Earlier in the week, I posed the question as to why we haven’t heard anything about the Firelands in accordance with the newly-released Patch 4.1 information. J. Allen Brack had the answer for us at the Game Developers’ Conference: It won’t be coming. Instead, it will be post-poned to a later patch, which at this point is 4.2.
According to Brack’s interview with Eurogamer, this decision has been predicated upon the idea that “…the player base isn’t really ready for the next raid yet.” While I expect there’s a grain of truth to that, experience tells me that Firelands is probably just taking the development team a lot longer than they anticipated. Despite my skepticism, Blizzard insists this is the beginning of a new strategy to release content in smaller, more frequent chunks:
The decision to move Firelands to 4.2 was also motivated by a desire to move away from the “monolithic” content patches World of Warcraft has received recently, towards smaller updates, Brack said.
“One of our long-standing development goals is to release regular content updates for the community to enjoy. These updates are generally focused on introducing specific content, like a new raid or new gameplay features.
“Our plan is to package these features into smaller content updates and to release them as soon as possible, rather than wait and release larger updates more infrequently.
Of course, this would require them to be on the ball and actually release content at a quicker pace. We all learned how hard it was to deal with broken promises in Wrath of the Lich King, especially the terrible dearth of content after Icecrown Citadel.
And as apt as it might seem for Firelands, Summer — when everyone is on vacation and guilds are dying — is not historically the best time to release a new raid. So let’s hope we get to tackle ol’ Ragnaros sooner rather than later.