Back in September, a few of us returning to World of Warcraft felt like returning home to the comfortable, familiar game we had enjoyed for so long. It was a happy time and we were happy to be back. Happy. Happy. Happy.
A little later, after the BlizzCon announcement for Warlords of Draenor, the full instance group jumped back in to the game and picked up where it left off with the main group, way back at the end of Wrath of the Lich King, where we left off back before Cataclysm. That was back in late 2009.
And it was good. And it remains good.
The instance group has moved along at a leisurely pace, knowing full well that we had to get to at least summer on Cataclysm and Pandaria content. Not because we thought we might see WoD during the summer… I, rather optimistically in hindsight, figured September would be the drop date for the expansion based on some vague napkin math… but because we tend to go on hiatus during the summer as travel and other real life events take over.
Outside of instance nights, we have all been busy little beavers. We have been leveling up alts, collecting mounts, going after achievements, running old content, getting the guild up to level 25 (finally there!), and generally immersing ourselves in Azeroth. Fun, fun!
Or fun for a while.
Now more than six months back, with the guild taken care of, three level 90s at my disposal, having run all the level 90 LFR content at least once, and being exalted with all but two factions in Pandaria, I am starting to feel sympathy for those who really had their hearts set on a much earlier release for WoD.
My enthusiasm for logging in to work on yet another set of dailies or to get another mount towards my goal of 150 (I am at 132) has begun to wane some.
I still log in daily. I tend my farm at Sunsong Ranch, though mostly for items I can sell at the auction house in order to build up my gold account. I am working on a couple of low level alts, including a Panda monk with full heirlooms, just to see how ridiculously fast I get levels in a given play session. He leveled three times doing Shadowfang Keep at one point.
But the fires have faded some. I have joined the ranks of those who are starting to feel that Azeroth might need a little something to carry us through to the expansion at the end of the rainbow.
That feeling was enhanced this week with the Noblegarden holiday, for which I got all the achievements back in 2009. I do not have the mount that was added in 2012, but I am not sure I can bring myself to run the holiday events even for that. We’ll see. And then next week is Children’s Week, the one holiday event keeping me from the holiday meta achievement because I refuse to do the battleground achievements. Clearly some bitterness on my part there, and certainly not something that is going to raise my enthusiasm for WoW at the moment.
On top of that, we had what was effectively a narrowing of the gap as to when WoD will ship.
Previously Blizzard had said “Fall 2014,” conspicuously pointing out that “Fall” lasts until December 20th. But the optimists in the crowd could at least console themselves with the thought that Fall stars in late September, so WoD wouldn’t necessarily have to be a “week before Christmas” launch.
Well, Blizzard has rained on those hopes, at least in my opinion, with the announcement of the dates for BlizzCon.
BlizzCon will be November 7th and 8th of this year. And, as Liore pointed out the other day, you really have to be a cross your fingers and toes optimist to think that Blizzard is going to launch their big expansion of the season BEFORE BlizzCon. Who would let their thunder roar before the big convention?
It seems likely that we’ll get the pre-WoD patch before BlizzCon, which will give some people plenty to chew on as they work through the changes in order to be ready for expansion to drop. But that is still likely to be out in October at the earliest, and that still leaves us with the window for actual new content somewhere between November 7th and December 20th.
Which is probably going to leave a fair number of people in the odd position of having purchased Warlords of Draenor in advance, yet considering unsubscribing until it actually launches. How strange is that?
I suspect that, unless Blizzard has something up their sleeve, it is going to be a long summer of declining subscriptions.
That whole Azeroth Choppers thing… that isn’t going to be enough.