Quick note! SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer yesterday to show off the KotFE expansion! I'll have some more thoughts on that next week as we learn more. I'm obviously super excited about it. FYI! Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE! Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can.
Today at Gamescom, Blizzard is announcing their next expansion. There's been rumors swirling that it's a South Seas expansion or maybe tied to the Tirisfal Council, but nothing concrete. Warlords of Draenor doesn't seem to be that long in the tooth and it feels a bit early to be announcing an expansion, but is it really?
Liz Harper wrote a great article at Blizzardwatch that got my gears turning. How soon is this announcement versus every other expansion reveal? What's the real turnaround time on launching/announcing/launching again? I've made a nifty chart with an assumed launch date (April 2016); 6.2 dropped in June and there's just not enough content there to hold folks over for a year. I truly believe we'll see the new expansion in early Q2 or even Q1 of next year. Let's take a look at the timing of each expansion and what we can expect from this one.
I've compiled the launch/announcement dates from each expansion and plugged in my own estimate for the next WoW launch. The numbers tell a pretty consistent story, at least as far as announcements go. Announcements, on average, happen at the 10 month mark of the current expansion. This time, it's 9 months. The announcement of WoD came late in MoP's cycle, at the 14 month mark, which may make this reveal seem awfully quick. But when compared to previous announcements (TBC, LK, CATA), this Gamescom reveal is right on schedule. If my predicted release date is even remotely correct, WoD will have the honor of being the shortest expansion yet (though Cataclysm was pretty short too, comparitively). The perception that this announcement is quick probably relies on a few major factors; the delayed announcement of WoD during MoP's cycle, the announcement at Gamescom and not Blizzcon (which is highly irregular), Blizzard's stated goal of producing contently more quickly, the relative paucity of content currently, and the playerbase's general dissatisfaction with said content (re: subscriber losses).
As a WoW player (currently on hiatus for RL stuff + dissatisfaction with game direction), I'm marginally excited about this announcement. But I'm gonna be reaaaal honest here. They're going to have to knock our collective socks off to get me to even look sideways at this new expansion. And even if they promise the playerbase the world, most of us won't believe it. We got burned time and again on WoD (Karabor and Shattrath as faction cities, Farahlon, Ogre Island, flying (should be back soon), Trial of the Gladiators, 1-2 extra raid tiers, Tanaan Jungle as a starting zone, etc etc), so reticence to believe Blizzard is at an all-time high.
Who knows though? Maybe they come out, do a massive 'mea culpa' and proceed to blow our collective doors off with the most elaborate and engaging expansion ever?
... probably not though.
*I'll update this post as we find out more!
Remember, Knights of the Fallen Empire drops on October 25th! If you'd like to play, use my referral code cuz I'm a greedy bastard!