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  1. #1

    Expansion 5 may be announced sooner then we think.

    Traditionally, World of Warcraft expansions have always been announced at BlizzCon, but there's no rule that says this absolutely has to be the case. And for reasons I have outlined below, I'm thinking Blizzard might be ready to diverge from the pattern.

    Previously we consistently had a BlizzCon within a year of the previous expansion. Generally it floats between about 8-11 months, but always within a year. However Mists of Pandaria was released on September 25th, 2012 while the next BlizzCon isn't until November 8th, well over 13 months later.

    Combined Blizzard's stated desire to get expansions out faster, I find it curious that they would take so long to even announce expansion 5. Given past experience it should be announced no later then late August and possibly as early as May. While there may be some creative reasons for delaying the announcement (ie they don't want to reveal ending details of MoP), I don't think those can really account for such a big delay. Metzen doesn't run Blizzard and if he really wanted to, for example, keep the identity of the next Warchief under wraps, I'm sure he could dance around the subject as needed.

    "So the Burning Legion will know about the whole Horde civil war by this point and will think the Horde isn't as strong as they used to be. But Warchief...Not Garrosh is going to give them a serious wake up call."

    So what gives?

    I'm thinking BlizzCon 2013 is not intended for expansion 5 at all and is instead intended for the reveal of Blizzard's currently unannounced MMO. It's been in the works for a good few years now and it might be the right time to make it public. The leaked product slate from a while back did indicate that Expansion 5 and the new MMO would be released in the same quarter, and while the timeline has undoubtedly shifted significantly since then it makes logical sense it would at least be announced within a year of expansion 5.

    Since they wouldn't want to announce two different games so close to each other, expansion 5 will likely be announced at a different event sometime this summer. Come May, look for Blizzard making a big deal about their presence at a major gaming convention or announcing a press tour for unspecified Warcraft-related purposes. I'd be willing to bet that's where we'll see expansion 5 announced rather then at BlizzCon 2013.
    Roleplaying, hardcore Raiding, running LFR on the occasional weekend, PvPing, rolling alts, achievement hunting, pet battling, or just enacting an endless series of whims, I don't care how you play WoW. Just as long as you have fun doing it.

  2. #2
    Legendary! Spl4sh3r's Avatar
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    So they have a tradition to announce it at a specified time after previous expansion and they have a tradition announcing them at blizzcon. What makes you think they will break the blizzcon tradition and not the specified time one?

  3. #3
    Elemental Lord Chickat's Avatar
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    Very possible, but i doubt it will go down like that. If they do announce it early though, i expect it to be here
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  4. #4
    I am Murloc! Scummer's Avatar
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    I think what will be more likely is that we see the beta appear earlier.
    I still think the expansion will announced at Blizzcon, but the gap between announcement and beta will be significantly shorter.

  5. #5
    Do keep in mind that, as far as we're aware, Blizzard have yet to trademark a name for the expansion and that'll come before any official announcement. If I remember right, we learnt the names Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria well before the expansions were properly announced.

  6. #6
    I was thinking about it not long ago and came to same conclusion.
    If they want faster expansions, (and with speed of patches we see it's very likely this time around), announcing new one at Blizzcon in November would be too late, at that time Beta should be up and running already.
    At Blizzcon we will get plenty of information and details about new x-pac, but we will know about it much sooner.

  7. #7
    Over 9000! Nindoriel's Avatar
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    There is no reason it can't be announced at Blizzcon. It would only be a little bit more than a year since MoP release. It's not that much longer compared to previous expansions. And there's really no reason to reveal it before Blizzcon.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Spl4sh3r View Post
    So they have a tradition to announce it at a specified time after previous expansion and they have a tradition announcing them at blizzcon. What makes you think they will break the blizzcon tradition and not the specified time one?
    The problem is November is getting dangerously close to crashing into beta, or at least when they'd want to start beta under (perhaps unrealistically so) ideal circumstances.

    If they are going to break the timeline tradition, it's more likely we'd see an announcement before May then after September considering their stated goal of getting out expansion's faster.
    Roleplaying, hardcore Raiding, running LFR on the occasional weekend, PvPing, rolling alts, achievement hunting, pet battling, or just enacting an endless series of whims, I don't care how you play WoW. Just as long as you have fun doing it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Nindoriel View Post
    There is no reason it can't be announced at Blizzcon. It would only be a little bit more than a year since MoP release. It's not that much longer compared to previous expansions. And there's really no reason to reveal it before Blizzcon.

    This. Because Blizzcon is only about a month past the 1 year anniversary date of Mists, doesn't mean they're going to announce it earlier. They need something to talk about at Blizzcon. That's why we didn't have one in 2012, there was nothing to talk about.

    An announcement of the next expansion at this year's Blizzcon is plenty of notice before a March, April or May release of the next expansion.

  10. #10
    People do realize an announcement doesn't mean the start f development, right?

    They could be half way, although very unlikely through the next expansion, and announce it at BliZcon, have the Beta up by December, and the game released by February, or March.

    Not to mention, just because they have always gone a certain route, that does not mean they can't change it. Look at MoP, and past expansions. They went Race, Class, Race, Race and Class. N the previous "tradition" we should have only been given a class. So I doubt them changing something as far as announcing expansions being change, is as big of a deal as them changing something within the game iteself.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Waniou View Post
    Do keep in mind that, as far as we're aware, Blizzard have yet to trademark a name for the expansion and that'll come before any official announcement. If I remember right, we learnt the names Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria well before the expansions were properly announced.

