World Of Warcraft: Legion Announced At GamesCom

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rorie

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Edited By rorie  Staff

As is their bi-annual tradition, Blizzard has announced a new expansion for World of Warcraft, entitled Legion. It’s the sixth full expansion for the game, which is somehow still going relatively strong heading into its twelfth year of existence. Another new continent, the Broken Isles, is the focal point of a new demonic invasion of Azeroth, and it looks like Gul'dan is bringing back Illidan to ensure that everyone's preparations are thoroughly mocked. You can check out the official website for the game here.

The main features:

  • Level cap will be raised to 110.
  • New Honor System to roll with in PVP.
  • Artifact weapons will finally be implemented, with what look like some extensive customization for weapons like Ashbringer.
  • New class: The Demon Hunter. Apparently only Night Elves and Blood Elves will be able to choose it.
  • We'll finally dig into the Emerald Dream/Emerald Nightmare in some form.
  • Each class will get its own headquarters called an Order Hall, only available to members of that class.

it's not a tremendous surprise to see Blizzard going back to one of its most popular and important villains, as the game has been rapidly losing subscribers over the course of Warlords of Draenor. WoW is still a gorilla when it comes to the subscription-based MMO game, with around 5.6 million subscribers as of Blizzard's last earnings call to investors. However, that number is drastically lower than the 10 million subs Blizzard announced shortly after Warlords of Draenor launches last year, and the game looks to have lost around 1.5 million subs since their last public statement on subscription numbers in March. (The chart here gives a good overview of WoW's subscriber base over the last decade.) It’s an odd business to be in when you can lose more subscribers in a financial quarter than most MMOs will ever have in their entire lifespan and still be considered to be doing relatively fine.

Blizzard has said for a while now that they’ve been aiming to reduce the amount of time between expansions, with a former lead designer stating a while back that "once a year I think would be a good rate." They haven’t actually been able to deliver on those promises, though, with most recent expansions seeing three or four content patches in their first year, and then a long lull of a year or so without fresh content until the release of the next expansion. It's natural to see a loss of subscribers during that time, but Draenor's numbers have taken that trend to an extreme that one can assume is a bit disconcerting for Blizzard.

Hopefully the relatively slim pickings in Draenor mean that they’ve been cranking away on the new expansion and we won’t have to wait another year to see its release. It seems likely that it'll be tied into the press run-up for the Warcraft movie that's set to hit theaters in June of next year, though, so current subscribers might just have to face another 8 to 10 months of taking Archimonde down before heading on to new adventures.

Blizzard's press conference is still ongoing, so we'll update this with any other pertinent information when it's concluded.

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SomeJerk

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#1  Edited By SomeJerk

The Demon Hunter shiz sounds neat enough that maybe I'll grab a trial and..

no. I missed out on a lot of gaming 2004-2008 while playing WoW. Do not. It's drugs, highly addictive drugs. If you have to do it, do it with a friend who can pull you out of it and into the real world, do not lose yourself.

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Cactusapple

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I feel like WoW should be on John Oliver's "How is this still a thing" segment.

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Marblez3

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#3  Edited By Marblez3

Has all my favorite characters and themes from the Warcraft universe. But I doubt I'd get back into it. It's still going to follow the same old tired formula. I was hoping they'd shake it up big time

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sammo21

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#4  Edited By sammo21

Glad they are making Demon Hunters lore appropriate opposed to doing what they did with Paladins and Death Knights.I like the sound of the customization stuff they are talking about.

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SaltyKind

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I'm excited to see how Blizzard re-incorporates Illidan into the story, and to see what happened to Gul'dan. It sucks, though, because it's truly a hard thing to find people of the same mindset who actually want to talk about the game without 5,000 filler posts of "WoW is drugs, avoid it!" or "WoW is still around?"

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cloudymusic

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#6  Edited By cloudymusic

current subscribers might just have to face another 8 to 10 months of taking Archimonde down before heading on to new adventures.

I've never liked Blizzard's habit of doing this. Wasn't Icecrown Citadel the latest content tier available for like 10 months or something? And if I'm understanding it right, they've released the "final" big content patch for WoD, when it only came out 8 months ago? They should space things out a bit better.

In any case, judging off of how my time with WoW has gone over the past few expansions, I might just buy the soundtrack and skip the expansion altogether.

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moregrammarplz

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#7  Edited By moregrammarplz

Man, it's like five expansions are colliding in this thing.

Time-traveling orc Gul'dan reawakens Illidan and brings the Burning Legion to ancient night elf islands that are inexplicably full of vry'kul from Northrend. Also, Dalaran is here.

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Notorious_POG

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I thought it was pretty gross how WoD was the most expensive expansion with the least amount of content, shame that it looks like they'll continue with this model.

