World of Warcraft is a game of ebbs and flows. The longevity of the MMORPG alone has made it so that its player base numbers often fluctuate, with a number of veterans returning for a few months at the beginning of each new expansion before taking a long break until the next one due to real life demands. While it feels like World of Warcraft: Legion launched relatively recently, in actuality the expansion has been out for over a year already, and it now seems that Blizzard is already preparing World of Warcraft‘s next expansion.
A few World of Warcraft fans noticed an anomaly yesterday while using an online resource to track the patch number of Blizzard’s beta servers, and it appears that Blizzard is closer to a new expansion than fans might have previously thought. The beta servers displayed implementation of a Patch 8.0 briefly yesterday before Blizzard noticed and changed the designation, but not before some eagle-eyed redditors, like tiwuno, managed to grab a screenshot. Here’s what the servers looked like for a few minutes yesterday:
For those unfamiliar with how patch designations work in World of Warcraft, the number prior to the decimal generally indicates a massive content update, usually reserved for expansions. Any patch with a 7 before the decimal applies to Legion, while those with a 6 in front would have denoted Warlords of Draenor. The 8.0 designation appearing seems to indicate that Blizzard is ready to begin testing a brand new expansion, which would be in line with some teases from World of Warcraft developers recently.
While the patch number appearing on the servers at a different time might be easily dismissed as an error, however, Blizzard is currently gearing up for BlizzCon 2017, its annual gaming convention that is frequently the site of a number of exciting announcements each year. Now that the 8.0 patch has been revealed, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Blizzard announce a new World of Warcraft expansion during BlizzCon. We already know that Blizzard is planning a World of Warcraft announcement at BlizzCon, so an expansion would make a lot of sense.
It has been a strong year for Blizzard games in general, with Overwatch surpassing 35 million players worldwide recently—could it already be time to put the spotlight back on World of Warcraft, just over a year after the launch of the immensely popular Legion expansion? All signs point to yes, but we’ll find out, one way or another, when BlizzCon 2017 rolls around in just a few weeks time.
World of Warcraft: Legion is available now for Mac and PC.