To start, this is a piece wherein I will be arguing against my own case. So expect it to be a little silly!
Also, for the record, I do think that we will be seeing at least something regarding a new WoW expansion during tomorrow morning’s panel.
That out of the way, let’s talk about the reasons why it’s equally believable that we won’t see an expansion announcement tomorrow!
It’s Too Soon – Maybe, I Guess
Based on the discussion yesterday, this the weakest argument that I also see most commonly. Here’s why I will quickly shoot this one down: every expansion except for Legion was announced prior to it’s prceding expansion’s ending patch, so if anything, announcing tomorrow would be a return to form. The day breakdown in yesterday’s post should provide the other piece of evidence against this point – either 8.0 is the second-longest delay from release to announcement, or the longest if we wait until Blizzcon.
The Story Could Be Spoiled
Yes, this is true. The problem with the modern, interconnected nature of WoW content from major release to major release does mean that some details may be spoiled. This is a risk, but it is also one that Blizzard has managed to skirt in the past with their prior announcements. There is the possibility that they figure out a way around this, as they have before during their prior announcements. If any of the leaks end up being true, many of them could be revealed without spoiling the end of Legion.
The Time Alloted For The Reveal Panel is Too Short to Allow A Proper Expansion Announcement!
This is something that primarily relies on the Legion event as the benchmark of time required to unveil new content. Keep in mind that the event included a full replay of the cinematics from Warlords of Draenor, numerous recaps and a lot of time spent hyping up the game. In the past, again looking back beyond just the Legion reveal, the reveal trailer for past expansions has almost always been under 10 minutes. Now, that is just for a pre-made video to be played, but if they were to talk about features or go into more detail, they could need more time. If the reveal panel shares additional details about Kel’Thuzad in Heroes of the Storm, or Junkertown for Overwatch, the amount of time available for that discussion would be shortened a lot. The possibility of them running out of time to discuss anything outside of 7.3 is still there.
It’s Not Too Soon, But It’s Not The Right Time
This one holds the most sway with me, besides the allotment of time for the reveal panel. This is largely a feeling, but I can see why someone might think that while in terms of timing for the game, this just wouldn’t be the perfect moment to talk about a new expansion. Legion is chugging along very nicely, with a large amount of content, and more coming. While the team has confirmed that Antorus is the last big raid of Legion, they do keep going out of their way to say the last “big” raid of Legion. That seems to imply a 7.4 and perhaps a small, connective raid like Ruby Sanctum.
Overall, to sum up – here’s the thing. I think there’s no such thing as a perfect time to get everyone hyped for the next expansion. I do think, as mentioned earlier, that we are due to see an announcement at Gamescom 2017. I’m not going to be disappointed if there isn’t one, but the signs, to me at least, seem to be pointing in that direction. If, indeed, 7.3 is coming out next week, then knowing what we have in the hopper for the future of the game can only be beneficial. The announcement doesn’t have to be massive, because there will be time at Blizzcon and through Q&A’s online to further detail what we’ll actually be getting and playing in 8.0. Plus, this primes us for beta, getting people to opt in and get ready.
I also think that the event tomorrow is too long for what has been announced. It is called a “reveal panel” but the only truly new reveal if we get what has been promised would be a 7.3 cinematic, alongside those cinematics already shown during the Preview Event on Monday.
All told, either way, it’s a pretty good time to be a WoW fan, I think. Whether we get more Legion goodies or something new, it will demonstrate a huge commitment to remedying the content problems we’ve faced for nearly every expansion. That is something I didn’t think we’d see a year ago, but it’s good to be wrong!