Blizzard Confirms Longer Timeskip Between Shadowlands and Dragonflight - World of Warcraft

Blizzard Confirms Longer Timeskip Between Shadowlands and Dragonflight – World of Warcraft


In a message published last night, Steve Danuser, Lead Narrative Designer of World of Warcraftconfirmed a time ellipse that was longer than usual between Shadowland and Dragonflight.

There is always a certain amount of time between expansions, although this is rarely indicated in-game. Internally, Blizzard has a timeline that indicates what year an expansion begins, and the gap between them is either one year (like for the first extensions) or two years (like most of the latest ones). But the NPCs in Azeroth don’t talk about the fact that The Burning Crusade took place in the year 26 after the opening of the Dark Portal, or that we rediscovered Pandaria in the year 30.

When looking at the Warcraft timeline, one of the things we can notice is that major, world-changing events are tightly clustered. This is especially true with WoW, which since launch has seen many consecutive invasions and disasters in its timeline.

As Shadowland represents the closing of a book of the Warcraft saga (as mentioned in interviews during the launch of Patch 9.2), it is an opportunity to give Azeroth and its inhabitants a little respite before Dragonflight introduces the start of the next major storyline.

Shadowland began in the year 35 after the opening of the Dark Portal, and Dragonflight will begin at the year 40.

Like the events of Shadowland took place over a two-year period, that leaves a few more years that we go through. The goal is not for many events to take place outside of the game, requiring players to read a novel or other media to understand the state of the world. The purpose of this timeskip is to offer the inhabitants of Azeroth a bit of a ‘normal’ life without a major threat hanging over their heads.

When the heroes return from the Realms of Death, they resume their lives and responsibilities without an immediate crisis to solve or an enemy to fight. The Alliance and Horde honor the truce signed after the Fourth War, and the citizens of Azeroth are able to enjoy a period of stability and reflection.

A short story will be offered on the official site that details a particularly joyful event that was mentioned in an Alpha build. It will be an amusing and charming read, but it will not be necessary in order to understand the events of Dragonflight.

In addition to stretching the WoW timeline a bit, another benefit of this timeskip is that it lets younger characters get a bit older, allowing some to take a bigger role in future storylines. However, not enough time passes for the already adult characters to be significantly different.

As for the changes to the world that have been mentioned, such as the relocation to Gilneas, these will not take place during this timeskip. While it’s interesting to show places and populations changing due to story progression, the developers want events of this significance to be quests that players go through for themselves (like reclaiming the Ruins of Lordaeron in Patch 9.2.5) rather than these happening off-camera.

For your character, Blizzard has always left it up to your own interpretation how long it takes when you log in after a patch or expansion arrives. Dragonflight is no exception. You are free to imagine what your character did in this period of respite while waiting for the arrival of Patch 10.0.

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