It’s not a surprise many are disappointed about the Battle for Azeroth announcement…

Blizzcon 2017 was wrapping up when I first starting to type this (it’s now a couple of days later!). Like every other year there were loads of announcements and competitions and game finals and cosplay and so, SO much love shown in the faces in the audience and online. It has been a great year, and I hope everyone has had an amazing time.

I feel, though, that this year’s WoW announcement has had a less than enthusiastic reception. Ok, I won’t sugar-coat it- I have seen down right disgust and hatred towards the Battle for Azeroth announcement. There are a lot of unhappy people out there; people who aren’t happy with the way the new features are coming in, or even what the story is about, with many wondering if they would even play the new expansion.

But I have to ask this:

What else were you expecting?

To me, none of this is a surprise. And I’m not referring to the WoW content, I’m referring to the reaction. Blizzard were in a lose-lose situation this year with the WoW announcement, and for quite a few reasons. For those of you reading this who are feeling disappointed right now, let me tell you this: you were going to be disappointed no matter what Blizzard announced for WoW this weekend. But there is hope!! Here’s why Blizzard wasn’t going to win this Blizzcon…

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Spoilers

This announcement proved that Blizzard don’t want to give out spoilers. And why would they? It ruins content that hasn’t even been released yet, which in turn reduces playability and brings that content burnout so much closer. instead of content being out for the planned 3 months, it’s been “out” for 4-6 months because of datamining and spoilers.

Think about it- there is a whole raid that hasn’t even been released yet, and with it, some answers that will point to how we get from fighting together on Argus, to fighting each other on Azeroth. In addition to that, there will need to be some sort of quest line or scenario or event or something during which we will hand over our artifact weapons. AND there will be pre-expansion events as well.

This is an awful lot of content and more importantly, story that hasn’t been told yet. Blizzard were never going to tell you how all that plays out in advance just to announce an expansion. In doing so, they would have tarnished quite a few months’ worth of content in the process.

The “problem” with this is that it meant they were unable to share a lot of details about what’s to come. They couldn’t talk about why the Highmountain Tauren side with the Horde, or why the Alliance will have Void Elves; they can’t talk about why the Horde burn down Teldrassil seemingly out of nowhere, and they can’t talk about what Jaina has been up to and how we get to each of the new zones, because we can’t know yet.

It would have been an incredibly difficult panel for Blizzard to put together, to be honest. I wonder how many times they had to bite their tongues!

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How high can the story go?

This was something that I had actually brought up a few months ago when I was a guest on the Rolling Restart podcast with Rho. Where did WoW have to go after Argus? I mean, this is the Burning Legion, Kil’Jaeden, titans for goodness sake!! This is some Act 3 crisis point story going on here. It’s potentially the end of not only Azeroth, but the universe it exists in. Where did they have left to go!? How do you go higher than that?

The answer is either:

a) end the world (and therefore the game)
or
b) extend the life of the game and bring the story back home

Obviously the answer was always going to be b).

It’s a bit like an action movie- the suspense has been building throughout the whole movie, things just getting worse and worse until you’re at the point that things seem completely helpless. If you’re someone like Joss Whedon or George R. R Martin you end the world. But generally, the “good guys” will fight until they win. This is when the movie ends. The heroes will stand around hugging and laughing and cheering at being so amazing… and then the credits roll. Then a couple of years later the sequel will come out, and its been 2 years since the end of the events and something else bad is happening, and it all starts again. What you don’t see is everything that happens in between. And there’s a darn good reason for that- it’s really anti-climactic. It’s better to pan the camera away than to watch people return to their homes and get back to “normal”.

The same thing is happening here in WoW. We are about to come down from one of the most epic battles we have ever faced. That battle is going to hit peak climax during/shortly after Antorus. And then it’s going to end… but the camera won’t pan away.

All of this means you were always going to feel a little bit disappointed at the announcement. In many ways it feels very anti-climactic. And that’s because it is. But what that doesn’t mean, is that it will be crap.

Where to from here?