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unvirable

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Destiny has been scratching the WoW itch I didn't even knew I had. However, I've been really into Hearthstone lately, and I always thought that Illidan was fucking awesome. If any expansion were to pull me back in it would be this. But I don't think it's going to happen, I've really enjoyed not playing on PC for some reason. I find a lot of enjoyment in just relaxing on a couch with a controller or an Ipad, and I'm actually pretty excited for The Taken King, even though people will likely hate me for saying that, but we'll see about that when this expansion comes out. I'll try the trial, maybe.

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L1GHTN1N

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#10  Edited By L1GHTN1N

Liking the focus on class quests and dungeons. Demon Hunters seem neat but if you have to start from level 1 then I've got no interest, would like to see something like DKs where they start at 90 or something. Edit: Never mind guess they are doing that, great!

Guess this would be a good time to resubscribe and finally do those raids and maybe get my priest ready.

Also only 2 raids huh? Hmm.

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BulletproofMonk

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#11  Edited By BulletproofMonk

ILLIDDT

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shrinerr

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oh, Demon Hunters, like Diablo...

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cornbredx

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The sixth expansion for WoW aka "I don't know. Is there anything we haven't done yet? What about character types from our other games?"

I'm not surprised this seems uninteresting. They haven't done a whole lot that's interesting in WoW in a long time beyond over simplifying it to such an extreme it could not feel more dull to play every time I inevitably check out the newest expansion because I'm bored.

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MrPlatitude

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I feel like WoW should be on John Oliver's "How is this still a thing" segment.

That would be so perfect.

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Quid_Pro_Bono

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I started playing around vanilla and have always played the expansions, and laughed when people said that the new expansion would sink the game.

I honestly think this expansion will sink the game.

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banicabolnica

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I hope the new class didn't make the game the same frustrating mess as the other "hero" class made it back in the day. >_<

Cool to see Blizzard try some stuff though.

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mithhunter55

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@somejerk said:

The Demon Hunter shiz sounds neat enough that maybe I'll grab a trial and..

no. I missed out on a lot of gaming 2004-2008 while playing WoW. Do not. It's drugs, highly addictive drugs. If you have to do it, do it with a friend who can pull you out of it and into the real world, do not lose yourself.

Yeah after high school ended I had to quit. There is to much else in life to experience and WoW holds to much power over me. I realized I must have an addictive personality as LoL and Counter strike have caused me similar gaming binges. Can't be productive if you are stuck playing a game 8 hours a day for a week or two.

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MikeLemmer

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...They're doing Illidan again?

I was hoping WoW expansions would expand the world and setting. Instead, they seem to be looping in on themselves, going over the same ground over & over again. I've lost interest in that, and I don't think Warcraft as a whole will be able to recover from the plot pretzel WoW's doing to squeeze out more expansions.

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Efesell

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I will play more World of Warcraft.

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grandCurator

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Yeah, nah. Unless it's like $20-$30, color me not interested at all. WoD was a huge letdown and this seems to be mostly surface level stuff to distract from some of the more core problems of WoW. Like how they said Class Orders help with class identity. How? Class Identity should be expressed through gameplay, not by having a clubhouse for your class.

I will say an Emerald Dream raid sounds alright though. Only been 11 years since they mentioned it.

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mavs

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The sixth expansion for WoW aka "I don't know. Is there anything we haven't done yet? What about character types from our other games?"

Since all the classes in WoW are from Warcraft 3, including Demon Hunters, not really sure where this is going...

The scarier part is revisiting characters that were already featured/disposed of in WoW.

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cornbredx

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@mavs: I must have forgotten that.

Even if so, my point is: they've run out of ideas. Although, for me, the last expansion that was at all interesting was Wrath of the Lich King.

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LawGamer

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#23  Edited By LawGamer

@mikelemmer said:

...They're doing Illidan again?

I was hoping WoW expansions would expand the world and setting. Instead, they seem to be looping in on themselves, going over the same ground over & over again. I've lost interest in that, and I don't think Warcraft as a whole will be able to recover from the plot pretzel WoW's doing to squeeze out more expansions.

Shhh. I don't want to give my hope that WoD and the movie are all part of an elaborate run-up to reboot the franchise with a current-gen Warcraft RTS.

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zzzellyn

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#24  Edited By zzzellyn

So I stopped playing during Mists but does this make the second expansion in a row where they're just resurrecting villains for you to fight? Like, we already time-travelled once to kill Archimonde in Hyjal and then they made players go into an alternate timeline to do it again. Now they're reviving Illidan because they can't come up with something new and interesting? Jesus.

