alt="Nagrand Warlords of Draenor" />
The legendary World of Warcraft
expansion. Released once every two or three years, these moments in
the game's history are pinnacles of awesome. Sure, there are small
patches in between, but they just can't compare to the full
expansion. New content is released, old players return, and the game
seems fresh and new all over again.
Recently, Lead Designer Greg Street,
revealed in an interview to DigitialSpy that Blizzard is hoping to
churn out an expansion a year, perhaps even starting by 2014. That's
right folks, a brand spanking new expansion to look forward to once a
year. Sounds great right? It sure does, at least in theory, but is it
a really a bad idea in disguise?
Bringing Back the Masses
In the interview, Street reveals that
one of the biggest draws that bring players back to the game is a new
expansion. This is, of course, not a big shocker. Everyone loves new
content and even players who have long given up on playing can still
get the itch when they see a shiny new expansion. His reasoning is,
that in order to bring back old players and attract new players,
World of Warcraft expansions should be released at a quicker pace.
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While this logic may seem sound, there
is at least one giant hole in the theory. You see, new expansions can
certainly attract new and old players to the game. However, it won't
keep them there. When Warlords of Draenor, the newest WoW expansion
is released, it more than likely will draw huge amounts of players
back to the game. However, as the newness wears off, many of those
that were quick to hop on the new expansion band wagon will quickly
hop off again. Even if expansions come once every year, players will,
inevitably, still jump ship in between one expansion and the next.
Quality not Quantity
Instead of pumping out expansions left
and right to attract players, perhaps Blizzard should instead focus
on quality instead of quantity. Sure, everyone loves a new expansion,
but if they are pushing out one expansion after another, what kind of
content can we really expect? Will it be like the last half of Diablo
III, which clearly felt rushed when compared to the intricacies and
epic feel of the first act? I believe so.
I would much rather see developers take
the time they need to create something spectacular and get 1
expansion every few years, than push out mediocre expansions at a
faster rate. I think most players will agree they want something that
is well done rather than done quickly.
Free No More
Besides the chance of lesser quality
content, we also will be seeing less free content. Usually,
expansions come out every two to three years and we see a ton of
patches both big and small in between. These patches contain
dungeons, quests, gear, and more all for free. With expansions
rolling out faster than ever, these patches will become fewer and
alt="Patch Notes" />
Instead, it is likely we will have to
wait for (and purchase) the new expansion to get any major content
changes. Small things may still be rolled out in patches, but with
expansions so close together, major free content patches could
quickly become a thing of the past.
Even with fewer patches, the amount of
content that will suddenly become available will be overwhelming.
Forget trying to complete anything, there simply won't be time. I
know many of us who enjoy completing content felt rushed in
Mists of Pandaria, which has been out for almost two years. Can you
imagine the feeling of trying to finish anything with a huge new
expansion looming continuously on the horizon?
Not to mention the constant feeling of
what is the point of trying to get it done? If one expansion negates
another, why finish anything if all your hard work will just be
undone in a year or less? One could argue that this is true now. That
when one expansion is ushered in, we lose all that we have worked
for. However, at least we have time to enjoy it. Time to sit at the
top and gaze lovingly at all we have achieved. In a world where
expansions are pushed out at assembly line speed, we won't even have
that comfort to sustain us.
In this author's opinion, an expansion
a year is a wolf in sheep's skin. It looks cute and cuddly and we
really want to pet it, but it will end up biting us in the ass in the
end. I feel that the bad outweighs the good in this scenario and I
hope that we won't be seeing yearly expansions any time in the near
future for World of Warcraft.
How do you feel about yearly
expansions? Do you think they will be on par with expansions that
took longer to create? What affect do you think yearly expansions
will have on the game? Share your thoughts with us in the comments
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