World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Venthyr artwork

[Update]: After a fair bit of testing, Shadowlands' quality-of-life focused Update 9.1.5 has now arrived onto the live servers.

If you've been paying attention to World of Warcraft's little corner of the Internet over the past few months you've most likely noticed that the playerbase is getting increasingly more upset with Blizzard. While there are many reasons for this, most of them can be summed up with Blizzard stubbornly refusing to fix problems that have been pointed out to them since the early days of Shadowlands' beta.

Nowhere is this more apparent than with the Covenant system - an idea that sounds great in theory, yet is a bit of a nightmare in practice. Instead of choosing Covenants based on their personal alignment and cosmetic preferences, most players ended up being 'forced' into very specific ones due to them being significantly more powerful than the rest. Combine this with the option to swap being incredibly punishing and essentially resetting your progress to zero, and you've got yourself a system that is almost guaranteed to leave a good chunk of the playerbase disappointed.

While these sorts of problems have been festering for nearly a year at this point, I'm pleased to say that Blizzard has finally chosen to act. The upcoming Patch 9.1.5 will remove Covenant restrictions and allow you to swap freely and without a cooldown, while any sort of cosmetic rewards you acquire will be available to you regardless of your current choice. Similarly, Conduit Energy is being entirely removed and you will soon be able to freely swap between Conduits without any restrictions.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands improvements to Nightborne

Nightborne are also finally getting their NPC-inspired appearances

The good news doesn't end there, however, as Patch 9.1.5 will also bring with it cosmetic improvements for Lightforged Draenei and Nightborne, Mythic+ dungeons from Legion as a part of Legion Timewalking, solo Island Expeditions, the ability to skip Covenant and Maw storylines if you've already done them on other characters, and the list goes on for a while.

You can check out Blizzard's reasoning for these changes, as well as the full list of them, over at the official website. As for the release date, nothing has been given just yet, but Patch 9.1.5 will most likely arrive in November in order to compete with Final Fantasy XIV's Endwalker expansion.

Once we get a proper release date I'll make sure to let you know. For now, here's to hoping that Blizzard has finally learned their lesson and will be far more receptive to feedback in the future.