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Will the Shadowlands Pathfinder Be Heavily Time-Gated?

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The Starting Zone Podcast talked to Jeremy Feasel and Frank Kowalkowski, and we learned that they plan on adding 40 more Renown levels in Chains of Domination. Will flying be heavily time-gated?

Currently, on live servers, the maximum Renown your character can earn is 40. Shadowlands Pathfinder is coming in 9.1, and flying in Shadowlands should be easier to unlock than in previous expansions because it's coming in the first content patch of the expansion, and the achievement isn't gated behind reputation grinds. But how long will it take to unlock flying when the patch hits live servers?

Blizzard clarified that you would only need to finish the Covenant Campaign to unlock flying a while ago, but at the same time, they are adding 40 more Renown levels in 9.1, bringing the cap to 80.

With 3 (or 2 in later phases) Renown levels per week, here's how long it takes to unlock Renown 40 on live servers:

  • Shadowlands Release Week: Renown level 3;
  • Week of December 1: Renown level 6;
  • Week of December 8: Renown level 9;
  • Week of December 15: Renown level 12;
  • Week of December 22: Renown level 15;
  • Week of December 29: Renown level 18;
  • Week of January 5: Renown level 21;
  • Week of January 12: Renown level 24;
  • Week of January 19: Renown level 26;
  • Week of January 26: Renown level 28;
  • Week of February 2: Renown level 30;
  • Week of February 9: Renown level 32;
  • Week of February 16: Renown level 34;
  • Week of February 23: Renown level 36;
  • Week of March 2: Renown level 38;
  • Week of March 9: Renown level 40.

The Covenant story's new portions will likely be unlocked at certain Renown levels (40+), so we expect the Pathfinder to be time-gated. How heavy the time-gating will be remains unknown for now.

You can listen to the interview below. It starts at around 56:22.

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Boo, Hiss.

They're already following the pattern of making flying only occur once the zones barely matter anymore (we'll be spending most of our time in the new, non flying Maw zone).    Further gating flying in the now obsolete zones just feels like a middle finger.

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Uncommon Patron

Yup. I was briefly excited when they said "all you need to do is have completed your covenant storyline".  But then a few days later it was "your covenant storyline plus the new chapters that we'll be releasing" and the only thought in my head was CAN YOU SPELL TIMEGATING, BOYS AND GIRLS?

Because, as per usual, we can't have our playerbase having too much fun. Nope. Gotta keep that grind in. Gotta keep those nebulous "engagement" numbers high.

I mean who knows?  Maybe they'll prove me wrong and you can smash through the new stuff in a day!

I won't be holding my breath.

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Hopefully it won't be that bad. I mean, we were done with the current covenant campaign at renown 22, so maybe it will just be the next 20 renown after that? But agreed... more timegating for "engagement". 😒

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52 minutes ago, Nastybirdy said:

Yup. I was briefly excited when they said "all you need to do is have completed your covenant storyline".  But then a few days later it was "your covenant storyline plus the new chapters that we'll be releasing" and the only thought in my head was CAN YOU SPELL TIMEGATING, BOYS AND GIRLS?

Because, as per usual, we can't have our playerbase having too much fun. Nope. Gotta keep that grind in. Gotta keep those nebulous "engagement" numbers high.

I mean who knows?  Maybe they'll prove me wrong and you can smash through the new stuff in a day!

I won't be holding my breath.

the best part is none of this seems to help those "engagement" numbers   superdata which is basically the Neilson ratings but for video games is already stating that the playerbase has dropped to the low BfA levels and that over 60% of the people who bought SL have already quit.

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23 minutes ago, Calorat said:

the best part is none of this seems to help those "engagement" numbers   superdata which is basically the Neilson ratings but for video games is already stating that the playerbase has dropped to the low BfA levels and that over 60% of the people who bought SL have already quit.

That's pretty standard and a good chunk of those that left will return when 9.1 drops...only to leave again once they've done the new content.

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7 minutes ago, Calysia said:

That's pretty standard and a good chunk of those that left will return when 9.1 drops...only to leave again once they've done the new content.

Exactly this! Being one of them, I plan to come back for 9.1. I've done all the current content, maxed renown and 15+ key master achievement. I don't want to do an alt. Since we are months away from 9.1 (guesses vary between April and June) I'm not giving them $15 a month when I'm not getting anything. I think 9.1 looks exciting, so far.

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i just hope the catch up is strong enough to get me to 40 in time for 9.1and if not just give me a way to reach 40 in one constant stream once 9.1 hits live servers so i can push trough in one long day 

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It has to be noted that there are no official confirmations that Renown 80 is needed to unlock flight.

We only know that Covenant Campaign has to be finished and that's only Renown 23.

So far, that's the situation, be careful about not misreading this 😉 

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I wish they would do flying similar to how FFXIV does it, you complete the story in the zone with a few side quests then gather a few wind currents in the zone. BAM flying done, it's based on how much effort you're willing to put in, not how long you can wait a few months between your work. 😕

Edited by Lestat777
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17 hours ago, Aernath said:

It has to be noted that there are no official confirmations that Renown 80 is needed to unlock flight.

We only know that Covenant Campaign has to be finished and that's only Renown 23.

So far, that's the situation, be careful about not misreading this 😉 

So it only requires to finish previous campaign? If that's so, good. But there is new campaign being added, means there is possibility of it being delayed by requirement of getting new renown levels. Hopefully this is not the case here.

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16 hours ago, Lestat777 said:

I wish they would do flying similar to how FFXIV does it, you complete the story in the zone with a few side quests then gather a few wind currents in the zone. BAM flying done, it's based on how much effort you're willing to put in, not how long you can wait a few months between your work. 😕

I don't really like the way FF does it.

Have to do all these quests that aren't a part of MSQ and you have to unlock flying in each zone by itself.

Being able to fly in a given zone but not the zone next to it is wack.

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57 minutes ago, Arcling said:

So it only requires to finish previous campaign? If that's so, good. But there is new campaign being added, means there is possibility of it being delayed by requirement of getting new renown levels. Hopefully this is not the case here.

From what I'm understanding of what I read from BlizzConline, new covenant campaign stuff is being added to the new zone, and once we complete *that*, then we get flying. It shouldn't be too terrible to do, but I've been wrong before. 😅

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What I would like to see if flying available at max level, or when you explore all the zones with the exception of ones you don't have 100% access to without dying (looking at you MAW).  At that point most people will have already gone through all the beginning story mode content and it makes it easier to explore and get to other quests.

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13 hours ago, Prophet001 said:

Being able to fly in a given zone but not the zone next to it is wack.

Beats waiting several months on TiMeGaTiNg to be able to fly.

Edited by Lestat777

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On 2/28/2021 at 5:38 AM, Lestat777 said:

Beats waiting several months on TiMeGaTiNg to be able to fly.

Why are you so cringe. 

Edited by Znifler

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48 minutes ago, Znifler said:

Why are you so cringe. Heck this anime game you play man...

Translation: "I don't like FFXIV, so this user is cringe."

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