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Quote of the Day – More Pessimistic Than I About Draenor February 12, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Warcraft.
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There’s also no mention of expecting Warlords of Draenor to boost 2014 sales. It feels natural enough to infer that the expansion won’t launch until next year. While this expectation wasn’t exactly uncommon already, it seems at least a little more credible now.

Richard Aihoshi, MMORPG.com post looking at Blizzard’s Q4 financials

And I was called out for predicting early September for the Warlords of Draenor expansion and then feeling that Blizzard might have been hinting at that themselves.

See you guys in the fall?

See you guys in the fall, right?

The whole post strikes me as working to try and take a negative spin on anything Blizzard said.  No doubt there is some link bait appeal for the site in that. (It worked on me.)  But I cannot recall anybody saying before that Warlords of Draenor might not ship until 2015.  Is that something new?  Has that been going about?  I mean, I thought people who were calling April for the expansion back during BlizzCon were way off base, but this seems a bit of an excess in the other direction.

Of course, he didn’t say where that expectation wasn’t exactly uncommon, so maybe it wasn’t uncommon in his own mind.  That would fit in with his whole post.

No Warlords of Draenor until 2015?  Credible or not?

I am sticking with September 9th… of this year.

Comments»

1. Genda - February 12, 2014

Will all respects to my friend Bill Murphy over at mmorpg.com, they have always kinda been the sensationalist side of the “news.” Honestly, if you want more accurate and well-thought-out speculation (yes, I did just type that) it’s usually at mmo-champion.com. At least there, if it’s link-bait it usually isn’t JUST link-bait. Oh, and their site doesn’t make my head hurt when I look at it.

BTW, did you see what was on GAWKER today? Yeah, me either.

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2. Fedora Sal - February 12, 2014

I can’t be bothered to read sites that make my eyes ache.

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3. Talarian - February 12, 2014

I’m still betting earlier than September. We aren’t getting another patch, and Blizzard knows better than to wait an entire *year* between the previous patch and the new expansion patch. Looking at the time between Cata and MoP, it was about 9 months, and they’ve proven this past expansion that they’re (finally) getting faster at rolling out new content. GC also mentioned before he left that WoD felt more complete than MoP did when they announced it.

My guess is still May or June-ish. Early enough before the summer really hits and everyone goes on vacation, but late enough that the University students are all out of school, and classes are winding down for the high schoolers.

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4. bhagpuss - February 12, 2014

What does precedent tell us? Does Blizzard have an established pattern for mentioning the expected effect of an announced expansion in the preceding quarterly financials? If so, does it begin to be mentioned in the QR immediately following the public announcement or a set number of QRs before the actual release?

It seems that a small amount of investigative journalistic effort could establish whether the omission is likely to be indicative or not. “It feels natural enough to infer” is one of those valueless catchalls like “common sense tells you” or “everyone knows”. It would be more honest to say “I think” or “In my opinion” so we know it’s pure speculation.

2015 would, in my completely uninformed and evidence-free opinion, be ridiculously far along.

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5. NetherLands - February 12, 2014

While I wouldn’t be too surprised by a November 10th Anniversary launch (as whatever they’d otherwise do celebrate the occasion, people will be disappointed), 2015 seems rather late.

Then again, they do have a lot on their plate:

the European Servers are suffering from a lot of disconnects etc. for several weeks now and some argue it’s because the servers are too old and need to be re-furbished;

they’re going to Item Squish all the present content as well as make the next ‘fit’ into it;

they’re removing Quest Items, which for present content is a logistical nightmare (they basiclally have to fine-comb all the Quests to ensure they don’t bug any);

they’re reworking the Stat system, not just for WoD but for the game as a whole (not sure wether that is a good idea, tbh) which again requires fine-combing

and they’re adding the usual features and stuff (sorry can’t get excited about Garrisons, and Bashiok has been clear that they’ll will be left in Draenor ie they wil basically be more elaborate Farms, not Housing)

Now they could (should?) do the same as they did with e.g. the so-called Dynamic Quest Reward system (keep mechanic changes to the latest expansion) but so far they seem hell-bent on making yet again cataclysmic changes to the game.

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6. Wilhelm Arcturus - February 12, 2014

@Genda – MMORPG.com can be… a mixed bag. They have had some very interesting columnists in the past, including The Mittani and Scott Jennings. And they held the line against a couple abusive devs… though they were of the “never going to buy ad space here” level of finances, so you make of that what you will.

But the place is a cluttered eye-sore and it is difficult to navigate or find things on the site. And they do have their dubious moments, like giving EQN a best of show award and then telling us they couldn’t tell us why they did. Nice work there. And, technically, EQN is still a big question mark, all we have seen is Landmark so far.

@Bhagpuss – The only somewhat reliable metric I could find is that, for the last couple of releases, beta starts at least six months before launch. With beta not yet open, the six month clock on that hasn’t started.

@Netherlands – A lot to do, yes. You have to balance that out with the fact that they are an experienced team and said they were further along with WoD at BlizzCon than they were with MoP when they announced it at a past BlizzCon. Who can know outside of the actual team… and having been on big projects, even the team might not know for sure.

I was just surprised by the call that 2015 was a likely time frame. I may not be reading the right sources, but I had not run across that time frame previously.

Addendum: And Syp has put together a chart showing when MMO releases happen, broken down by month. Not sure that is totally relevant, but it is a thing. September is the most popular month, so in absence of any other data, might be the safest guess. August, by contrast, is the worst pick.

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7. R - February 12, 2014

I’d be surprised but not shocked if it came out in the Sept timeframe, I would be shocked if it didn’t come out until 2015… I’m still on record for mid-June, while that’s looking less likely with every week that passes it still feels like the ideal timeframe for them if they can make it work. A legacy of 6 month betas doesn’t mean this one will take that long.

Have to say, though, every time Blizzard comes out with one of the “What would you like to see?” polls or posts I worry a bit… seems a bit late in the cycle to be considering adding new features since the current ones they have planned seem to be taking long enough. I’d have much preferred to see those questions 9 months ago.

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8. gwjanimej - February 14, 2014

I haven’t been able to find a good announcement date for BC, but it launched in January 07, so presumably the announcement was some time in 06. Wrath was announced August 07, launched November 08. Cata was announced August 09 and launched December 10; additionally, it was easily the largest amount of work they’ve done on an expansion to date, requiring not only the quest overhaul of everything from 1-60, but a full art overhaul of the entire base game to allow for flight. Last, MoP was announced in October 11 and hit shelves September 12.

Based on that track record alone, I’m pretty comfortable saying that this guy is off his bloody rocker stating a 2015 release date. While it’s true that there’s a lot to be done, as noted the team is consistently releasing content as fast or faster than they ever have, and the scope of the work(even including the item squish) isn’t close to what they had on their plate for Cataclysm, if only because the majority of development time seems to come in the form of art asset development. Yes, there’s a significant amount of that here as well, but it seems more in line with what they did for Pandaria, if slightly extended. October-Nov release at latest if you ask me.

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9. Wilhelm Arcturus - February 14, 2014

@gwjanimej – If I recall right, BC was announced in 2005, was supposed to ship in November 06, but got pushed to January 07 due to technical problems. But it is the exception, and aside from the beta-to-launch metric, the other one is the announce-to-launch time frame, which as you point out has been approximately a year, with some wiggle room in there for dates they were able to book the Anaheim Convention Center for BlizzCon, where they tend to do the announcements.

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