We are in the summer before an expansion, having been told that the next World of Warcraft expansion, Dragonflight, will be arriving some time before the end of the year.
So we are in that gap of time where I frequently become most involved with an expansion, that point when all the content has been deployed and the company starts working on getting people wrapped up, with mains and alts all secure at the level cap. We start getting the pre-story for the next expansion and then the big patch that yanks the rug out from under whatever builds we had settled on for the previous two years.
I think I have missed that transition only once in the history of the game, and that was the bridge between Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria… and I ended up liking MoP quite a bit. (And I have softened somewhat on Cataclysm over the years.)
Now, however, we’re coming up to a gap between an expansion that couldn’t keep me interested for much more than two months and an expansion that feels like a transparent attempt to drum up player interest by going all in on dragons.
The thing is that Dragonflight is still a wildcard. Just because I don’t like it today, that I haven’t heard anything that piques my interest, doesn’t mean I won’t like it. Again, I turn back to Mists of Pandaria… didn’t think I would like it at all and it turned out to be one of my favorite expansions.
So I could get caught up in whatever dragon dreams Blizzard has planned. It could happen. Like Kaylriene, I haven’t made a hard call either way.
No, the problem is with Shadowlands.
I thought Battle for Azeroth fared poorly when compared to Legion, but I still came back and played the hell out of BfA when its last patch was done and Blizz was trying to tempt us back. I ran multiple characters to level cap and unlocked all of the alliance allied races and all but one of the horde allied races.
I just have trouble picturing me putting in any similar sort of effort as Shadowland’s swan song arrives. We are currently about 18 months down the road since I last played the expansion, having gotten one character to level cap.
What got me thinking about this was Blizzard throwing a 50% xp boost at players before season four of the expansion starts. That made me wonder whether an xp boost like that would get me to play. But, no, it doesn’t seem it will. It barely moved the meter for me.
Then again, we are months away from any possible Dragonflight launch. The time might simply not be ripe for a return.
And, in any case, the next bit of Azeroth I am likely to visit is Northrend once Wrath of the Lich King Classic lands. August is pretty close. Maybe September for the launch? And Blizzard says they haven’t forgotten classic players… or, more likely they remember how much older titles like Burning Crusade Classic and Diablo II Resurrected have propped them up over the last year.