The Return to Outland Preview [WoW]

Mists of Pandaria has been out for a few weeks now and is old news. By now you have no doubt cleared all of the quests, blasted through the heroics and are now banging your head against the first raid.

It’s time to look at what is next for WoW: the 5th expansion, entitled The Return to Outland.

Both Cataclysm and Pandaria were targeted at attracting new players to the aging behemoth. The former tidied up the early game experience, particularly addressing the 1-20 period where triallists are still questioning whether an online game charging a subscription is better than the free Facebook games and wealth of casual titles at tiny prices on the AppStore. The latter introduced an eye-catching new race that would appeal to a younger demographic, as well as providing alternative end-game mechanics (pet battles, farming) for players that have little interest for raiding. In addition, all end-game content is available at all difficult levels, a move which Blizzard will hopes will cater to the hardcore (Challenge Modes), just as much as to the casuals.

From a lore perspective, we have now toured all 4  major landmasses of Azeroth, as well as the 4 elemental planes. Where to next?

Return to Outland will be the expansion that resumes where The Burning Crusade left off. Sargeras has sent Kil’Jaeden to have another crack at forming a portal to Azeroth, through which the demonic hordes can be sent. The Alliance and Horde, still recovering from the death of its Warchief, must venture back into Outland and explore further landmasses of Draenor.

Features include:

-A new ‘continent’ of Outland, twice the size of the Burning Crusade environments. A ‘Nagrand’-esque zone is guaranteed.

-A new neutral race. One we haven’t encountered before.

-2 new companion pet types

-A demonic invasion event to herald the new expansion

-Changes to the Burning Crusade content to reflect Cataclysm and subsequent events

-A new mechanic where you can downscale your level to that of a friend/zone, whilst still collecting rep/gold/xp rewards.

-Several new battlegrounds including a naval battle

The aim of the expansion to attract back old players that left at the end of The Burning Crusade era. Return to Outland will be thematically darker than the previous 2 expansions and will resume the feeling of fighting in a heroic campaign against a ‘Big Bad’ villain, whilst simultaneously maintaining the advances in accessibility and variety of endgame activities that were introduced since TBC.

Launch date: December 2014

About bernardparsnip

Gamer, Blogger, Poet
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7 Responses to The Return to Outland Preview [WoW]

  1. Anjin says:

    Funny. This was my guess for the expansion after Cataclysm, only to be blind sided by pandas. Just so long as Blizzard doesn’t have anything else up their sleeves, they have to go back to Outland some time.

  2. Doone says:

    You ruined all credibility by saying it could be out by 2014. Pretty sure it would take Blizz until 2017 ;P

    • David Martin says:

      Each expansion is out for roughly two years before a new one comes out. If it were out by 2017 then MoP would be out for 5 years. There’s no way Blizzard can keep MoP relevant for that long.

      • Nilmur says:

        Any blizzard has constantly stated that there going to release expansion packs faster how much faster i don’t know but the rate at which content is coming out looks like 5h xpack will be a q3/q4 release in 2014

    • banan says:

      Doone, you lost all credibility (which you never really had to begin with) with that idiotic comment. MOP will be out for 1.5-2 years tops

  3. AshenvaleTanaris says:

    It Would be released in midish quarter of 2014 around Sep-Nov if it were to be announced announced in the fall of 2013.

  4. Targeter says:

    Just found this post and I think it may be freakishly accurate to what we may see at Blizzcon in a couple of months. Crazy.

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