How long should an expansion pre-patch last?
We’re a couple days past “1 month to Shadowlands!” at this point and also very nearly in “Shadowlands comes out this month!” territory — and yet, we still don’t have a pre-expansion patch. Heck, we don’t have a pre-expansion patch release date yet. It’s gotten to the point where people are starting to get nervous, so much so that people believe the lack of a pre-patch date to be a solid indicator — among others — that the expansion should outright be delayed.
And, look, I can absolutely understand why people might want the expansion delayed. Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits all feel like systems that inherently create imbalance, and to some, the imbalance is just the first in a list of reasons people don’t want those systems implemented as is. Then again, none of these things is coming with the Shadowlands pre-patch.
The things that are coming with the pre-patch, however, are class changes, a completely revamped leveling system, a level squish, and, of course, the zombie invasion event and related quests that ultimately lead us into the expansion. That last one in particular has only ever had two weeks worth of quests, though.
Which leads me back to today’s question: How long should a pre-expansion last? Should it last as long as the story content needs it to (in this case, two weeks)? Should it be longer so as to give players time to adjust to all the class changes? Or maybe you think it needs to last even longer so players (in this instance, at least) can experience the leveling changes and help squish all the pesky bugs before Shadowlands proper launches?
All in all, I don’t care if we don’t have a long pre-expansion patch as long as the expansion itself is ready. I generally prefer new content sooner, of course — but I’m still fine with the pre-expansion patch hitting only a few weeks before Shadowlands does. How do you feel, though?
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