Having had some wonderfully relaxing time away from retail, I’ve given some thought to the sequencing of events in the main timeline, and had been pondering ways to amend things to be more… sensible? Or at least narratively coherent, especially towards the end.
Pure fan dribble below; peruse at your own will.
And just a heads up, pace yourselves. Broken into two sections because of the size and word limit per post.
I’ve since started a fan novelization based on this outline, which can be found here.
The Classic experience would remain stapled fairly heavily to its original tracking, but with more details filled in and drawn out.
At launch, there would be several races available that weren’t originally present at the start, including the Draenei and Blood Elves, Forest Trolls and Wildhammer Dwarves, and then High Elves and Ogres.
Total Starting Race Count:
Horde: (8 races, 5 cities.)
Blood Elves: Capital is Silvermoon City (large).
Orcs: Capital is Orgrimmar (large).
Forsaken: Capital is the Undercity (large).
Tauren: Capital is Thunderbluff (large).
Darkspear Trolls: Unofficial Capital is the Orgrimmar (large).
Forest Trolls: Unofficial is the Orgrimmar (large).
Ogres: Official capital is Stonemaul (small).
Pandaren: Unofficial capital is Orgrimmar (large).
Large cities are: Orgrimmar, Thunderbluff, Undercity, and Silvermoon.
Small cities are: Stonemaul.
Alliance: (8 races, 5 cities.)
Bronzebeard Dwarves: Capital is Ironforge (large).
Humans: Capital is Stormwind (large).
Night Elves: Capital is Teldrassil/Darnassus (large).
Draenei: Capital is the Exodar (large).
Wildhammer Dwarves: Unofficial capital is Ironforge (large).
High Elves: Unofficial capital is Theramore (small).
Gnomes: Unofficial capital is Ironforge (large).
Pandaren: Unofficial capital is Stormwind (large).
Large cities are: Stormwind, Ironforge, Darnassus, and Exodar.
Small cities are: Theramore.
(Mechanical side note: instead of having separate races for Bronzebeard/Wildhammer Dwarves and Darkspear/Forest Trolls, it would be a system in which you essentially get sub-races. So the Dwarf race would share one main racial, but depending on your sub-race you’d get special customization options, skins, and secondary racials. As more races are expanded (Zandalari trolls, Dark Iron Dwarves, etc) this system would make it easier to balance.)
Initially, Draenei players would get a scenario in which they escape from the Outlands alongside Velen, crash land on Azeroth, are rescued by the Night Elves, and then formally be brought into the Alliance.
Thalassian Elves, similarly, would have a scenario in which they survive the destruction of Quel’thalas in a flashback, and are then rallied by either Lor’themar or Auric Sunchaser. The former learn a bit about where Kael’thas went off to, and then engage with the Forsaken who provide aid and bring the Blood Elves into the folds of the Horde. The latter follow Auric south, where they’re rescued by Jaina Proudmoore, and are then taken to Theramore where they set up camp.
Theramore would become an official mini-capital for the Alliance.
The Horde would get a large Stonemaul outpost as their own mini-capital to balance out the role of Theramore.
Additionally, Pandaren should be playable from the start; they’re just around as wanderers, taking up with either faction and exploring the world at large.
Things would progress much as they had during classic, but with lots of further development. For starters…
The Alliance would dig into story related to Blackrock Mountain, in which we learn that Moira is trying to liberate the Dark Irons from under the thrall of Ragnaros. We go in and raid the mountain to break the hold of Ragnaros, and we see Moira rise as leader of the Dark Irons with the fall of the emperor. The Alliance would then tackle Ragnaros himself in the core.
This, however, is a double edged sword as Magni Bronzebeard (king of Ironforge) isn’t keen on allowing Moira to stay; the tension between them drives Moira further into the arms of the Dark Irons, and she casts out the Alliance, taking hold of the lower half of the mountain for the Dark Irons.
