Will Shadowlands Patch 9.1 Release in Spring 2021? (Speculation)
With the initial Covenant Campaign wrapped up this reset, Twisting Corridors out last week, and Castle Nathria cleared in December, players are understandably curious as to what's next for Shadowlands. A recent
PC Gamer interview with Ion Hazzikostas
hinted that the next update was in Spring 2021, so we're looking at that claim in more detail.
Light Patch Info at BlizzCon
Currently at this point in the expansion, we're in uncharted waters as to what comes next. BlizzCon 2019 didn't reveal future story moments beyond the Castle Nathria raid, which is notable as past BlizzCons reveal story arcs way in advance, like
BlizzCon 2015 revealing Nighthold and Gul'dan
BlizzCon 2017 revealing Queen Azshara
Patch content has also been teased earlier in the expansion, including
Patch 7.1 revealed
at gamescom before Legion even came out!
Tomb of Sargeras patch notes
were posted January 19, several weeks before
Exorsus achieved World First Mythic Nighthold
, and the
Tides of Vengeance 8.1 livestream
took place roughly a month after BFA.
PC Gamer Interview
PC Gamer interview
players were quick to latch onto the Spring 2021 promise, but we want to caution that Ion Hazzikostas never explicitly said in the transcription when the patch was coming.
The author initially writes "Later this spring, a major update will add even more stuff to do in Shadowlands, and that's still just the beginning" and later states "It's still a little early to be talking about the 9.1 update, but it'll
release this spring" which adds a degree of uncertainty. However, based on past patch cycles, it's not unreasonable to assume there would be a patch in the spring.
Examining Patch Cycles
We asked Ion Hazzikostas about
Shadowlands' patch schedule
back in November and here's what he had to say:
Did delaying Shadowlands cause a shift in the future patch cycle? Will it be a similar cadence to BFA?
Patch cadence is something we will figure out the details of over the course of the next year. There's no question that for some parts of patch development, this had an impact but at the same time because it pushed the expansion back as well that shouldn't matter in terms of the gap between expansion and when the first major patch is, which is what I think most players are concerned with, as are we. It's less the calendar month and more how long is this tier going to last, how long do I have to wait until I get new goals and new places to explore and that's something that I think we're pretty happy overall with how Patch cadence during BFA worked.
Looking back on past expansions:
Legion launched August 30th, Patch 7.1 (Karazhan dungeon/Suramar quests) was October 25, and Patch 7.1.5 (Nighthold/Brawler's Guild) was January 10th.
BFA launched on August 13th, Patch 8.1 (Darkshore campaign) was December 11, and Battle of Dazar'alor was January 22nd.
Looking at that patch cadence, it's entirely reasonable to assume
is coming in the spring, as it's been a while since the expansion launched and players tend to expect new story content a few months into the expansion, with new high-end PvE content 4-5 months later. With BlizzConline scheduled for mid-February, we could see Blizzard holding off on datamining and smaller patch reveals in January, preferring to instead drop all the content news at once at the event.
Patch 9.1 Date Speculation
, we could see players hit Renown 40 on the 16th week of the expansion, or March 15th. So we could see a smaller story patch in
early Spring / late March
to continue Renown rewards and the campaign story, with a beefier endgame update in
late April / early May
featuring a new zone and raid.
It's understandable why Blizzard hasn't revealed too many patch details yet for a few reasons--BlizzConline, unforeseen pandemic complications, a new staggered approach to content. However, with most of the launch content unlocked currently, players are excited to know what's next!
When do you think Patch 9.1 is coming?
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