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Chains of Domination

Chains of Domination
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Chains of Domination

Patch 9.1 is now up on the PTR. The release date has been announced - June 29, 2021. See the announcement.

Major Features:
  • Flying in Shadowlands! There's no Pathfinder requirement for Shadowlands flying which requires faction rep as in previous expansions but, rather, you will learn it while progressing through a new Chains of Domination Campaign (see the 9 chapters, below). This is separate from your Covenant Campaign and you do not need to finish your Covenant Campaign before starting on the Chains of Domination Campaign.

    The ability to fly in Shadowlands will be account-wide for all your characters that are level 50 or higher but will not include flying between zones. Flying will also not be allowed in the Maw, Oribos or the new zone, Korthia.

    If you are level 60, when you first log onto 9.1, you will be given a quest, The First Move, where you will need to travel to Oribos and speak with Polemarch Adrestes.

    The First Move quest will start you on the Chains of Domination Campaign. At the end of The Last Sigil chapter of the Campaign, you will get Memory of Sunless Skies.

    Once you've completed the first two chapters on one character, alts just starting on the campaign have the option to skip ahead to chapter 4 by visiting Highlord Bolvar in Oribos.

  • New zone - Korthia, the City of Secrets. Ve'nari will show you how to get there.

  • Use of mounts in the Maw. This is unlocked shortly after reaching Korthia.

  • Levels of Renown will be increased from 40 to 80.

  • New Raid - Sanctum of Domination. This is a new 10-boss raid. Currently the gear drops are shown to be RF 213-220, Normal 226-233, Heroic 239-246, and Mythic 252-259. Like Castle Nathria, only the last two bosses drop the higher-level gear. The Sanctum of Domination opens on July 6th for Normal and Heroic difficulties.

  • Megadungeon - Tazavesh, the Veiled Market. This is an 8-boss mythic-only dungeon. This is scheduled to open July 6th. Currently, the gear that drops is shown to be 226. If you run Hard Mode, the gear drops are 233. Here's a video.
Crafting changes: gear crafters will have three new Crafter's Marks - Crafter's Mark III which will set the item level of newly crafted gear to 200 and Crafter’s Mark of the Chained Isle which will set the item level to 230 (but also makes it unique-equipped). Similarly, Vestige of Origins can be used to raise the item level of base-level legendary items to 249 at rank 5 and 262 at rank 6.

There's a new faction in Korthia, Death's Advance. The Quartermaster is Duchess Mynx at the Keeper's Respite (63.3, 23.3). She can sell you the recipe for Crafter's Mark III for 2000 Stygia once you reach Honored with Death's Advance.

The recipe for the Crafter's Mark of the Chained Isle can be purchased from Archivist Roh-Suir for 2500 Cataloged Research once you reach Tier 4 rep with him at Reliquary of Remembrance (62.8, 22.6) in Korthia. You'll need to complete the quest chain ending with Establishing the Archive before he shows up there. He also offers a quest, Table of Discontent, which awards the recipe.

The Vestige of Origins is learned from the Tome of Origins which is a drop from the next to last quest in the Last Sigil chapter of the Campaign.

Here are the chapters of the Chains of Domination Campaign (subject to change):
  1. The Battle of Ardenweald
  2. Maw Walkers
  3. Focusing the Eye
  4. The Last Sigil. Requires Renown 44
  5. An Army of Bone and Steel. Requires Renown 47
  6. The Unseen Guests. Requires Renown 50
  7. The Power of Night. Requires Renown 52
  8. A New Path. Requires Renown 56
  9. What Lies Ahead. Requires Renown 58

Click here for more information about patch 9.1.

So what can you do prior to the patch 9.1 release?

If your Renown level is below 40, I would work on that. And, even though you don't have to finish your Covenant Campaign to start on the Chains of Domination Campaign, some quests in your Covenant Campaign will award Renown. You will need to get to Renown level 44 to start chapter 4 of the Chains of Domination campaign.

Note that only a couple of quests in the Chains of Domination campaign award gear, and I've not seen anything over item level 200. So you should continue to run Mythic+ dungeons for your weekly Great Vault award. Once season 2 arrives on July 6th, it will still make sense to run the current Mythic+ dungeons as the gear that drops on Mythic+5, for example, is 220 and the Mythic+5 Great Vault award is 229. For Mythic+10, the gear that drops is 229 and the Great Vault award is 239. And for Mythic+15, the gear that drops is 236 and the Great Vault award is 252. It's likely that the dungeon difficulty will also scale up, however.

I would work on your Ve'nari rep so you can buy the Spatial Realignment Apparatus. This requires Appreciative or higher reputation with Ve'nari. Note that, while the Ve'nari rep is now account-wide, it will still require 7200 Stygia to buy one of these. So farming Stygia in the Maw is also a good use of your time. The tool-tip says that the extra socket can only be applied to Season 1 gear, and you need to buy them soon as they won't be offered once either Season 2 or Patch 9.1 arrives (not sure which). Season 2 is scheduled to start July 6th. The socket can be applied to Helms, Necks, Bracers, Belts or Rings that don't already have a socket. While you might consider adding it to your current Legendary if it fits that criteria, you may want to buy it and keep it in your bag. The reason for this is that you may want to forge a new legendary for a different gear slot if you get some raid gear with Domination Sockets. See the wowhead article. Note: they just announced that newly crafted legendaries will come with a socket. See also.