This is the beauty of Blizzard- they are good at telling stories, and boy do they have a lot of stories to tell! It’s for this reason that I’m not at all worried about what’s to come for World of Warcraft, and I honestly never will be. They always have a plan of some sort, and will always tell the stories they have to share.

So I urge you- if you’re feeling disappointed about the expansion announcement, the “lack” of story, or you’re feeling angry that the Horde and Alliance are back at each other’s throats, please give it some time. Have a bit of faith in Blizzard that they know what they’re doing, and they want this to be amazing for everyone who plays. I think we’ll be hearing more details about the next expansion sooner than you think.

Personally, I think the next expansion is going to be amazing. I think Blizzard held a lot of content close to their chests so as not to spoil what’s to come for the rest of Legion. Which means there is a lot of amazing stuff still to come, that I’m going to talk about in future posts! I just wanted to get this post out there now in the hopes that it helps people who are feeling disappointed to bring things back into perspective, and hopefully show them that there is bound to be a lot of amazing stuff to come. 🙂

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15 Comments on “It’s not a surprise many are disappointed about the Battle for Azeroth announcement…

  1. I like this perspective! I think the speculation prior to Blizzcon was all Old Gods (I’m guilty here too!) because it felt big enough to suitably slot in as the big bad. But after the announcement and some thinking, I like this direction. It allows us to build to that over the course of an expansion, and the frequent hints of us being dangers to Azeroth with all this fighting hints pretty heavily in that direction.

    It also feels appropriate since a large number of players I’ve seen keep asking for us to be less of a mythical commander that can tackle these gigantic threats and more of an anonymous adventurer/part of the ranks. I felt underwhelmed, but after I played the demo I really started to get into the idea!

    Liked by 4 people

    • ooooh I’m jealous you got to play the demo!!
      I agree that there’s loads to come. I like that we’re starting small in a way, because it gives us something to build towards. I’m excited to see what’s to come! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I hear you, those are my exact thoughts too. Right now the hype for it gets sort of capsuled in a way, because we don’t know the events that takes us to the new expansion.

    It’s a little sad in a way, for Blizzard, and all the work they put into it. An announcement later on, more in sync with the store in game would have solved that, but I know that people want it at Blizzcon.

    Negative voices are always so loud.

    So I really encourage everyone to drown them out with your positive and constructive feedback 🙂

    When is the last time you wrote Blizzard a real letter addressed to their Headquarters to say thank you? 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am all for people yelling positivity as much as they can! That’s why I write so many posts like this. I think a lot of readers are probably sick of me harping on about being positive about the game etc, but I just can’t help it.

      And yes I did feel bad for Blizzard, too. So many people don’t realise/pay enough attention to the fact that the people working for Blizzard also love the game so much, and they just want it to succeed and be fun for everyone. I get heartbroken when things get leaked or serious spoilers are datamined before Blizzard could make any announcements.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eh, if a lot of readers feel that way about it, they can find elsewhere to be negative, isn’t that so 😉 Negativity breeds negativity. No point in that. 🙂

        Yes. I agree with you on that, too. Things gets taken for granted so fast. We just have to do our best to make our positive (yet constructive) voices heard.

        Like

  3. Amazing post 🙂

    And you are right. Reminds me of an answer I saw, few months ago, on reddit to the question “What expansion would make all players happy?”. And someone wrote “Blizzard could make the most perfect expansion in the world, and players would still trash it. Some would probably even say ‘There is not enough to complain! I hate you Blizz’ “ xD

    Everyone expected an announcement at Blizzcon, as Blizzard likes to do them there. Some may say it’s too early, but I disagree, as it gives us plenty of time to get our characters to end content, or to level a couple of alts to play in the new expac.

    I was very happy with the trailer and all they said about it. Clearly there is a lot of work behind it, and as a WoW player and Blizzard client, I feel very proud of them.
    Having to do these things, knowing half the players will love and half will hate it, can’t surely be easy.

    I liked Alunaria’s idea, I’ll tell Princess of the Mists so we send a nice letter to Blizzard 🙂

    (By the way, if anyone you know likes knitting, you can help keep the Blizzard wolf warm in the winter:
    https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/blizzard/21184893/calling-all-crafters-help-us-decorate-the-orc

    Liked by 3 people

    • aww thanks for the comments! I’m glad you liked the post.

