World of Warcraft: Shadowlands pre-patch notes: Level squish & LTM

Matt Porter
WoW character standing with Shadowlands logo.

World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands expansion may be delayed, but Blizzard are still dropping the pre-patch on October 13 that is set to make some major changes to the ultra-popular MMO title.

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Blizzard confirmed on October 2 that they would be delaying the release of the Shadowlands expansion, which was due to drop in October 2020, citing a need for “additional polish and balancing” following feedback as the reason.

Despite the delay, each WoW expansion is preceded by a pre-patch that prepares the game for the upcoming content drop, and usually introduces a new storyline that shifts the focus of the game from the key characters from the last expansion to the new one.

That patch is officially on its way, with Blizzard confirming that the 9.0.1 patch is coming on October 13, and we’ve got all the patch notes you need to get ready for the action.

Screenshot from the WoW: Shadowlands trailer.
Shadowlands may have been delayed, but the pre-patch is still on its way.

The Shadowlands pre-expansion patch includes new character customizations, a level squish that will see current level 120 players go down to level 50, and a host of other quality of life improvements and changes.

Death Rising LTM

There’s also a brand-new Limited-Time Event called Death Rising, which will see players defend Azeroth from an undead invasion as the Scourge make their way across the land. Players will need to take back Icecrown and then prepare for the journey into the Shadowlands. The event will only be available until the launch of Shadowlands, so you may not have long to log-in and enjoy it.

Levels, Items, and Stats adjusted

Levels, items, and stats have been adjusted to make reaching a new level feel more meaningful while simultaneously making the leveling experience faster than before. Characters at level 120 will become level 50 after the content update.

New Character Customization

The character creation experience has been revitalized with a brand new user interface and many new character customization options to choose from. Some of the new options are selecting your eye color, new skin tones, new hairstyles, and hair & fur colors.

All of these new options are available at Barber Shops throughout Azeroth, including the option for Druids to choose the appearance of their shape-shifting forms and the ability to swap genders. Now all customization is available in-game at any time so the Appearance Change service will no longer be sold in the Shop.

New WoW Shadowlands character customization options.
Players have more control than ever over how their character looks.

Blizzard have also made some bug fixes and quality of life improvements to other areas of the game, including auction houses, dungeons and raids, items and rewards, and more. You can check out the patch notes below.

WoW v9.0.1 pre-expansion patch notes

Auction House

  • Sold auctions will now show buyer or bidder player names in a tooltip.
  • Commodities (stackable items) are now sold by selected stacks before other stacks from the inventory.
  • Personal auctions can now be sorted by time remaining.
  • The “Level Range” filter now also filters battle pets by level.
  • A “Runecarving” option for Profession-crafted armor pieces for Legendaries has been added under each Armor category. These materials are not yet available until Shadowlands.

Black Market Auction House

  • Max level is now required to access the Black Market Auction House.
  • The Mighty Caravan Brutosaur is no longer sold by vendors and will now be occasionally available on the Black Market Auction House.

Dungeons and Raids

  • Mythic Keystone Dungeon Affixes
    • Bursting
      • Bursting is now a dispellable Magic debuff.
      • Bursting deals a flat amount of damage instead of a percentage based off of max HP.
    • Volcanic
      • Players are now knocked in the air when hit by Volcanic.
      • Volcanic now deals damage equal to 15% of the player’s health (was 40%).
    • Sanguine
      • Sanguine’s duration reduced to 20 seconds (was 60 seconds).
    • Grievous
      • Non-periodic heals now removes 1 stack of Grievous.
      • Grievous now deals a flat amount of damage instead of a percentage based off of max HP.
    • Explosive
      • Explosive Orbs now spawn 4 to 8 yards from the unit that summoned them (was 3 yards).
      • Explosive Orb health has been reduced and no longer scales with keystone level.
      • Explosive Orbs now have a sound effect when defeated.

Items and Rewards

  • Corrupted Items
    • With the Black Empire turned to ash upon the defeat of N’Zoth the Corruptor, Corruption effects on items will no longer function.
  • Heart of Azeroth
    • Rank 4 Essences are no longer obtainable.
    • Heart of Darkness (Azerite Trait) no longer requires 25 Corruption Level to be active.
    • Memory of Lucid Dreams (Azerite Essence) now affects Holy Power instead of Shield of the Righteous for Protection Paladins.
    • Memory of Lucid Dreams (Azerite Essence) now affects Mana for Enhancement Shaman.
    • The PvP Talent granted with Conflict and Strife (Azerite Essence) Major Power has been changed for the following classes:
      • Mistweaver Monks now learn Chrysalis (was Way of the Crane).
      • Affliction Warlocks now learn Rot and Decay (was Endless Affliction).
      • Restoration Druids now learn Reactive Resin (was Overgrowth).
      • Discipline Priests now learn Purification (was Premonition).
      • Mages now learn Netherwind Armor (was Temporal Shield).
  • All Legion Legendary items’ bonuses no longer activate.
  • Leatherworking drums now provide 15% Haste (was 25%).
  • War-Scrolls of Battle Shout, Intellect and Fortitude can no longer be used by characters above level 50.
  • Many consumables now have a 5 minute cooldown.
  • Water now regenerates mana slower in the first seconds you begin drinking, increasing to a rapid return as you drink continuously.
  • Reduced the amount of value that Critical Strike, Haste, Mastery, and Versatility secondary stats provide when reaching high thresholds.
  • Heirlooms no longer have experience bonuses and now have a set bonus. The new set bonus can be obtained from all Heirloom pieces except weapons and trinkets.
    • (2) Set: Rested experience consumed is reduced by 30%.
    • (3) Set: Increases your out-of-combat regeneration in the outdoors, normal dungeons and battlegrounds.
    • (4) Set: Gaining a level triggers Burst of Knowledge, dealing Holy damage to nearby enemies and granting you 40% primary stat for 2 minutes. Defeating additional enemies extends this effect, up to 2 additional minutes.
    • (6) Set: Rested experience consumed is reduced by an additional 30%.
  • Elixir of Ancient Knowledge, Elixir of the Rapid Mind, and Excess Potion of Accelerated Learning will become Poor quality and no longer usable.
  • The Draught of Ten Lands will still retain the 10% experience bonus but will now be capped at level 50.
  • Glyphs that change the appearance of a Druid’s form are now one time use and unlock the appearance permanently at the Barber Shop.
  • PvP Weapon Illusions can be used by all characters across the account.
  • You can no longer champion a Mists of Pandaria faction for bonus reputation.
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