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Happy second birthday to Battle for Azeroth! The current expansion has been very controversial and contentious, but it did experiment with quite a few new concepts that didn't make a fair portion of the player base happy, which they made very clear, and hopefully those interactions will make the game as a whole better in the future. The many layers of RNG were the biggest issue with players in BfA, as well as the massive alt-unfriendlyness aspect, and the story to a certain extent, but the many new power systems introduced do show a willingness for experimentation, which can only be a good thing in the long run.
As BfA turns two today, it's getting close to being the longest-running expansion since WoW's inception, so let's take a look at just how close it is. Here are all the expansions durations, as well as the base game for comparison:
0. Vanilla WoW
2 Years, 1 Month, 24 Days (784 Days Total)
The one that started it all, and was even remade as WoW Classic.
1. Wrath of the Lich King
2 Years, 25 Days (755 Days Total)
Many players' favorite period in WoW, WotLK was the first expansion to push a very strong story narrative and focus on the final villain throughout the entire expansion, giving the final confrontation atop Icecrown Citadel a lot more weight.
2. Mists of Pandaria
2 Years, 19 Days (749 Days Total)
A somewhat controversial expansion, as some players deemed it to be too childish, but it turned out to be one of WoW's best to date.
1 Year, 11 Months, 15 Days (714 Days Total)
Standing alongside Wrath of the Lich King, this is most players' favorite WoW expansion, as we saw the culmination of the Burning Legion storyline unfold.
4*. Battle for Azeroth
2 Years (731 Days Total), Ongoing
5. The Burning Crusade
1 Year, 9 Months, 29 Days (668 Days Total)
The first ever expansion, it opened up so many new avenues for the game to go in, and showed us how to fly in World of Warcraft.
1 Year, 9 Months, 19 Days (659 Days Total)
While revamping the old world was a brilliant move, the expansion itself wasn't that popular, with a rather anticlimactic ending in the Dragon Soul raid.
7. Warlords of Draenor
1 Year, 9 Months, 17 Days (656 Days Total)
As a large part of WoD was scrapped, we never got to see the expansion as it was intended, but the introduction to player housing through garrisons was very welcome, and is definitely one of the ideas that should be iterated on come future expansions.
So, the expansion winner is clearly WotLK, only 30 days away from beating Vanilla's record, with MoP in second place merely 6 days behind. Meanwhile, BfA is only 25 days away from beating WotLK, 54 from Vanilla, starting today, and will almost certainly become the longest running WoW period in history, unless Shadowlands surprises us and comes out before mid-September.
And there we have it, we did some timewalking ourselves and took a look at the real numbers behind the expansions, as they most certainly differ from what it felt like while playing those same expansions - who would have thought WoD was the shortest expansion (despite it only having 2 major content patches, that post 6.2 period felt like an eternity)! As we look forward to Shadowlands we can see the expansions generally do conform to the 2-year period, with some 3-4 month exceptions. Whether that's the correct amount of time, given enough content, or if we'll see some changes in the future, perhaps longer individual expansion times with more patches in them, remains to be seen.
As BfA turns 2, we take a look at all the expansion and Vanilla durations and compare them!
The recent realm connections came with a few adverse side effects, it seems, as Blizzard merged realms of different languages, which creates issues on both ends of the spectrum.
We've got hit up by @Scholer, who says the recent merge of Al'akir, Skullcrusher, Xavius with Burning Legion (EU) had a negative impact on gameplay because Burning Legion is mainly comprised of Polish players that do not talk English in the channels, so with the merge, there are English-speaking folks who do not understand Polish and vice versa.
Here's how Trade Chat looks like after the recent realm connections.
The issue has also been brought up on the official forums and Reddit, where the threads accrued hundreds of responses, the main concern being the recent connection of Frostmane and Aggra, a Portuguese realm.
Furthermore, Kilrogg (US) has been connected with Nazjatar, where the vast majority of players speak Spanish, making it increasingly tricky finding a non-Spanish party.
Currently, there are no other solutions other than buying a Paid Character Transfer off these realms, which can get quite expensive if you're planning on moving more characters from the affected realm to another.
One Redditor calculated that it would cost a whopping 13,370 Euros to move the entire guild off the server!
Has your server been affected by the recent realm connections? Let us know in the comments!
Niya, one of the Soulbinds available to members of the Night Fae Covenant, provided an interesting Soulbind trait that mimicked the Shadowmeld Night Elf racial but was removed in the latest Beta Build.
If you decide to join the Night Fae Covenant in Shadowlands, you will gain access to the Soulshape Signature Ability, which increases your Movement Speed by 50% and teleports you 15 yards forward on a short cooldown.