      You are absolutely right- there will always be people complaining no matter what. I can only hope that Blizzard hears our positive thoughts about things in amongst the shouting and negativity. I too am proud of Blizzard and more than happy to be a paying customer. They work their bums off. And you know, a part of me is glad to give them my money when I see just how many people are living their dreams by working there.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I had my initial thoughts, got them out of me head on to paper. Now as I read other perspective the creative juices are flowing. Did Teldrassil really burn, was it a vision of Wrathion shared to Anduin, did he really go to war against Sylvannas, is there subtle influences of an Old God compelling us to fight to the death, was the Fel the only thing holding the Void back. Are Shadowpriests the instrument of our destruction, or will they be the saviors of the world.

    Me personally, I have to just get those annoying, oh here we go again, thoughts out of the way. And open up some room to feel excited. I have to hope they have learned a great many lessons, realized that while the pacing of content release seems to flow better, some thing should. It stretch on endlessly with impossible levels to attain. Looking at you Artifact power. The big unknown is if they will scale back on making WoW more competitive and less time consuming, or if they will start the push to make it eSports viable, and not care if only a million people play.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I really your idea that the burning of Teldrassil could have been a vision from Wrathion- that’s really interesting!
      I think Blizzard have shown many times over that they are listening to the player base. The difficult part for them is that the player base is so diverse with so many different opinions, so no matter what they do, some people will be happy and some people will be disappointed or angry. For me personally, I quite like artifact power, whereas you don’t- neither of us are right, it just is what it is. It just comes down to the luck of the draw some times 🙂

      But yes I do agree with you- it will be interesting to see what the future holds. I would love to see more esports available for WoW. I really enjoyed the Mythic Dungeon invitational (not only because it was a double Aussie grand final!!) and look forward to seeing more of those in the future. At the end of the day, though, Blizzard won’t do anything to the game that would ruin it for the general player base, so I have faith that everything will be ok.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m not 100% against Artifact Power per say, but it’s a nagging annoyance that it never ends. I really pushed hard, at least for me, to get to that initial point where I could say, YES!! I FINISHED IT!! But that was short lived, and I see people like my wife who plays a Resto Shaman, but has been asked on occasion to DPS, where she has to split AP at times, and then she feels like she is further behind. I only did the one Artifact weapon quest line to get a staff so I could transmog, even spent weeks in the Garrison farm collecting to get the Pitchfork, and in the end, I’m kind of down about having to swap specs just to have a look, because I cannot equip it as Shadow.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Good thoughts!
    I’m reminded of the cinematic for Legion and how upset we were to see Varian die and (seemingly) the horde turned away; the reaction hasn’t been shown yet until this coming expansion. We may not see “Sylvana’s Story” until the expansion after BfA, right? I agree, there is a lot that we don’t know — we just got an introduction and have not gotten to the first chapter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • oh man I just bawl every time I see Varian’s fate. It was one of the best, for sure. That cinematic made everyone walk away and want revenge on the Burning Legion, and drove us to fight.
      The Battle for Azeroth cinematic was different, in that it made us feel like the battle has hit a lot closer to home (quite literally for some people).
      I think that we’ll have quite a lot of rich story for this next expansion to be honest. I’m looking forward to some background on some of my favourite characters 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have to agree that I was very depressed for quite a while after Varian died because I was always one of those fangirls of his. LOL, yeah, had quite the thing for the fellow the whole time I played Alliance (still play Alliance even thought I’m predominately Horde in the game). I am looking forward to the new expansion quite a bit, actually and hope that it will turn out as well as I think it might – Blizzard is pushing us back to the roots of the game – home, family and trying to save it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s funny, when I saw the name “battle for azeroth” I instantly thought we are fighting for the titan. To save the titan.
    Even now as we learn more I still think this is true.
    It feels very much like mists did. We are so set in our ways we fight eachother, then a big nasty comes along & we fight together.
    As the innkeeper in the tavern in the mists said ” we are strong because we fight eachother “

    Like

  8. Pingback: There is only one word- EPIC | cinder says

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