As stated by Blizzard, the developers team gathered in the end of Summer to review the whole mass of feedback provided by players and see what could they implement to make the gameplay better. I’m not gonna talk about what pushed them to do so – well, reputation losses and general player bleeding process were obviously the reasons. As masterfully stated on Facebook, 9.1.5. is “Stop Crawling Out of the Windows” patch. The question is: da hell are they doing with implementing those welcome changes?
The problem is: the end of October is 4 full months into patch. This is the time when serious players have effectively run through all the raid/dungeon difficulties they aimed for. This is the time when casuals have seen the story, run through the LFR version of the raid, collected transmogs and are finalizing the content, aiming for the remains of new achievements, reputations, cosmetics and what not. This is the time when we finish the Renown grind, and have almost nothing to play for.
In short, November seems to be the last kinda “active” month in the patch cycle, and this is where they – probably – would drop the patch. When the majority of players have the content they’re improving well-trodden, chewed, digested, and in general – outdated.
True, there will always be returning players, and alts to level/gear up, but the patch wave effectively has come and now almost gone.
Of course, better late than never, but every time I see a piece of news considering 9.1.5., I can’t help becoming more and more irritated. Most of the changes require so little work, they are quality of life improvements, they don’t require calculating balance, and character power, and all that could potentially “break the game”. My irritation roots in one simple thing: I don’t want to read about those changes “making it to PTR” for 3 months of my most active patch endeavors, I want to read the same news labeled as “implemented with the next reset”. Because I’m playing now, and because when the patch comes live, I will simply have no use of these changes.
I do understand the sentiment behind making the patch sound more “meaningful”, not the infamous 6.1. with updated blood elf models they did not manage upon release and selfie camera. But implementing changes – the quality of life improvements – throughout the course of 3 months, every week, would lure the players back more effectively, as they’re reading the news and seeing the game becoming better and better by the week, and not waiting for November? Christmas? when the game finally rolls out the whole thing, and then there’s no incentive or reason to enjoy those changes.
Personally, I’m seeing 9.1.5 as my lull. I’ll be finalizing covenant cosmetics – basically 9.0. content, and I don’t need the announced QoL improvements for that. 9.1. content is almost done to me, it will end with Renown 80 and Death’s Advance Exalted where I will be able to purchase the final goods from quartermaster. The raid is almost done, reduced to a couple of hours weekly. I simply will not benefit from anything they throw at me about Shadowlands so far.
I’ve no reason or desire to run Mage Tower and god forbid Legion dungeons, so the only content that will remain is Legion raid sets. And that’s the only patch note I’m excited about: simplified legacy raid encounters when done solo.
If I were Blizzard, I would split the patch innovations in two groups. One, which considers revisiting older content (namely, Legion, island expeditions and whatever) and cosmetics like Nightborne appearances, Lightforged paladin mounts etc. – fits perfectly into actual 9.1.5 release. After all, lulls are the best time to revisit the older content. Two, everything that considers Shadowlands gameplay and QoL, should have been released upon ready.
9.1.5. is not too little, but it’s definitely too late.