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Shadowlands Patch 9.1 – Chains of Domination – Finally Releases Next Week

WoW's longest content drought is about to come to an end.

by Brandon Adams

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The nearly eight-month-long content drought in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands comes to an end when Patch 9.1Chains of Domination – leaves the PTR and launches on live servers next week. By the Arbiter, I’ve seen some lengthy WoW opening patch droughts in my day, but the time between Shadowlands’ launch and Patch 9.1 takes the record. Thankfully, we’ll all have something to do come Tuesday. Well, at least for a couple of months before the next lull sets in.

Shadowlands Patch 9.1 – Chains of Domination – releases June 29th.

Shadowlands Patch 9.1 – Chains of Domination – goes live next week on June 29th. As is tradition, expect a lengthy maintenance period that Tuesday as Blizzard updates the live servers to accommodate Patch 9.1. The first major patch for World of Warcraft is surprisingly large for an X.1 patch; the new zone of Korthia is as substantial an addition as the usual patch x.2 area, with a host of new activities, catch-up Epic gear, and more. There’s also the new mega-dungeon of Tazavesh, the 10-boss Sanctum of Domination raid, and so many quality-of life adjustments that I can’t help but wonder why Blizzard saves them all for major patches like 9.1.

The largest quality-of-life change coming in Shadowlands Patch 9.1 is the addition of flying, and you don’t need to earn a Pathfinder achievement to unlock it! Instead, flying will be tied to your Covenant campaign, so you’ll want to knock out the pre-9.1 storyline if you plan to take to the skies as soon as Chains of Domination goes live. Additionally, the Maw will become infinitely easier to farm with both the removal of the ever-annoying Eye of the Jailer and the ability to use any of your mounts, each tied to the new Covenant campaign.

Alongside those massive changes are many, many other substantial tweaks that’ll help Shadowlands live up to its potential, at least insofar as I believed it possessed back when I reviewed the expansion last year. Look, I didn’t expect the opening patch content drought to last this long! On a more serious note, I’m still of the opinion that Shadowlands can become one of World of Warcraft’s best expansions, but only if Blizzard supports it with meaty updates like Patch 9.1 in a more timely manner, and starts to use intermediary patches to deploy more substantial QOL updates.

That said, MMO development is already a lengthy process, and the impact COVID-19 has had on the gaming industry can’t be over-stated. Hopefully Blizzard is back in the full swing of things, and Shadowlands Patch 9.2 isn’t too far behind 9.1. Shadowlands can be great, but not if it suffers another long drought between updates. In the meantime, keep an eye here for more Shadowlands guides to help you unlock everything you need to get rolling in Chains of Domination next week.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is available now on PC. Patch 9.1 – Chains of Domination – will release June 29th. You can read more about the patch by following the link here.

- This article was updated on June 22nd, 2021

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