Yeah I feel the next expansion really needs to pull people back into it. The amount of timegating in SL to appease the hardcore was pretty bad and it put a lot of players off, with very little content outside of raids and singular area's to farm. And those mission tables are awful idd. I think I quit Retail during during 9.1 as I don't really care for raids and it was too much work/grind to actually play the game for the story.
Dragon Isles being the centre does seem promising. Though long term players want to see the game story progression at a faster pace. Like its been a long time coming to see the battle for battle against the Void and it kinda feels like they're dragging it on a bit.
Gonna be honest with my take on Sl so far:
The time gating in this expac is possibly the worst I've seen in all of WoW, from the locked missions to locked progression and even mission table progression being locked, which further put you behind what you could otherwise be working on, but since it had to be drip fedto us months at a time, I was put off and unsubbed.
Mission tables just straight up make me feel like I'm not playing an MMO, but babby's first RPG, where it's all fetch this/kill 5 of this, and it's all for tiny drops of resources, not fun at all.
Professions have once again been nerfed, given less uniqueness to them, as well as rolling first aid into tailoring, and while I do tailoring, not everyone does, and that just sucks by default (also first aid can be interrupted in combat, making this an out of combat heal, thus making first aid pointless as fuck).
WoW tokens was Blizz's shady masked way of trying to do away with gold farmers. This expac it's just reached a boiling point where the online eco is just bad. I cannot find goods for my professions at decent prices, because people are just buying the tokens and selling for gold, thus a percentage of the player base become rich whenever they want, leading to jacked up material prices for even more money, so some can buy the tokens back or buy them to sell to others.
Tokens need to go. Either go full B2P like ESO or stay with the sub model, because tokens I feel are fucking with the economy and allowing more bots to farm and pay for their own play time.
Bots, oh man bots, who hasn't seen a bot farming last expansion or current expansion areas?. I've seen them in BFA zones to this day as well as current SL zones, just farming areas where I'd have to go, because auction houses prices are stupidly high on my server, so now the bots are making my mat gathering a pain in the ass.
Then there's this over arching issues I've had with WoW since Legion, and that's "play any zone you want: the game".
By allowing us to go to any zone we want, we end up taking in the story from different characters at different times, and I've seen over time that this kinda warps the story for me in some ways, especially with watching one cinematic that had high stakes in it beforehand, then watching another cutscene sometime after that had low stakes, and would have made sense if their order was reversed.
I'm just too used to traditional WoW levelling processes, where I cannot go in X zone, because I'm too lower lv for it, and I know we still have that design around in current WoW, but it feels so less of a thing in current expacs, when you're allowed to choose up to 4-5 zones that all fit within the same lv spec, instead of having to take those 4 zones in a specific order (which would also aid the storyline and it's own order of being viewed).
This is also the expansion where I felt like the devs weren't in direct contact with gamers of each class, especially and once again, Warlocks. I visit the WoW forum every few months, and since I main the Warlock class, I'm gonna go check out the Warlock sub threads, and each time I go visit them, it's always filled with issues with the class, loss of class fantasy, Demonology still feeling like a bigass chore, etc.
Ion has had years to hire someone who likes playing Warlock and knows how to code, to actually represent that class on the forums, and for years he hasn't done this, meanwhile every other class has a coder/Mod on each class's respective sub thread to talk to players of each class and asking/looking for feedback (while Warlock players scream into the dark abyss and hardly get an answer).
If Blizz want the next expansion to do better, they really need to cut the shit with time gating/drip feeding content and also cut out mission tables. let me go out and actually quest properly for once. Let me feel like a nobody who's out for adventure, not the "special" "champion of Azeroth", because I've heard that a billion times and I don't feel like I'm any sort of champion, but a Peon wearing a star badge and being told I'm the only hope for the world (while in-game cinematics clearly show the real NPC's being heroes and doing more than you possibly can).
Blizz could even take a page from ESO, make the main expac, then release content over the course of a single year in 3 smaller DLC sized packs. Eso expacs launch for cheaper prices, always feel like there's something new added throughout the year. Current WoW has us playing the same expac for like 2 years, and it always feels like it's being slowly drip fed (I don't care for PVP content or pet battle shit, let alone mythic plus raids).
I used to love raiding, but my last real engaging raid was way, way back during Seige of Orgrimmar, and that was like 2013...
Raids today just ask either more of you for a possible roll at getting something, or having to put up with the Raid leader being an asshole.
I do want to see more of Wrathion in the new expac, as well as what's going on with Alexstrasza. During SL I was super happy that they brought Ysera back, because she was one of my all time fave dragon Aspects (yes I cried like a bitch when we had to kill her during Legion).