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Published: October 22, 2021

Written by: Silvia Pavlof

  • World of Warcraft content patches have been increasingly scarce
  • Fans fear that Shadowlands will be just as lacking in content as Warlord of Draenor
  • Blizzard has a lot of expectations to meet, especially in light of its rising competitors

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has been out for a year, yet only a single content patch has dropped. Fans are concerned by the lack of content.

World of Warcraft’s Slow Content Development

Activision Blizzard has long passed its prime. In recent times the company has been a magnet for drama. Combined with the COVID-19 complications and the developers’ chain of bad decisions, the beloved roster of Blizzard games has also suffered.

World of Warcraft, Blizzard’s magnum opus, has been experiencing a lot of trouble. The team behind the game is giving its best and the quality has remained more or less consistent, but the release schedule – not much so. With Shadowlands getting only one expansion since release, people fear that they have another Warlords of Draenor on their hands.

Warlords of Draenor is the fifth expansion that builds on the epic fantasy adventure. However, it is widely remembered as the most uneventful one to date. With only two content patches since release, WoD had a total of only three raids. In comparison, its predecessor, Mists of Pandaria, had a total of four content drops.

Things are looking even grimmer for the current expansion, Shadowlands, as it’s been almost a year since it was released and it only has but a single patch. The story isn’t over yet, so there will be at least one more but that will likely be it.

Blizzard’s Internal Turmoil Has Affected the Game

Players have noted that WoW has been having an increasingly low frequency of content patches. For the past two years, there have been a total of two patches – Visions of N’zoth, the last patch in Battle for Azeroth patch and Chains of Domination, the first Shadowlands patch.

Chains of Domination did continue the story but wasn’t quite as big as fans had hoped. Instead, it only brought one new dungeon and a single raid, on top of some story quests. While this is certainly better than nothing, it’s not quite on par with Blizzard’s old content release schedule. To top it, Chains of Domination was laggy at release which didn’t make fans happy.

Another thing that disgruntled the game’s fanbase was the lawsuit between the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and Blizzard. The case shed light on some rather concerning discriminative practices by some of the company’s employees.

Blizzard’s way of handling the situation didn’t make things any better. In a misguided attempt to make amends, the company started changing old in-game content, which was an artificial apology at best.

The next patch will be 9.1.5 and will be more focused on fixes and balance changes, instead of adding new activities. The next content patch will be 9.2, although close to nothing is known about it yet. Regardless of what Blizzard has planned for the future of WoW, it has to deal with the immense pressure of a discontent fanbase and a strong competition from Final Fantasy and New World.

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