maw. The new Megadungeon will allow players to journey into one of their trading cities Tazavesh. For the time being, it will be a Mythic dungeon with 8 bosses. Think of it as a raid but you can only go in with 5 players.
The second half of the dungeon features a heist where players will chase a Broker who has stolen an artifact. As you run through different portals and locations to chase after this Broker, you’ll face off against a few bosses, including a Pirate Dragon of the Infinite Dragonflight. I don’t know about you but going toe to toe with a Pirate Dragon sounds pretty cool. Of course, the dungeon will be loaded with tons of new loot including pets and mounts. As someone who’s always been a big fan of Dungeons in WoW, this is one I’m very much looking forward to.
New Covenant Campaign, The Ability to Fly in Shadowlands, and Covenant Exclusive Flying Mounts
Something I’ve been waiting for is information on when we’d finally be able to fly in Shadowlands. I got my answer as we’ve been told flying will come in patch 9.1, and unlike previous expansions, you won’t need to grind out rep to unlock it. All you’ll have to do is complete the new campaign for your covenant. Along with gaining the ability to fly you’ll also unlock a covenant-specific flying mount. My main is a Shadow Priest who’s a part of the Necrolord covenant so I’ll be getting a giant fly to zip around the Shadowlands with. A part of me is disappointed that it’s a fly BUT it is a pretty cool-looking fly. I will say the Kyrian, in my opinion, have the best looking mount of them all.
New Rewards for PVP and Keystone Season 2
Of course with a new patch comes a brand new season for both PVP and Mythic Keystone Dungeons. With that new season comes new rewards. The Season 2 Vicious Mounts will be armored Gorms. The Gladiator and Keystone Master mounts will simply be recolors of their Season 1 counterparts.
Shadowlands 9.1 is loaded with a ton of new content that I can’t wait to get my hands on but sadly Blizzard hasn’t given us an exact release date for when this patch is expected to drop. All I can do at the moment is continue to grind away for my season 1 Keystone Master mount and farm Heroic Castle Nathria so I’ll be properly geared up for Sanctum Of Domination.