World of Warcraft’s next update, 9.0.5, is currently being tested and is on the way to Shadowlands. This patch is expected to release in March, and it’s a technical set of changes meant to balance out the existing systems instead of adding new content. We’ll likely see more announcements at BlizzConline later this February, including the reveal of Patch 9.1.
The first major change allows players to upgrade their Mythic gear. Right now, players can run Mythic Keystone dungeons, which scale from 0 to +1, +2, and onward up to higher difficulties like +11 or +14. However, players aren’t getting enough loot from the bosses they kill. In previous expansions, gear could randomly gear could randomly become Warforged, granting additional stats. This meant that dungeons could sometimes be profitable, or players could get nothing worth keeping at all.
On the test realm, players will earn Valor Points. Gear that players earn from Mythic dungeons can be upgraded using Valor Points, which is earned from either completing dungeons or doing your daily Covenant quests. The exact values are being tuned, and it’s likely that we’ll see them further change as the expansion progresses and new gear comes out.
The second big change is that Covenant and Legendary abilities are being tweaked. Many of the weaker combos are being brought up to speed. In the official patch announcement, Blizzard explains why they’re going over these abilities and adjusting their power.
In many cases, the changes coming in 9.0.5 are improvements to Legendary items and Covenant class abilities that have seen comparatively less use by players. Our goal with these changes is to provide more gameplay options for crafting and utilizing Legendary items in specific situations, and to make sure that more players feel that the Covenant that suits their aesthetic, narrative, or other preferences for their character also feels more viable for their preferred playstyle.
While 9.0.5 is very technical, we can expect 9.1 to contain much more in the way of new content. Players will likely get to explore a new zone and fight bosses in a new raid as the story of Shadowlands continues.