What World of WarCraft needs more than anything right now is, obviously, content. Well fortunately for those still playing the game, they only have four months to wait until the game next expansion, Legion, rolls out on August 30th.
For the longest time, Legion’s release date was listed on the shop as “on or before September 21st, 2016.” We now know that it’s roughly 3 weeks before. Recently, a June 30th release date was rumored, but considering the current state of the alpha (only recently could you actually reach the new level cap of 110), having the expansion out that early seemed unlikely, even if coinciding it closely with the WarCraft movie would’ve been really clever marketing on their part. Legion’s prepatch (7.0) will arrive roughly one month before the expansion, so expecting it in June was extra unlikely. That update will implement the vast majority of changes coming to the game, but will lack the new content, like the Broken Isles as well as the Demon Hunter hero class, and artifacts.
For years now, Blizzard has said that they’ll be quickening their expansion release time so that these long droughts of content aren’t an issue, and as of yet – six expansions in – we’re still waiting for them to come through with that promise. As it stands now, each expansion has about a lifespan of 12 months, with the next one being intended to come shortly thereafter, but as with the development of any game, they end up being delayed six months to a year. I do believe their hearts are in the right place, but Blizzard has always taken their time with anything they’ve done. They’ve never been good at expediting their development process, and considering how long in the tooth World of WarCraft has grown, I don’t see them changing their tune within the game’s lifetime.
Maybe I’m wrong; I’m hoping I’m wrong, but for the moment, expect to see expansion 7 sometime in 2018.
In the meantime, go ahead and rewatch the original cinematic trailer for Legion; it’s pretty rad.