Everything right now is calm.
You can relax.
Putter with whatever tickles your fancy.
But that’s about to change again.
We’re one week from the launch of Warlords of Draenor and the next stage of World of Warcraft. We’re certainly familiar now with many of the changes brought about with the expansion, thanks to 6.0. But there’s new stories and conflicts to behold, new lands and creatures. Plus, you never know what changes will come during the expansion via its patches. What will 90-100 feel like? What new sexy transmog gear will we see? There’s so much unknown for those who haven’t followed the beta news and even tidbits for those who did (or were in it). There’s also the question of what it will do to the player base. Blizzard has seen a small player return recently, after a significant decline. Warlords has people talking and impressions between now and Christmas will yield echoing results one way or the other.
But then again, by this time Sunday there’s a chance no one cares about Warlords, in the relative sense of how it’s going to do. If rumours are to be true, there’s a strong chance the company is going to use Blizzcon to announce the sixth expansion for World of Warcraft. A week before the current expansion drops, we may know what comes after it. That’s crazy to think, but since initial reports leaked Blizzard has gone and trademarked the rumoured title: Eye of Azshara. I won’t go into much detail about it, because it could very well just be a rumour. But if it turns out to be true, then fantastic. Regardless of what has come out, if Blizzard does drop the news of the next expansion this weekend I will be shocked and amazed.
For one, it would be a great way to pull at the players that have left and are debating coming back. You show them what is about to happen and what is going to follow (probably in early ’16 if I had to guess) and it might be compelling enough. Also, Blizzard has to do more. WoW is still the grand daddy of the genre, despite being one of the few remaining full on pay to play games. But they can’t just sick back, as was evident with the lengthy sunset of Pandaria. People left. Again. And this time it wasn’t just a few. Yes, some of us came back, but you can’t keep doing it and necessarily expecting people to keep returning. They’ll say enough is enough. New content closer together keeps player interest. While major expansions aren’t the right answer (regular new patch content would work just as well), it’s something. Something wise.
We really are on the eve of something unique. Blizzcon is tomorrow and when it’s all said and done we will no doubt be excited for whatever Blizzard shows us. I for one expect the first footage from the movie. Your con is the place you debut things like that. But getting back to World of Warcraft we could come out of Blizzcon knowing what the next expansion will be and be frothing at much of the information people were able to learn. Or, there might not be much about the game after Warlords is done. Either way, we then have the pleasure of gearing up for Thursday when the next chapter of WoW goes live.
It’s definitely a rollercoaster week, it’s just a matter of how thrilling the ride is going to be.