Patch 9.2.5, the final patch of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, is upon us, and with it comes one of the most requested features in Warcraft’s history.
The final phase of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is underway, with the last raid now both released and defeated. After two years, Patch 9.2.5 will bring the expansion to a close. Shadowlands, unfortunately, suffered from a slower release cadence than any Warcraft expansion before and had fewer patches for players to enjoy. Because of this, many features Warcraft players wanted to be added to the game were overlooked. However, in Patch 9.2.5, Blizzard brings many of those said features to Warcraft.
An End to the Faction War… Maybe?
Cross-faction gameplay will finally be a reality with the launch of Patch 9.2.5. After years of war, factions will now be able to work side by side through selective Warcraft content. Members of one faction can now invite members of the other faction to a group -provided they are BattleTag/Real ID friends. The group finder will now present a cross-faction or single faction choice. Though guilds will remain faction exclusive, Warcraft Communities will now be available to cross or single factions.
Raids, mythic dungeons, and rated battlegrounds will be cross-faction, but random queue instances will remain faction exclusive. Content with a faction storyline, such as the Battle of Dazar’alor, the Vault of Archavon, and Darkmaul Citadel, will remain single faction to maintain the narrative cohesion of the dungeon or raid.
Shadowlands Content: Alt Friendly, Main Approved
Systematic updates in Shadowlands are also coming with Patch 9.2.5, several of which involve a friendlier alternative character experience. The Broker Mark of Distinction, an item that increases covenant Renown to 40, will instead increase Renown to 60. Content such as mythic dungeons, raid bosses, rated battleground wins, and Torghast (layers 9-16) will now reward one Renown. Grateful Offerings, a currency used for covenant vendors, will also have a higher drop rate. Daily callings and the weekly quest Patterns Within Patterns of Zereth Mortis will also reward this currency.
Blood Elves & Dark Iron Dwarves, Oh My!
Patch 9.2.5 also sees blood elves and Dark Iron dwarves receive racial quests with unique rewards. Blood elves will be dealing with the ramifications of Azeroth without a Lich King in Icecrown. Salandria, an orphaned blood elf from the holiday event Children’s Week that Lady Liadrin adopted, returns; now a blood knight in training. Salandria will guide players on their journey to dispatch the rising Scourge threat. To enjoy this questline, players will need a blood elf at level 60 with an exalted reputation with Silvermoon City. All blood elves that complete the questline will receive a recolored hawkstrider mount and a polearm appearance. Blood elf paladins will also receive an additional polearm appearance and a complete blood knight armor set.
Left polearm, all blood elves; right polearm, blood elf paladins
To complete the questline available to Dark Iron dwarves, players will need a character at level 50 that has completed the Heritage of the Dark Iron storyline. Unfortunately, boosted Dark Iron dwarves do not currently qualify for this adventure. This questline will occur entirely within Shadowforge City and offers an arsenal of Dark Iron weapons (including a one-handed ax, a shield, and a two-handed staff) and a themed mount upon completion.
A New Season On The Horizon
For those still working on their gladiator status, hoping to achieve Keystone Master, or rushing to complete the Ahead of the Curve (AOTC) Achievement, Patch 9.2.5 will not end Season 3 of Shadowlands. Season 4’s release date has not been announced, but is slated to bring exciting changes to raids and mythic dungeons. It will also be the last season available during the Shadowlands expansion.
Shadowlands Season 4 is upgrading all raids from this expansion to current content with updated item levels (ilvl), more relevant loot tables, and new raid-specific affixes. Blizzard is also introducing a new raiding system called Fated Raids. Each week, one of the three Shadowlands raids will become Fated, scaling the bosses higher across all four raid difficulties. These Fated raids will also include a new currency meant to function as a bad luck protection mechanic for random number generators (RNG), and this will ensure players receive gear for their efforts. New achievements will accompany the Fated system, with Fates of the Shadowlands Raids most likely to garner attention from players. This achievement will require players to kill all bosses in each raid during their Fated week. The reward for these trials is the Gooey Slimesaber mount, Jigglesworth Sr.
Mythic dungeons are seeing a big changeup for the season. In addition to Shadowlands dungeons, the Season 4 Mythic+ lineup will include two dungeons from the last four Warcraft expansions. The mega-dungeons featured will be split into two parts: Tazavesh will be Streets of Wonder and So’leah’s Gambit, Operation Mechagon will be Junkyard and Workshop, and Return to Karazahn will be Upper and Lower Floors. Warlords of Dreanor‘s Grimrail Depot and Iron Docks, which the player community voted for, will also be featured. The mount for Keystone Master of Season 4 will be a purple and gold variant of the first three.
Credits: Blizzardwatch.com, Wowhead.com
All the Small Things
Patch 9.2.5 will also have a new stay-and-listen dialogue between Bolvar and Taelia Fordragon, an exchange between Jaina and an old friend, and some potential encrypted quests for players to enjoy. Classes will be receiving several buffs and nerfs -as is usual with mid patches. One of the most important updates will target tank threats, allowing the spec to maintain aggro more efficiently in player vs. environment (PvE) content.
Much more has been speculated about in the new patch, including quests centered around Dark Rangers. Nothing has yet been confirmed, but based on encrypted updates to certain NPC’s and quests, there is a high likelihood of them being introduced to the game. Customization options could be similar to the Night Warrior skin for night elves or a whole new allied race like void elves.
A new player vs. player (PvP) arena, the Enigma Crucible, and enhanced ilvl scaling during solo shuffle brawls will also be included. Finally, professions are seeing an increase in experience points earned when crafting Runecarver gear by 400%. This change should mean an influx of cheaper legendary equipment for all classes involved.
The Shadowlands and Beyond
Shadowlands has drawn to a close, and players have lots to do while settling in to wait for the ninth expansion. Patch 9.2.5 is coming with new achievements, mechanics, and rewards for everyone -no matter the content they play. Shadowlands has seen its ups and downs throughout the era of COVID, but Patch 9.2.5 might be the beginning of Blizzard’s return to the top. With so much to enjoy, one wonders what else Blizzard has in store for its players.
A Recap For All
Late to the game? Don’t worry; catching up is easier than you think. Please follow the link below for a review on Shadowlands gameplay thus far.
I’m a Wonder Woman fanatic -married to my Superman- with a mild addiction to tea and World of Warcraft. One day I hope to write a book that history recognizes as a classic; it will most likely involve dragons.