Mage Tower Timewalking in Patch 9.1.5
Blizzard confirmed that the Mage Tower is returning in Patch 9.1.5 almost a month ago. Players will be able to encounter 7 different challenges across all 36 specializations in WoW, with unique transmog rewards and a mount if you complete all 7 challenges.
For more information on the Mage Tower, check out Blizzard’s announcement post.
Mage Tower Timewalking Announcement
Normalizing Player Power in Mage Tower Timewalking
From the announcement, player power would be normalized while in Mage Tower Timewalking.
While the Challenges were considered quite difficult for most of Legion, we’re tuning the encounters in Timewalking to normalize player power, with the intention of providing a meaningful level of difficulty to current players.
We weren’t exactly sure what kind of normalization Blizzard would choose as the Mage Tower has not been publicly tested. However, we previously datamined the new spell PvP Stats – Spec Stat Template – All Specs (Mage Tower Edition) which is basically identical to the Legion PvP stat template spell PvP Stats – Spec Stat Template – All Specs.
To briefly explain how Legion’s PvP stat template worked, the only thing that mattered about your gear was its item level. It didn’t matter how much crit or haste your gear had, or what trinkets you had equipped, you couldn’t use it. Every class had a stat template that was automatically assigned in PvP combat — a base amount of primary and secondary stats that was identical for all players of the same spec. This could be increased by a small percentage based on the item level of your equipped gear.
Now, we’re unsure exactly how the Mage Tower will be normalized, but based on this datamined spell, we may be getting “stat templated” — in other words, it won’t matter what gear you have equipped as every player of the same spec will have the same stats. This does make sense if Blizzard wants Mage Tower Timewalking to be a challenge forever, as they can easily tune or change the stat templates as needed and they won’t need to worry about the content being outscaled or having a certain trinket break the encounter. We’ll have to see if this is confirmed when testing goes live this Thursday.
Class Restrictions – Banned Abilities and Effects
To make sure that Mage Tower Timewalking doesn’t become too trivial or difficult due to the addition/loss of systems, it seems that Blizzard has created some lists of banned effects and abilities. We’ve now datamined these banned abilities and while your character is in one of the 7 Mage Tower Timewalking zones, these abilities will be unable to be used. This list was created in the database in a way that makes it easy for Blizzard to add to the lists in the future.
The banned abilities and effects are currently as follows:
Of particular note, the banned list does NOT currently include Unholy or Blood Shards of Domination or actual Soulbind traits (e.g. First Strike). This is likely an oversight as the remainder of the Covenant and Shard of Domination effects have been banned.
In the last two 9.1.5 PTR builds, this datamining seems to be supported with two new strings that were added. These strings look to be the error text messages when you try to use a restricted ability inside Mage Tower Timewalking.
- NEW SPELL_FAILED_NOT_IN_MAGE_TOWER
Can’t use that in Mage Tower
- NEW TOOLTIP_NOT_IN_MAGE_TOWER
Disabled during Mage Tower Timewalking
Blizzard could change these restrictions before launch, and we’ll be able to test out the Mage Tower for 24 hours ourselves this Thursday to see how things play out. If these restrictions go live, it essentially means that you’ll be playing your character without the Shadowlands systems that you’ve gotten to know during the last year. However, Blizzard will be able to tune around this.
How is your class going to play without its Covenant ability, and what kind of stats will players have in these challenges?
However, having Shadowlands systems (and future systems) not be active in the Timewalking challenge is likely a good idea to maintain the longevity of the Mage Tower going forwards!