During a World of Warcraft: Legion panel at BlizzCon this weekend, Blizzard detailed everything players could expect from two upcoming patches for the game, Patch 7.1.5 and Patch 7.2. But the developer also ended the panel with a hint about the future, suggesting that players will be journeying to another planet called Argus.
In an interview with Polygon later in the weekend, World of Warcraft game director Ion Hazzikostas reiterated that Argus is coming and confirmed that it will take place as part of patch 7.3, not as a new standalone expansion.
For those unfamiliar with World of Warcraft lore, Argus is another planet in the vast Warcraft universe that operates as one of the major seats of power for the Burning Legion, the demon army that is once more attempting to invade Azeroth in the latest expansion. Argus was once home to the playable dranei race, a faction that fled the planet as the demons took over and corrupted others.
Because of its huge place in World of Warcraft lore, rumors and fan discussion have swirled on if and when players will go to that planet for years. Many believed Argus would be the setting for a full expansion pack, but Hazzikostas says Blizzard decided against that.
“It felt like the right time,” Hazzikostas said. “I don’t know if Argus would hold up as an expansion in and of itself. We could make up a whole lot of ecologies and things there, but at the end of the day, it would feel like a very one-note, alien expansion.”
Instead, he explained, the developer decided to make Argus the climax to the current expansion. Players will head to the demon world to try to push back this massive force once and for all. He compared it to the ending of one of his favorite games of all time.
“It’s kind of like the end of Mass Effect 2,” said Hazzikostas. “We’ve been fighting on our end. Now we’re going on our suicide mission, because this is the only way to save ourselves.”
While Hazzikostas is already excited for Patch 7.3, he wasn’t able to reveal any details on when players can actually expect to see it. Patch 7.1.5 is going live on the World of Warcraft public test realm next week, with a full release expected soon after, and Patch 7.2 will follow sometime after that, likely in early 2017. In all likelihood, don’t expect to begin your counterinvasion of Argus until the middle of next year at the earliest.
For more on World of Warcraft and all the other news from BlizzCon, take a look at our full storystream of the event.