WoW news

Shadowlands Pre-Expansion Patch 9.0.1 Live This Week

Update – The current maintenance has been extended until 4:00 PM (PDT).

Shadowlands Pre-Expansion Patch 9.0.1 Live This Week
The pre-expansion patch is going live this week!

What is Releasing This Week?
Lots of changes are coming in the Shadowlands Pre-Expansion Patch.

What is Not Releasing This Week?
Outside of all of the Shadowlands content that won’t release this week:

What is Being Removed This Week?
Some things are being removed this week and more will be removed with the Shadowlands launch.

Official Notes
You can read the official Shadowlands Patch 9.0.1 notes here.

Undocumented Changes
Wowpedia has a user compiled list of undocumented changes in the patch. Keep in mind this list could be out of date.

Login Screen
The Shadowlands Pre-Expansion Patch adds the new Shadowlands login screen and login screen music.

Shadowlands Pre-Expansion Patch Event
A few weeks after the prepatch goes live, a new Scourge Invasion event will sweep across Azeroth.

  • A weekly world quest will direct you to a new world boss in Eastern Plaguelands, Nathanos Blightcaller!
  • A new quest chain will lead you to Icecrown in Northrend, where you will discover the events leading into Shadowlands.
    • Completing this chain will unlock dailies in the area.
  • Icecrown will also feature rare spawns of WotLK bosses who drop Item level 100 catch-up gear.
  • In the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, the Scourge will once again wreak havoc on capital cities for a short period as well!
  • For more information, check out the banners below.

New Character Creation Screen
The character creation screen has received a large and modern visual update.

New Character Customization
One of the most anticipated things coming with the pre-patch is a host of new customization options for our characters. Click the banner below to see just what is coming for your characters in pre-patch.

Druid Form Barber Shop Customization
Druid are now able to customize all of their forms in the barber shop! Here is a rundown of the new feature.

  • Your druid will have its default racial forms and will not have access to other race’s unique forms.
  • Any Legion bear, cat, and Lunarwing form that you have unlocked on a character on your account will be able to be selected in the Barber Shop and is no longer tied to a specialization. This means that even a restoration druid can use the guardian druid mage tower form.
  • Glyphs that change your aquatic and travel forms are now one time use and unlock the ability to chose the form in the Barber Shop.
  • You may even select the fire cat form from the rare toy drop in Firelands as a cat form option provided you have looted and learned the toy.

Legion Artifacts Transmog Flexibility

Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Now, Legion Artifact appearances for all specs of your class are now available in their respective weapon categories. For example, Doomhammer will be found in “One-handed maces”.

The new Artifact appearances obey the usual transmogrification rules. For example, you can use the Ashbringer appearance on your two-handed mace, but not on a one-hand shield. Main-hand and off-hand Artifact appearances are granted independently in these tabs, so you can use Oathseeker appearances independently from Truthguard ones.

Now, a long as you possess the required proficiencies, there are no restrictions on duplicate appearances, and there are no restrictions on which hand they can be used in. For example, you can dual-wield Doomhammers or even Fury of the Stonemothers.

The existing transmogrification system for Legion Artifacts is entirely retained – the “Artifact Pair” tab still contains your spec-specific appearances, and you can still use the special rules allowing you to apply them over most other weapon types and combinations.

Shadowlands Level Squish
A level squish will be applied with the pre-expansion patch. Your level will be reduced, with a Battle for Azeroth cap of Level 50 and an eventual Shadowlands cap of Level 60. Click here to find out how the squish will affect your characters.

Expansion Level in BFA Level in Shadowlands
Vanilla 60 25
The Burning Crusade 70 27
Wrath of the Lich King 80 30
Cataclysm 85 32
Mists of Pandaria 90 35
Warlords of Draenor 100 40
Legion 110 45
Battle for Azeroth 120 50

Shadowlands Leveling Changes
The pre-patch will introduce an entirely revamped leveling system, including a level squish!

  • A level squish will be applied with a Battle for Azeroth cap of Level 50 and an eventual Shadowlands cap of Level 60.
  • New starting experience – Exile’s Reach. You’ll be able to skip this zone on alts.
  • The introduction of Timewalking Campaigns which allow Veteran Players to talk to Chromie and pick a previous expansion to level entirely from 10 to 50.

New Player Starting Experience
New players to World of Warcraft will start their adventure in Exile’s Reach. Veteran players can choose to opt out of this zone and complete the starting experience for their race.

Upon reaching Level 10, players receive the quest Tides of War (Alliance) or Mission Statement (Horde) to start leveling in Battle for Azeroth. Veteran players have an additional option to level through Timewalking Campaigns by talking with Chromie in capital cities.

Newcomer Chat

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

After creating your character and beginning your journey into World of Warcraft for the first time, you will enter the Newcomer Chat channel where you can chat with other new players and experienced players on the same faction who will be your guides as you level through the new starting zone – Exile’s Reach. New players and guides will be able to recognize one another in the chat channels and with icons above their characters’ heads that only they can see. Upon reaching level 20, new players will be prepared to continue their journey ahead on their own and will no longer have access to the Newcomer Chat.

