Blizzard has finally unveiled the new World of Warcraft expansion’s release date, and that means the long-awaited Shadowlands pre-patch is likely just over the horizon. Here’s everything we know about patch 9.0.1 so far.
The Shadowlands pre-patch details have been released early, and that means the next World of Warcraft expansion isn’t too far away. In fact, you can already download the Shadowlands preview update ready for 9.0.1’s long-awaited arrival.
There’s plenty to sink your teeth into ahead of the proper Shadowlands release as well. The pre-expansion update will add a pile of level, item, and stat changes, the new “Exile’s Reach” starting area, and reworked Timewalking campaigns.
Here’s everything we know about the Shadowlands pre-expansion patch, update 9.0.1, so far, starting with when we expect it to go live on global servers.
When will Shadowlands patch 9.0.1 go live?
Blizzard has yet to reveal exactly when pre-patch 9.0.1 will go live, but we can certainly have a pretty good guess at its release date. Shadowlands has been penned in for an October 26 premiere, which is basically exactly a month away.
If history is anything to go off, Blizzard usually gives World of Warcraft players three or four weeks to muck around in the pre-patch. That means the Shadowlands update should deploy sometime in the next week, at the very latest.
Keep your eyes peeled for Blizzard’s official confirmation @Warcraft.
WoW Shadowlands update 9.0.1 early pre-patch notes
Pre-Patch will host Scourge Event
The main event during the Shadowlands pre-patch will be the Scourge Event. This event will include a new questline, which ties into the Shadowlands narrative, as well as a huge zombie invasion, the return of bosses in Icetown, and Nathanos Blightcaller.
There will be two weeks of challenges within the event. Completing all the daily challenges will give players event-based rewards ahead of Shadowlands.
Nathanos Blightcaller serves as the weekly World Boss. He will spawn at his family home in the Eastern Plaguelands. He drops level 100 items, including weapons.
Shadowlands class changes
Shadowlands will be tweaking classes again slightly. The main changes will be coming for Shadow Priests, who are getting a hefty revamp, but all classes will have different “flavor and utility” added to their class in 9.0.1 and beyond.
Fury Warriors, Frost Death Knights, and Monks will now be able to choose between dual-wielding and two-handed weapons again.
The much-maligned Corruption system has also been removed in Shadowlands. Legion legendaries have similarly been disabled. These changes mean some classes “may feel incomplete” in the pre-patch, Blizzard warned on Sep. 23.
As many players were already aware, Shadowlands is going to be “squishing” levels in World of Warcraft. Starting in the pre-patch update, levels, items, and stats will be adjusted to “make reaching a new level more meaningful.”
Characters who are currently level 120 will be dropped to level 50 after 9.0.1.
Character customization will be overhauled
Shadowlands will also be bringing a huge overhaul to player character customization. This will include new race options, and brand-new UI for the creation screen, and more.
The biggest change is the new haul of appearance changes you can make to your character. Allied Races, including Void Elves, can all use these new changes too.
New customization options
- Night Elves have the “Teldrassil” burn option.
- Undead can now pick pink hair, and hide bones.
- Orcs have new scars, tattoos, and war paint.
- Draenei can change their tail lengths, and jewelry colors.
- Worgen can customize their human form.
- Void Elves can access blue eyes, and all Blood Elves skin tones.
- Dwarves have new tattoo options.
- Tauren can wear flowers in new hairstyles.
- Most races now have a bald option.
- Humans have even more facial features and more variety options “to represent the diversity in the real world.”
Accessibility and interface changes
Finally, the new Shadowlands pre-expansion update will be adding a host of accessibility and interface improvements.
These include gamepad support, which allows players to change key binds on all console controllers. Camera shake controls can also be adjusted, to help with motion sickness.
Ray Tracing Support is also coming for higher shadow quality.