For a while now, Blizzard’s been very cagey about any sort of release date for Shadowlands, saying only that it was going to come out in the last quarter of the year. I’ve seen a lot of predictions on this, but I have to say that most of them put the expansion somewhere in the November-December range.
But now we know the truth: World of Warcraft’s next expansion is coming on October 27th, two months from now. That also means we’re going to be getting the pre-patch sometime in September. Things are going to start happening quickly now, which is good considering how long it’s been since WoW’s last content update (that would be back in January, or “The Before Times”).
The end of October sounds pretty good to me. That gives the beta more time to fully cook and hopefully smooth out the rough spots while letting all of us get used to the new structure of Patch 9.0. Right now, I’m fully in Classic, but when the pre-patch hits, I’ll definitely want to check out the new customization options and perhaps work on a new character and some Scourge invasion events.
However, I really don’t see a full-fledged return to retail until Shadowlands launches for real. I have plenty of other stuff to be doing that I don’t need to unnecessarily dither around in retail if there’s no greater purpose for it. And now I have a date to arrange my gaming schedule in the fall around.
I like it. We’ll have that, Fallout 76’s One Wasteland, and Torchlight III’s launch coming, and I’m all about enjoying the buzz of hype — especially after a rather long and event-less summer season.