If you’re a veteran player and are interested in guiding new players as they experience World of Warcraft for the first time, head over to Stormwind or Orgrimmar and speak to the guide recruiter once you’ve met the following criteria:

  • Have an account in good standing
  • Reach level 50
  • Complete 3000 quests
  • Earn at least two of the following achievements: Terrific Trio, Rival: Battle for Azeroth Season Four, Battle for Azeroth Keystone Conqueror: Season Four, The Waking Dream or We Have the Technology.

If you no longer wish to be a guide, you can speak to the guide recruiter once again.

Mythic Keystone Dungeon Affix Changes
Several changes and reworks have been done to existing mythic keystone dungen affixes.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

  • 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.

Shadowlands Class Changes
Many abilities are coming back or becoming baseline and AoE Target Caps have been implemented. Hunters will have more Stable slots.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment


  • Most non-periodic damage or healing abilities on all classes will have a 5% variance on each individual use.
  • Power Word: Fortitude, Arcane Intellect, and Battle Shout give 5% of their respective stats (was 10%).
  • Area target spells can now be cast at the player’s position using self-cast modifier keys.
  • Abilities (like Mortal Strike or Wound Poison) that reduce the healing received by a target have had their effectiveness doubled against creatures. The value of these abilities will remain the same against players.
    • Warrior, Hunter, Monk: Mortal Wounds now reduces healing taken by 50% (25% against players).
    • Rogue: Wound Poison now reduces healing taken by 8% per stack (4% against players).
    • Warlock: Mortal Cleave/Legion Strike now reduces healing taken by 20% (10% against players).
  • Many area-of-effect abilities have had their damage and their maximum number of targets adjusted. See individual class sections for a list of specific spells.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Item Changes
The pre-patch changes heirlooms, removes Corruption, and more! For a full rundown of what is changing, click the banner below.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Heirloom armor, necklaces and rings will now form the Regalia of Fabled Adventurers, a heirloom set with unique bonuses.

Regalia of Fabled Adventurers Armor Pieces

Regalia of Fabled Adventurers Set Bonuses

  • Maximizing Rests (2 Set) – Rested experience consumed is reduced by 30%.
  • Battlefield Resourcefulness (3 Set) – Increases your out-of-combat regeneration in the outdoors, normal dungeons and battlegrounds.
  • Flash of Brilliance (5 Set) – Gaining a level triggers Burst of Knowledge, dealing Holy damage to nearby enemies and granting you 40% Primary Stat for 2 min. Defeating enemies extends this effect, up to an additional 2 min.
  • Maximizing Rests (6 Set) – Rested experience consumed is reduced by 30%.

Other Notable Item Changes

  • 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.
  • Reduced amount of value provided by Critical Strike, Haste, Mastery, and Versatility secondary stats when reaching high thresholds.
  • Elixir of Ancient Knowledge, Elixir of the Rapid Mind, and Excess Potion of Accelerated Learning will become Poor quality and no longer usable.
  • PvP Weapon Illusions can be used by all characters across the account.

UI Changes
Lots of UI changes are coming in the patch, including Ray-Traced Shadows and Game Pad support.

Be sure to back up your WTF folder before the patch and updating addons, just in case!

Target FPS

  • Framerate you ideally want to play at. If your framerate is below this number, dynamic systems will reduce graphics quality to attempt to hit this framerate.

Spell Density

  • Essential: Only show essential spells. Your own spells are always shown.
  • Some: Reduce non-essential spells shown by around 75%.
  • Half: Reduce non-essential spells shown by around 50%.
  • Most: Reduce non-essential spells shown by around 25%.
  • Dynamic: Reduce non-essential spells shown based on framerate. If you are above your desired framerate, everything will be shown.
  • Everything: Always show all spells.

Quest UI Changes
After 16 years of World of Warcraft, the ! and ? quest symbols are getting a visual update.

Campaign quests are also getting a nice quality of life update as they will be highlighted by a shield in both the Objectives Window and Quest Log. Blizzard shared that this change should help players distinguish major quests that are required to advance the narrative from optional side quests that tell more localized stories.

Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We have been making improvements to our quest interface, with an eye toward better distinguishing major quests that are required to advance the narrative from optional side quests that tell more localized stories. Our work-in-progress 3D indicator of tracked quest objective locations will be available to use, which aims to reduce the need to bring up the map when navigating the world and help more clearly identify when an objective is above or below you. We’re also rolling out a system that allows players to set a personal waypoint on the map as well as share that pin in chat channels, so that you should no longer need an add-on to convey exactly where Rustfeather just spawned.

Map Pins and Quest Waypoints
Blizzard is also adding Map Pins and Quest Waypoints. This feature allows players to share a map location with others via chat.

Unread Mail Indicator
The character login screen now displays an indicator when characters have unread mail. This includes mail from another character, Auction House, unlooted items or lost currency.