World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will conclude after only two major patches, Blizzard revealed during a developer stream Thursday afternoon.
World of Warcraft patch 9.2, Eternity’s End, will see players pursue the fully-powered-up Jailer into Zereth Mortis, a new area in the Shadowlands. This new zone is where the First Ones built many of the afterlife mechanisms and creatures that players have encountered since Shadowlands’ launch. And it’s where they’ll make a final stand against the Jailer himself.
There will, of course, be new loot to unlock in Zereth Mortis, and players will need to translate an ancient language to uncover new rewards and answers to some burning lore questions. Eternity’s End will also include all the usual suspects, like new PvP and Mythic+ seasons, new mounts, and new cosmetics. And Tazavesh, the mega dungeon added in 9.1, will finally be split up into two Mythic+ and Heroic wings.
One of the most exciting pieces of the announcement is the return of class-based Tier sets, which haven’t appeared since the end of Legion. Players of each class can collect multiple armor pieces from raids, PvP, or Mythic+. Equipping multiple Tier armor pieces grants class-specific abilities.
Eternity’s End will also bring with it Shadowlands’ final raid: Sepulcher of the First Ones. Players will fight through the 11-boss raid to not only defeat the Jailer, but also to battle king Anduin in an attempt to free him from his otherworldly possession. Blizzard specifically says that players will “put a definitive end to the Jailer’s plan.”
It’s worth noting that World of Warcraft expansions typically end their development on patch X.3 or even X.4. Shadowlands will be the second World of Warcraft expansion in history to only get two major post-launch patches, following Warlords of Draenor. However, we could see another minor patch or two between now and World of Warcraft’s next, currently unannounced expansion.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic slowing development on all games, some World of Warcraft developers have blamed Shadowlands’ lack of development progress on the ongoing turmoil at Activision Blizzard in the wake of lawsuits, firings, and promises from leadership to change the company’s culture.
California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) investigated the company for two years before filing suit, and found that women are paid less and subject to sexual harassment, without meaningful punishment applied to perpetrators. In the period since the lawsuit was filed in late July, the DFEH has expanded its complaint to include allegations that Activision Blizzard “suppressed” evidence in its investigation. The company denies that claim.
Activision Blizzard is currently facing multiple lawsuits and a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. One of its lawsuits, filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was settled for $18 million earlier this year.
More than 40 Activision Blizzard employees have been disciplined in the months following the initial lawsuit. Also in its wake, Blizzard made good on its promise to rename the Overwatch character formerly known as McCree: He’s now Cole Cassidy.
You can read more about the allegations against Activision Blizzard in Polygon’s explainer.