So I think, if you had told me, that 2018 would mark a year where my WoW play time would mainly amount to 2-3 sessions per week by the end of the year, during the start of an expansion, I would have laughed at you.
However, ultimately, the well-documented issues with Battle for Azeroth have, in my case, reduced my playtime. I am still having fun with the game when I do log in, but my time has split more between multiple, different games. And that may be what I’ve needed – and given me valuable insights that I’ll be discussing in future posts.
But with the start of the year, let’s look forward to 2019 for WoW – a year that will, I think, give us things to be happy about.
Patches – Battle for Azeroth Will Likely Be Complete By Year’s End
With the year-end release of patch 8.1, Blizzard has laid a foundation for future content that we’ll be seeing in a few week’s time with Battle for Dazar’Alor and the proper kick-off of BfA Season 2. While my feelings on the patch are ultimately mixed, I think it adds some meaningful changes that can be expanded upon later.
But, if I had to gamble, I would say this – by the end of 2019, we will be in the full BfA experience, with all of our remaining patches out, and a new expansion announced at Blizzcon 2019. At that point, will story gripes remain? I’d gamble that some still will, sure – but I think the expansion is ramping in a few different directions, and seeing which one takes center-stage will be fascinating, even if it also ends up being irritating in some ways.
More importantly to me personally, though, is the gameplay. I’m excited to see Nazjatar, Mechagon, and what lies beyond in 8.3. The visual updates to Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin will be nice, as will the availability of the Kul Tirans and Zandalari. I’m excited to see what new allied races sneak up on us, and I’m hopeful that the gameplay offered by new raids will provide us with more interesting gameplay.
I’ve made a post speculating about 9.0 might look like, but I think that regardless of what happens, if the journey ends up being compelling, I’m in.
Classic Will Launch
I am still of two minds about Classic. On one hand, I think it is cool to see it come back and I am excited for those that never got to try it to get their hands on it. On the other hand, I think that, given the complaints I’ve seen about the modern game from those who also claim to be pumped for Classic, bodes poorly for what will happen when the rose-colored glasses are knocked away by the cold truth of what vanilla WoW really was.
Yet, I think this will be a good thing for the game. Having this available and included with subscriptions to the modern game means Blizzard is less dependent on the modern game’s success for business results. While that sounds like it could be a bad thing (no need to make the game good!), I think that if the reports of increased Activision influence are true, having people paying to play for longer, regardless of which version, means the game will perform better and that things can be more carefully architected and tested. Of course, this doesn’t have to be the case, but I think it will certainly help.
There’s not really a lot we can say now, given that the new year is not even 10 days old, but what we do know will be coming and what we can reasonably anticipate based on trends and observation tells me that while I may have some doubts about the state of the game now, there is a lot of time available to turn it around, and the changes discussed so far in What’s Next panels and Q&A sessions do give a lot of promise to what is yet to come.
A Personal Closing
Thank you for reading this post to the end, if you are here! 2018 was only my second year writing on a fairly regular basis and you all read nearly twice as many posts as in 2017, without any external links to big fansites like I had in 2017. Thank you all so much for reading and sticking around!
My holidays were very relaxing and ultimately led to me playing a lot of non-WoW games, as my guild decided to take the holidays off of raiding. I’ve got a lot of fun observations from that time to share in future posts, along with some stories about my time in WoW that will be far more upbeat than the end of 2018!
As a New Year’s Resolution, I am writing more, although not all of it will be here, so if you want to see some more personal stuff, I’ll be sharing a link to a second blog soon!
Thanks again and happy new year!