We have previously noted that the overall design philosophy for World of Warcraft patch 9.1.5 appears to be focused on things that players have been asking to receive for quite some time but that Blizzard has heretofore refused to deliver. But today’s new developer update confirms that patch 9.1.5 will be going up on the PTR in a few days, and among the more notable changes are the removal of conduit energy, the ability to freely swap covenants for players at an undisclosed but high level of Renown, and a skip option for steps of the Covenant campaign already completed on other characters.
So why now? The developer missive makes it clear that Blizzard is aware that conduit energy in particular added nothing appreciable to the game, tacitly acknowledging that negative feedback about the system was right during the long period throughout expansion testing. Covenants, meanwhile, are defended as having provided an important player experience in the early days of the expansion when it was harder to swap covenants. But for all that, it’s pretty clear that at this point in development, under the current cloud of the corporate lawsuit and scandal and perceived mass exodus from the game, the expansion appears to be pulling the ripcord with vigor.