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probablytuna

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I stopped playing WoW after Lich King, but I've always been interested in the Warcraft lore and where the story is heading. I can't wait to see Sargeras come back and have a hundred man raid against him when Blizzard releases the final WoW expansion.

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mavs

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@mavs: I must have forgotten that.

Even if so, my point is: they've run out of ideas. Although, for me, the last expansion that was at all interesting was Wrath of the Lich King.

You're completely spot-on there. Since WoTLK wrapped up the overall plot that began with Warcraft 3, I'd say that was the point where they could no longer coast on good ideas from the past. It's a shame, because pre-BC WoW had the seeds of several interesting stories that were neglected as Blizzard began mindlessly racing up the power level tiers.

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Lanechanger

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I also stopped after WotLK, it's interesting to see in the charts that Rorie posted that that was the peak of the subscriber numbers too.

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cloudymusic

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I stopped playing WoW after Lich King, but I've always been interested in the Warcraft lore and where the story is heading. I can't wait to see Sargeras come back and have a hundred man raid against him when Blizzard releases the final WoW expansion.

I've also been a longtime Warcraft lore fan (since WC2), but I have a much easier time with it if I just pretend the timeline stops after Vanilla WoW.

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Naoiko

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You are NOT prepared!

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benjo_t

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I will do what I do every expansion - sub for a month or two, enjoy the leveling experience and dungeons and then that will probably be my fill. Since vanilla I've played WoW casually and that suits me fine.

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drdust

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Well anything can be better the warlords, This looks good.

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ragnar_mike

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If this had lead in from Burning Crusade, or after Wrath, I probably would have stayed on at the time. As it is, not even the siren call of the twin blades can sell me WoW's current direction. Love the art I've seen though. Blizz knows their environment design.

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probablytuna

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MikeLemmer

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@mavs: WoW has become the video-game equivalent of a never-ending fantasy series that should have wrapped up 7 books ago.

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ShadowSwordmaster

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Blizzard know how to make a good cinematic trailer.

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Subjugation

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Not doing anything for me. I was horrified when I decided to pop back to check out WoD and saw how they had gutted abilities/talents. It honestly does feel dumbed down to me.

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chocolatebear

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Underwhelming. Blizzard, at least its WoW team, lacks vision.

I was actually quite hyped for WoD when the announcement was made, but it wouldn't last with the garrison prison.

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takayamasama

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#38 takayamasama  Online

Ugh..no thank you. the fact they are hamming up some story using the "alternate reality" Gul'dan from WoD really leaves me with zero interest in whatever narrative might be in this expansion. I've never played alts so a new class does nothing for me, and FF14 has spoiled me on not having to make a new character from scratch to try out new jobs/classes.

Also all the stuff in this expansion seems weirdly themed. Demon tombs, ghost ships, Val'halla equivalents, Emerald Dream...I know there is usually variety to the set pieces every expansion, but these themes seem all over the place.

It was a good 9 years WoW, but this doesn't seem interesting nor fix enough done wrong by WoD to drag me back in. I'm sure 40% of this stuff will be totally changed before launch anyways.

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SonofSeth

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@benjo_t said:

I will do what I do every expansion - sub for a month or two, enjoy the leveling experience and dungeons and then that will probably be my fill. Since vanilla I've played WoW casually and that suits me fine.

I too will take a Demon Hunter for a spin, see what's at lvl cap, do a raid or two (this time I might even PVP) and take a break again.

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ToxicFruit

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Jesus everyone is cynical on here. I'm fucking hyped for this ! I was hoping they would bring Illidan back in some form seeing as he was not really well fleshed out in Burning crusade( And his motivations seemed a little different from Wc3) But man i can't wait ! The new class looks cool, the weapon stuff looks dope, the new pvp system looks awesome. If they keep going with their dungeon/raid design from WoD but more that will be amazing ! Lots of callback to War of the ancients too, will be interesting to finally see what Black rook hold and Surumar look like. Bring it on !

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Milkman

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Demon Hunter sounds cool. I'll do my usual thing of buying the expansion, getting to the level cap and unsubscribing until the next one.

I'll admit that I've completely lost the thread when it comes to Warcraft lore at this point, even as someone who played the last expansion. Was Warlords of Draenor some alternate reality shit? Is that how Illidan is back? I was under the impression it was all time travel.

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ragnar_mike

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@milkman said:

Demon Hunter sounds cool. I'll do my usual thing of buying the expansion, getting to the level cap and unsubscribing until the next one.

I'll admit that I've completely lost the thread when it comes to Warcraft lore at this point, even as someone who played the last expansion. Was Warlords of Draenor some alternate reality shit? Is that how Illidan is back? I was under the impression it was all time travel.

