Blizzard abruptly announced yesterday that it would be unveiling the next content update for World of Warcraft Retail’s Shadowlands expansion arc today at 1 p.m. EST. We presume this will be the 9.2 patch, and… whew, where do we even begin with the backstory on this one. Shadowlands a year ago and Chains of Domination this past summer were long in coming, poorly received, and followed by a mass-exodus of players to other games, including FFXIV. In fact, in the first half of 2021, it was WoW Classic’s Burning Crusade expansion and the cash shop that boosted the franchise, and even that wasn’t enough to stop the free-fall of monthly active users across Blizzard’s titles, which are down 12M players (31%) over the last three years.
The back half of 2021 only got worse. In July, Activision-Blizzard was slammed by multiple lawsuits alleging sexual discrimination and harassment that center heavily on the World of Warcraft teams. The backlash led to boycotts, the cancelation of BlizzConline, and the ousting of multiple developers, including studio head J. Allen Brack himself, as well as a pile of 9.1.5 revisions to the game and its feedback systems to appease developers and players alike in what’s basically been referred to as the pulling of the ripcord of panic. The fact that the recent investor call didn’t have great news for WoW – or plans for what would we would’ve expected would be next year’s expansion – has been a further blow to the morale of the community. We’ve been chronicling the chaos the better part of the year:
In short, it’s been a wild ride for the MMORPG that’s been at the top of the genre for so long that most MMO gamers don’t even remember a world without it.
That brings us to today’s reveal of what we assume will be the 9.2 update. We’ll be updating this post with the pertinent announcements as we go.
Zovaal, the eluse Jailer and ruler of the Maw in the Shadowlands, has made his next move—and with it, he threatens to rewrite the rules of reality. In Eternity’s End, you’ll face him, and perhaps save Azeroth and the Shadowlands from a fate worse than death. Eternity’s End features include:
NEW ZONE: ZERETH MORTIS
Zereth Mortis was created by the First Ones, and it’s intended to create afterlives. Its denizens—the automa—have created all that exists in the Shadowlands, Azeroth, and realms beyond. It is a strange, alien location that defies all concepts of reality or physics. The Jailer intends to use Zereth Mortis’ power to reshape everything according to his design.
MEET THE ENLIGHTENED
The Enlightened are brokers that arrived on Zereth Mortis a long time ago. They no longer see their world in a transactional manner, but instead they treat their dwelling as a sacred place, and hope to answer to a higher calling—the pursuit of knowledge. Find common ground with The Enlightened to succeed and defend Zereth Mortis.
DECODE THE CYPHER OF THE FIRST ONES
The automa of Zereth Mortis speak in a musical language that is incomprehensible to mortal races. Team up with a curious automa sidekick in this new progression system to learn the lost language of the Progenitors and delve deeper into the secrets of Zereth Mortis, unlocking an array of new zone activities, daily quests, events, and rewards.
NEW RAID: SEPULCHER OF THE FIRST ONES
Deep in the Sepulcher of the First Ones lies the key to unlock the Jailer’s plans. Gather the power of the First Ones as you pursue Zovaal into the Sepulcher and fight through his forces—but first, you must face Anduin, and discover a way to resist the Jailer’s terrifying Domination magic.
CLASS TIER SETS RETURN
Harness the power of the First Ones by collecting distinctive class armor sets via raids, PvP, or Mythic+ dungeons. Each set comes with powerful 2- and 4-piece set bonuses that complement your unique abilities.
Other features in Eternity’s End
Mythic+ and PvP Season 3
Tazavesh added to the Mythic Keystone Dungeon rotation
Note: Tazavesh will be split into two separate dungeons for Seasonal content.
New Mounts and Pets
Updates to Professions, Soulbinds, Conduits
New dancing mini-game at the Darkmoon Faire
And much more!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this early look at Eternity’s End. There’s much more to come, and we’ll release in-depth previews of the features above and others as we get closer to the PTR and release.