So August 6th we’re supposedly going to find out what the next chapter *EXPANSION!* of the Warcraft story has in store for us. People seem shocked that they’re not unveiling it at BlizzCon. I totally get that the precedent isn’t there, but it makes the most sense. 6.2 was the last patch of Warlords of Draenor, so something needed to be released ASAP. Waiting until November would have been insane, because reasons:
1. They’ve been bleeding subs already. When they have the next shareholders call, we’ll know just how badly. I think we can all agree it won’t be pretty.
2. Waiting until November would have put the launch likely next summer or fall. People are NOT going to play 6.2 for a solid year. Not going to happen.
3. The movie is releasing next summer. They need to get the expansion out before the movie releases, by at least a few weeks in order to work through new release bugs and hotfixes before drawing players back to Azeroth. Even better would be to coincide the movie with the first major content patch, which would likely mean a spring game release.
Now comes the really fun part. There’s several potential “leaks” out there:
Army of Light: The Alternate Universe Azeroth theory, with a neutral faction called the Army of Light led by Velen, Anduin, Liadrin, Yrel, and Turalyon. It’ll feature a re-made Eastern Kingdoms as we try to take out Gul’dan’s horde.
Rating: 3/10. Really, REALLY over orcs right now. Of any sort. And Alternate Universe Azeroth? I really don’t like the multiverse stuff AT ALL. There’s no real point in it. Seeing an alternate Eastern Kingdoms WOULD be cool, but otherwise I’d have to roll my eyes.
Guardian of Tirisfal: Gul’dan, Illidan, and Azshara as main villians. The rumored Old God under Tirisfal makes an appearance. Tel’abim, Plunder Isle, Broken Isles, Zandalar, Kul Tiras and Kezan are zones. Certain northern Eastern Kingdoms zones revamped. Med’an appears.
Rating: 9/10: This is much more like what I would want. I LOVE the lore/rumors about an Old God in Tirisfal, and I love Azshara as a villain. This seems really mashed up though, that’s a lot of ground to cover in one expansion, especially as compared to Warlords. Doubt this one to be true, but I’d be happy if it was.
The Dark Prophet: Zul and Azshara are the main villians. The zandalari trolls ally with the naga. New Shadowstalker class. Zones are The Valarian Depths, Zandalar, Kul Tiras, Kezan, Tel’Abim, Plunder Isle, The Rift and Broken Isles (looks familiar). Players get ships to sail from zone to zone in, like Garrisons 2.0.
Rating: 8/10: YEEEESSS. I like this. Doesn’t seem too far-fetched either, it’s focused and the addition of a garrison-like feature makes this believable to me. No Tirisfal stuff though, I’m taking off a point for no Tirisfal. 😦
Eye of Azshara: Villian: Sargeras. High Elves and Naga races. More Illidan, Gul’dan, and Azshara. Zones: Zin-Azshari, Eldre’Thalas, Suramar and the Emerald Dream.
Rating: 4/10: Meh. I feel like we’re starting to repeat things. ERRYBODY WANTS AN AZSHARA EXPANSION. I wouldn’t complain too much about this one, but I doubt we’ll get to Sargeras just yet.
Kingdom of Arathor: Set in Alternate Universe Eastern Kingdoms. Features the old Wrynn family, Medivh, Gul’dan, Khadgar. The Burning Legion invades AU Azeroth.
Council of Glades: So this is a trademark that supposedly was filed in New Zealand. This may or may not be a hoax at this point. I could easily see this going with a Guardian of Tirisfal-like expansion.
Rating: I hate the name. It’s not a good name at all and from a marketing standpoint whomever approved it should be fired immediately. It’s too vague and uncompelling. That said, if it IS a Guardian of Tirisfal expansion, I might forgive them.
What I would LIKE to see in a perfect world? (NOT A LEAK. This is only a wish list.)
- The Old God under Tirisfal drive Sylvanas even more mad than normal.
- The Forsaken working independently to take down the Alliance and the Horde (from the inside).
- Azshara and Zul in an alliance.
- Zandalar, Kul Tiras, Tel’Abim, Plunder Isle, The Broken Isles, The Rift, revamped areas of Tirisfal, Arathi, and Hillsbrad.
- Gilneas brought back as a full-fledged capital city with NPCs and everything (but not neutral, that wouldn’t work) Heck, add Kezan for the Horde.
- To go UNDER Karazhan, into the crypts as a raid (Old God related?).
- Illidan to make another appearance somehow.
- Lots of good dungeons and raids.
- A new battleground or PvP zone.
- Badges for starter raid gear, and update the vendors each content patch so that people can jump back into raiding if they take a break.
- Interesting armor sets with gem slots.
- A compelling story.
- Not so on-rails – let us have options where to quest.
- Crafting put back to something more like Wrath-era crafting. No garrison material farming, bring back gem colors, bring back options and fun.
So that’s it – it will be fun to see what the next week holds! Until then – ALL ABOARD THE HYPE TRAIN!