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With the announcement of patch 9.2, Game Director Ion Hazzikostas and Senior Level Designer Sara Wons sat down with french website millenium.org, to talk about the upcoming patch. Naturally, this interview contains more information about patch 9.2, however it’s entirely in French, and only parts of it will be translated.

When asked about 9.2 being the last patch in Shadowlands, Ion Hazzikostas replied:

Eternity’s End is the last major content patch in Shadowlands, as far as the release of new raids, new zones etc., is concerned.

Zereth Mortis being a new zone, means of course that there will be another grind like Ve’nari reputation in the Maw or Archivists’ Codex reputation in Korthia. On that topic, Ion mentioned that they learned a lot from Korthia. The fact that players felt frustrated with the way sockets were added and conduits were upgraded, as well as the fact that this grind had to be repeated on alts, is something that the team keeps in mind going forward.

When asked if they had a PTR release date to announce, Ion Hazzikostas replied:

Very, very soon. I would say that it will be in the next few weeks.

Millenium asked if flying will be available in Zereth Mortis, and Sara Wons replied:

Yes, eventually you will be able to fly, thanks to the decyphering system. So you will have access to it!

When talking about a global release for raids, Ion Hazzikostas shared that there will be no global release. They find it hardly acceptable for the hundreds of thousands of regular players that just want to raid without having a weekly reset in the middle of the evening, or without having the raid locked on patch day. While it could work for World First raiders, they also believe that if the team does their job well and some bosses survive until the next reset, then it’s proven that the best team will typically win. However if they don’t balance the raids well, like it was the case with the Emerald Nightmare a few years ago, they can see how it could be unfair.

As far as Renown is concerned, Ion confirmed that there will be no new renown levels. With Renown being tied to covenants, and with the players adventuring beyond the original story that was limited to the covenants, you will have another progression system instead.

Solo queue has also been a topic in this interview. While such a feature isn’t coming to World of Warcraft yet, patch 9.2 will also introduce a new Brawl: Solo Shuffle. This is Blizzard’s way to try out a solo queue system, and see if the community enjoys it enough to maybe have it lead to something more.
This Brawl will be a 2v2 “mini-tournament” where you will be matched with 3 other random players. After each round however, team compositions will change. You will play several rounds, until every possible team composition has been played. So there will not be any real team balancing, and instead, if you win the most games, you score will be higher, and that’s how the winner will be determined.

When asked if they intend to add catch-up mechanics for the new grind in Zereth Mortis, Ion Hazzikostas replied:

Yes! It’s the philosophy offered by patch 9.1.5: we wish to offer a really fun, interesting and deep progression system during the first few weeks following the release of the patch, all while allowing a player starting late or swapping characters to not feel like they are behind, to prevent it from becoming a source of frustration.

The legendary system is also going to receive a few changes in the upcoming patch:

  • New Legendary ranks.
  • The currency required to craft those new ranks will not come from Torghast. Players will acquire it directly from Zereth Mortis, instead of doing Torghast every week.
  • While progressing through Zereth Mortis, players will become able to equip 2 Legendary items at the same. However, you will only be able to equip one Covenant specific legendary and another regular Legendary at once.

While here you have information tied to patch 9.2, the interview isn’t limited to systems and features of the upcoming patch. There are more questions about lore and future changes to the game, so make sure to check out the full interview.

About the Author

Spannah

Long time World of Warcraft player, I'm always looking for new music to listen to, and weird facts and news to share with friends. I mostly play retail World of Warcraft nowadays, with some occasional Hunt, League of Legends, and Dead by Daylight.

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