BlizzCon 2021 is happening tomorrow, but two big World of Warcraft announcements have apparently been leaked accidentally by Blizzard itself. Early this morning, users discovered press releases for World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic and World of Warcraft's 9.1 update, Chains of Domination, on the Blizzard press portal (opens in new tab). Those links have already been taken down, but the screen shots and press releases are now circulating on Reddit (opens in new tab) and Wowhead (opens in new tab).
The most exciting of the two leaks is World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic, which will let players explore WoW's first expansion pack as it existed when it first launched in 2007. Similar to WoW Classic, this is effectively a time machine back into WoW's history so you can play a version of it that just doesn't exist today.
If you jumped back into WoW Classic when it launched in 2019, Burning Crusade Classic appears to be structured the same way. New raids and dungeons will roll out at a similar pace as to when Burning Crusade was actually the current expansion.
What's interesting, though, is that players will have a choice between jumping into Burning Crusade Classic or staying at level 60. "Prior to Burning Crusade Classic's release," the leaked press release reads, "WoW Classic players can decide whether to advance each of their characters to the Burning Crusade era with the rest of their realm, or to continue playing the original WoW Classic content on new Classic Era servers."
The other leaked WoW announcement will be less surprising to players, as it was expected that Blizzard would reveal Shadowlands' next big update during the event anyway. But now we know that it's called Chains of Domination, and it sounds like a pretty substantial update. Though the leaked press release isn't very specific, it seems like endgame zone of The Maw will be getting a new area to explore called Korthia, the City of Secrets. You'll also be able to use your flying mounts in 9.1, which should make getting around a lot quicker.
Chains of Domination will also continue Shadowlands' story, but the more interesting news is the addition of a new raid and a new mega-dungeon (which is just a really big dungeon). The raid, called Sanctum of Domination, is a 10-boss raid that culminates in a fight against Sylvanas Windrunner herself—one of the chief villains of Shadowlands. The new eight-boss mega-dungeon is called Tazavesh, the Veiled Market and based on the description, it sounds awesome: "Gather your party and discover exotic wares and strange creatures in an eight-boss Mythic mega-dungeon set in a bazaar of the mysterious Brokers, and culminating in a high-stakes heist to steal powerful artifacts from Azeroth," the press release reads.
None of the leaked press releases specify an exact release date for Burning Crusade Classic or Chains of Domination, but both are coming in 2021. With Chains of Domination, though, my guess is the patch will release early summer—the 9.0.5 update is scheduled to release in March and patches are usually spread out a few months apart.
Either way, that's two big and exciting WoW announcements to look forward to tomorrow. If you want to know how to tune into BlizzCon 2021 tomorrow (also known as BlizzConline), the opening ceremony starts at 2pm PT. Check out our BlizzCon guide (opens in new tab) for a full breakdown of the show, schedule, and how to watch.