Hooray, World of Warcraft's next big update hits beta servers in just two weeks

A World of Warcraft: Shadowlands render.
(Image credit: Blizzard)

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands' 9.1 update will be hitting the Public Test Realm in "about two weeks," Blizzard confirmed in a forum post today. It's fantastic news for WoW players who are growing bored of Shadowlands, as the update, titled Chains of Domination, will be bringing a new raid, mega-dungeon, story quests, and a new subzone in the Maw to explore.

Blizzard didn't share any new details in the brief announcement post, but just knowing that Chains of Domination will be entering beta soon is great news—though it's likely the full release is still months away.

It's an issue that likely stems from the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on the videogame industry. Shadowlands was already delayed a month at release, and when Blizzard unveiled Chains of Domination back in February, their reveal livestream felt disconcertingly light on details. It was clear that, even though many players were already beginning to tire of Shadowlands' launch content, it was going to take a lot longer for Chains of Domination to be ready.

Back in February, I did the math on the gap between a new WoW expansion and its first major patch and found that Shadowlands is on track to be the longest players have had to wait between release and an x.1 update. It's not a great situation to be in, as many players, like me, are quickly getting bored of the endgame grind and looking for something new.

Chains of Domination is promising to be a big update that'll hopefully be worth the wait. We still know very little about what the update will contain and how new zones like Korthia will revamp the endgame, but once the patch hits the PTR on April 14 that should provide some answers.

That doesn't mean that Chains of Domination will be releasing any time soon, though. As Wowhead notes, the last few major patches were all beta tested for around two to three months. That means Chains of Domination might be ready for a full release some time in June or July, but it's also very likely that the patch could need a lot more work and might not be out until later this summer. Either way, the wait is going to feel extra long.

For more info on Chains of Domination, check out our complete overview. And if you're already feeling bored, might I suggest spending your WoW time by hunting down some cool mounts so at least you can look bored while riding a dragon? 

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.