N.B. There are likely to be story spoilers in the linked videos and in my post for World of Warcraft’s Battle for Azeroth expansion!
Yesterday’s big news was the announcement by Blizzard of the first major patch for World of Warcraft since the release of the Battle for Azeroth expansion: 8.1 Tides of Vengeance. It’s fortuitously timed since a sizeable amount of the playerbase seems rather riled-up by system decisions and issues, not to mention the odd bug – according to more careful observers of the game at least (e.g. Taliesin & Evitel and Bellular).
So far I’m enjoying the expansion well enough, but I’m well aware of the issues raised by others and have my own reservations – beyond my dislike for the central story premise, i.e. the faction war. Regardless of the system fixes this patch promises little to address that issue: it seems like it’s doubling down on the war as the next raid (and I guess any new story that builds up to that) will be on the Alliance vs Horde conflict. That’s zero surprise to me, but it makes me less inclined to play as intensively in the near future.
There was a more positive aspect to the video story-wise the mini-raid mentioned as future content, staggered for release sometime after 8.1: the Crucible of Storms will be a Naga-themed raid. That’s going to at least distract from the war, and be something I’m more interested in seeing – not that I raid in this or any MMORPG anyway. Running through as a pug/LFR group just to see the story and complete any attendant quests is usually tolerable, though I hate rushing and such groups are known for that. Still I will want to see anything Naga themed as that’s likely to be opening up the prospect of the larger threat behind or adjacent to the current war.
The linked Youtube videos also have a lot of discussion of system issues with Battle for Azeroth. That’s a topic I’d like to address at some point, I do agree with Bellular that Blizzard have taken gearing and new systems in problematic directions: ones that I find boring at best (e.g. Azerite gear ‘upgrades’) or simply unenjoyable (e.g. Island Expeditions). This patch announcement doesn’t address those concerns in any specific detail, so I’ll be watching for more detail from developer updates to see what will happen in 8.1 and beyond.