World of Warcraft has had quite an eventful year. We released the newest expansion, Warlords of Draenor, on November 13. The first raid opened up in early December, and players have had a go at some of Draenor’s most fearsome foes. We marked the 10-year World of Warcraft and 20-year Warcraft anniversaries in-game and with an incredible celebration at BlizzCon last month; debuted a new documentary, World of Warcraft: Looking for Group, on YouTube and Hulu; and released a new pet to support the American Red Cross and their Ebola relief efforts in Africa—and we’re not done yet.
We’re excited about what’s ahead in 2015, and we wanted to give you a glimpse at some of the long-term projects we’re working on, as well as some features planned for the Patch 6.1 update, which will be hitting the Public Test Realm (PTR) soon.
We hope everyone is enjoying the Legendary quest line with Khadgar, the next step of which opens up with the Blackrock Foundry raid in the new year. We’re already working on the steps after that, and the quest line will continue in Patch 6.1, where the first-ever Legendary Follower (with suitably Legendary abilities) will be available to join your Garrison. If you’re a fan of collecting Followers but haven’t set out on the Legendary quest line, now is a good time to get started!
Pepe’s Favorite New Feature
We’re working on the ability to send out Tweets—including screenshots—directly from within WoW, making it easier than ever to let friends know about your Achievements and item drops. We’ll be testing this functionality on the Patch 6.1 PTR.
Flight Master Competency
We have some new tech in the works that will allow flight masters to provide more-direct routes to your destination, regardless of the flight points your character knows. This’ll mean fewer roundabout routes; the flight masters will instead always try to send you on the shortest existing route. Hopefully, this will get you to your destination faster.
All About That Base
Garrison improvements, tweaks, and additions are on the horizon. While we’re working on some bigger additions for later on, we have a lot of other changes and additions you’ll see on the next PTR. We’re working on making visiting your friends’ Garrisons even more rewarding, with a daily visitor to set you and your friends on a fun random task (complete with rewards, Achievements, and a meta-Achievement for finishing all of the tasks). We’ll have awesome new items to spend your Garrison Resources on, new Missions to complete with fun new rewards, new items to change your Followers with, a new tier of Garrison-invasion difficulty for the most tenacious of defenders among you (can your Garrison withstand a world boss?), new profession-building Missions, and a whole lot more!
New Ways to Play
We’re exploring the possibility of giving players a way to buy tradable game-time tokens for the purpose of exchanging them in-game with other players for gold. Our current thought on this is that it would give players a way to use their surplus gold to cover some of their subscription cost, while giving players who might have less play time an option for acquiring gold from other players through a legit and secure system. A few other online games offer a similar option, and players have suggested that they’d be interested in seeing something along those lines in WoW. We agree it could be a good fit for the game, and we look forward to any feedback you have as we continue to look into this feature.
Collecting Your Heirlooms
We’re pretty far along in development on the much-talked-about Heirloom tab. This will bring the whole Heirloom system into a single account-wide collection UI and provide a clear purchase/upgrade path for all items. Heirlooms already on characters will be collected into the new UI (similar to other Collections features), base-level Heirlooms will be purchasable from vendors, and upgrade tokens that can be used on Heirlooms to raise their effectiveness to additional level caps will be obtainable through different forms of content. We’ll be looking for your feedback on the new system when the 6.1 PTR goes live.
The new War Games skirmishes feature allows anyone to run an online tournament, and we’re excited to see even more community-run tournaments in 2015. We’ll of course be running tournaments with our eSports partners as well, and will release details as those plans are finalized. As you saw at the Arena World Championship, we’ve come up with an improved UI to help viewers better follow the action, but we’ve been working on a complete overhaul for next year—with the goal of making it widely available for use in player-run tournaments, partner tournaments, and online casting. We hope to be able to share more soon.
You’re More Beautiful Every Day
As we discussed in the recent preview, new Blood Elf models are on their way, and we’re looking to get them in-game in an upcoming patch. Alongside the new Blood Elf models we’ll also be implementing a couple of tweaks and fixes for other character models, based on player and our own internal feedback, with some additional changes to come in future patches.
Ashran So Far
We’re continuing to focus on realm pairing and tech changes to help ensure more even fights between the Alliance and the Horde, as well as reduce the queue times to get into the PvP zone for those realms experiencing them. Further into the coming year our focus will be on updating and expanding the content Ashran offers in big new ways, but we’ll have more info on that as we get closer to patches beyond 6.1.
Raiders are continuing to enjoy Highmaul in all its ogre-y glory, and we’re watching how things play out as the last couple wings open in Raid Finder difficulty. While progression through Highmaul continues, Warlord Blackhand is eagerly awaiting your arrival in the Blackrock Foundry raid. We’re expecting Blackrock Foundry to become available in February. We’ll announce specific dates once we’ve seen more of how Highmaul progression . . . progresses.
. . . And Beyond
We have a ton of awesome content planned for next year, as well as some fun surprises, and we can’t wait to share more. See you in-game!