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World of Warcraft: Dragonflight


World of Warcraft: Dragonflight

Another expansion came and went and unlike with previous expansions where my opinion of its quality was pretty consistent throughout, with this one I really needed the few months break that we’ve had to reflect on what was supposed to be an expansion with a lot of potential.

Looking back on Shadowlands
Even when attempting to look through the usual expansion hype and excitement over newly added key features, Shadowlands really did have the potential to be a great expansion. Looking at it from a WoW historian perspective of “every other expansion is good”, it was coming off the brutal series of fuck-ups also known as BfA (which in turn was coming off of Legion, which was largely well liked). But that didn't really turn out to be the case. Even if you completely pretend WoW lore doesn’t exist anymore (like I do), any chance Shadowlands did have was quickly annihilated by the internal drama within Blizzard Entertainment, courteously provided to us by the government of California. 

The seemingly arbitrary deadline along with rather extreme boss nerfs to get Cutting Edge was the final nail in the coffin for me. Especially when you consider that almost every expansion, when viewing it purely from a raiding perspective, is actually quite good. Raiding has always continued to be the main reason why WoW is my video game of choice and that was also sadly tainted in SL.

That didn’t break our IE spirit, however! Perhaps partially thanks to the worldwide pandemic, we saw an even more stable roster in all our raiding teams in Shadowlands. The weekend raid saw a shift in leadership and was able to keep going strong. The ToT raid continues to be a shining example in what it means to be a casual raid in an increasingly hardcore and demanding raiding scene. And of course, the main raid steadily pushed forward with Cutting Edge titles and put up a very strong performance at the end despite very difficult circumstances.

Global circumstances also forced us to cancel two consecutive meetups, but we were still able to have a great time in Dublin last month.

And then at the tail end of it all, we launched a new WoW guild on the fresh World of Warcraft Classic realm Thekal, which has been steadily and successfully raiding nostalgic WotLK content and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This means that we are starting Dragonflight with no less than FOUR raiding teams in total!

And now, Dragonflight
Dragonflight scheduled for release in the middle of the holiday season was no surprise. What does actually surprise me a lot is the fact that they actually did not delay the launch at all and are releasing it ahead of the imposed deadline when they first announced the expansion. For some reason I feel more confident in Blizzard’s performance this time around considering these facts. Surely it would make more sense to delay it a few more weeks, right before Christmas, to release your game if it wasn’t finished, right? Although you shouldn’t put much stock into my predictions lately, since I’ve been wrong about every other precedent-breaking development.

Either way I am very much looking forward to this fresh new expansion. Blizzard is claiming to have some new ideas for some big changes and is eager to show us what they have in mind. As always, I couldn’t be happier to have this group of friends to experience this expansion with, as well as everything else we do together with this group.

Looking forward to the next two years!



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