I took it as a bronze dragonflight type thing where the idea is to save the cannon lore and that time travel ends up being a mistake that needs fixing. So...like I guess this expansion is the Back to the Future 2 scenario where Biff has the almanac and takes over the world. Except...Biff is Guldan? Or Illidan? I dunno man, time travel.

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ajamafalous

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generic_username

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What WoW needs in order to bring me back into it is to bring the subscription fee down to five bucks a month (or lower, like... free) and add some sort of system that explains the endgame to people without friends in some sort of capacity. I last played on a recruit-a-friend character shortly before Pandaria was released. I made it to the level cap and asked, "Well, what do I do now?"

I was told to run dungeons over and over with randoms hoping to get better loot. I did that, and it was always miserable, with me not knowing the boss patterns and getting yelled at in chat for fucking everything up or not doing enough DPS or whatever. It was a poor experience. I looked up written guides to figure out how to improve, or to see what I was doing wrong, and it became very clear that it all was supposed to come with practice, and this practice was only available to me in the form of getting yelled at by strangers over the internet. So I quit playing again. Some better way to let people into the endgame who don't have the ability to block out 4 hour chunks of their days for a raid or can't socially deal with the process of finding a guild of kind people who are actually willing to take it slow and show you the ropes would be awesome. The "throw random people together but make the dungeons not quite as tough" thing didn't work for me at all.

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Bane122

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A lot of what they showed looked pretty great to me. It does seem heavy on fanservice though, not that I mind. Demon Hunter race, Emerald Dream/Nightmare, wielding iconic weapons, Illidan back, Dalaran hub,Turalyion back finally, etc...

What Blizzard needed to do that they didn't is acknowledge people's criticisms of WoD. Even if just a promise of more content patches or something. I imagine right now a ton of people are assuming WoD is the new standard and aren't interested, and I can't blame them.

FFXIV really did it well. Release the base, patches about every 3-4 months for a couple of years, then a big final patch leading into the next base content. I'm not sure a like the sound of yearly WoW expansions but will wait and see what happens.

Some better way to let people into the endgame who don't have the ability to block out 4 hour chunks of their days for a raid or can't socially deal with the process of finding a guild of kind people who are actually willing to take it slow and show you the ropes would be awesome. The "throw random people together but make the dungeons not quite as tough" thing didn't work for me at all.

I'm not really sure what you're looking for. That is the best way to ease into dungeons. If you can't deal with nice people then endgame or dungeons may not be for you. Usually you can find video guides on youtube but they not be much more help to you than written ones.

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Lazyaza

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#46  Edited By Lazyaza

@mavs said:
@cornbredx said:

@mavs: I must have forgotten that.

Even if so, my point is: they've run out of ideas. Although, for me, the last expansion that was at all interesting was Wrath of the Lich King.

You're completely spot-on there. Since WoTLK wrapped up the overall plot that began with Warcraft 3, I'd say that was the point where they could no longer coast on good ideas from the past. It's a shame, because pre-BC WoW had the seeds of several interesting stories that were neglected as Blizzard began mindlessly racing up the power level tiers.

Yep I recall many great quest side stories with vanilla wow and even BC and then wotlk had some utterly fantastic stuff. After that it seems like they're either going for weird nonsense or nostalgia horse beating and kinda failing at both types again and again. Granted wow stopped being "fun" for me outside of solo content a long long while ago, like 2008 a while ago. I took like a 4-5 year break at one point and after that its been month long sessions per couple years tops.

I feel like the entire user base over the course of the games lifespan has gotten worse and worse too. Where once I felt the average player was a 20-40 something year old I now think its more like 12-18 year olds exclusively and they are ALLL BAD.

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ShadowConqueror

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That seems really boring. I was hoping for something a little more unique.

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MonkfishEsq

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Reeks of total desperation. Like the article said, Blizzard haven't actually been able to deliver on their promises to release the expansions faster so players aren't stuck doing 1 raid for an entire year while they wait for the next one.

It's happened for what, the last 3? 4 expansions? Literally nothing to do but run the last raid over and over and with WoD it's even worse because it was so content-lite.

Emerald Dream, Azshara, Burning Legion. These are things that they should have had long ago but now with this expansion they just shove them ALL in. "oh god, please keep playing our game"

If this doesn't come out in less than 6 months then WoW is in serious trouble.

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Scotto

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There was a time when I was pretty interested in the WoW lore, but they kind of burned through the last of it with Wrath of the Lich King, and the conclusion of Arthas' story line. Now it just seems like they are flailing around, by comparison.

After this expansion comes out, I think their best bet would be to start work on a WoW 2, and reinvent the genre again.

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benjo_t

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@scotto: I believe that was called Titan and it didn't go very well for them.

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