2024 is underway and it’s a big year for World of Warcraft as the game reaches a milestone 20-year anniversary!
To think that 20 years ago Facebook launched, MySpace was cool, and many of us were playing on a Nintendo DS and a Playstation Portable. Friends aired its final episode and Lost delivered its first. And that same year friends, family, and coworkers started playing a game called World of Warcraft!
It fills my heart that Azeroth has become home to so many different types of people and players around the globe who have shared memorable moments these past two decades. *hugs* As Morpheus cried in Matrix Reloaded (2003, but anyway) “WE are STILL here!” I’m glad I chose this rabbit hole and have never regretted how deep it goes. WoW is my wonderland – all day, every day.
Thinking about the year ahead, and our roadmaps we remain committed to, we want to share with you three things we’re focused on as a development team:
- #1. Continue to evolve the living world for all players.
- Build on our learnings from 2023 to deliver content regularly for Dragonflight and Classic.
- Update and modernize your experience and quality of life in all flavors of WoW.
- Listen to your feedback and keep improving.
- #2. Deliver the first installment of our most ambitious story with The War Within.
- World of Warcraft: The War Within is preparing to invite players for testing in the coming months, and we are working hard to deliver on the epic journey of our Worldsoul Saga.
- #3. Try new things and take risks to bring you new experiences.
- Our development team is trying new approaches. Invention and creativity are critical to this ever-evolving world of Azeroth we craft for—and with—all of you.
All that in mind, immediately ahead of us we have WoW Classic: Season of Discovery Phase 2 launching on February 8 at 1:00 p.m. (21:00 GMT) globally. For more details, get the full scoop from our overview. You’ll notice some new approaches mentioned there that we’re trying out and (as always) we will listen to feedback. (“New runes, a new PvP experience, skill books, and more!)
WoW Classic Hardcore’s Self-Found mode is coming in late February, followed shortly after by the Beta for Cataclysm Classic. More news on that will be coming soon.
As many have noticed, this is the first period of time since Dragonflight launched that we haven’t had an active PTR and we understand that it is creating some curiosity.
For the 10.2.6 patch for Dragonflight, we created what we think is a unique event inspired by past musings from the community. We can say that it is open to anyone with a WoW subscription if they want to participate (Classic or Dragonflight players). That's all we’re going say. Sorry, not sorry? Our goal is to continue to keep it secret— and keep it safe. The speculation is great! We watched the reaction to the surprises in Season of Discovery and thought we’d try a similar, but different, approach for Dragonflight.
That means there will be no PTR (Public Test Realm) for a portion of the next content update as we have traditionally done. What we can say is that it will be coming in March. A finer point, but the update will also include everything that’s needed for Dragonflight Season 4 but will be hidden. Around (after) the launch of the update we will make Season 4 available for testing on a 10.2.6 PTR before it goes live.
Why are we doing this? We like the idea of releasing content that has some surprises and isn’t datamined or revealed in advance. We also like to see the joy the community gets out of uncovering it all together as they all jump in to play. We look forward to seeing if the community likes this type of surprise and look forward to hearing your feedback. This is risky experiment and could be a bit bumpy, though we are doing everything we can to ensure success.
The WoW team prides itself on ensuring a solid, quality launch. We are sensitive and reactive to problems and issues that can and might arise, so I hope you can forgive us if we experience some hiccups with this experiment and work alongside us as we try this out in March. ALL WILL BE REVEALED THEN!
With gratitude and excitement for the new memories we create together,