World of Warcraft: Shadowlands‘ latest update should be available to test in April, according to the MMORPG’s forums. Chains of Domination, the 9.1 update’s name, will be open for players on the PTR or Public Test Realm in two weeks.
Announced at this year’s BlizzCon, Chains of Domination is described as a major update for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, itself the eighth major expansion to the original title. The PTR is where developers place updates for players to test before they are released to the public. Unfortunately, the timetable is usually unspecified and updates can spend weeks or even months in testing.
Community manager Bornakk (real name Liam Knapp) wrote in the forum announcement that “There will be a wide variety of content to check out for Chains of Domination,” and that players testing it out and providing feedback will be an important piece to finalizing it. In this update, players join the world after the defeat of Sire Denathrius, the master of Revendreth and King of the Venthyr. Players will unravel more of the Shadowlands story, explore more of The Maw, and progress the Covenants’ storylines. With two weeks to go, World of Warcraft players must prepare for a new 10-boss raid Sanctum of Domination, the Veiled Market, and can look forward to flying across the Shadowlands.
Already delayed due to the pandemic, Chains of Domination coming to the PTR likely means that there will be at least a month before update 9.1 is actually brought out to the public. Players suspect and comment on the forum post that this points to a possible July release for 9.1 but this is unconfirmed. As the first major update to World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, the developer is going to have to balance getting the bugs and issues out of its release and getting it public as soon as possible.
This news will probably surprise a great deal of World of Warcraft players as the pandemic delays made it seem like this update was going to take even longer. Getting it to the PTR by mid-April is exciting but should leave players wary of what state it might be in at this time despite the exciting content it promises. Ideally Chains of Domination doesn’t need too much work and it can be fully released by the summer.
But no one can guarantee that the time this update spends on the PTR will be short. The pandemic has disrupted many industries and it would be more likely than not that this update has been hindered in development because of it. All players can do right now is count down the days and hope for the best.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is available on PC.