Blizzard Burned Its Biggest Fans With Warlords of Draenor

Philip Kollar has penned an article for Polygon to explain why Blizzard's support for World of Warcraft after Warlords of Draenor squandered all the goodwill obtained by the company. In spite of the title, Kollar still seems to have a good opinion of the expansion's content itself, though it ended up not being the springboard for additional exciting content updates he was hoping for:


It's important to look at the data to understand just how disastrous Warlords of Draenor has been. There isn’t just a vague feeling that the game is worse now than it used to be; there is objective evidence that this is the expansion with the least amount of additional content Blizzard has ever provided.

Since it usually takes around two years between each World of Warcraft expansion (give or take a few months), Blizzard keeps players entertained by what it calls "content patches." These bigger patches add exciting new things to do rather than just balance tweaks. A content patch could contain anything from a new dungeon to a new 25-person raid to a new zone — or often some combination of all of these.

Content patches are a key part of the World of Warcraft ecosystem — and, indeed, the ecosystem of any subscription-based massively multiplayer game. Players continue paying a monthly fee to access the game in part because they believe there will be a continued stream of fresh content for them to check out, aspire to conquer and be challenged by.

Every World of Warcraft expansion prior to Warlords of Draenor boasted either three or four content patches. Warlords settled for a mere two.

It gets worse. Those two content patches for Warlords of Draenor were some of the most anemic and disappointing in the game’s history.


Patch 6.2 hit about six months after Warlords’ release and was a little bit better. It had a large, challenging new raid and a big zone, Tanaan Jungle. The problem? Tanaan Jungle suffers from a repetitive structure of daily quests that offer very little to actually do in that nice, new area.

Tanaan Jungle was the first place I went when I booted World of Warcraft back up a few weeks ago following a year-plus away from the game. After an evening of exploring, I felt like I had seen basically everything the new zone had to offer. All that was left was to repeat the same string of boring daily quests over and over, while waiting for a small handful of time-locked story quests to become available to me.

This is what Blizzard has expected players to keep busy with for over a year while waiting on the next expansion.