I’m personally pretty disappointed with what they’re doing in DF and what they’ll continue to do in the next expansion from what it looks like, because it feels very formulaic and like they’re making marking a checklist in terms of pure content.
People often praise DF and its content cadence, and if you look at the pure number of patches and their bullet points, it does seem like a lot, but it is mostly made up of trivial useless content. I’m gonna be comparing this content model to Legion and BFA, the only 2 “modern” WoW expansions that weren’t lobotomized like SL was.
At the start, DF had fewer content than either of these 2 (and a more expensive box price).
- 5 zones
- 10 dungeons
- world quests
- class order halls.
- 6 zones
- 10 dungeons
- island expeditions
- azerite gear
- we lost the order halls and got war campaign that was much worse.
- 4 zones like SL (bigger zones but still 4 and not as diverse overall)
- 8 dungeons again like SL
- dragon riding which is a traversal feature not “content”
- new talents which aren’t content for most people either, it’s something you set and forget.
- *profession revamp which did make them relevant but also made most of the player base stop interacting with the system entirely as the awful catchup and limitations made this a “rich get richer” system rather than something you can engage in.
DF gutted WQs by making them bi-weekly and completely useless and unrewarding aside from tiny amounts of rep, which wasn’t a problem in Legion/BFA because 1) they were daily/3-days long, 2) you had AP to grind, 3) we had titanforging for a small chance of getting something remotely useful out of them, 4) emissary caches for more rewards.
This alone makes DF world content much worse imo, and what they’ve been doing to combat it is burying us in useless world events every single patch, adding more currencies to clutter the bags and tabs, and making the map vomit exclamation marks now that we’ve had like 7 patches of this stuff.
Most of these events aren’t really bad, but they only reward middling cosmetics and some catch-up gear so they very quickly stop being relevant or interesting unless you’re only doing world content (this part is crucial). Primal storms from 10.0 were better than most of them and time rifts were probably the best if only because they were fast and varied visually, but still useless.
DF has much fewer features than any prior modern expansion even including Shadowlands, and it didn’t make up for that with adding more baseline content such as zones/dungeons/raids. We just got less overall which is admittedly what some people wanted, but is pretty boring imo because we’ve been playing this game for 20 years now and getting 4 zones with 8 dungeons is a minimum viable product, not something to be excited over.
We had the Zskera vault which was useless except for a ring that was relevant for a month and reduced to looking up the best stones for your spec since because they were mini azerite powers. The only new feature we got was the Trading Post in 10.5, which was added as FOMO to keep people subbed and now to milk them for bonus tender through bundles and promotions. All of these cosmetics could be added as gameplay rewards, but they will instead be turned into slightly less offensive cash shop items.
Aside from having more features, Legion and BFA also added even more on top with the Mage Tower and Visions, the best solo content we’ve ever had by far, and minor systems like essences and corruptions, which were both great but had terrible acquisition.
We have less new instanced content in DF than in both Legion and BFA, and even less is being added through patches. DF will end with 8 dungeons + megadungeon and just 3 raids with 8-9 measly bosses each. It’s even worse if you compare the actual boss counts with DF - 26, BFA - 39, Legion - 40. Both of those expansions also had more dungeons by the end with 12 + mega / 10 + mega respectively.
We didn’t get any increases in quality for any of these instances and encounters to compensate for a decrease in quantity, we just got less things overall. There is a conscious effort in DF to separate endgame players and world content players because the world is useless for endgame players with pathetic ilvl and no power to grind, endgame is less accessible to casual players because M+ goes all the way to +20 now, making it harder and more grueling to jump in, and there is no challenging but rewarding solo content at all.
To me, Dragonflight has less meaningful content than either of these expansions, and it feels like they bloated their dev team only so they can spread the workload and work on things in isolation so that they pump out more “stuff” that’s entirely disconnected and meaningless for the end game gear loop.