Beyond 6.1

by JGGiant on

With 6.1 only a few days away, it’s safe to assume that Blizzard is already hard at work with the next wave of content. Seeing how this is the internet, it’s time to start speculating!

New Raid

It’s important to remember that Blackrock Foundry has been ready for some time; Blizzard has just been withholding it in order to keep end-game progression moving along at a steady pace. I’m hoping that means that the talent at Blizzard is already at work on their next tier of raids, as the last thing I’m sure they want is players to get bored too quickly without something new to look forward to.

What I would personally like to see is a raid that isn’t focused on Iron Horde antics. Chances are we’ll see a raid or wing at some point focused around the Arakkoa or the Botani and I think I’d prefer to see the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I personally found the Arakkoa plotline to be one of the better ones in the expansion, but I have always been fond of dungeons against more “natural” enemies; making gradual progression against a force of nature that culminates at its source just makes more sense than carving your way through a stronghold or keep where the strongest champions and leaders just sit there and wait for you to show up. Regardless of the setting, however, the important thing is to make the fights themselves engaging. Keeping players on their toes is the best way to keep them interested in returning each week.

Garrison Expansion

Whether this means a literal “expansion” as in more plots or simply an improvement of the utilities of garrisons, this is also a fairly safe bet. Garrisons have been one of the main selling points of Warlords, so Blizzard will likely do whatever they can to keep us invested in them. We already know for certain that 6.1 will not be expanding on the Garrison Campaign and that they will be doing so with 6.2, but it is unlikely that they won’t continue to add more for followers to do. We might also see some new summonable bosses to the garrisons depending on how popular that feature proves in 6.1.

My big hope, however, is for more customization options. Right now the only thing that really differentiates one garrison from another are the racial guards and whatever statues you might have earned, but I would love to be able to alter the buildings designs, say with Draenic or Goblin architecture. The main thing I’d like to see avoided is simply sticking to new item level upgrades for yourself and your followers. Yes those are necessary, but there’s not really any reason to get excited about that if you’re looking for a reason to come back.

New 5-Man Dungeons

This one is a little less likely for 6.2 as Blizzard tends to save most new dungeons for a little later in their expansions, often coinciding with the upcoming release of the final raid such as the Fall of the Lich King or Hour of Twilight dungeons. However, I think it would be in Blizzard’s best interest to surprise everyone a bit here. Already many people are opting out of 5-man heroic content as the rewards simply don’t stack up very well with LFR for direct gear and Apexis Crystals for purchased upgrades. Additionally, some of Blizzard’s direct competitors such as Final Fantasy XIV are introducing new content at a staggering pace to keep things fresh and allow returning players to get caught up quickly. While Warcraft is still deservedly at the top of the MMO mountain, taking some cues from their rivals, regardless of how threatening they actually are, certainly wouldn’t hurt in the long run.

In terms of what those dungeons would entail, I would like to see more in the way of brand-new content as opposed to Heroic versions of old-world dungeons. It’s always exciting to explore a new dungeon without any clear idea on what to expect. Of course, Blizzard could also tweak their older dungeons by replacing bosses entirely for the end-game versions. If they do, however, simply go with the “same dungeon but harder mechanics” option, I just hope that they come bundled with other new content. Rehashed experiences should be side dishes rather than the main course of any new content updates.

Beyond 6.2

Typically, Blizzard has stuck with three raid tiers per expansion, but there is reason to think that this may not be the case with Warlords. For starters, we’ve already taken out several of the Iron Horde’s top leaders so it’s safe to assume that we’ll run out fairly quickly if Blizzard maintains this pace. Additionally, Blizzard has already stated that they want to get expansions out the door more quickly. The lifespan of each expansion thus far has been roughly two years, but if Blizzard sticks to this idea of getting 7.0 out more quickly then that will mean wrapping up the major plot lines of Warlords more quickly as well. It’s possible that Blizzard might only stick to two raid tiers this time around instead of three or else risk a “quantity over quality” accusation.  If that holds up, then the next raid tier will likely lead into the next expansion in some way. There’s a decent amount of speculation out there that we’ll be seeing more of the Burning Legion in the coming years, so we could see something involving them, such as a new incursion into Draenor. Regardless of what happens next, we’ll be sure to keep you in the know!