WoW’s Legion Expansion Will Be a Long One

Blizzard lost all trust with their players back when they said they wanted to release expansions every year, then said they wanted to do more content (then didn’t and went a year with no new content), then said they wanted to do expansions faster again. Well now it seems they’ve yet again flip flopped, but they’re at least admitting anything they say will sound hollow.

At this point, I don’t think that yearly expansions would be the best thing for our players – Ion Hazzikostas, WoW Asst. Game Director

Ion also went on to say that they plan on focusing on more patch content and building on current stories to keep players entertained. In other words, we’re going to have Legion for a long, long time. Hopefully they can keep the content flowing in order to keep players interested.

How do you guys feel about longer expansions vs. more expansions in general (not just WoW)? I think I like the idea of more patches and rich content in a longer expansion cycles as long as the expansions are truly major “expansions” to the game itself and how it’s played over just adding more content. Expansions should never be patches. That’s something Blizzard has nailed pretty well. Every expansion feels like the game is being overhauled or taken to the ‘next level’.

As long as I — the player — never feel bored without something to do, I’m fine waiting a reasonably longer amount of time for a big overhaul. I prefer that over feeling like I don’t have time to do everything I want, or feeling like everything I’m doing is just going to be wiped out from mudflation or a change of direction. For example, if I played WoD when it launched and was really beefing up my Garrison just to find out that in a few months that expansions would be meaningless, I probably wouldn’t care about my Garrison.

P.S. Content =\= Achievements or Pets

  • Identical quote choice FTW!

    Still, I didn’t come away thinking that expansions would be less frequent (did I miss a quote?), just that the idea that they would be more frequent turned out to be a bust, so they won’t pace content on the assumption that they can work faster.

    Expansions are too much of a big payday and community revival point to let the gap between them increase. But we shall see I suppose.


    In Legion they set out to make expansions faster, promised they’d be faster, but now are saying, “On second thought they won’t be faster.”

    That’s where he goes on to say he doesn’t feel yearly expansions are in the best interest of their players and says how they plan to have more patch content in Legion to survive that gap between expansions.

    Sounds like they’re keeping their 2 year cadence but planning to fill in the gaps with more to do.

  • @Keen – Yes, I saw all that. And, as you note, it sounds like they will keep the current cadence. I was trying to figure out what you meant by Legion being “a long one” when doesn’t sound like it will be any longer than other expansions. It just won’t have the big dead space… we hope.

  • Best cadence ever was EQ’s every six months, which they kept up for several years. I found that was just right. If an MMO I was already enjoying could bring out expansions consistently twice a year it would minimize the chance that I’d wander off to another game.

    I’d say once a year should be the absolute, bare minimum requirement. Anything more than that and I’m surprised they have customers left at all.

    I would, I should add, be completely happy ONLY to have expansions every six months. No need for any other additional interim content whatsoever. At an annual cadence they’d probably need to put in one or two content updates to bridge the gap.

  • @Wilhelm: They set a new expectation of yearly expansions. By “a long one” I meant twice as long as a year. But yeah, it’s no longer than usual. The trust factor now (if any is left) will be whether or not it’s aa drought.

    @Bhagpuss: I agree with that. If expansions were the only content, then expansions becomes synonymous with large patch. That’s fine too. Then every couple of year a MAJOR expansion could change things up (if even necessary).

  • I like the idea of longer xpacs with more content. Im hoping its not just frivolous dailies or just another raid in the cycle either to keep me busy. I did like the way they did the epic rings from khadgar and I also liked the garrison.

    Id like more story/lore in my content patches. I like how Neverwinter does their newer campaigns. Do some dailies until you unlock the next area or story sequence. The campaigns give you small but significant power upgrades after you collect a certain amount of “materials”.

  • In order to get content out more frequently they would have to cut back on the number of updated and new systems they introduce. Some of those systems are also intricately tied into their new content or introducing new ways to experience old content. From gear/level scaling to phasing to huge changes in gameplay like garrisons. They converted talents trees to D3 style talent panes and then added talents back in on your artifact weapon.

    If they slowed down a little and let most of the content sit on the existing mechanics, we’d get a lot more content. And its not like game systems wouldn’t change. EQ saw AA points and instanced dungeons and graveyards and bazillion other things in the 10+ expansions I missed. But the game evolved. Occasionally a big UI revamp or artwork revamp. QoL features. Faster content, slower features.

    I just don’t see the WoW team doing that. Not even sure they are capable of doing that. They push features to make the game feel “fresh” and to create more “interesting” ways to tell stories. While at the same time recycling old content.

    Personally I don’t mind. But I understand other players frustration, and in some cases fatigue with the pace of game changes compared to content.

  • Fatigue is what kills me in most MMOs. As soon as I’m logging in and doing the exact same thing over and over again, I’m bored. I want that sense of adventure that comes from not repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again. Fatigue also gets me in the form of having nothing to do. If i log in and constantly think, “i really have no purpose…” then I log out and play a FPS for 45 minutes and call it a night.

  • Honestly, I will not be impressed with any MMO that does not live up to what Asheron’s Call managed to do. 10-11 patches a year, 8-9 of them content and story patches. And a constantly advancing story, at that. Plus live events! Yeah, the games are more complex these days, but the tools are much, much better.

  • I like the direction. For one, it’s obvious they can’t do it faster for the reasons Kerazi highlighted. They just focus on pushing new systems too much in expansions for them to be pushed out faster. So switching to a more patch content heavy model sorta wins by default over what WoD turned into at the end.

    That being said, I’ve also, generally speaking, loved major wow content patches. I always look forward to them, and the non-raid ones in MoP were actually…relatively good. If they can keep that up, I will enjoy it. In fact, outside of maybe ruby sanctum patch, I’d say every major X.Y patch has been, at the very least, not a disappointment? (outside of how long it is supposed to last obviously, pacing was always the issue). Maybe 1.10? But honestly, the 0.5 tier sets came out then and those were timed right for me to enjoy them (the patch may have been less snazzy for people far into raiding at the time)