Congratulations, Shadowlands. Belatedly, all the best for the 1st birthday! World of Warcraft's 8th expansion was released on 23.11.2020. Shadowlands will possibly go down in the history of Blizzard's MMO as the longest running expansion. Because the (probably) last patch of the expansion has not even arrived on the PTR yet. This almost certainly last major patch of the addon usually runs for just under a year.05:23
WoW: Shadowlands - The epic cinematic trailer is here!
If our calculations are correct, Shadowlands would replace the previous leader Battle for Azeroth as the longest WoW expansion. Below, we take a look at WoW's expansions and their runtimes. By the way, Vanilla WoW ran for 1,001 days, or just under three years. This includes the pre-release for North America of 208 days. Without this pre-release, BfA would hold 1st place.
Table of contents
- 1Place1: Battle for Azeroth. 2 years, 3 months, 9 days (832 days total).
- 2Place2: Mists of Pandaria. 2 years, 1 month, 18 days (778 days total).
- 3Place3rd Wrath of the Lich King. 2 years, 24 days (754 days total).
- 4Place4th Legion. 1 year, 11 months, 14 days (714 days total)
- 5Place5th The Burning Crusade. 1 year, 9 months, 28 days (667 days total).
- 6Place6th Cataclysm. 1 year, 9 months, 18 days (658 days total)
- 7Place7th Warlords of Draenor. 1 year, 9 months, 17 days (656 days total).
- 8Thisis how Shadowlands becomes the longest running WoW expansion.
1st place: Battle for Azeroth. 2 years, 3 months, 9 days (832 days total)04:29
WoW: Battle for Azeroth: The cinematic trailer - Sylvanas vs. Anduin
Battle for Azeroth really revived the conflict between the Horde and Alliance after a long time, putting Sylvanas and Anduin at the forefront of the story. N'Zoth, the Void and also Queen Azshara played a role during BfA. BfA implemented the Azerite Armor feature, which was not well received at the beginning of the expansion. Towards the end of the expansion, the developers faltered and were slow with content, which led to the long runtime of the expansion.
2nd place: Mists of Pandaria. 2 years, 1 month, 18 days (778 days total)00:45
WoW Mists of Pandaria: Intro cinematic of the Pandaren
The "Panda Expansion" was already a controversy when it was announced. Players got the impression that WoW (buy now € 14.99 ) would suddenly become too cuddly; with the Pandaren and the new class Monk. They also said goodbye to the beloved talent trees and switched to a talent matrix. MoP offered enough content from the beginning, maybe even too much content at once. After all, we ended up fighting final boss Garrosh for a year, but with more and more armor upgrades and the introduction of flexible raids and the restructuring of difficulty levels.
Third place: Wrath of the Lich King. 2 years, 24 days (754 days total).03:21
WoW: Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic Trailer
Table of Contents1. Rank 1: Battle for Azeroth. 2 years, 3 months, 9 days (832 days total)2. 2nd place: Mists of Pandaria. 2 years, 1 month, 18 days (778 days total)3. 3rd place Wrath of the Lich King. 2 years, 24 days (754 days total)4. 4th place Legion. 1 year, 11 months, 14 days (714 days total)5th place 5th The Burning Crusade. 1 year, 9 months, 28 days (667 days total)6th place 6th place Cataclysm. 1 year, 9 months, 18 days (658 days total)7th place 7th place Warlords of Draenor. 1 year, 9 months, 17 days (656 days total)8. Making Shadowlands the longest running WoW expansionThe
most popular expansion for many players continues to be Wrath of the Lich King. During this time, WoW celebrated the highest number of subscribers (over ten million). This was probably due to the story around the Lich King, the great raids and a new class (Death Knight). However, the end of the expansion was rather drawn out, but a buff was introduced for the (pre-)final raid, Icecrown Citadel, which made players stronger week after week.
4th Legion. 1 year, 11 months, 14 days (714 days total)01:42
WoW: Legion German Cinematic Trailer
Legion was also a very popular addon, whose content updates ran more smoothly than in almost any other expansion and offered great raids across the board. Along with that came the new Demon Hunter class. The expansion focused on our special Legendary weapons, which were sometimes more and sometimes less controversial. The implementation of the Mythic Plus feature is still with us today and has given new meaning to dungeons in WoW. The Mage Tower also marks the brief return of another feature of the expansion. With a runtime of almost two years, a lot of time went by during Legion, but the last raid Antorus would have deserved a few more weeks of runtime according to many players.
5th place: The Burning Crusade. 1 year, 9 months, 28 days (667 days total)02:46
WoW: Retro trailer - Cinematic for The Burning Crusade
WoW's first expansion opened the portal to Outland and excited the community. Players could face iconic characters of WoW lore like Illidan, Magtheridon, and Kil'Jaeden and take a trip back in time in the Caverns of Time. PvP players got the chance to compete in the Arena for the first time. Blood Elves and Draenei brought Horde and Alliance classes that were previously faction-exclusive (Paladins and Shaman). Also a highlight was the possibility to fly, which the developers regretted a bit afterwards.
6th place: Cataclysm. 1 year, 9 months, 18 days (658 days total)02:23
WoW: Cataclysm Intro (Italian)
The reworking of the old world and the many new quests, some of them very funny and elaborate, were the highlight of Cataclysm; at the same time, Horde players could play Goblins and Alliance players Worgen. For the first time, players could face each other on rated battlegrounds in this expansion. However, three factors leave Cataclysm as a very poor expansion in the minds of players: the introduction of the LFR, the disappointing final raid Dragon's Soul, and the too-large footprint of WotLK.
7th place, Warlords of Draenor. 1 year, 9 months, 17 days (656 days total).02:17
WoW Warlords of Draenor: Trailer - The Age of Iron
Just one day younger, Warlords of Draenor has been released. The journey into an alternate timeline was well received despite the difficulties and disappointments with the Garrisons feature. As the expansion progressed, however, it lacked content front and center. The first major patch had a Twitter connection for screenshots as the only real feature, and a final major patch was completely lacking. Thus, WoD was the addon with the greatest potential and could have possibly become one of the most popular WoW expansions of all time with a big patch. In reality, the Warlords expansions are now only cited as an example of too little content.
Making Shadowlands the longest running WoW expansion
The math is simple. To beat is the 2 years, 3 months and 9 days of BfA. Shadowlands was released on 11/23/2020, so to beat BfA by one day of runtime, Shadowlands would have to run until 3/6/2023.
Assuming patch 9.2 comes out in February 2022 and this last update then runs similar to MoP, WotLK a little over a year, Shadowlands might make it. The speed with which the data from the PTR for Patch 9.2 is brought to light by dataminers make a release for January or February 2022 seem very realistic. That Patch 9.2 will then be active for 13 to 14 months sounds, as of now, still a bit unlikely though.
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