Abgesehen von absichtlich versteckten Geheimnissen und gelegentlichen Hotfixes gibt es in Retail WoW eigentlich keine gewaltigen Überraschungen bei neuen Inhalten. Die meisten Neuerungen werden bereits Wochen im Vorfeld durch Data Miner, den PTR oder Blizzard selbst und Spieler können sich schon früh darauf einstellen. Die einzige Ausnahme ist derzeit der mysteriöse Patch 10.2.6, der in der Roadmap nur mit einem Totenkopf dargestellt wird und noch nicht näher beleuchtet wurde.

Einem gestern Abend von Executive Producer & Vice President für WoW Holly Longdale veröffentlichten Blogeintrag zufolge gibt es für diese Geheimniskrämerei wohl einen guten Grund. Blizzard möchte dafür sorgen, dass Patch 10.2.6 eine komplette Überraschung für die Spieler darstellt. Daher verzichtet das Team bei diesem im März 2024 kommenden Update auch auf den üblichen Testserver und ähnliche Inhalte, die Spielern oder Data Minern im Vorfeld den Zugang zu den Neuerungen erlaubt hätten. Patch 10.2.6 beinhaltet zwar die Inhalte für Saison 4, aber diese Neuerungen sollen erst mit dem Erscheinen des Updates auf den PTR kommen.

Holly Longdale beschreibt Patch 10.2.6 als ein durch die Saison der Entdeckung inspiriertes Event, welches in diesem Fall aber in Dragonflight stattfindet. Zur Teilnahme daran benötigen die Spieler ein laufendes Abonnement für WoW. Wer diese Anforderung erfüllt, der kann wohl daran teilnehmen. Mehr Details wollen die Entwickler noch nicht enthüllen und ich für meinen Teil bin sehr gespannt, was genau sie sich ausgedacht haben. Einen komplett geheimen Patch zu erhalten ist zumindest meiner Meinung nach eine durchaus unterhaltsame Idee, die es Spielern erlauben könnte, tatsächlich einmal eine Überraschung zu erleben.

A Word on World of Warcraft

Greetings Azeroth,

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! (via)



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