As for Season 2 gear, Archivist Roh-Suir will sell Alloy-Warping Facetor which will allow you to add a socket to a Season 2 item. And, again, you can only add a socket to Helms, Necks, Bracers, Belts or Rings which don't already have a socket. The cost of this is 5,000 Cataloged Research which you can learn doing quests in Korthia.

It looks like our Valor will be reset to zero at the start of season 2, so you might as well spend it now.

So what is a good strategy for starting on the Chains of Domination?

If you have alts you will likely want to take advantage of skipping the first three chapters of the Campaign once you have completed at least chapter 2 on one character.

You could pick your main to do the first 2 chapters or, if you have an alt which has stealth like a rogue or druid, it might be faster to use one of those since you could then skip some of the mobs. Note that you will also want to complete chapter 3 so that you will remove the Eye of the Jailer from the Maw on all of your characters.

Whichever character you choose to start with, it will be important to work on gaining Renown for all of your characters. You can't start on chapter 4 unless you get to level 44 Renown. So I would pick up the weekly, Replenish the Reservoir, and any other daily that awards Renown and work on that at some point. It now looks like we may only get 2 Renown per week, one from Replenish the Reservoir and a second in Korthia such as Shaping Fate.

Before starting out, you should stock up on healing potions, stat food and something like Ethereal Pomegranates. You will probably need them.

Happy questing!

So now that 9.1 has been up for more than a month, how should you spend your time?

Mythic dungeons are an excellent source of gear both from the chest at the last boss and the weekly Great Vault award. See the awards by dungeon level. The gear that you receive can be further upgraded using Valor. For example:

Current levelUpgrade to next levelCost in ValorRating Requirement
5/12 - 223226400none
6/12 - 226229400600
7/12 - 2292334001000
8/12 - 2332364001000
9/12 - 2362394001400
10/12 - 2392424001700
11/12 - 2422464002000

The Rating Requirement is your Season 2 Mythic+ Rating which you earn by completing Mythic+ dungeons. The rating points are cumulative over all 8 dungeons so it's best to run all 8 at the highest level you can. You will want to complete the dungeon on time to get the most points and the most Valor. It's also important to complete each dungeon during both Fortified and Tyrannical weeks.

Another good source of gear is from Koritha. The daily quests there often include one that awards a piece of 200 gear (1/6). This gear can also be upgraded as follows:

Current levelUpgrade to next levelCost in Cataloged ResearchRequirement
1/6 - 200207250none
2/6 - 207213750none
3/6 - 2132201250none
4/6 - 2202262000Adaptive Alloys
5/6 - 2262333000First Alloys

Archivist Roh-Suir sells Adaptive Alloys once you reach tier 6 with him for 4000 Cataloged Research. Similarly First Alloys can be purchased for 8000 Cataloged Research at tier 6.

For this reason, it's a good idea to farm Koritha on a daily basis, mostly for the Cataloged Research which helps you gain rep with Roh-Suir. Note that the Cataloged Research drops mainly from Rares and Treasure Chests as marked on your map. The "Treasure Chests" often require you to climb trees.

The other daily quests in Koritha often award a fair amount of valor as well as rep with Death's Advance. So, if you pick up Replenish the Reservoir from your Covenant and Shaping Fate from Koritha every Tuesday, running the daily quests in Koritha is a good way to complete both of those quests and increase your Renown.

As far as the Chains of Domination Campaign is concerned, once you have completed Chapter 4, the Last Sigil, and learned flying and enabled the new command table missions, there's not a big incentive to continue with the Campaign. Subsequent Chapters will award 1 Renown and 500 Anima and, if you complete the Campaign through Chapter 9, you will get an Achievement. The other reason for doing it is that there is a fair amount of lore involved and some nice cut scenes (and, in general, each chapter doesn't take a lot of effort to complete).

Another source of gear is, of course, the Sanctum of Domination raid. Here, again, are the item levels of the gear drops: RF 213-220, Normal 226-233, Heroic 239-246, and Mythic 252-259. Only the last two bosses drop the higher-level gear. The best (and rarest?) drops from the raid tend to be Domination Gear, for example: Loyal Kvaldir's Handwraps. This and similar items, have Domination Sockets. Such gear is upgraded by inserting "gems" (Shards of Domination) like the Shard of Cor. The Shards drop from all levels of the Raid, including Raid Finder. The Shards themselves can be upgraded by visiting Bonesmith Heirmir in Koritha (63.2, 25.3) using Stygian Embers. The Stygian Embers drop for all levels of the raid, including Raid Finder. I wouldn't upgrade the Shards until you get a piece of Domination Gear and AskMrRobot or other guides suggest which shards to insert. Otherwise you may be wasting the Embers.

There is some concern that the Domination Gear may drop for the socket containing your current Legendary. If this happens, you may want to craft a new Legendary. See the article. Note, too, that Legendaries can be upgraded to 249 at rank 5 and 262 at rank 6. So, should you (1) make a new Legendary, (2) upgrade your current Legendary or (3) wait to see what Domination Gear you pick up? I would be inclined to wait. However, in the meantime, consider running levels 9 to 12 of the two Torghast zones on a weekly basis to accumulate the Soul Cinders and Soul Ash that you will need to forge a Legendary at rank 5 or rank 6. See the article for the amounts required. If you are going to craft your own Legendary for rank 5 or rank 6, you will also need to make the Vestige of Origins. Each of these require 40 Korthite Crystals which can be farmed in Korthia, including an award from a daily quest.

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