So, this is the time of year when WoW players, and Blizzard fans in general tend to get excited. In just over a week, BlizzCon is upon us. With the Mists of Pandaria expansion officially over, now comes the salivation for a new expansion. Who knows whether the rumours of “The Dark Below” are true or not. Yes, the title alone has potential but what’s in a name? Cataclysm excited everyone and for all purposes ended up being rather lackluster overall.
No, the title of the franchise’s fifth expansion is of little value so to speak. What is much more important is the expansion itself. The game has a dwindling player base, though still sits at an incredibly healthy number. But there are many players, and former players (such as this particular writer), who are looking on and debating what their WoW future holds. Some could be at the point of walking away and Blizzard no doubt would like to prevent that from happening. Others, again such as myself, are wondering what’s coming that would give cause for a return to Azeroth. Again, this is something Blizzard would certainly like. The numbers lost in the post-Lich King era likely can’t be recaptured. However, getting even some of that player base to come back would be a boost for the game.
So what could be in store for us? Well, a new continent is out (Illidan willing). Azeroth is as big as it’s going to get, I think. We could see another Dark Portal type of scenario, or we could be headed below Azeroth’s surface such as the expansion title has suggested. But we did that with Deepholm and it only stands to reason their might not be want for an entire region such as that. Other options? Space. The Final Frontier. All kidding aside, surely Azeroth isn’t the only planet out there, but that becomes a bit far fetched in a fantasy game that has stuck primarily to two key worlds. Not at all connected to the lifeline of the game for many months now, I’m guessing either another Portal or possibly no new zones and just some drastically altered ones a la Cataclysm. Not in the same fashion, but perhaps Searing Gorge or Burning Steppes becomes a level 90-95 zone instead of the current brackets.
Also, everything under the sun points to a new class. It’s really all but confirmed. As is pretty much always the case, the rumour is the Demon Hunter. Is there any truth in it? Could be. If The Dark Below refers to shady dark magic and demons and such, another class to kick butt alongside the Warlocks seems to make sense. I’m sure most are banking on this, and no doubt hoping as well.
The good news, is that the talent system is actually being left alone for a change. Usually the first thing in a new expansion’s first patch is the tree/system adjustment. With that not being the case anymore, players are probably breathing a sigh of relief. It also means there probably won’t be a huge gap between 6.0 and the official launch.
So what do these few nuggets of wisdom mean for a retired player such as myself? Not very much. The Demon Hunter is one of those raise an eyebrow items. Could be of interest, or it could do what the Monk did for me, and that’s not much at all. Regardless, it’s not about a single class or zone, or anything like that. It’s the overall complete package. Knock one out of the park and familiar faces that have been long forgotten could be popping up on friends’ lists again. Come up short, and those same lists could have less and less active members. One thing’s for certain, in 10 days we’ll have an incredible scope and plethora of information on what no doubt will be WoW’s 5th expansion. Whether I am to come back or not, I’m definitely anticipating next weekend.