The World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion has been a big success for Blizzard thus far, and it continues to grow in scope. A major update called Chains of Domination was revealed during BlizzCon 2021 in February, and while it hasn't been given an official release date yet the patch notes were made available for Version 9.1 in the game's Public Test Realm (PTR) yesterday. Fans quickly got to work datamining the update, and one discovery stood out.
This PTR includes six new sets of glasses among other cosmetics, according to a post on Wowhead by user Archimtiros. These glasses are not mentioned in the patch notes available on Blizzard's official forums, and Archimtiros says only four of them currently have items in the associated database. Another World of Warcraft player who goes by Kruithne on Twitter says they are flagged as "cosmetics for transmog," and that all four of the available glasses have been found in-game.
Given how long Blizzard's MMORPG has been on the market it is somewhat surprising to hear that glasses have not been made into cosmetic items up until now. While the first wave are likely cosmetic only, which may disappoint fans who like to grind out rare and useful loot, armor transmog is important for games like Monster Hunter as much as World of Warcraft in terms of giving players a way to still look how they want while wearing high-level gear.
Blizzard declined to comment when Polygon reached out regarding the datamined glasses, so for now fans will have to wait and see how they are implemented into World of Warcraft. Those who are not taking part in the PTR can bide their time in other ways, for example with a custom Dungeons and Dragons campaign featuring World of Warcraft content.
Creating a game from scratch costs companies tens of millions of dollars, and there is no guarantee that it will turn a profit. When games end up losing money, it can spell disaster for the developer's reputation and finances, which in turn impacts the future of the company and games that they can release. Sometime in the last decade, game companies seem to have found an alternative to this problem in live-service games. These games provide an experience that can be consistently updated with new content to keep players engaged over a long period of time.
This trend was probably inspired by subscription-based MMORPGs, such as World of Warcraft, that were able to attract a large market share willing to return for each new event, race, etc. This allowed Blizzard Entertainment to keep from building a completely new game from the ground up, while ensuring that it was still making enough to continuously put out new content for players. It worked really well, but the same problem with getting sucked into WoW back in the day is the same with live-service games now. There is simply too much to play for gamers to devote their time and money to all the live-service games out there, and that's a disservice to the best games.
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