World of Warcraft's expansion release schedule is in for a major shake-up, as Blizzard has announced three new expansions all at once, seemingly hinting at what could be a yearly release model.
It's all part of what Blizzard is now calling the Worldsoul Saga, a collection of three expansions that will tell one epic storyline. As announced during BlizzCon 2023's opening ceremony by one of WoW's founding fathers, Chris Metzen, the first of those expansions will be The War Within, slated to release Fall 2024.
The two subsequent expansions, Midnight and The Last Titan, were not given release dates. Midnight will see players return to a revamped version of the Blood Elf zone Quel'Thalas to battle again a Void invasion, while The Last Titan will take players to a new version of Northrend, the continent introduced as part of the game's 2008 Wrath of the Lich King expansion. It's there players will unravel a conspiracy that "will challenge everything" they know about "the Titans, their intentions, and the very nature of Azeroth itself," Metzen said.
A cinematic for the expansion shows the leader of the Alliance, Anduin, wondering alone in desert following the traumatic events of the game's Shadowlands expansion. He's confronted by the former Horde Warchief Thrall, who gives Anduin both some words of wisdom and warning. The two have had visions about a darkness encroaching on the soul of Azeroth deep underground, ominously stating that the Sword of Sargeras that pierced the surface of Azeroth back in 2016's Legion expansion "was aimed at someone."
In The War Within, players will venture underground to explore new zones within Azeroth, where they can recruit the new Earthen allied race. A new type of "bite-sized" group content, Delves, will see players teaming up to score endgame rewards, and a new feature called Warbands will allow characters on the same account to share items, reputation levels, banks, and more. Classes will additionally gain new Hero talents, where players can further customize their class with new class-specific sub-specializations. As an example, Blizzard said players will be able to walk the path of a Dark Ranger or a Farseer.
More information about what's next for WoW will be coming at future BlizzCon panels throughout the weekend. On stage, Metzen said the Worldsoul Saga will set up WoW, which turns 20 next year, "for the next 20 years of adventure." The new expansions will arrive in the "next few years," he said, and that Blizzard is working on new ways of delivering new content to the game "a little faster than you're used to." He did not, however, definitely state that WoW's expansion release schedule, which has been every other year ever since the release of The Burning Crusade back in 2007, will shift to yearly releases.
"We're not going to get into it at this BlizzCon, forgive me," Metzen said. "But keep your ears peeled. I assure you, we are moving with purpose. And the last thing we really want is for y'all to have to have your grandkids controlling your mouse and your keyboard trying to wrap this thing up."
Blizzard additionally announced what's next for WoW Classic, with both a new season, titled Season of Discovery, for for the old-school version of Blizzard's MMO and a re-release of 2010's Cataclysm expansion.