With the recent revelation of the pre-orders for the Dragonflight extension of World of Warcraft, the most attentive could detect a very interesting information concerning the release date of the ninth extension of WoW. We indeed discovered very recently that it would be scheduled for much earlier than the developers seemed to say two months earlier, and this has been talking a lot in the community in recent days.
Dragonflight release date
If the most regular speculations in recent weeks have favored a deployment in the first quarter of 2023, possibly in March, for the Dragonflight extension, it would obviously not be the case. On the Battle.net page dedicated to pre-orders for this one, we discovered very recently that it would actually be scheduled for “ no later than December 31, 2022 ”, the information being official and coming from Blizzard.
What this means concretely is that the game will be released a priori for sure this year. Not necessarily within the next two months, or even December 31, but within less than six months so far. Blizzard has not yet commented on this already very controversial decision, so it could indeed be the maximum deadline that the company has set for the deployment of the extension.
Exit too early for Dragonflight?
Without too much surprise, the news of a potentially anticipated release date of at least three months before the expected and widely relayed caused a stir among the gaming community. A good number of players, carried by certain influencers, hastened to affirm that this one took place “ too soon ”, fearing to relive the chaotic scenario of the deployment of Shadowlands. Moreover, they question the legitimacy of such an "announcement" (which is not really one) even though the Alpha of Dragonflight has not yet been deployed or even announced, suggesting that the game might not be in a condition to welcome players to explore the early elements introduced by the expansion.
But, according to the comments made by Ion Hazzikostas during the interview he gave us last April, “ pre-orders will also be available when the extension is ready ”. He added in the wake of knowing that " players are hungry for new experiences and new content " but that he and his team did not wish to commit to the too early deployment of an extension until they were " certain that the game is ready and excellent ". Thus, if they are available it means that the development team is confident about the current quality of the content already developed.
Words that could be reassuring if the recent expansions had not suffered serious controversy when they were deployed because of the mechanisms introduced by them and offering players a game that does not reflect what they appreciate in World of Warcraft.
However, it is important to mention certain elements which already gave clues as to the progress of the development of Dragonflight last April. The Game Director told us himself, during the same interview, that the end-game of the beginning of the extension was about to be finalized already two months before: " We don't have a precise idea of what what we anticipate on this since we are only approaching the finalization of the initial Dragonflight end-game. ”
Add to this that this ninth extension should not a priori include a new progression system, and we end up with a game that is not very greedy in terms of development time (all things considered, let's be clear). The idea that Dragonflight could already be developed according to the developers is therefore not at all inconsistent, and one could no doubt imagine that the next few months will only serve to allow players to give their feedback on the Alpha and the Beta in order to correct the elements on which the developers could have had an erroneous vision, about the talents for example that we are waiting for.
Since Patch 9.1.5, the development of World of Warcraft seems to be taking a very oriented turn in listening to its players for the first time in its history. A big step forward (for better or for worse, because the opinion of many players is also very often disastrous, let's be honest) which gives some hope as to the quality of the expansion to come.
However, it is still too early to make any judgment on both this one and its release date. If the Alpha of Shadowlands was accessible from April 2020, and the Beta on July 7, 2020, four months before its official release, the development of the two expansions could be very different since the differences announced between the two seem (as long as the we know) drastic. The Alpha should not delay any longer, and it is at this moment that we will discover whether or not its deployment in 2022 is a serious strategic error.