Blizzard initially gave Niya the Sylvari Mantle trait that concealed you when Soulshape ended until you moved, so it worked just much like Shadowmeld, the Night Elf racial.
In the latest Beta Build, they scrapped the ability entirely and replaced it with Run Without Tiring which makes you generate 5% of max health every 3 seconds when in Soulshape.
Niya's Soulbind Path has been adjusted as follows:
Row 1: Run Without Tiring (new) // Stay on the Move Row 4: Niya's Tools: Burrs // Niya's Tools: Poison // Niya's Tools: Herbs Row 7: Care Package // Swift Patrol Row 8: Grove Invigoration Note that you can only pick one Soulbind trait per row.
Here's Niya's full Soulbind Path.
Wear Tier 3 Set Permanently in Shadowlands PvP Vendors Sell Conduits and Legendary Power Recipes Big Elemental Shaman Changes: Beta Build 35522 Marksmanship Hunter Changes: Beta Build 35522 Mage Changes: Beta Build 35522 New Death Knight and Priest Legendary Powers Legendary Powers Tuning: August 11th Hunters Can Tame Elegon in Shadowlands Priest Night Fae Covenant Ability Changes Shadowlands Pre-Patch Dev Notes Shadowlands Pre-Patch Event Preview Shadowlands Pre-Patch Now Available on the PTR 3 New Datamined Keystone Affixes Mythic Castle Nathria Raid Testing: August 13th - 17th
Week #2 of the Shadowlands Pre-Patch Event has been enabled on the Shadowlands PTR, so we're looking at what awaits us. The post contains spoilers.
During the first week of the Shadowlands pre-patch event, we learned that Sylvanas abducted faction leaders and shattered the Helm of Domination. Now the Scourge are running rampant across Azeroth, and the Cult of the Damned has returned.
You are sent to kill Nathanos Blightcaller and investigate what is going on in Icecrown. You can find more details about what happened during the first week here.
The second week revolves around the presence of a Forsworn called Herald Dalora from the Maw in Icecrown that is working with the Cult of the Damned.
First, you are tasked to kill some creatures in the area and return later under disguise to thwart their operations. Next, you must approach Herald Dalora, and when you Submit to Darkness, you will learn more about the Jailer.
You begin sabotaging experiments and return to the camp. Next, you will need to discover the location of Herald Dalora and destroy the Scourge forces surrounding Icecrown Citadel on a Hippogryph.
Dalora talks to you again while you complete the quest by filling the bar to 100%.
You return to the camp and get a quest to defeat Dalora.
After that, you head back to the Argent Tournament Grounds to establish a portal to Orgrimmar and inform Lor'themar of what had transpired, and he tells you that the "winged creature" appears to be similar to those creatures that abducted Baine and Thrall. The creatures are called the Forsworn, they are mostly Jailer's servants, and you will learn more of them in Bastion, they are Kyrians gone wrong.
The Shadowlands pre-patch event has been pushed to the PTR and is now available for testing, so we're looking at what awaits us. This article contains spoilers.
Note that the event is not available for testing in its entirety and it will be probably time-gated on live servers.
You receive the intro quest from Valeera Sanguinar as a Horde player. She wants to meet up with you and Lor'themar in Orgrimmar. You learn that the undead Scourge is swarming in numbers not seen since the return of the Lich King. A NYI cinematic starts playing where Anduin and Jaina (Alliance) // Baine and Thrall (Horde) get abducted by Sylvanas. The Scourge's unbound hunger has been unleashed and it is only a matter of time before they're swarming the streets. The death knights of the Ebon Blade have stepped forward to aid you and the Argent Crusade has returned to answer the call. Lor'themar admits Sylvanas is a great tactician. Bolvar is free of the Lich King's crown and is recovering in Acherus. You are sent to the Barrens to investigate the Scourge presence in the area. The Cult of the Damned is back and you must kill some of their members including ghouls that spawn from portals in the Crossroads. The Argent Crusade has come to aid your effort in the area. You are sent back to Orgrimmar and are sent to Icecrown to see what's going on with the Scourge and you find out Nathanos Blightcaller has been spotted in Eastern Plaguelands, so you are ordered to slay him. You secure a foothold in Icecrown and unlock daily quests there. Random bosses spawn in the zone and reward item level 100 loot (squish is already live on the PTR).
Big Elemental Shaman Changes: Beta Build 35522 Marksmanship Hunter Changes: Beta Build 35522 Mage Changes: Beta Build 35522 New Death Knight and Priest Legendary Powers Priest Night Fae Covenant Ability Changes Shadowlands Pre-Patch Dev Notes Shadowlands Pre-Patch Now Available on the PTR 3 New Datamined Keystone Affixes Mythic Castle Nathria Raid Testing: August 13th - 17th