World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has been in its launch phase for months, as Tuesday’s Patch 9.1 is the first piece of content entirely created under Blizzard Entertainment‘s work-from-home protocols. Chains of Dominations changes the current grind of Anima and Covenant Quests by introducing an assortment of new content for players who focus on the end of the game.
The first – and most important – is the new area of Korthia, the City of Secrets. Korthia is the Maw’s next frontier, and the Covenant show up to fight the Jailer. There are two new reputations and a ton of mounts to collect in the region, as well as new gear and quests. If you’re looking for a new horse or bat to ride, this patch is a great time – there are 45 in total that have been added to the game.
There is also a raid alongside Korthia known as Sanctum of Domination, and that will be a big story for the Shadowlands throw away. While some of these guys are brand new characters, others are returning from Azeroth. Ner’zhul and Kel’Thuzad are shown as bosses, and Garrosh Hellscream is part of another encounter, as the jailer treats his soul for the anima since his death in an alternate timeline. It remains to be seen if Garrosh will hitchhike us home like the world’s strangest couch surfer.
All the new stuff is exciting, but Blizzard also went back and changed one of the World of warcraft the greatest endgame modes. The familiar Torghast setting should feel a bit less of a chore for players struggling with the Roguelite Combat Glove.
There are fewer floors per layer, and the tower drops 50% more Soul Ashes, which can be used to craft legendary weapons. Once you’ve cleared a layer, you can finish it again in the same week for a small amount of Soul Ash, in case you need a little more to get that Legendary or build a stash.
There are also new additions to the mode to complement it. Torghast now has a scoring system, so you can rank your races. The more races you do, the more you can upgrade a new talent system called Box of Many Things. You can remove negative auras, do more damage, etc. In short, the more you Torghast, the better off you are in Torghast.
According to Blizzard, one of the main sources of player feedback was frustration with progressing, especially when someone is having an issue on a difficult layer. “It’s interesting when you think of the games that inspired Torghast, the roguelite and roguelike games,” lead designer Morgan Day said on a call with Polygon. “It’s a different relationship in terms of success, and with a lot of these games you never expect to win.”
He continued, “What we found with the relationship with Soul Ash, Legendaries, meeting the Runecarver to talk to him… every time the player lost, it didn’t seem rewarding; it really wasn’t great. So we wanted to add some meta-progression elements and have a little more granularity with what success means in Torghast.
This is especially handy as there are new layers, and these drop Soul Cinders, which is a new material for building and leveling Legendaries. The Tazavesh mega-dungeon, the Veiled Market, will be another good place to acquire equipment. In future patches, it’s likely that Tazavesh will become two separate dungeons for Mythic + races.
Chains of Domination is out on Tuesday, but it will take a little while for the patch to roll out in its entirety. The raid opens on July 6, and players will have to fight their way through the new storyline to learn all of the new lore and secrets.