A few months ago, the idea of delaying the release of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands in hopes of an improved product didn’t feel too far out of the ordinary. If the game needed to be pushed back to 2021 in order to ensure quality, then so it was. But now, with an October 27th release date slated on the table, you can’t help but feel excited at the prospect of getting the expansion much earlier than expected.
Even when Blizzard hinted at a Quarter-four release date for Shadowlands, it felt natural to assume that the expansion would hit live servers much later in the year rather than the end of October. Seeing that date now should fill fans with a sense of tempered excitement, as, although the wait from now until October 27 might feel like it’s going to take a lifetime, the clock to make Shadowlands as perfect as possible will be continuously ticking down. In some bizarre way, the 55 days between now and then feel incredibly far away in terms of excitement and hype, but also much too soon in the grand scheme of things.
When every WoW fan saw that the release of Shadowlands was just a little under two months away, a collective deep breath was taken across the community. Sure, the playerbase is stoked for a new expansion, but after two years of a lackluster experience in Battle for Azeroth, it’s understandable why the idea of crunching time to get a new product out would invoke some nervous laughter.
Or, the total opposite could prove to be true. In a perfect world, Blizzard has already wrapped production on Shadowlands and the only thing left to complete in the development process consists of fine tuning and minor adjustments. Personally, I’m not worried about an earlier release date. In fact, I’m even more excited now than I already was for Shadowlands. Although I had predicted that we would get the expansion at some point in November, I think a late October release gives Blizzard enough time over the course of the next month-plus to really perfect the game. The pre-patch should hit live servers later this month, and the time between that release and the Shadowlands launch should most definitely be used to focus entirely on making the expansion a near-perfect experience.
When looking at the calendar, October 27 has a 50/50 chance of either feeling like it’s going to arrive in a matter of minutes (especially with how quickly time has been flying by when every day is exactly the same in 2020) or sludge on as we all endure the longest two months ever. But when you break it down on a day-by-day basis and realize that 55 days is a pretty big number to deal with, the level of confidence surrounding Shadowlands and subsequently, Blizzard’s ability to deliver a great expansion, shoots up immensely.
There’s a lot of time on Blizzard’s plate to make the game as great as it possibly can be, but be sure that it’s going to creep up sooner than most of us even realize. The only thing we have to do on our end as players is simply enjoy the ride and live for the buildup.
Of course, I’m waiting for Shadowlands with bated breath. The last few months of WoW have been pretty slow, and I’m desperately looking for something new. Everyone is. For the playerbase, the next two months – especially these last few weeks of BfA – are going to be rough to get through now that we know the exact time and date that the next era of the game is coming. The drone to the finish line might feel like a lengthy venture, but with faith in the development team over the course of what’s surely going to be a rapid process for them, the end product will arrive much sooner than anticipated.
Featured image via Blizzard Entertainment.