Shadowlands will get another season, although no patch is planned. What does this mean for World of Warcraft?
Actually, the big reveal of World of Warcraft and its next expansion is still a few weeks in the future, but Blizzard has already promised players a few changes to bridge the waiting time. Especially fans of instanced endgame content should be happy: There will be a Season 4 in Shadowlands. With Season 4, Blizzard starts several experiments. Not only will the “Mythic+” pool be changed significantly, but the Shadowlands raids will also be revised.
What happened? Blizzard surprisingly announced another season for Shadowlands, which will take place after the current third season. Although there are no new, major content patches for Shadowlands, patch 9.2.5 will probably bring numerous small adjustments so that at least raid and dungeon fans will have something to offer.
What happens to the raids? The developers plan to make all Shadowlands raids relevant for Season 4. That means there will be boss fights in the raids Castle Nathria, Sanctum of Domination and Sepulcher of the First ones, which are still quite crisp even with current equipment. This goes hand in hand with loot that is even higher than the item level from the current Sepulcher of the First ones.
In other words: In Season 4 you can get good loot in all Shadowlands raids that will make your character stronger. Are the raids getting harder? Yes. In order for the raids to throw off better loot, the level of difficulty is also increased. This is supposed to work through a “thematically based affix system”. So it will probably be the case that Nathria, the Sanctum and the Mausoleum in Season 4 have additional affixes that make boss fights particularly tricky and bring a new twist. However, it is also quite likely that the basic strength of the bosses will be increased to match. Which affixes there will be, whether there are several of them and whether they will rotate in a certain way – none of this is known yet.
What does Blizzard expect from this? Probably several things at once. On the one hand, this is comparatively simple content in order to bridge the time until the next expansion and to offer something fresh to at least part of the players.
On the other hand, this is simply an experiment – Blizzard says so itself. You want to find out what a season in World of Warcraft can look like and what changes can be made to keep the content sophisticated and attractive. Blizzard is also reacting to a major point of criticism in recent years. Because time and again the developers have been accused – with some justification – that old content is devalued far too quickly and is virtually no longer relevant as soon as a new patch is released. That’s the nature of things in an MMORPG like WoW, but a beefed-up final season at the end of an expansion could bring a breath of fresh air.