In the gaming community, few things are more appreciated than transparency. Gamers always want to have the most up to date information they possibly can have on anything, whether it’s a patch, a sequel, a release, or anything else that they could know.
This is true across all genres and platforms, and many developers have been adjusting, such as earlier in the year when plenty of studios began releasing updates on how they were handling COVID-19. Blizzard, especially, has been more transparent in every stage of development for their many upcoming titles, such as Diablo 4 and World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.
As such, Blizzard was quick to announce towards the beginning of this month that they were making the difficult and necessary decision to delay the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion. Originally set to release this month in late October, the development studio was forced to push the expansion back.
The main reason given for this delay was the impact to production that COVID-19 had forced on them. While they were able to promise prepatch to drop about a week from today on October 13th, they were unable to give an exact release date for the expansion, specifying only that it would still be 2020.
Today, not long after the update that saw the delay, Blizzard took to their forums to release an update. Given that the primary reason for the delay was that they wanted to provide more polish, they zoomed in on the key areas of the game that they’re working to polish up.
We've posted an October Development Update from the Shadowlands development team:https://t.co/Vobb0xIFfL
— WarcraftDevs (@WarcraftDevs) October 5, 2020
There’s plenty of things being discussed, so much so that each needs its own highlight. One thing to take away though, which might be slightly alarming, is the scope of the things being worked on.
For example, the development team is focusing on balancing out the class and covenant systems, which brings unique and specific powers across the board for every class and covenant combination. Many fans are worried that we’re this close to launch – vague as that specific date may be – and that these systems still need so much work.
The same could be said for the work being done on the Maw – one would hope that these sorts of massive and integral tasks would have been fine-tuned earlier on in production. Given that the unbalance shown – specifically in the class/covenant dynamic – was one of the main concerns for the fanbase, it raises several questions.
Of course, those questions are just as easily put to bed – why is it strange that they’re working on class/covenant dynamics when that was something that the fanbase was specifically concerned about? If anything, players should be happy that the delay was done to focus specifically on the concerns given, right?
Unfortunately, there’s a good deal of tumultuous opinions still flying around, with nearly every tweet or update Blizzard gives being flooded with complaints and compliments alike. Regardless of what response the developers are given, though, it remains highly admirable that they’re being as transparent as they can in such a critical time.