WHAT TO DO BEFORE SEASON ONE ENDS
The release date for Chains of Domination, Shadowlands’ upcoming mid-expansion update, is still unknown, but it can’t be very far off. The 9.1 patch that will implement the new content has already arrived at the Public Test Realm (PTR). When the update launches on the main servers, it will also mean the end of Season One and the beginning of Season Two. This changing of the seasons will affect ranked PvP, Mythic+ dungeons, and achievements. Finishing up on all of those things will be important, especially for completionist collectors, but there are also other things you should at least consider doing before the season’s conclusion.
Play Through the Story
In case you have not done so already, finishing the released story content is the most important thing you can do before 9.1. Not only will it let you get into the new content without delay and provide helpful context, but it is also pretty much essential if you are to follow the other suggestions in this article. That means finishing the Shadowlands storyline, playing through your chosen Covenant campaign, and turning in the quests needed to access Torghast, Tower of the Damned and Legendary crafting. Ve’nari, who is strongly involved in those quests, also offers other weekly tasks that help unlock different sections of the Maw. Given that domain’s relevance in the update, it would be wise to complete those too.
Prove Your Strength
While story completion may be a necessary stepping stone, it is at least possible to catch up with it later. On the other hand, you may also be interested in exclusive achievements known as Feats of Strength which may only be obtained before the season’s end. Those achievements mainly provide precious bragging rights for accomplishing something that later players will not be able to do, but some of them also come with other rewards.
Two of those achievements involve the Castle Nathria raid – the provisional pause point of the narrative. Defeating its final boss, Sire Denathrius, on the Heroic difficulty before the release of the Sanctum of Domination raid will give you the latest version of the Ahead of the Curve achievement. Doing the same thing in the Mythic version will similarly yield the Cutting Edge feat plus the rare Sinbreaker title.
The Prideful affix that has spawned dangerous yet highly rewarding Manifestations of Pride during Mythic+ dungeon runs will go away in the next season. It will be replaced by Domination, which will apparently involve fighting the Jailer’s monsters to gain special powers. Despite apparent similarities, for better or worse, that will surely make for a very different experience. If you enjoy the risk-reward dynamic of Prideful, you should get your fill of it while it lasts.
While you are at it, you will be able to earn three more Feats of Strength. The account-wide Shadowlands Keystone Explorer, Conqueror, and Master achievements for Season One require finishing all of the initial eight dungeons at Mythic 5+, 10+, and 15+ respectively within the time limit. Doing so will also unlock more extensive upgrades to Mythic dungeon loot using Valor Points, allowing gear from that category to reach the item levels of 200, 207, and 213 respectively. Additionally, reaching the Conqueror tier will grant you the title of “the Proud”, while the Master comes with a unique and sinister mount – the Sintouched Deathwalker, abound death elemental.
