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We've now had 4 weeks of amazing animated shorts come in the form of the Afterlives series, with last week's Revendreth entry seemingly closing out the run. However, many have speculated that there might be more to the series, as we are left with one big part of the Shadowlands unrepresented, namely the end-game zone of the Maw, where we'll be spending a lot of our time, especially with Torghast waiting in there. The Maw is also home to the main villain of the expansion, the Jailer, who, with the help of Sylvanas, actually set everything that's happening in the Shadowlands, everything that we've been shown in the Afterlives shorts, into motion.
So why would we think that there could be a 5th, unannounced short coming and why today?
Well, while we do know when Shadowlands is launching, we don't yet know when the pre-expansion patch is, although at this point it seems almost certain it's on October 6th/7th. This leaves us with this week and the next before it hits, and with the 4 Afterlives shorts already set up to run each week on Thursday, it seems more likely that, if it's coming, it might be today.
The short's existence itself, other than just making a lot of sense, has a bit more going for it as well, and it might actually be a much bigger project, it might not even be animated. Recently we found out that there's a cinematic-level render of the Jailer himself ready, as the cover of the latest issue of PCGamer magazine featured him on the cover, and it seems somewhat unlikely that Blizzard would create the character in such detail just for that. Now, that doesn't mean that this would be an Afterlives Maw entry, nor does it mean that it will even come out before the expansion, but it's certainly pointing in the direction of a brand new cinematic, akin to Old Solider. Alternatively, this might have just been for the magazine, or perhaps for an ad for the expansion, but those both seem less likely. It is however possible that Blizzard don't want to show too much of the main villain off quite yet, as most of us who avoid spoilers and datamining where we can don't yet really know what's going on in the Shadowlands and just who exactly the Jailer is or what his plans are, and so Blizz might want to avoid showing off too much. In that scenario the mystery cinematic will be coming later in the expansion, or perhaps within the main Shadowlands campaign itself.
As for the topic of the cinematic, it might focus on the Jailer and Sylvanas, explaining a little how we ended up where we are at the start of Shadowlands. It could also explore the Maw's backstory, which is directly linked to the Jailer himself, the current rulers of the Shadowlands and their relationship. It might also be a lot more mysterious and focus on the zone almost exclusively, taking a different character as the protagonist, either a familiar face or a new one like Devos or Ara'lon, and have the Jailer show up at the end as the big reveal.
The options for when we might be seeing the cinematic, if it exists, would be:
Today, as a big close to the Afterlives series, in a pretty unprecedented move for Blizzard, which would build a lot of hype and be a great surprise (also, it would ease the pain of waiting for the pre-patch). Just ahead of the expansion's launch, to drum up the hype for the start of Shadowlands. Somewhere down the line in the Shadowlands story, when players either come back to the Maw at max level, or maybe after the raid is defeated (possibly on Mythic). Later on in the expansion.
Whatever happens (or doesn't) today at 7PM CEST, it's still looking relatively likely we'll be getting a Jailer-themed cinematic at some point, and while it may not be part of the Afterlives series, or even focus on the Maw, it's definitely going to be high quality, as the ones we've gotten so far have really been impressive. Also, bonus hype: perhaps Schrodinger's pre-patch also gets a surprise release date announcement right after the cinematic.
While we knew for a while that Conduits have up to 14 ranks of power, we still did not know much about how to upgrade them until now, and there's some RNG involved in the process.
Blizzard has added an item called Manifest Aethershunt to the game, and you can purchase it from Ve'nari for 500 Stygia in the Maw. Stygia is a currency you collect while completing content in the end-game zone, and you will lose half of it when you die and do not return to your corpse.
The item requires that Ve'nari has a Cordial or higher opinion of you.
Manifest Aethershunt - Add a Conduit you do not have to your collection, or upgrade an existing Conduit by one rank. The upgraded Conduit will be selected randomly from your lowest-rank Conduits.
The spell implies that the item will either add a Conduit you currently do not have to your collection or upgrade an existing one by 1 rank, whereas the upgraded Conduit will be picked randomly from your lowest-rank Conduits.
Some good and bad news, mostly bad for Shamans, as the now legendary "infinite" Lava Burst bug shouldn't be possible anymore, as of today's build. While Elemental Shamans were having quite the lovely time during this bug's uptime, other classes were less enthusiastic about it, as you can see from the clip below:
Infinite Lava Burst (source)
With the build going up today, this shouldn’t be possible anymore.
The legendary item “Deeply Rooted Elements ” can no longer activate from “bonus” lava bursts from either activating Ascendance, or from using the Primordial Wave covenant ability. In the build that’s going live today, you actually have to press Lava Burst to potentially proc Ascendance, or get extra casts from Primordial Wave.
If that is not the case, please reply here with info on what abilities are interacting with each other to cause a whole lot of Lava Bursts to happen instantly.
The Regional Arena finals are finishing up this weekend and we get a viewer's guide for the streams, with the details on teams, casters, dates and times and more! The $100,000 prize pools for each region are still up for grabs, as well as the titles, and the action's all happening this weekend on the Warcraft YouTube channel.
Arena Finals (source)
The Arena World Championship Regional Finals concludes this weekend, beginning Saturday at 9 a.m. PDT!
Following four intense weeks of the Arena World Championship (AWC) Battle for Azeroth, the top four Arena teams in North America and Europe are facing off this week to decide once and for all the best team in each region. The remaining teams are fighting for their share of $100,000 (USD) in regional prizing, and the titles of Battle for Azeroth Regional Champions! Watch the AWC Battle for Azeroth Regional Finals beginning on September 26 at 10 a.m. PDT, only on YouTube Gaming.
Never miss a thing by subscribing to us on YouTube and be sure to keep an eye on the WoW Esports Twitter page for live updates, recaps, and all the memes you can handle. Check out the broadcast schedule on our esports page.
It's more Covenant ability tuning on the beta, as Rogues get the Venthyr Slaughter/Flagellation ability changed significantly.
Rogue Changes September 23 (source)
With updates coming soon to the Shadowlands Beta, we’re updating the Venthyr ability for rogues. It will now be called Flagellation (was previously Slaughter).
Flagellation is an instant cast with a 25 second cooldown that starts once Flagellation is removed from the target. The rogue lashes the target with Anima 3 times, dealing Shadow damage and applying a debuff for 45 seconds that causes an additional lash for each Combo Point you spend. Once the target has been lashed at least 25 times, reactivating Flagellation cleanses their torment and increases your Mastery by 10% for 25 seconds.
We’re looking forward to your feedback on this, once you’ve had a chance to test it out!