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Gamers Are Split On Their Least Favorite World Of Warcraft Expansion

Since the base game launched in 2004, "World of Warcraft" has been a best-selling MMORPG powerhouse that remains relevant nearly two decades later, largely thanks to its regular expansions.

Those expansions have expanded player leveling caps, reshaped the world of Azeroth through destructive events, and told an epic story with a scope that is difficult to match. Beginning with 2007's "The Burning Crusade," fans generally received a new title every two years, most of which raised the level cap by ten until it finally reached 120 in "Battle for Azeroth." While all that new content was great for veterans of the series, it presented an obstacle for new players, who could be looking at more than a hundred hours of playtime to make it through the expansions.


Thankfully, "Shadowlands," the expansion released in 2020, reduced the level cap back to 60 and added an option for players to choose which expansion to start with when leveling a new character. This means that almost all eras of "World of Warcraft" are more accessible than ever, which prompted SVG to hold a poll to find out which expansions fans are least likely to revisit. After asking 618 people which expansion was their least favorite, a couple of titles came out ahead, but the poll ended in an interesting split.

Here are the "World of Warcraft" expansions fans felt they could do without.

Players couldn't decide whether they would rather see Cataclysm or Mists of Pandaria go

Finishing with 16% of the vote each, "Cataclysm" and "Mists of Pandaria" tied for the number one position in SVG's poll for gamers' least favorite "World of Warcraft" expansion. Seeing these two titles tie for the top spot might be a surprise, although it is worth remembering that, while both were ultimately well received by critics, they each caused a stir with the fan base when they launched.


For instance, the 2010 expansion "Cataclysm" holds an overwhelmingly positive score on Metacritic but was controversial as the first expansion that dramatically reshaped the world that players had grown accustomed to over six years. The main arc of "Cataclysm" was the return of the dragon Deathwing, who opens a dimensional barrier that reshapes Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms.

"Mists of Pandaria" released two years later, likewise to strong acclaim as recorded by Metacritic. However, instead of reshaping existing landscapes, it focused on introducing a new setting, the titular Pandaria, whose deep lore and detailed world was widely praised. However, one of the lasting controversies of that expansion existed around the new race, the Pandarians. This new player character option was ridiculed, via Reddit, since it was first introduced as an April Fools' joke for "Warcraft 3" before that game's release in 2002.


Fans put plenty of other World of Warcraft expansions in their sights

In third place for fans' least favorite "World of Warcraft" expansion was "Wrath of the Lich King." While revered as the final chapter in the saga of Prince Arthas, who became the Lich King, today the expansion shows its age, and players may not be as invested in seeing the end of the story. As a result, 14% of those polled listed it as their least favorite.


Tied for fourth place were the two most recent expansions, which each earned 13% of the vote each. The 2018 expansion, "Battle for Azeroth," split the community when Blizzard decided to make the Horde the more aggressive faction. "Shadowlands," which released in 2020, was an essential change to the world as a whole to level the experience for veterans and new players, but for a game that has been around nearly two decades, large-scale changes are often met with wariness.

The last game officially included on SVG's poll was "The Burning Crusade," the first expansion released for "World of Warcraft," which received 10% of the vote. Some fans even wrote in their picks for their least favorite "World of Warcraft" expansion, which added "Warlords of Draenor" to the list. That leaves the 2016 expansion, "Legion," as the only title that no one picked as their least favorite.