Want to know what’s coming in WoW Shadowlands Season 4? The new Arbiter and Sylvanas’s judgment have wrapped up the main Shadowlands story, but that doesn’t mean we’re done with this expansion quite yet. In March, Blizzard announced the 9.2.5 patch, along with Shadowlands Season 4, which will add older dungeons to the Mythic+ pool and bring earlier raids back into the limelight.
While World of Warcraft, in general, feels like it’s lost its way a little recently, details of the new (leaked?) expansion should help to bring back some excitement. But as the new expansion is still a long way off, the Shadowlands 9.2.5 patch is something to look forward to in the meantime.
It’s also worth pointing out that much of the information we’ve got comes from the PTR (Public Test Realm) so details might change before the release. With that in mind, here’s everything we know about WoW Shadowlands Season 4 and the upcoming 9.2.5 patch.
Prepare for cross-faction instances and more in the 9.2.5 update coming May 31. 🌐 https://t.co/6BMkWQGYF0 pic.twitter.com/qOtWFXwj7CMay 25, 2022
When is the WoW 9.2.5 patch release date?
The World of Warcraft Shadowlands 9.2.5 update has been confirmed for May 31 (June 1 for EU). The update will introduce cross-faction play, as well as various quality of life improvements such as Renown catch-up mechanics for alts.
What about WoW Shadowlands Season 4?
No release date has been confirmed for WoW Shadowlands Season 4, though it is expected to arrive “later this summer”. So we’re likely to see a release window of around August or September 2022.
I’ll be sure to update this as soon as we have any concrete information.
Old dungeons will join the Mythic+ pool
A new season for Mythic+ dungeons means a new seasonal affix to figure out and get used to. But with Shadowlands Season 4, the available dungeons will change to include instances from the last four expansions, all the way back to Warlords of Draenor.
Six of the dungeons were announced initially, with the final two WoD dungeons being put to the vote. As the poll is now closed, it looks like the dungeon line-up for Shadowlands season 4 will be:
- Tazavesh: Streets of Wonder (Shadowlands)
- Tazavesh: So’leah’s Gambit (Shadowlands)
- Operation Mechagon: Junkyard (Battle for Azeroth)
- Operation Mechagon: Workshop (Battle for Azeroth)
- Return to Karazhan: Lower (Legion)
- Return to Karazhan: Upper (Legion)
- Grimrail Depot (Warlords of Draenor)
- Iron Docks (Warlords of Draenor)
Accessibility options are also being added in Season 4, which will allow you to turn off the moving environments inside Grimrail Depot and the Maw of Souls dungeon in Legion.
Older Shadowlands raids will be relevant again
There aren’t many details on how exactly this will work, but a post from Blizzard states that it’s thinking about “adding a progenitor-themed affix system to infuse some new mechanical twists” into Castle Nathria and Sanctum of Domination, the earlier Shadowlands raids.
How these affixes will be implemented isn’t clear. During an interview with Athalus of Warcraft Radio, WoW’s associate game director, Morgan Day confirmed that they’re looking at more than one difficulty for both older raids. So it’s fair to assume that this won’t be implemented in quite the same way that timewalking raids and dungeons are. But however they do it, the promise of getting relevant gear from raids that most players ignore now that Sepulcher of the First Ones is here is an interesting twist for Season 4.
The introduction of cross-faction play
One of the biggest changes coming with the next patch is cross-faction grouping. For the first time in World of Warcraft’s history, Horde and Alliance players will be able to party up for certain group activities.
There are some restrictions though—opposing faction players will remain unfriendly outside of instanced content, whether or not you’re in the same party. So, for now at least, a Horde player won’t be able to group up with an Alliance friend and quest together.
To invite a member of the opposite faction to a group, you’ll need to have them on your Battlenet friends list or be part of the same cross-faction community. Group Finder listings don’t carry this restriction, and players from any faction can sign up if the creator has enabled the cross-faction option.
Communities will have the option to change to cross-faction, though guilds will stay single-faction. It’s unclear whether we might see cross-faction guilds in the future.
Excluded group activities
Cross-faction won’t apply to random matchmaking tools like LFG or LFR and there are several dungeons and raids that won’t be cross-faction—for obvious reasons—even with a premade group. These are:
- Trial of the Champion
- Trial of the Crusader
- Vault of the Archavon
- Icecrown Citadel
- Baradin Hold
- Siege of Boralus
- Battle of Dazar’alor
- Darkmaul Citadel
Renown catch-up improvements
There are several catch-up mechanics in place for when you get a new character to max level, but these are improving in the 9.2.5 update. The Broker Mark of Distinction, which normally boosts your character’s Covenant renown to level 40, will push it to level 60 instead. You’ll also get a guaranteed renown level from these activities:
- Mythic dungeons (including Mythic+)
- Shadowlands raid bosses
- Rated battleground wins
- Torghast (layers 9 to 16)
Not only does this take the sting out of returning to WoW if you’re coming back from a break, but it also makes leveling alts much less daunting.
So, is Halondrus really dead?
Who knows? Maybe he’ll come back as some kind of brutal seasonal affix in 9.2.5.
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