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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands' Team Gives Development Update For October; Details Conduit, Maw Changes

Joseph Bradford Updated: Posted:
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In a new post on the Blizzard forums, the World of Warcraft team detailed some of the changes players can expect to see with the beta, including changes to the  Conduit system in the next build of Shadowlands. 

In their October Development update, community manager Randy "Kaivax" Jordan detailed some of the many changes coming to World of Warcraft: Shadowlands' beta this month, such as reacting to feedback surrounding both The Maw and the Conduit system.

Kaivax mentions that while "The Maw is intended to be the desolote and brutal domain of the Jailer," the team has also acknowledged that the storytelling and content is "currently falling short."

The Maw is intended to be the desolate and brutal domain of the Jailer, and not a place any soul in the Warcraft cosmos ever hopes to visit. But this is, after all, a video game, and telling that story can’t come at the expense of creating a fun environment for adventurers. We’ve heard feedback that this content is currently falling short of that mark, and we agree.

Blizzard mentions that the team is working to "increase the visual distinction and combat gameplay variety" in the Maw, as well as trying to inject a bit more direction without sacrificing the sandbox roots of its gameplay. 

Players will venture into the Maw weekly to rescue souls to aid in restoring their Covenants, and the mysterious broker Ve’nari offers a range of cosmetic, convenience, and power rewards in exchange for Stygia. Those goals need to be more immediately apparent early on. We’ll share more info about specific updates when these changes are ready for Beta testing and feedback.

Also on the docket are changes coming to the Conduit system. Previously detailed at the end of September, the team has received "a lot of feedback" surrounding Conduits. Based on the feedback, the team admits that the current iteration, while flexible to those who have "all three soulbounds fully unlocked", is too limiting. 

As a result, the team is introducing a change which replaces the weekly cooldown on changing conduits with what Kaivax calls a "more flexible system."

In an upcoming build, we will be replacing the weekly cooldown on changing conduits with a more flexible system: When first unlocked, the Forge of Bonds will be charged with 10 Conduit Energy, and placing a conduit into a socket will consume a single charge. Conduit Energy recharges at the rate of one per day, up to a cap of 10, and adding a new conduit to your collection immediately restores one Conduit Energy as well.

Finally the update talks a bit about upcoming class and covenant balance tuning. While the exact details of what the team is doing are somewhat vague, Jordan mentions that the Shadowlands team's initial efforts were focused squarely on covenant class abilities "that were outliers on either end of the spectrum, including some substaintial redesigns where necessary." He mentions that the coming weeks will see more iteration on these, as well as the soulbinds. 

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands was delayed last week, initially scheduled to launch later this month on October 27th. Blizzard cited in the delay announcement a need for extra time for "additional polish" as well as balancing and iteration on "interlocking pieces - particularly related to the endgame." No date has been set for the release of Shadowlands, but if you're in the beta you'll get a chance to check out these changes this month as detailed by Kaivax as the team works towards launch.


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Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore