I sometimes miss World of Warcraft. Not in a “I want to play it again” kind of way but rather in a “I had a lot of fun during those years” fashion. It
was is a fun game and many of its mechanics cemented what I consider to be “my style” of MMO. The lore is extensive and ensures you have a reason to play beyond the mechanics; let’s face it: any game mechanic will get boring or repetitive over time.
Even after moving to the pastures of Eorzea I still follow WoW news to see how it’s doing and what’s coming to my Azerothian friends. And it was with surprise to see that a great majority of my twitter timeline and blogroll was painting a picture that wasn’t particularly encouraging – as a whole, WoW’s latest expansion (Warlords of Draenor) seemed to be a disappointment. The latest things were the revelation that WoD would only have 2 main raid patches, and the cinematic that appeared at the end of the raid (datamined) where a certain “evil” character is suddenly friendly with everyone and “all’s well”.
The word on the street was “rushed“. Was WoD rushed? I have no idea. But a 2 patch expansion? That’s odd. There were rumors that the expansion was a problem and Blizz was looking to “turn the page” as fast as possible; the recent revelation that the next expansion is being revealed at Gamescom served only to fuel the fires of this rumors. “A WoW expansion being announced at Gamescom instead of Blizzcon in a few months? They sure are desperate to move on” is the gist of the theories.
There’s speculation that the next expansion will focus on the Naga and their Queen, Azshara. I don’t know if it is true but it would be a good idea, since Azshara is part of the great overarching WoW lore, thus returning to a path that WoW has deviated from since Mists (WoD, as an alternate timeline, I understand had little to no repercussions in the “real” timeline, at least until now – if we believe the rumors of the next expansion’s preparation events). WoW needs to go back to its recognizable baddies. I am a firm believer that it’s no coincidence that WoW’s most popular expansion was Wrath of the Lich King; closing the arc of a well-known character from the Warcraft saga was, for Warcraft fans, a “Deathly Hallows” level event (for lack of a better comparison).
Where will the next expansion take adventurers? I’m curious to see. I may not join the fray into the unknown* but I’ll certainly be looking forward to it.