The Infinite Wait for a New World of Warcraft Expansion

By David Piner -
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So, it’s been like about the span of 40 years since Blizzard started rolling out new character models in their upcoming expansion for World of Warcraft and I just want to let out a collective whoopty f’in doo. Who cares? Seriously, at this point in time, who cares about new character models for WoW.

Each reveal is this big huge deal now. We used to, in WoW, get like an entire raid instance preview and be like SLKJFSKL OH NO ITS COMING THIS NEW RAID IS COMING WHAT IS IN IT WHAT IS THE LOOT WHERE IS MY SPREADSHEETS. Now it’s like, ho ho ho guys we’ve got this new character model look how sexy it is. Yeah you want to play it don’t you, well it’ll only be about twenty five more years.

If I could ask Blizzard any question right now, it would be why can’t you make a new expansion each year? People don’t want a lot of out of an expansion. It’s literally like a new land mass, a new race OR class, and some cool new mechanics like vehicles or flying or something neat that they’re like oh wow, this improves the game a lot.

Now it’s basically like Duke Nukem, the expansion is coming in the next century or two and you can look at one race’s new model at a time. Anymore and that’s going too far. Way too far. Blizzard can’t just be like LOOK AT THIS AWESOME STUFF, by the way it’s coming out in your lifetime!

Why is it that WoW expansions are now like their own title? It used to be an expansion, as in, an addition to the game. A gear reset, new content, and new scenery. We, as a collective WoW community, were moving through the storylines and our virtual world changed almost yearly. Now, it’s like a multi-year process. We get a few patches, about 3 to 6 months apart, then these year long waiting periods for anything new.

We’re almost at the two year mark for Mists of Pandaria, and it’s going to be literally more than two years before the next expansion will have come out, and over a year since the last major patch. Can you believe that?

With the next expansion, it’s going to probably be a few centuries before we get an update, as Blizzard mulls over various ideas in its head about what cool new minor feature is in the game and have these week long reveals over it. Why though? It’s not like adding new content to a game as old as WoW is hard. They could probably generate a new continent with an entire new quest line each month and have it be quality, tested, and polished.

Whatever though, Blizzard can do as they wish and if they want to make people wait several years for each expansion, going so far as to have a 6+ month pre-sale, then by all means. Keep loading up the screenshots for the game on the website and keep us all in this infinite limbo of when are we going to taste new content. It’s just going to hurt the bottom line and make games like WildStar which are providing near monthly updates a lot more attractive.

If you want a real conspiracy theory about all of it, I think that Blizzard doesn't want to compete with itself. It just now labels all of its players as "Blizzard fans" and it just rotates through expansions and releases to not compete with itself. Since it figures people who play SC2 also play WoW. But come on, treat your community right, give us all the spoils. We're consumers and we should get more for what we're paying. That's how I think. Rain down updates on us, make us love you, make us feel like every other month is an exciting moment in some Blizzard game. Not some annual big event like the county fair.

WoW is not going to fall from its throne with a bang, but with a whimper. A very silent, long death as its content starved fans go and explore newer fresher waters. Games that started development in the past few years have a ton of information on the failures of their predecessors. 

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About The Author

David "Xerin" Piner
Get in the bush with Xerin every week for his column, Respawn, as he analyzes the hottest trends, buzz topics, and absurdities in MMO gaming. In addition to his ongoing war against early access titles.

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