I don’t know quite how to put my thoughts together on this, but there is something that needs to be said. So, here goes.
Over this past weekend, news emerged that patch 6.2 is the final major content patch for the expansion. This makes Warlords perhaps the shortest expansion yet and it would be first among all expansions to end this early. This was unexpected to say the least. It’s still good news to me though – as my tweet sums up nicely:
I imagine two scenarios for why Blizzard would choose to end Warlords of Draenor this early – one is a good one, the other not so great:
Cutting their losses and moving on.
The story in Warlords is a badly told story at level cap. We’re already in an alternate timeline which put it on thin ice from the very start. Then there’s the orc-centric component which is somewhat tired, and to top it all off, there isn’t a solid ending to this arc. We don’t get to the fight the big bad villain of this expansion. There was also no Karabor as a city (I was so disappointed with that), and in general, I just didn’t want to be in this world after a point.
Yep, I am ready for a different story. One without orcs at the center for once, and preferably in a nice normal timeline. Gnome expansion if you ask me – hey, a girl can dream.
Hopefully, this announcement is just Blizzard accepting that hey, this hasn’t gone the way they expected. Their design decisions and vision was clearly off the mark and perhaps it’s just time to stop trying to salvage the story and move on to something better instead. And in this case, sooner is better than later.
This is the one that worries me. Blizzard has time and again mentioned how their goal is to reduce the amount of time between expansions. Ending WoD early however, is possibly the first step with this goal in mind – churning out expansions every year rather than every two years.
I dearly hope this is not the driving reason behind the decision because it prioritises a quick schedule over quality. And to top it off, faster releases is not at the top of my list of issues.
All I care about is if I am having fun and enjoying my time in the game – and that is governed solely by the quality of content and not its frequency.
I decided to take a break from WoW because I didn’t enjoy playing in the world any longer. When 6.2 failed to draw me back in, I figured that perhaps 6.3 would do the trick and I’d be back for it. I thought I’d merely be sitting out a patch or two – and now with this news, it appears that I will be sitting out the entire remainder of the expansion.
Where does this leave Warcraft and me? I don’t really know. If Blizzard does choose to go down the path of bad storytelling and lackluster narratives, I don’t foresee myself returning to it. On the other hand, if they’ve got something up their sleeve and want to tell a compelling story with a well-articulated vision in mind, then yes, count me in. Until then, I will wait and keep an eye on how things develop.