Patch 5.3 - Too Much, Too Fast?
Stagnation. That period in World of Warcraft that we have all experienced where no new content is forthcoming, all the old content is completed and we are left twiddling our thumbs. Typically these periods of time fell between expansions and patches. This period of time is the bane of every players existence, our kyptonite so to speak. The longer the period of stagnation, the more players succumbed and put their subscriptions on hold till fresh content was available.
Blizzard has fortunately gotten better at eliminating these periods of stagnation over the years. While it is still not perfect, for the most part there have been very few times where I have found myself utterly and totally done with all the content the game has to offer. Patches and expansions have rolled out at a fairly steady pace. Fast forward to Mists of Pandaria and the scales now seem to be tipped in favor of the other extreme; tons and tons of content perhaps much too fast and despite my hard-core roots I am not sure I like it.
Too much, too fast
Not sure of exactly what I am talking
about? Think about it....World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria has
only been available since October, a mere five months. Patch 5.2 went
live a few weeks ago with its PTR beginning in January, just a few
short weeks after Patch 5.1 was released. To top it off the Patch 5.3
PTR was announced earlier this week and is now available for
download. Talk about content overload.
There has been so much content at such a rapid pace that I have felt many times during this expansion that I simply cannot keep up, at least not at my more casual and relaxed pace. The old me, the one before kids and other responsibilities, the one who would have pulled several all nighters to finish the content may have been jumping for joy, but the current me is not sure I like it. The miniscule spaces between content patches makes me feel very rushed, something I (and I imagine many players like myself) never wanted to feel with an expansion like Mists of Pandaria.
New expansion before Blizzcon?
While the pace of the current content can certainly make ones head spin, thinking about what the future might be like can knock you out for the count. If the current pace of content continues, we can most likely expect the release of Patch 5.2 sometime in June, perhaps July. That would put the release of Patch 5.4 somewhere in September or October, only a year after Mists of Pandaria was initially released.
As we all know Patch 5.4 is likely to hold the epic Orgrimmar raid complete with the downfall(?) of Garrosh and thus the finale of the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Does this mean we should look for a new expansion in December? Perhaps, but considering that Blizzard almost always announces new expansions at Blizzcon (which happens in early November) this seems highly unlikely. However, as Blizzard is always full of surprises, we can't write it off completely.
Not all bad
I have spent most of this article
seemingly QQing about the break neck pace that content has been
released in Mists of Pandaria thus far. However, in the long run I
would much rather be overwhelmed with content than dealing with that
special kind of boredom that we experience waiting on the next patch
or expansion. Not to mention with content constantly rolling out, it
gives us tons of things to write about. So the fast paced content is
not all bad.
I just worry that this fast pace cannot be sustained and a giant period of nothingness is before us. Or worse, that much like the death throes of a star, the game is pushing out content at an alarming pace only to eventually supernova and end the game that we have held so dear over the years.
Clearly, this is all speculation and I cannot presume to read the minds of any of the developers. All I can do is put together various assumptions using the facts and past references I have available to me. What will be will be, but we can't help but speculate, especially about our favorite game, we are only human after all. How do you feel about the speedy pace patches for Mists of Pandaria have been released? Can Blizzard keep patches coming at this pace and will there be any repercussions because of it? Share your thoughts on the matter with us in the comment section below!