- Author: Baed
- Date: September 17, 2021
- Expansion: World of Warcraft
Blizzard is keeping with the theme of continually improving the quality of gameplay in 9.1.5. Alongside the previously revealed Mage Tower return, this week’s PTR update contains more AOE cap softening, covenant updates, Korthia updates, catch up mechanics, and even helpful changes to pet battles. This update also includes a change to the /ignore command, now causing it to block all characters on that player’s account.
The following effects have had their strict target caps removed, and instead will function with reduced damage past the previous cap of five or eight targets, depending on the ability.
- Demon Hunter’s Glaive Tempest and Fel Barrage talents
- Death Knight’s Sacrifical Pact, Consumption, Bonestorm, Bursting Sores, and Reanimated Shambler
- Hunter’s Barrage
- Mage’s Arcane Echo and Frozen Orb
- Monk’s Spinning Crane Kick – Windwalker also receiving buffs to its unique target hit bonuses, 15% to 18%, and stacks from 5 to 6.
- Rogue’s Fan of Knives, Crimson Tempest, Black Powder, and Shuriken Storm
- Warlock Felguard’s Felstorm
- Warrior’s Bladestorm
Additional balance changes in the form of covenant ability changes were added as well. Death Knight’s Abomination Limb applies its damage bonus to all targets hit, not just enemies pulled; Hunter’s Death Chakram increases damage dealt by you and your pet to targets hit by 10 percent; and Feral Druid’s Adaptive Swarm is receiving bug fixes and works properly with Tiger’s Fury.
The previously announced Soulbind skip, where having a Covenant’s third Soulbind unlocked will unlock it on all alts in that Covenant is now available for testing, as well as giving players a way to gain Grateful Offerings from all covenant callings, depending on highest Anima Conductor rank.
Korthia and Alt Catch Up
Several methods to increase and facilitate alt progression through Korthia has been added, from a BoA Item that increases reputation gained by turning in Relics by 50% (Research Report: Relic Examination Techniques) to quests that will increase the rate alternate characters gain relics and relic fragments.
Additionally, the Heirloom Vendor in Oribos now sells BoA items to transfer anima across covenants and characters; a Mythic+ 210 iLvl and PvP 220 iLvl chests to be bought by players with 1500 M+ Rating and 1600 PvP rating respectively. These will contain one piece of gear to be sent to alternate characters.
Pet Battles have gained quite a few changes to make the experience and leveling process easier. Training Stones will now always provide 2000 experience rather than one level, battling similarly leveled wild pets will provide double experience, experience penalties for deaths have been reduced from 100% reduction to 50%, and all pet battle experience has been increased by 50%. As a trade off, the Pet Battle Bonus Event will function at 100% instead of 200% increased.
Here are this week’s PTR notes. :slight_smile:
New character customization options for Highmountain Tauren.
The following area-of-affect abilities are no longer maximum target capped and instead deal reduced damage beyond 5 targets:
Glaive Tempest (Talent)
Spinning Crane Kick
The following area-of-affect abilities are no longer maximum target capped and instead deal reduced damage beyond 8 targets:
Reanimated Shambler (Runecarving Power)
Fel Barrage (Talent)
Arcane Echo (Talent)
Fan of Knives
Abomination’s Frenzy (Necrolord Runecarving Power) now applies its 10% damage increase to all enemies damaged (was enemies pulled by Abomination Limb).
Adaptive Swarm (Necrolord Ability) will now gain a damage bonus for its initial duration when cast during Tiger’s Fury.
Fixed an issue that prevented certain ranks of the Carnivorous Instinct conduit from improving auto-attack and periodic damage while Tiger’s Fury’s damage bonus is active.
Fixed an issue that prevented the Carnivorous Instinct conduit from affecting the damage over time of Thrash and Feral Frenzy.
Death Chakram (Necrolord Ability) now also increases all physical damage done by you and your pet to the targets damaged by 10% for 10 seconds.
Spinning Crane Kick (Rank 2) now increases Spinning Crane Kick’s damage by 18% (was 15%) for each unique target struck with Blackout Kick, Tiger Palm and Rising Sun Kick in the last 20 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times (was 6).
Completing the Shadowlands Campaign Unlocking your third Soulbind on any character allows alternate characters joining that same Covenant to immediately unlock their second and third Soulbind.
This feature is now available for testing.
Players who have built and upgraded their covenant’s Anima Conductors will now receive Grateful Offerings from all covenant Callings, based on the highest level of Anima Conductor they’ve upgraded.
Dungeons and Raids
New: Legion Timewalking
Timewalking Mage Tower (This feature will be available in a later PTR build)
In 9.1.5, Legion Timewalking will become available for the first time, and with Timewalking comes a wondrous way to return to the moments of heroism from the past: Azeroth’s champions will be able to enter the Mage Tower again. The original seven different Challenges (grouped by your specialization’s role) will be available to try repeatedly, for the duration of Legion Timewalking.
