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Even this late in the expansion, we still get to hear from some hotfixes! Today it's Brewfest that gets an improvement, as a flashing spell effect has been removed.
September 22 (source)
Removed the flashing spell effect when teleporting out of the Brewfest Chowdown area.
The PTR is updating with a new build which has been marked as a release candidate, which usually indicates the patch is close, but we really knew that already considering the expansion is a little under 5 weeks away. While this at least means there could be a release soon, release candidates have been known to get a variable number of iterations, so we didn't really narrow the timeframe down by much, if at all.
This image brought to you by massively annoying Nvidia popups.
The other big thing to talk about is recent discussions about the season end warning, as we're not quite sure that what we got tucked inside the big "what's coming in the pre-patch" blue post is really how Blizzard would want to announce that, especially considering there's no context for the actual time until the season ends or the time the post-season will last.
Season Ending Announcement? (source)
BATTLE FOR AZEROTH PVP SEASON 4 ENDS AND THE POST-SEASON BEGINS
The gates will soon close on Battle for Azeroth PvP Season 4 with the release of the Shadowlands pre-expansion patch. Don’t worry though, you’ll still be able to take part in competitive PvP in a special post-season, which will end with the launch of the expansion. The new Shadowlands Season 1 will then go live shortly after the launch of Shadowlands.
If you participated in Season 4, to ensure you receive the rewards that you’re due, please keep the following in mind:
Refrain from transferring your character(s) to another realm or faction until after Battle for Azeroth Season 4 has ended. Battle for Azeroth Season 4 titles and mounts will be awarded approximately two weeks after the season ends. Previous end of season announcements often mentioned a time window that the post-season will last, which would have given us the pre-patch launch date, so that's a strike against the theory. However, the Legion end of expansion / season 7 close post also didn't mention a specific duration, but it DID get its own separate article on the WoW site.
So the only thing we can gather from this is that we still have no specific information on when the pre-patch might be coming. It seems almost definitive that we'll be seeing it on or before October 6th/7th, which would make it just under 2 weeks from the big blue post, but it could also come next week, or as some players somewhat too hopefully wish, tomorrow. We still estimate that the most likely release date is October 6th/7th, and we've gone over why in a separate post already.
In any case, the release candidate does at least give us some solid ground with Schrodinger's pre-patch, aka we at least now know there IS a cat in the box.
There will be no bonus rolls in Shadowlands.
To reduce loot quantities across the board, Blizard has decided to remove bonus rolls in the Shadowlands altogether, so you won't be able to buy the currency that previously gave you another chance on loot.
Bonus rolls no longer exist, and the Great Vault captures the value they provide to raiders. Non-raiders should also factor in the Great Vault, as completing a Mythic Keystone +15 will award a choice of up to three item-level 226 pieces from the Great Vault. So no bonus rolls in raids and just one piece of gear from the end-of-run chests from Mythic dungeons.
Blizzard posted a follow-up on their Shadowlands "let loot be loot" philosophy. The new expansion eliminates Warforging and Titanforging, and gear in the first Season obtained from dungeons, raiding, and PvP will be capped at Item Level 226.
I’d like to take a step back on this subject and look at the big picture.
As has been observed in the Beta, loot quantities overall are reduced in Shadowlands. Following the proclamation “let loot be loot”, we’re entering into a world without Warforging and Titanforging, where getting an item from relevant content should feel rewarding on its own more often, without needing to hope for random upgrades.
Bonus rolls no longer exist, and the Great Vault captures the value they used to provide to raiders. Non-raiders should also factor in the Great Vault, as completing a Mythic Keystone +15 will award a choice of up to three item-level 226 pieces from the Great Vault.
Currently in the Shadowlands Beta / first tier of the expansion, PvP loot for top ratings caps out at item level 226.
While outdoor world gameplay and professions offer a range of epic gear, the very strongest loot in WoW comes from the three organized multiplayer endgame progression paths: Rated PvP, Mythic Keystone dungeons, and raiding. The design intent is for all three paths to provide parallel progression over the course of a tier, while providing players who engage in multiple paths at a comparable level a faster advancement experience. For example, we’re currently targeting item level 213 for Challenger-level PvP, Heroic raiding, or Mythic Keystone dungeons at the +7 difficulty.
Of course, there could be further adjustments to all of this in the weeks to come before Shadowlands launches.
Castle Nathria raid testing continues on the beta, as Mythic is focused this Friday, specifically Sun King's Salvation and Council of Blood.
Raid Testing (source)
On Friday, September 25th, we will be continuing our raid tests in Castle Nathria.
Friday, September 25th
Sun King’s Salvation - Mythic Castle Nathria
13:00 PDT (16:00 EDT, 22:00 CEST)
Council of Blood - Mythic Castle Nathria
14:00 PDT (17:00 EDT, 23:00 CEST)
As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a test environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the bosses being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.
To facilitate testing, players who have not committed themselves to a Covenant can speak with Acquirer Ta’est inside Castle Nathria to temporarily bind themselves to one of the four factions.
Q: How do I get into the raid zone?
A: In Oribos, Dalaran, Orgrimmar, or Stormwind, you may speak to Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade IV in order to teleport into the raid zone while it is open for testing. (The option to teleport into a zone will not be available when the zone is not open for testing.)
Q: What character should I use to test the raid?
A: Whichever you prefer. We will be scaling players’ effective level to 60 for raid testing, and their item level to an appropriate threshold for the encounter(s) being tested.
Q: How long does testing last?
A: The primary purpose of testing is to give us the information we need to balance the encounters, evaluate how mechanics are playing out in practice, and identify bugs. Once we’re satisfied that we’ve received that information for a given boss, we’ll be shutting down testing. Usually this takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, but there are no guarantees.
We appreciate you taking the time to test our content and look forward to reading your feedback.