The remaining Feats revolve around the ranked PvP climb in the Arena and the Rated Battlegrounds:
|PvP Achievement Name||Requirements||Rewards|
|Combatant: Shadowlands Season 1||Earn the rank of Combatant by getting to 1400 Arena rating during Shadowlands Season One.||“Combatant ” title.|
|Challenger: Shadowlands Season 1||Earn the rank of Challenger by getting to 1600 Arena rating during Shadowlands Season One.||“Challenger ” title.|
|Rival: Shadowlands Season 1||Earn the rank of Rival by getting to 1800 Arena rating during Shadowlands Season One.||“Rival ” title.|
|Duelist: Shadowlands Season 1||Earn the rank of Duelist by getting to 2100 Arena rating during Shadowlands Season One.||“Duelist ” title.|
|Elite: Shadowlands Season 1||Earn the rank of Elite by getting to 2400 Arena rating during Shadowlands Season One.||“the Elite” title.|
|Gladiator: Shadowlands Season 1||Win 50 3v3 Arena matches while at Elite rank during Shadowlands Season One.||“Gladiator” title and the Sinful Gladiator’s Soul Eater mount (account-wide).|
|Sinful Gladiator: Shadowlands Season 1||Win 150 3v3 Arena matches during Shadowlands Season One as your current faction and finish the PvP Season in the top 0.1% of the 3v3 Arena ladder.||“Sinful Gladiator ” title.|
|Hero of the Alliance: Sinful||Win 50 Rated Battleground games for the Alliance during Shadowlands Season One and finish the PvP Season in the top 0.5% of the Rated Battleground ladder.||“Hero of the Alliance” title.|
|Hero of the Horde: Sinful||Win 50 Rated Battleground games for the Horde during Shadowlands Season One and finish the PvP Season in the top 0.5% of the Rated Battleground ladder.||“Hero of the Horde” title.|
On top of that, you have the chance to acquire the seasonal Vicious War Spider mount for the Alliance or the Horde. Until recently, the prerequisite for seeking this reward was reaching the Combatant rank. However, it has been lowered to getting a 1000 Arena Rating. Once this benchmark has been achieved, you will need to fill in a progress bar by winning Arena and Rated Battleground matches. When it is full, you will receive the mount. Afterward, you can fill in the bar again to get the Vicious Saddle used to purchase the mounts from earlier seasons. Due to this system, it should still be possible to get the rideable arachnid after the update, though it will be more time-consuming than doing it now.
Prepare for New Challenges
The update will introduce several new activities, an unexplored zone, a dungeon, and a raid. There will be more resources, options for crafting professions like Blacksmithing, and Legendary Powers, as well as further progression routes. Some of the presently available currencies and gear will be superseded as players push further into this content. For instance, Stygia is probably not worth holding on to, as it will probably only be used to buy currently existing goods. Nevertheless, stocking up on gold, gear, materials, and certain other resources can still be very helpful at this stage.
Here are some more things you may wish to do in advance of the patch to make sure you are best positioned to engage with the incoming content:
- Complete the Covenant’s weekly quests to maximize your Renown. 40 more tiers will be added to the Renown progression, tying in with the Soulbind talent tree extension, so doing this will provide you with a head start when the climb resumes. It should also help earn the Pathfinder achievement needed to unlock flight. Those quests will also provide you with Anima and Freed Souls for upgrading your Sanctum, which will be a welcome bonus;
- Replace or upgrade your equipment so that its item level is at least 195 (for more casual gaming) or better yet 226-233 (the current maximum, required for a more hardcore or less patient approach);
- To that end, earn at least one Great Vault reward option every week by engaging in endgame activities, or preferably try to do all of them. Remember to kill the world boss before checking the weekly chest to get optimal results;
- In the same vein, start farming the Mythic+ dungeons and the raid, now that their rewards have been improved. In addition to gear, you may also acquire other resources such as Renown and Anima;
- Spend Honor and Conquest points before they are wiped clean, buying or upgrading gear that you can either use or sell;
- Upgrade your Legendary items as far as they will go right now and farm Soul Ash in Torghast. Although there will be a more advanced currency soon, it will still be useful for some upgrades;
- Stockpile crafting materials ahead of the in-game economy shifts that accompany every major content update. You can buy up materials a few weeks in advance before prices start to rise, or you can gather them yourself. Harvesting herbs with Herbalism so you could brew potions with Alchemy should be a particularly rewarding investment, whether you sell them to others or use them yourself as you take on the new events.
The season’s conclusion will likely arrive in a matter of weeks. How much you can accomplish in that time largely depends on your current situation and on the free time available to you. For example, it will of course be much easier to farm the castle if you have already completed it or at least have pre-raid dungeon gear ready. Whether it is worth going out of your way to farm certain resources at this point is really a matter of your individual preferences and priorities. However, you can put yourself in a better position to enjoy the update by following at least a few of the suggestions in this article. Meanwhile, any collectors should take heed of the limited-time opportunities that may slip away if they wait for too long.