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DiscussionNov 11, 2019 8:00 am CT

How does a new expansion announcement change the way you play?

It’s weird how a new expansion announcement hits me — every time, it feels like I’ve just let out a breath I’ve been holding. I’m not sure why it feels that way, but I think it’s something about knowing there’s a new thing on the horizon. It’s like the pressure has been let off, in a way? Now there’s a finite ending that’s clearly visible, so all the raiding and achievements and everything else have a tangible deadline. Mind you, we don’t know exactly when that deadline is, but given the last expansion’s release date, I’m hoping for fall next year — and that gives me a time frame for working on all the things I haven’t done yet.

For me, the tone of an expansion shifts dramatically when another expansion is announced. Instead of worrying about getting the best gear and the highest ilvl, I start working on the things I haven’t completed yet. So achievements, mounts, pets — collecting things, mostly — become a higher priority. Raid achievements aren’t really on my radar anymore, since I don’t really do any serious raiding. I might look for an Ahead of the Curve before the expansion is over, if I can manage it, but it’s not exactly important.

The difference this time around is that there’s a level squish to contend with, and a new alt-leveling system in the future. Because of this, I don’t feel quite as compelled to play my alts as I might have. I mean, I could get them to level 120… or I could wait and level them in an expansion of my choice. Why wouldn’t I want to wait it out and play through one of those older expansions from beginning to end? Why wouldn’t I want to avoid yet another slog through Warlords of Draenor if I can possibly avoid it?

So this time around, it’s going to be a more leisurely stroll through achievement collecting. 8.3 still isn’t out yet, but I’ll be sure to clear the latest raid when it arrives and tackle those achievements as well. I’ll take my time filling blue bars with rep if I’d like to, and I won’t stress too much about being the first to do anything. It’s time to relax, settle back, and enjoy the rest of Battle for Azeroth while it sticks around.

Oh, and there’s a beta to look forward to as well, isn’t there?

I’m curious though — for me, this is a normal occurrence by now. Every expansion announcement makes me shift the way I play. But I’m wondering how an expansion announcement affects you guys. Do you change the way you play? Are there things you suddenly prioritize above others? Does it make you a little nervous, gunning to complete achievements or goals before the expansion’s end? Or do you relax a little, settle back and take your time finishing off the things you feel like completing, and let the other stuff slide? How does an expansion announcement affect the way you approach the game?

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