I’ll be brief.
Blizzard Watch just posted a great analysis of the iteration times for all the past expansions. I took that data and visualized it.
Blue is the gap between the release of the previous expansion and the announce of the new one; red is basically the time between that announce and the start of beta; and the orange is the length of the beta to release.
Crunch it however you want, but the big takeaway for me is the damned heroic effort in getting MoP out in less time than all but one previous expansion, and that’s INCLUDING a total refactoring of The Jade Forest.
Ask most long-time raiders, and they’ll usually agree that Karazhan is by far the best raid, of all time, hands down, full stop.
I’m having a hard time arguing that logically.
So I’ll go for illogic.
While I love and adore Kara as the primeval training grounds for my raiding mains, it wasn’t until we got to Ulduar that I really felt like I was in the middle of something epic.
Most of the Wrath raids were built around 25-man raids in scale, with the mobs scaled down to accommodate 10-man raids. And while Naxx was built around a 40-man raid, it never felt “larger” than it was supposed to be. 10-man raids fit in there nicely, no echoes or anything.
Ulduar, however, felt HUGE. You could spread your raid out all over the place and still have tons of dark, empty corners for … things … to happen.
I’ll always have a warm glow in my heart for Kara. But when it comes to the feeling of Epic adventures, I don’t think I’ve seen anything like Ulduar, before or since.