So, not entirely unexpected, yet a bit sad bombshell of news dropped today.
Shadowlands pre-patch release is announced for October 13/14, while the expansion release was postponed to an uncertain date this year.
Naturally this means that everything major designed for the initial core gameplay – like class changes, level squishing, leveling, customization and the event itself – are quite ready. At the same time, Blizzard requires more time to tune and balance the endgame. The keystone of more work to be done is obviously the endgame – that is, Covenant balance and abilities, a system unique for Shadowlands which is opened at level 60.
It is nice and understandable that Blizzard is following their trademark path of quality over rush, probably learning from their mistakes of releasing quite raw azerite perk system upon the launch of BfA (not something that I cared about, but many did). Yet the news is a bit sad.
In practical field – i.e. my gameplay during lull – I’m not really sure what it is gonna be. On the good side:
There will be plenty of time to bathe in pre-patch activities. To suit up my army of toons, to acquire all mogs and items, to kill Nathanos as much as I please.
There will be plenty of time to farm the Hallows End horsie :) Not something I would have done during the expansion launch which previously dropped exactly at Halloween week.
There will be a more polished endgame as a result – I never thought WoW was too bad in any of its iterations, but this could result in a smoother and more pleasant gameplay experience not just for me, but also for the demanding tribe of haters and min-max players.
Now, if only I knew the release date to try and reschedule my vacation (again).