Patch 8.3 is off to a roaring start and World of Warcraft is flourishing once again here in 2020. The game is more alive than it has been in months and just before the expansion comes to a close, Battle for Azeroth is receiving one last jolt of energy.
And while there’s plenty of new content to explore in the game’s latest patch, the way that Blizzard has utilized the old world has been nothing short of masterful. In the patch’s opening questline, you’re jostled around between Uldum and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, while old characters like Wrathion and Ra-Den emerge back into the fold of the main storyline. It’s almost as if the game’s developers realized they had been sitting on a gold mine containing a fruitful combination of untapped potential and limitless possibilities and right before the gate slams shut on this expansion forever, they’re doing everything in their power to revitalize it.
And honestly, it’s working.
Going back into the world outside of Kul Tiras and Zandalar has been a truly eye-opening experience. Sure, the new zones that were introduced this expansion like Nazjatar and Mechagon were fun and intriguing, but getting to go back to places that were previously swept under the rug in a more relevant age is a great experience that would actually be quite beneficial to the game if utilized again in the future.
Think back to when BfA launched about a year and a half ago and the expansion’s opening pieces of content sent us back to the Undercity and Teldrassil. Right from the get-go we were seeing the effects of the conflict between the Alliance and Horde on the shores of our own cities. The world was being affected firsthand and places that the playerbase had called home for years were upended. From there, zones like Darkshore and the Arathi Highlands were drastically affected by the literal Battle for Azeroth and the conflict had evolved on a global scale.
Seeing how the tides of war have crashed upon the old world has really been interesting to see throughout the course of BfA. But now, as we advance into the final stages of the expansion, even neutral sites like Uldum and the Vale are being dragged into the conflict – albeit for different, more exotic, even chaotic reasons.
Regardless, there’s an entire planet (and then some) at Blizzard’s fingertips. They might as well use it extensively. Letting various regions across Azeroth lie dormant for years is naturally a poor allocation of resources, but at the very least, it’s nice to see parts of the old world being integrated back into the fold here in Patch 8.3. And even as much of the world remains stagnant, it’s almost guaranteeable that a strong majority of the playerbase wouldn’t be opposed to heading back to some of the zones that shaped the game years ago.
Uldum and the Vale are barely scratching the surface here in Patch 8.3. So many zones have remained out of commission since their respective expansions have come to a close, so to see areas in let’s say Northrend or the Broken Isles get some love down the line, perhaps even in Shadowlands, would definitely be a treat.
For now, however, I’m seriously happy to be exploring old world zones once again and seeing the corruption of N’Zoth, a character fabled in the WoW mythos for so long, finally come to fruition – affecting the world as a whole in the process. It’s been a while since we’ve seen some of these parts of Azeroth, and as the game continues to grow over the next few years, it would definitely behoove Blizzard to utilize the expansive universe they’ve built over the course of the past decade and a half.
Photo Credit: Blizzard Entertainment, World of Warcraft