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Shadowlands Conduits Update: July 29th

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Blizzard has posted an update on Conduits that will go live on the Beta next week. They decided to move from the inventory-based destructible version of Conduits to a permanent collection, just like Essences!

  • The power of Conduit effects increases with their Item Level (Conduits have ranks as we datamined a while ago).
  • You will be able to gather Conduits from a wide variety of endgame content to increase flexibility in acquisition and accessibility across different playstyles.
  • Earning a more powerful version of a Conduit you already own will upgrade that Conduit in your collection.

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Starting next week in the Shadowlands Beta, we will begin introducing a series of updates to the Soulbind system to add a persistent collection system for Conduits. Since the Soulbind system was unveiled in the Alpha and discussed in our Developer Update, we’ve heard consistent feedback about the shortcomings of an inventory-based destructible version of Conduits, and we agree entirely.

While we feel it’s important that there be some friction in moving Conduits around, the prospect of the having to re-earn a given Conduit, perhaps by chasing a specific dungeon or raid boss drop, was not particularly appealing to anyone. However, simply removing destructibility without making other changes would have created an inventory management nightmare, especially for players who enjoy playing multiple specializations.

Once this new system is in place, Conduits will work like this:

  • Conduits will continue to be items that can be earned from a wide variety of endgame content (dungeons, PvP, raids, reputations, world quests, etc.)
  • The power of their effects will increase with the Item Level of the Conduit.
  • Instead of placing a Conduit directly into a given Soulbind tree, you’ll bring it back to your Sanctum where you can add it to a permanent collection.
  • There will be more than one source for most Conduits, to increase flexibility in acquisition and accessibility across different playstyles.
  • Earning a more powerful version of a Conduit you already have will simply upgrade that Conduit in your collection.

At its core, the Soulbind system aims to give you the freedom to essentially build your own talent tree for yourself. Each Soulbind offers a range of fixed universal traits closely themed to that Soulbind’s nature, and there are many open slots throughout the tree that effectively serve as wildcards, allowing you to insert Conduits to customize each Soulbind to suit your playstyle and preferences. A given Conduit can only be used once per Soulbind, though the same Conduit can be added into different Soulbinds’ trees without restriction. This does not require earning more than one copy of the Conduit – once it’s in your collection, you can place it as you wish.

If you want to rebuild your Soulbind trees, once per week you’ll be able to clear all of their Conduits, with a separate cooldown per Soulbind. But once you’ve decided on your desired Conduit placements, we want to ensure that the system offers as much flexibility as other existing talent systems, so you’ll be able to switch which Soulbind is active or redirect the flow of Anima through a Soulbind’s tree (essentially respeccing them) any time you visit your Sanctum. And if you have a different Soulbind per spec, or a different active trait path within a given Soulbind, that will be saved on a per-specialization basis, and will automatically change whenever and wherever you change specializations.

We’re hoping to have an initial version of this system active in next week’s Beta, with further updates and a polished user interface in the weeks to follow.

As always, thank you for your feedback! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone play with this new system and letting us know how it feels, and it’s your thoughtful feedback that has helped us make Shadowlands even better.

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These are essentially the system changes I've proposed across several forums and posts: Spec-specific soulbinds, a permanent catalog of conduits, and a week long lockout to still include choice and consequence. Really good decision making on their part as many people have already shown strong support for these once-theoretical design changes.

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Well, I guess they had to make a new crappy system to finally figure out what to do in the end, but I don't udnerstand why they didn't just start with that *filtered*

At least now it seems like a fine system. Ultimately just a copy of the essence we have in BfA, but it works

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Yeah, it doesn't look very interesting, some rehash of BfA essences. With so many variations, plus stuff like Covenant abilities, it will be impossible to properly balance. Imo, they should just make gear the only form of endgame progression. At least that creates base for some balancing. Better than making another system that will be abandoned or rehashed next expansion, requiring to do all class balance anew, because they were heavily depending on those existing systems.

Edited by Arcling

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Now this I can relax a bit and work with and not worry about clogging up bag space and grinding repetitively for an rng drop.  And with no restrictions and item acquisition gating (eg: Vessels for Horrific Visions) for Torghast this is starting to look like a fun expansion.

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