When it comes to PC gaming, the fine folks at Blizzard have a lot on their plate this summer. The team may be busy with the upcoming release of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft‘s The Grand Tournament expansion, but they’re not neglecting Hearthstone‘s namesake game either.
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, the game’s most recent expansion, is quickly approaching its one year anniversary in November, and many players are wondering what’s next for Blizzard‘s stalwart franchise. If recent reports are any indication, we’ll all have a chance to peer into Blizzard’s crystal ball in just over a week’s time.
Blizzard announced today that fans of World of Warcraft will want to tune in to their live Gamescom stream on Thursday, August 6th. In what Blizzard is calling a “special World of Warcraft event”, the developer will reveal the next chapter in the World of Warcraft saga that began back in 2004. Blizzard will then follow up with another event on Sunday, August 8th that promises to include some more details on the upcoming expansion.
While there aren’t many facts yet, speculation about the expansion began as early as November of last year, when Blizzard filed trademarks for Overwatch, its eagerly-anticipated multiplayer FPS, and something called “Eye of Azshara”. Azshara is a prominent character in World of Warcraft lore, the former queen of the Night Elves and current ruler of the malevolent naga. While players have battled Naga since World of Warcraft’s original release, there have been several hints towards their existence being a machination of the Old Gods, making the Naga a race with enough interesting storyline material to base an expansion on.
Blizzard’s decision to announce the new World of Warcraft expansion shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to long-time followers of the franchise, as the developer tends to follow a pretty strict pattern of releasing one expansion and then announcing another around a year later. However, the content planned for the expansion is likely to include some major new gameplay, as World of Warcraft‘s subscription numbers have begun to decline quite rapidly. Blizzard has attempted to address user-based desires as a result, handing out over 100,000 World of Warcraft player bans to bots a few months ago and offering an alternative to the traditional MMORPG subscription model they have been successfully employing for over ten years.
While other MMORPG games have come and gone, World of Warcraft keeps going strong, and even with their losses in subscribers the game has millions of players actively participating in the massive amount of content the world of Azeroth offers. If you still play World of Warcraft, what do you want to see added in the expansion? If you’ve stopped playing, what kind of content could entice you back? Let us know in the comments.
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is available now on PC and Mac.