3 months after Blizzard’s president sank WoW players’ hopes of a swashbuckling adventure with the words ‘No pirates’, roadmap suggests: Yes, yes pirates

World of Warcraft revealed its roadmaps for both retail and Classic yesterday, and while there’s plenty of exciting news—including a confirmed Summer release window for The War Within—one particular stop on the road hit me like a cannon full of grapeshot. A black flag with a skull and crossbones.

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

So, some context: back in September, WoW players were hoisting the mainsails in preparation for a pirate-themed expansion. This was due to a cosmetic item on the store (which Blizzard have used to foreshadow expansions previously, such as with the Dragon Pack) and an in-game book called “Return of the Nightsquall.”

Added to The Forbidden Reach zone in Dragonflight Patch 10.0.7, this book can be found on the Irontide Ship on the northern shore of the island, via an interactable called “Pirate Proclamation”. It proclaims that “The Nightsquall has returned!” and that he’s building the “biggest fleet the world has ever known.” It foreshadows an alliance of Irontide, Defias, Bloodsail, and Freebooter pirates embarking on a raid to the Dragon Isles.

Then, president of Blizzard Mike Ybarra replied to a curious fan with the words “no pirates” and that, it would seem, was that.

(Image credit: @Qwik on Twitter/X.)

Well guess what, Ybarra? It turns out that yes! Yes pirates! Unless the cryptic flag draped over this timeline is instead hinting at a hardcore something-or-other, but I mean c’mon. It’s a black flag. There’s a skull and crossbones on it. If this doesn’t mean pirates, then I’ll eat my tricorne.

In fairness to Ybarra, he was more-or-less responding to concerns that the next expansion would be a pirate expansion. This is ostensibly a pirate patch. But still, some players are treating it like a complete zag from Blizzard’s front—including WoW YouTube channel Taliesin & Evitel, whose videos tipped me off to the plundering possibilities to begin with.

(Image credit: @TaliesinEvitel on Twitter/X.)

This is all ultimately very funny, and it feels like a tongue-in-cheek jab at WoW players for the pandemonium that gripped discussion boards back in September. As an Outlaw Rogue myself, I’m something of a pirate myself—which means that any yarr-themed transmogs we get out of the patch will go straight into my collection. I’m hungry for the high seas.

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