The Maw er World of Warcraft: Shadowlandis the most polarizing feature. It gets harder to survive inside The Maw as players spend more time in there, and the zone’s Eye of the Jailer debuff eventually forces the heroes from Azeroth to retire to the next day.
On the one hand, The Maw does a great job of making players feel oppressed in an unfriendly area – after all, it’s the coolest version of World of Warcrafthell. But it’s not everyone’s favorite feature. “One of the fun things about broadcasting The Maw feels as oppressive as it does is that it̵
In an interview with Polygon before BlizzConline’s opening ceremony, Feasel and Frank Kowalkowski, The world of Warcraftits technical director, talked about how The Maw will expand and evolve in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands‘upcoming 9.1 patch, Chains of Domination. The Maw is about to become a war zone, and ironically it makes it a much safer place for the Champions of Azeroth.
In the beginning of Chains of Domination, the prison guard drags the brokerage kingdom, Korthia, into The Maw. This fundamentally changes parts of the zone, as the prisoner transplants this new realm on the side of the playable space, allowing players to explore a whole new area.
“We want it to feel like a connected room,” Feasel said. “So [The Maw and Korthia] will all be a seamless zone now. ”
9.1 Maw will be a mix of new and familiar – although Kowalkowski confirmed that there will still be a pre-Korthia instance of Maw for new characters. Players will attack these new lands alongside Covenants, which will establish bases for safe zone inside the enemy zone.
These bases net players several benefits. “An attack in this area, and really brings everything [the Covenants] forces much of that repression back, ”Feasel said of The Maws’ current restrictions. “The presence of covenants and having a home base there will ease the effects of the Prison Guard. This will allow you to spend a lot more time down in The Maw. ”
Players can expand the powers of the pact via side quests, such as one focused on the Eye of the Jailer. Not only will this mission teach players why debuff exists and the history of this mysterious device, but it will also allow them to cleanse themselves of debuff over time.
Players can also not use their own mounts in The Maw, except for two very specific mounts that are difficult to obtain. This makes The Maw especially boring for slow classes such as Paladins, Death Knights and Warlocks. The war against the prison guard will also solve that case.
“Having the covenants down here, in the room, will also allow your parties to respond to your conversation again,” Feasel said. However, Blizzard confirmed that while the plane is coming to Shadowlands at 9.1, players will never be able to fly in The Maw.
Feasel and Kowalkowski want this new war in The Maw to make players feel liberated, as if their Covenants are making a difference in the tough world they have become acquainted with in recent months. “This feeling that the covenants had this impact would not have been possible without things feeling a little difficult to deal with before,” Feasel said.
While The Maw has certainly frustrated us and a legion of other players at times, Feasel certainly makes a good point. Players will have to wait and see how effective these changes are when Chains of Domination launches later this year.