    True, but I'm talking about sometime in the summer rather then, for example, at PAX East. There's still plenty of time to register a trademark before the timeframe I'm thinking of.
    Roleplaying, hardcore Raiding, running LFR on the occasional weekend, PvPing, rolling alts, achievement hunting, pet battling, or just enacting an endless series of whims, I don't care how you play WoW. Just as long as you have fun doing it.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Scummer View Post
    I think what will be more likely is that we see the beta appear earlier.
    I still think the expansion will announced at Blizzcon, but the gap between announcement and beta will be significantly shorter.
    This is what will happen. There is no rule that we HAVE to wait 6 months after Blizzcon to get a beta. Plus it is not like this year's Blizzcon is months later than the last one. It is 2 weeks later. The difference likely is that the convention center was not available until those dates. After all, it's not like the Anaheim Convention Center sits empty until Blizzard decides to use it. It is one of the busiest convention centers in the country.

    ---------- Post added 2013-03-02 at 10:09 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Waniou View Post
    Do keep in mind that, as far as we're aware, Blizzard have yet to trademark a name for the expansion and that'll come before any official announcement. If I remember right, we learnt the names Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria well before the expansions were properly announced.
    Usually less than 2 months before the announcement is when the trademark is filed. Look for it around Sept/Oct.
    All this complaining is simply further proof that Blizzard could send each and every player a real-life wish-granting flying unicorn carrying a solid gold plate of chocolate chip cookies wrapped in hundred dollar bills, and someone would whine that Blizzard sucks for not letting them choose oatmeal raisin.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadmanWalking View Post
    If your guild demands you slip into an elephants butt and force yourself out in a regurgation then you can't blame Blizzard for supplying the elephant.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Joeydivision82 View Post
    People do realize an announcement doesn't mean the start f development, right?

    They could be half way, although very unlikely through the next expansion, and announce it at BliZcon, have the Beta up by December, and the game released by February, or March.

    Not to mention, just because they have always gone a certain route, that does not mean they can't change it. Look at MoP, and past expansions. They went Race, Class, Race, Race and Class. N the previous "tradition" we should have only been given a class. So I doubt them changing something as far as announcing expansions being change, is as big of a deal as them changing something within the game iteself.
    yes I think you're right. I was thinking more like they did in the past, but TBH it was crap.
    They announced new expansion and had nothing to talk about, most of this was just plans, art concepts and such. They didnt have female version of new races to show, they talk about something that was scrappped later on (like path of the titans).
    This time around they can show us almost ready product, and beta could start even few days after blizzcon.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Falrinn View Post
    If they are going to break the timeline tradition, it's more likely we'd see an announcement before May then after September considering their stated goal of getting out expansion's faster.
    Keep in mind that we will likely not be getting the final raid patch for MoP until September or October. And you would be looking at at least 6 months for the final raid tier. So March/April 2014 is the earliest release window that would be reasonable. Realistically I think May/June to be more likely.

    Beta typically lasts 6 months or so. They are obviously not going to start beta until after the announcement. Assuming that is done at Blizzcon, and the beta starts right away, we are looking at late November or early December for beta. Unless they do something crazy. I could totally see at the end of the expansion announcement Metzen telling everyone that beta invites will begin going out the first week after Blizzcon. Regardless, add on 6 months of beta testing and you are at April/May. Perfect window to release the expansion, and 6 moths earlier in the year than any expansion yet.
    All this complaining is simply further proof that Blizzard could send each and every player a real-life wish-granting flying unicorn carrying a solid gold plate of chocolate chip cookies wrapped in hundred dollar bills, and someone would whine that Blizzard sucks for not letting them choose oatmeal raisin.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadmanWalking View Post
    If your guild demands you slip into an elephants butt and force yourself out in a regurgation then you can't blame Blizzard for supplying the elephant.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by nemro82 View Post
    yes I think you're right. I was thinking more like they did in the past, but TBH it was crap.
    They announced new expansion and had nothing to talk about, most of this was just plans, art concepts and such. They didnt have female version of new races to show, they talk about something that was scrappped later on (like path of the titans).
    This time around they can show us almost ready product, and beta could start even few days after blizzcon.
    Is that necessarily a good thing though?

    What is better? Blizzard announcing a feature before it's time, or dedicating a massive amount of time into developing a feature that ends up being almost universally reviled?
    Roleplaying, hardcore Raiding, running LFR on the occasional weekend, PvPing, rolling alts, achievement hunting, pet battling, or just enacting an endless series of whims, I don't care how you play WoW. Just as long as you have fun doing it.

  16. #16
    Also X5 is supposed to be coming around December of this year; a Blizzcon announcement would be much to close to expansion release to get appropriate beta testing out of the way.

  17. #17
    They can announce it at Blizzcon and go straight into open beta soon after if they manage not to have any leaks from closed testing.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Chickat View Post
    Very possible, but i doubt it will go down like that. If they do announce it early though, i expect it to be here
    From what I understand they are going to make an announcement at pax that is NOT related to one of their current franchises. I think next expansion is going to be saved for blizzcon
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  19. #19
    Epic! Zaxio's Avatar
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    Well we wait and see!!!!

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by emitchell29 View Post
    Also X5 is supposed to be coming around December of this year; a Blizzcon announcement would be much to close to expansion release to get appropriate beta testing out of the way.
    nah, there's no chance of expansion in december, most likely march or april

    lets say new raid tier will be another 5 months from now so it's august/september. they dont want repeat their mistakes from Wrath and Cata so I guess last tier will last about 6 months, that gives march/april for release.

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