• March 30, 2023

Now Blizzard has after all knocked out the (hopefully) final release date of Shadowlands. So the new expansion will be released exactly four weeks after the original date. Some players, including myself, still think this is quite daring. Because there are still various, partly serious bugs on the beta servers and the balancing could still need a few rounds. But let's remain (very) optimistic and assume that Blizzard gets the roughest things in the coming weeks out of the world. But then there is still a problem.

Two weeks are really short

Due to the postponement of the expansion, time was running out at the end of the year, so Blizzard decided to shorten the time between release and the start of the first season to two weeks. So the raid and Mythic-Plus dungeons will start a week earlier than in previous expansions. That doesn't sound so bad, since many players often complain about artificially withheld content. However, I see two problems coming up, only one of which should be relevant for the majority of players.

Many new mechanics

Shadowlands introduces a lot of different and sometimes very new mechanics to the game. Things like the choice of the pact, Torghast, soul bonds, special events and, and, and. Players have to get used to all this, which simply takes time. And players should be given that time. With Mythic Plus dungeons and raids, which are the most important content in the endgame of WoW (buy now € 14.99) for the vast majority of players, Blizzard should therefore only start when the majority of the heroes have already become accustomed to the new features. Otherwise, you run the risk that this content will lead to frustration.

Source: Blizzard Source: buffed

If I want to spend my time already in the raid or hunting for high keystones, then the new adventuring system, the pact events, or a visit to Torghast can quickly become annoying chores. This does neither the players nor the developers any favors. The former feel rushed, the latter suffer from the fact that the features they developed don't get the recognition they might have deserved.

Balancing and story

WoW Shadowlands: Two weeks between release and raid - that's too short for me - Column (4) Source: Blizzard That being said, we probably all wish that the balancing of classes, pact abilities, Legendarys, Soulbonds, and signature abilities was at least halfway right. But to achieve that, the developers need a lot of data. And the past has shown that balancing can really only be started on the live servers. That was one of the reasons why Blizzard originally postponed the start of the seasons. One week longer time would be 50 percent more collected data to get the balancing right.
In addition, many players were happy in the past that they didn't have to rush to reach the maximum level, but could take their time leveling and reading the story. And especially in Shadowlands, more players should be interested in the story. Because this is, at least in my opinion, much better done and easier to understand than the sometimes very convoluted storylines in BfA. If you want to level up slowly and steadily, and still be ready for raids, PvP and M+ at the start of the season, you'll have a problem if you don't invest enough time.

World First at Christmas

Let's not kid ourselves: The first few weeks in a new raid are always the best. New bosses, new mechanics, and all the players full of motivation. But stupidly, the first raid weeks this year fall right during the Christmas holidays. And if you don't play in a high-end guild, you know that raids are often cancelled during this time, because many players have other things to do than gaming - celebrating Christmas, for example. It can quickly become demotivating if one part of the guild is highly motivated to go out, but another part prefers to enjoy the holidays with the family. That's always stupid, of course. Especially at the beginning of the raid it is doubly bitter.
And also the very popular Race to World First will certainly extend to the holidays. The mythical raids will open on December 16, one week after the start of the season. The following week will be Christmas Eve. At most, the absolute top guilds should be through by then. The majority of ambitious progress guilds, however, will have to play through the holidays if they want to maintain their WoW Progress rank. While this only affects the very few of us, it's no less of a bummer because of it.

In any case, I would have been more pleased if we had started into the Shadowlands next January completely relaxed and rested. Now it all feels very rushed somehow.

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