So the expansion got delayed, the pre-patch is hitting soon, I've played some more beta and barely play any live. All of these factors are condensing into quite a lot of feelings towards the game, so I thought it prudent to write those down to process them better.
Shadowlands getting delayed is old news at this point, and I haven't really mentioned it so far because all I can really say about it is echo what I think the general sentiment seems to be: great news, a bit unfortunate that we have to wait longer since I was really looking forward to having new things to test out—not just in beta form—but the expansion really needed this and I'm hoping it gives Blizzard what they need to make it great. It's giving me more hope that the expansion will be good on launch which is a positive thing, even if it does mean some boredom in the short term.
With the announcement of the delay we also got the date for the pre-patch, which mostly felt like a concession so that people would have something new to grab on to during the extended wait for the expansion. It is cool, since it will give more people the opportunity to play around with the class changes that were restricted to people with beta access before, and it will mean that we get to do some more allied race leveling we had been postponing so that's a nice bonus.
On the other hand, pre-patch is generally the worst time of the games lifecycle, since it's the time when the old stuff gets disabled or weaker—looking at you, corruption disappearing and secondary stats getting a lot weaker—and the new stuff isn't quite there yet to replace it so it tends to play rather poorly. Still, my time playing it will probably be quite restricted—at least on max level characters where the negatives are most noticeable—so it shouldn't be that noticeable to me and as said brings with it the opportunity to level some allied races so on the whole it's probably more positive than negative.
Having played more of the beta however, oof. It makes really clear to me why they delayed the expansion and why I was hoping for it, but even though there have been some changes for the positive so far, it still feels like there is quite a lot of work to go before the expansion is in any state that could be classified as fun or good.
The covenants and soulbinds still feel like a mess, more limiting of player choice than actually enabling it. The class changes I'm rather unsure about, sure there is some good stuff in there but the tuning is a bit all over the place which makes it hard to predict if the fun things are the things that will actually stick. The Maw is an unfun mess that I would prefer to completely avoid at this point yet they stuck the gem vendor in there making it essentially mandatory content where you seemingly in its current iteration can spend quite a lot of time there daily.
Barely playing any live
Among all of this, it feels like there's barely any reason to log into the live game, excepting maybe doing the weekly keys and arena on my latest alt.
All of this is putting me into the somewhat strange place of having alternating phases of hype and dread towards the new expansion. On one hand, I'm really read for something new, on the other, the thing we're getting really doesn't look all that good at the moment and even though Blizzard took more time in order to be able to fix that, I'm really worried that it just won't be enough.
At the moment, I'm in more of a down phase which I'm sure shines through in what I've written, and I'm really hoping Blizzard proves me wrong because I would really like another good expansion right about now.