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World of Warcraft’s first Shadowlands patch is an invasion into the Maw

We’re going into super hell to fight Sylvanas

World of Warcraft’s first major content patch for the Shadowlands expansion is on the way, and at Blizzard’s BlizzConline event we learned that it will be quite a doozy. Patch 9.1 is called Chains of Domination, and it has players taking a decisive strike against the Jailer ... and finding out exactly what happened to Anduin Wrynn after a cliffhanger cutscene in Torghast, the Tower of the Damned.

The new endgame zone is Korthia, the City of Secrets. The Jailer has used the power granted to him by Sire Denathrius’ anima hoard to pull this lost city into the Maw itself. It comes packed with new quests and outdoor activities, as players race The Jailer in an attempt to figure out what he’s looking for.

“[Korthia] is an expansion of the content that’s already there,” says Frank Kowalkowski, technical director at Blizzard, noting that the original Maw and its content will be preserved. The Maw will be a larger zone, and players are able to go through the original set of dailies before diving into Korthia, a city full of the denizens we’ve seen tending to Oribos.

World of Warcraft - a player, riding a unicorn, runs through the city of Korthia in the Maw. Image: Blizzard Entertainment

The Kyrian, Night Fae, Necrolord and Venthyr Covenants are also there to help out, and a new endgame campaign has the player bringing them all together and leading them into The Maw. Korthia will have a mechanic similar to the Battle for Azeroth invasion daily quests, with the Covenants striking at key locations around Korthia and players helping out in the open world.

The raid in Patch 9.1 is the Sanctum of Domination, a 10-boss raid. Sylvanas Windrunner is the final boss of this raid, which is much earlier than most players would have expected. We’ll have to see what happens when we confront her, but she’s been the big bad of the game since the end of Battle for Azeroth, so this is an important climax in the game’s narrative.

World of Warcraft - five new cosmetics set from the Chains of Domination pet, each representing one of the game’s factions. Image: Blizzard Entertainment

We also got a glimpse at a corrupted Anduin, who is now under the sway of the Jailer. In a call with Polygon ahead of BlizzConline, Blizzard confirmed Anduin will not be a boss in Patch 9.1, so it seems his story will continue throughout the rest of Shadowlands.

For players who want to see more of the mysterious Brokers, Patch 9.1 has an eight-boss Mythic dungeon, similar to Karazhan and Mechagon’s mega-dungeons in Legion and Battle for Azeroth. Tazavesh, the Veiled Market, is set in a Broker bazaar. Players will have to engage in a heist to get through the marketplace and steal a set of powerful artifacts from Azeroth. Tazavesh will likely be split into two instances in future Mythic keystone content, but the developer will listen to fan feedback.

Patch 9.1 will have a few more features, like a seasonal affix for Mythic Keystone dungeons. There are new Covenant cosmetic armor sets that aren’t locked to a specific class type, so anyone can wear them. Soulbinds and Conduits will be polished and expanded, and players will be able to unlock flying in the four Covenant zones.