Author Topic: Shadowlands 9.1  (Read 63 times)

Kharvek

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Shadowlands 9.1
« on: February 18, 2021, 08:23:49 AM »
Looks like some initial information has dropped that is going to be expanded on at Blizzcon.  Sounds like the usual content drop, new area with new quests, new raid, new dungeon and flying.  ...unless your character is named Brynndolin in which case you'll never unlock flying.  The raid is in Torghast, which is earlier than I'd have expected, I though that would be more an end of the expansion thing, so who knows.  (Then again, maybe the next three raids are ALL Torghast!)

They also talk about unifying the covenants a lot.  I'm betting somewhere baked in that is the 'power creep' facet of this patch which I'm sure there will be.

The new dungeon sounds like how Karazhan and Mechagon were when they first opened, a massive mega dungeon that I'm betting get split up in a future patch to be M+ friendly. 

Snique

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Re: Shadowlands 9.1
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2021, 02:10:50 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhnpB3kUHGM&ab_channel=Taliesin%26Evitel

Tali points out that there was a remarkable lack of even simple visuals for any of the new things that were announced for 9.1 at Blizzconline. This makes it seem like the actual patch is pretty far away.

Kharvek

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Re: Shadowlands 9.1
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2021, 10:27:15 AM »
My gut is content is going to slow down from the normal rate.  This current calendar year of releases and everything beyond is now fully in the midst of 'heavily affected by pandemic'.  The stuff that hit last year was likely almost done when any sorta WFH measures hit.  The stuff from here on out has probably had significant development time under those circumstances and likely will cause some amount of delay.  The toughest stuff to work out under WFH is anything that relies on feel, which is I think the real reason there was barely any systems updates.  Those are the hardest things to do right now.  Cranking out assets isn't as problematic.  (Which is a little odd they didn't have a ton to show on that front)

Snique

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Re: Shadowlands 9.1
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2021, 05:42:55 AM »
I both agree and disagree. I think that the pandemic and WFH adjustments have an impact, but I don't think that's a systems thing. My sense is that they learned from last expansion where basically every .x patch brought a new system. In 8.x I felt like I had to re-learn the game each time, often changing talents and gems/enchants to optimize for the latest system. With 9.x we got all the systems up-front (omg so many systems) but now we just get systems tuning rather than whole revamps of the gameplay.

Valor aside I don't expect to see more new systems come out in this expansion. The downside of that is that the systems are now essentially dead ends. Most people have exactly one legendary per spec and it will upgrade when your gold matches the slowly descending price curve. That means you likely have to pass up some significant ilvl upgrades - last night I had to give up a 213 to keep my 190 legendary - which sort of sucks but it has happened before, like with set bonuses.

Likewise soulbinds and conduits are set-and-forget. There's not an exact BIS here but there are generally recognized best and very few reasons to change. It's sufficient overhead that unless you're raiding on the very edge it's likely not worth changing between single-target-best and cleave-best options between fights.

All that makes me think that we'll see some kind of combinatorics coming. For example, we're supposed to gather the convenants to invade the Maw so maybe they'll come up with a way to let us get cross-covenant soulbinds, or maybe do some kind of spell-effect thing that adds onto existing conduits. Like, if you "ally with" some other covenant it lets you add something. Maybe that's a new system? I dunno, maybe I just suck at game design.

Piralyn

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Re: Shadowlands 9.1
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2021, 06:19:31 AM »
I think folks are also underestimating the fact that they were actively working on systems for 9.0 until... the actual day the expansion went live. While they've "cut it close" before, the delay and active iteration right up until go-live is a different order of magnitude. This probably means they had even less pre-emptive work done on 9.1 like they would for follow up patches in the past, especially with the WFH limitations.

The way the game has evolved at this point means they're basically going to have to either add some new systems or extend the existing ones. With gear trickling in at a glacial pace in many cases, and the squishes making most upgrades look pretty minimal, power has to come from somewhere. Whether that's something like the extra set of Artifact Weapon powers they added in Legion or an entirely new system, who knows, but for better or for worse, they've pivoted to most of your character's power growth for an expansion being attached to borrowed power and systems. I don't think 're-grind all the same conduits you already had at a slightly higher item level' is going to compel people to continue playing. It's already felt a little shitty getting conduits to give you back powers you've had in previous expansions.

Given the fact they had basically nothing to show, they're only just now getting 9.0.5 spun up on the PTR, and WFH gutting a lot of efficiency--although it's probably less of a factor for a game designed to be played online and across the world rather than a console single-player primary game--I'd be surprised to see it before like... July. That seems like a very long time.