In the last four years there have been three large content packages in World of Warcraft. These are: the original World of Warcraft that brought us the world of Azeroth on a scale not seen in Blizzard’s games before, the Burning Crusade where we explored Illidan and the world he adopted as his own, and now we are currently fighting against the might of the Scourge and the Lich King. With such a steady stream of expansions out over the time the game has been available it makes you wonder what could be on its way next?
Some believe that Arthas is the death of World of Warcraft as there are no more interesting characters after this expansion has ended. However, I have delved into the story of World of Warcraft, reading the lore and finding out that there is far more available to Blizzard than some believe.
The Emerald Dream
“The Emerald Dream, a vast, ever-changing spirit world, existed outside the boundaries of the physical world. From the Dream, Ysera regulated the ebb and flow of nature and the evolutionary path of the world itself” – The World Tree and the Emerald Dream
Limitless potential, a new hero class could be implemented in the form of the Archdruid. We could see many pinnacle characters on our own side with an expansion such as this. Although those who are in the dream and not against us are likely to be mainly night elves and Tauren, we could see Malfurion Stormrage and the other greatest druids amongst their order.
The Emerald Dream itself is an ever changing world. In Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard used a system called “phasing” where they made quests work with a changing environment depending on your progression through the chain. Phasing technology could excel in this expansion from patch to patch, bringing new threats as the spirit world never remains the same.
The Nightmares of the Emerald Dream are something that the game has always touched on from old content and the Wailing Caverns to recent content in Wrath of the Lich King where you entered the dream to collect acorns. The Nightmares of the dream world can take many forms which would give us entirely new enemies to fight allowing Blizzard to be as inventive as they like.
“As the aftershocks from the Well of Eternity's implosion rattled the bones of the world, the seas rushed in to fill the gaping wound left in the earth. Nearly eighty percent of Kalimdor's landmass had been blasted apart, leaving only a handful of separate continents surrounding the new, raging sea.” – Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Manual
See that swirling vortex in the middle of Azeroth’s map that you have always wondered about? Well, that is the Maelstrom. The Naga, who were once great Highborn under the rule of Queen Ashazra were transformed when the well of eternity was destroyed.
One of the explanations for their transformation is their queen made a pact with an Old God to save her people from death. Now Twisted, the Queen is said to be a monstrosity, beneath the swirling vortex of the Maelstrom the queen and her people built a new city. With the possibility of the Queen becoming a boss in this expansion, the City could also make an excellent raid instance. The Tomb of Sargeras would also be a fantastic raid instance and we could fight some very cool mobs.
“By the time Sargeras' madness had consumed the last vestiges of his valiant spirit, he believed that the Titans themselves were responsible for creation's failure. Deciding, at last, to undo their works throughout the universe, he resolved to form an unstoppable army that would set the physical universe aflame.” – Sargeras and the Betrayal
Brann Bronzebeard believes that Sargeras never actually stepped foot onto the Soil of Azeroth. This opens up another expansion where we travel to the homeworld of Sargeras who may still be in existence. Sargeras was believed to have made avatars of himself who were sent to Azeroth, one part of which was infused into Aegwynn which bred new life, he who we know as Medivh.
Sargeras is likely to be one of the greatest fights in World of Warcraft and possibly one of the most interesting expansions. Blizzard could really rip into this and bring a true sense of Chaos to Azeroth with an imminent threat of a wider more powerful Burning Legion returning to Azeroth to clean up the mess they left behind.
We are likely to see lots of the Eredar and the Dreadlords that he once imprisoned, possibly the only enemies we would fight in this would be twisted demons the potential for the land in Sargeras’s homeworld would be limitless.
The Old Gods
“The Pantheon shattered the Old Gods' citadels and chained the evil gods far beneath the surface of the world. Without the Old Gods' power to keep their raging spirits bound to the physical world, the elementals were banished to an abyssal plane.” – The Old Gods and the Ordering of Azeroth
The underworld of Azeroth, the place the Old Gods were banished to and we are aware that there are at least three Old Gods still in existence that we have not yet destroyed. This is the final expansion on my list, if it were the final expansion before the game was at the end of its cycle they could really make things interesting.
Azeroth could be in complete turmoil. We could see civil war break out amongst all of the races of Azeroth and new allegiances created all around. The Forsaken could leave the Horde finally ready to stand on their own. An era of unprecedented peace perhaps? Azeroth could unite entirely for the first time against a greater enemy, This is all my speculation but it would be interesting to see what they decide to do with World of Warcraft in the future.
Now Dead, Once An Old God
“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” – Winston Churchill