Allied Races, Q&A, and Character Service Sales, Oh My! But Is It Enough?
For anyone who hasn’t been following the most recent World of Warcraft news, things haven’t been going so well. The newest expansion, Battle for Azeroth, launched feeling extremely unpolished, and players are still referring to it as “Beta for Azeroth.” We’re now approximately 7 months out from the expansion’s release date, and we only just got Zandalari Trolls as an allied race last week. They were originally announced, along with the expansion, back at Blizzcon 2017. The grind for Azerite to unlock traits we already had last tier is simply unappealing and has many players feeling bored or discouraged. Class balance is getting better, but there are still some that feel “unviable” or not “meta” enough to be brought to high end content.
With all of that context, it’s easy to see the recent events as Blizzard pandering to a dwindling playerbase. Just before the release of the Zandalari Troll and Kul Tiran Human allied races last week, Blizzard announced a character services sale. This sale allowed players to change their characters over to the new allied races at a discount. I personally bought a few WoW tokens and changed over my warrior, who was always meant to be a Blackrock Orc. In addition, Blizzard has just announced a Welcome Back Weekend promotion in which all accounts will be able to play regardless of subscription status, and everyone will be able to access some Battle for Azeroth trial content even if they don’t own the expansion.
Top that all off with another Q&A with game director Ion Hazzikostas coming this Thursday, and it seems like Blizzard is trying their best to keep us interested. I’ve personally been enjoying the raid content, and leading the official Geek Lyfe guild <Emerald Templars>, but I find myself struggling to find the desire to log on for any other reason. I’ve been struggling to find recruits for the raid team as well, with many long-term friends quitting or burning out recently.
The War Campaign, which is the ongoing quest line through which the story of Battle for Azeroth is playing out, had some really interesting new developments. However, I couldn’t even be bothered to finish the campaign until it came time to do so to unlock Zandalari Trolls. The raid situation kind of “spoiled” one section of it, and I’m now stuck between either doing Jaina on LFR or waiting until my usual raid day, Thursday, to continue. I just watched the cinematics and read spoilers outside of the game to get caught up. We’re at an awkward place of a ton of different content all being time gated, which leads many to a feeling of, “Well, why bother? I can just finish it later.”
Either way, the patch cycle of WoW continues on. We’ll have another new raid in approximately a month, though it’s not an entire raid tier. The two boss raid, Crucible of Storms, will be setting up patch 8.2, Rise of Azshara, and releases on April 16th. I’m personally very excited to finally meet Azshara in game (for reals this time), and I have high hopes for the changes they plan to implement. The Q&A on Thursday will likely shed some light on this upcoming patch, but there’s a part of me that still wonders, “Will it be enough? Will this make enough people come back, or will we continue losing more?” Only time will tell.
What are you enjoying in WoW currently? Or have you quit and are waiting for something big to bring you back? Let us know in the comments!
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