Each Challenge comprises a series of solo encounters that must be completely survived to earn rewards, and in Legion Timewalking, they will not require that you have an Artifact, or even that you originally played Legion.
Success in a Mage Tower challenge will now award a Legion-themed armor set for your class. There’s also a new Achievement coming in 9.1.5 for the most well-rounded champions of the Kirin Tor. Players who complete all seven of the Challenges on different characters across their [Battle.net](http://Battle.net) account will be rewarded with a unique flying mount: the Soaring Spelltome. Additionally, Guardian druids who complete The Highlord’s Return challenge will also receive a new fel variant of the “werebear” form.
Items and Rewards
The Heirloom vendor in Oribos now sells the following bind-on-account items:
Traveler’s Anima Cache that allows Anima to be taken to new covenants or sent to alternate characters.
Valorous Equipment Chest for Valor that contains 1 piece of item level 210 Mythic 0 gear. The chest can only be purchased by a character with a 1500 or higher Mythic+ Rating.
Unchained Equipment Chest for Conquest that contains 1 piece of item level 220 unranked PvP gear. The chest can only be purchased by a character with a 1600 or higher rating in any PvP bracket.
Korthia and the Maw
Archivists’ Codex Reputation
The Research Reports (item upgrades) and Treatise items (bonus drops in 9.0 content) are now available for purchase account wide if a character on their account has reached the appropriate reputation Tier.
Players at Tier 6 can now purchase the item “Research Report: Relic Examination Techniques”, a new bind-on-account item they can send to an alt to increase the reputation granted by Relics and Relic Fragments by 50%.
The quest “Relic Efficiency” offered at Tier 4 now also increases the average number of Relics that will show up as bonus drops from rares and treasures as well as how many relics show up on daily quests or in weekly reward chests. This is in addition to the current reward of a 20% chance to receive double the normal Relic Fragment drops from rares and treasures.
Added two new quests, “Relic Clues” at Tier 3 which starts the bonus at an initial 10% chance at double Relic Fragments, and “Relic Hunter” at Tier 5 that will set the final chance for double relics at 40%. Both of these new quests will also increase the average number of relics you will see as bonus drops, on daily quests or in weekly reward chests.
Developers’ note: We want to improve the experience on alts looking to gear up through Korthia by providing immediate access to the upgrade unlocks and a reputation increase if a player’s main character has reached Tier 6. We also understand that the end tiers of the reputation are taking longer than we intended, especially for players with limited play time or are not powerful enough yet to delve into the rifts on Korthia. To that end we have added the new quests at Tier 3 and 5 and adjusted the one at Tier 4 to increase the Relic count from the weekly and daily rewards. This along with their other bonus of increasing the Relic Fragment drops we hope will speed up everyone’s progress to restore the Archivists’ Codex.
Flawless and family-specific Battle-Training Stones now provide a flat 2,000 experience (was the amount required to gain one level).
Fel-Touched Battle-Training Stones now provide a flat 10,000 experience (was the amount required to gain five levels).
Battling wild pets with a team of comparable-level pets now provides double experience. Pets on your team are eligible for this bonus if no pet on your team is more than two levels higher than any pet in the wild team.
The experience penalty for a pet dying has been reduced to 50% (was 100%). Pets still need to be active for at least one round to be eligible to earn experience from a battle.
All pet experience earned in battles is increased by 50%.
To compensate, the Pet Battle Bonus Event buff Sign of the Critter has been reduced to 100% (was 200%). The net effect of this is that pet experience gained during the Pet Battle Bonus Event will remain unchanged from current values.
Developers’ note: Pet battling is a fun and exciting mini-game, but the current incentives result in esoteric strategies being the only optimal choices. This results in a barrier to entry that discourages players from engaging with this system. We believe this set of changes will widen the range of optimal behavior without nerfing any existing leveling strategies.
Player versus Player
The Honor cost to upgrade Unrated gear reduced by around 25%, and the Conquest cost to upgrade Rated gear has been adjusted to spread across the new ranks.
Adaptive Swarm’s (Necrolord Ability) bonus to periodic healing effects reduced to 20% in PvP combat (was 25%).
Heal healing increased by 35% in PvP combat (was 20%).
Flash Heal healing increased by 30% in PvP combat (was 15%).
Renew healing increased by 15% in PvP combat.
Elysian Might’s (Kyrian Runecarving Power) Critical Strike damage bonus reduced to 15% in PvP Combat (was 25%).
The Runecarver will now offer to destroy an existing legendary item and return all of the Soul Ash or Soul Cinders that were spent to create the item.
This feature is now available for testing.
User Interface and Accessibility
Improved Chat Reporting Feedback
/ignore now blocks all characters on the ignored player’s WoW account.
New character customization options will be marked by a “NEW” tag in character creation and the Barbershop.
The Adventure Guide loot pane now separates normal loot from bonus loot to indicate that they don’t compete with each other as drops.