•   Tuesday, July 16, 2024
World of Warcraft

WoW: Dragons, Void, Tinker - the theme doesn't matter, the features have to be right!

The weeks and months before Blizzard officially announces a new WoW expansion, which will happen on April 19, 2022, were once again filled with various leaks and fake leaks about the setting of the further journey. Sometimes it was about dragons, sometimes about the light and the void and sometimes about the supposed new class of the Tinker. Besides the past World First Race and the current events of Patch 9.2, almost everything revolved around the upcoming expansion. Above all, however, which way Blizzard wants to go after the end of the chief villain Zovaal, who had pulled the strings in the background for years.

With all the discussions around Dragonflight, Awakening or whatever the upcoming expansion will be called, one thing became relatively clear to me over time. Actually, I don't really care what the setting of the story will be. The main thing is that the developers combine it with cool features, avoiding the mistakes they made at the beginning of Shadowlands and Battle for Azeroth.

World of Warcraft | The Mysteries of the Dragon Isles

The story is always the same anyway

If we look at the past expansions, or even the entire history of WoW (buy now ), then it is fair to say that the story more or less always follows the same pattern. We get to deal with a new threat, travel there (sometimes vice versa) and quickly realize that we can't get anywhere on our own. The Tinker is highly touted as a new class in the next WoW expansion. Source: Blizzard

We either ally ourselves with the other faction and/or the local population, prove ourselves "worthy" with them (through reputation grind) and defeat the new threat together.

This, I am sure, will not change in the upcoming expansion. For me personally, it doesn't matter whether the threat is caused by a titan, a dragon, or the goblin next door. As long as the story is told reasonably well and sets the stage for great combat, I'm happy with any setting.

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The features must be right!

After all, at the end of the day, whether I enjoy the upcoming expansion or rather end up torturing through it depends on the features that come with it. For example, the story of Cataclysm or BfA wasn't bad at all in my eyes, but the grotty or even completely missing features made them rather meager expansions for me. Things like the warfronts were nicely thought out, but just couldn't ignite.

Expansions like Legion or Warlords of Draenor, on the other hand, had stories that were less appealing to me. The features, especially Mythic-Plus dungeons, world quests, artifact weapons, and the garrison (yes, I actually liked the garrison a lot), made sure that the expansion remained a positive memory for me.
The warfronts never played as well as we were promised. Source: buffed If the features are fun and I enjoy dealing with them, then I can easily overlook weaknesses in the story. Of course, this also includes the raids and dungeons and their playful quality - the latter is, for example, the reason why I won't even remember Shadowlands that badly.

Patch 9.2 sets the tone for me

Whether and which features are really cool is of course in the eye of the beholder. What one person likes doesn't necessarily appeal to another. However, Patch 9.2 is the cornerstone for the upcoming expansion. The latest update has done a lot right, despite the controversial story. The features like protoform synthesis, ciphers of the first or the creation catalyst were good and above all, most of the relevant content doesn't involve an endless grind. At least this is true for the content that you don't play because of the feature itself, but because you get player power for other content there.
The creation catalyst does not require a grind - a good decision by the developers. Source: buffed
But I also liked other things, such as the design of the tier set bonuses or the Legendarys. Or the fact that the new currency of Cosmic Flux led to the desired result in many ways. This finally offered the playful freedom in Patch 9.2 that Shadowlands lacked at the beginning.

In the same vein is the move away from "meaningful choices", as Ion Hazzikostas expressed the compulsion to join one of the pacts. Now we can switch back and forth between the pacts at will, which brings a lot more variety - even if the change could be made a bit more comfortable.

World of Warcraft | 5 reasons why patch 9.2 is great

More work on the features

In order for the features in the upcoming expansion to really rock, the developers not only need to put in a lot of work, but also listen to player feedback. Of course, once again, players' tastes vary and you can never please everyone either way. The issue of timegating is a prime example - many detest it, while others are happy that it allows the stories to be told better.
Are we really dealing with dragons? Many leaks suggest that we are. Source: buffed However, patch 9.2 has shown what can come out of it when the developers focus on getting the features not only quickly, but also well onto the live servers. The permanent reactions and adjustments based on the feedback, which did not only come from the players' advice, did the rest. Sure, the balancing fell a bit by the wayside in the last patch, but thanks to Season 4, the developers hopefully have time to get both equally well done.

And if the features rock, then I don't care if we're fighting cosmic powers, little gnomes or beer-drinking monkeys at the end of the day. Because for me, the quality of the features will determine the success or failure of the upcoming WoW expansion.

How do you see the matter - what is crucial for you in the upcoming expansion? Do you attach more importance to a fitting and epic story or are the features of WoW Patch 10.0 more important to you than the direction in which the story moves? Tell us in the comments.

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