Similarly, the Horde would be tasked with raiding the upper halls of the mountain, under the direction of Thrall and Etrigg, who realize the danger posed by Rend’s “True” Horde.
This story would dive deep into Thrall and Etrigg’s regrets and worries about the Horde, its legacy, and its path going forwards. It is difficult for Etrigg to look back at the Blackrocks and their place in the world at the moment and he’s is even offered a position within Rend’s “True” Horde (with his ‘people’). While tempting, he manages to overcome his desire to reunite with his family and remains loyal to the Horde.
Etrigg journeys with us as we help lead an uprising in the halls of Upper Blackrock Spire, bringing some of the Orcs there into the folds of the Horde. The Horde will have to break the hold of the Dragonflight over the rest of the enslaved Blackrock Orcs, and eliminate Nefarian and Rend in order to claim victory.
The Arathi Highlands Region:
In the Highlands, Alliance players would face a more fully fleshed out story as the surviving nobles of Strom struggle against the Syndicate and each other, all vying for power over the ruins of humanity’s first empire. This would be made more complicated by Forsaken’s recent advance into the region, whose own story would focus on undermining Alliance unity in the region, viewing the Highlands as an ideal territory for expansion.
The Alliance would play the middleman through their story, fighting beside Lieutenant Valorcall as he tries to navigate the choppy waters of the noble rivalries. His goal is to reclaim Stromgarde at all costs, but he’s constantly struggling with the political games. The finale for that area would focus on support being denied to Valorcall in the face of a massive, imminent assault by the Horde, because the nobles are too busy fighting each other. Valorcall makes a valiant sacrifice to hold back the Horde, which finally unites the squabbling nobles.
On the other side, the Horde would play alongside the Black Bride of the Highlands, who leads the Defilers. She’s had no real backstory set up so I think it would be a fantastic opportunity for the Forsaken to get a new, really well fleshed out character. The Black Bride would have hailed from Arathi, and have rode north with a legion of Knights to aid Lordaeron during the Third War. Her story would be tied to that of the Forsaken, and now she’s come south to claim Arathi for the Horde, and unify her ‘people’ under Sylvanas. Much of her own personal story would unfold as she tries to grapple with her emotions as a Forsaken, juggling family and loyalty, both new and old.
She would direct the Horde’s efforts in the region against the Ogres, Witherbark Trolls, the Syndicate, and the Alliance. She’s the one who plots and conspires to undermine the Alliance nobility’s dealings in Arathi, and uses the player to groom, coerce, and blackmail several lesser nobles into siding with the Horde in exchange for ‘power/eternal life’ as Forsaken. Eventually, she’d lead the Horde’s assault against the Alliance in the region, culminating in the final fight against Valorcall which ends his life. The region’s story would end with the Horde gaining an advantage, but with the Alliance finally unifying its forces in the region.
The Hinterlands Region:
The Wildhammer Dwarves (+high elves) and Forest Trolls would have their story unfold here, which would grapple with the tensions between the Horde/Alliance, and their proxy forces across Azeroth. Both groups would end up butting heads hard, but will come together in the end to rally against the Vilebranch trolls in the region. The conflict culminates in a massive battle for Jintha’Alor.
There’s also some tasty cool Dragon lore in this region too, and it’d be a shame not to explore it in depth.
Lordaeron and Quel’thalas:
In western Lordaeron, and in Quel’thalas, the Forsaken/Blood Elf narratives are focused on trying to secure their own territories from enemies all across the board. The Scarlet Crusade would serve as a main threat (just as before) in the west, the Amani in the north, and the Scourge all across the collection of zones. In addition, the Forsaken would need to content with Scourge Hunters coming north from Gilneas, and tensions from the Alliance in the south; the Blood Elves would need to contend with the Withered, and also concerning developments regarding Kael’thas.
The Alliance (and even the Horde) deal with the undead, the worgen, the trolls, and the Defias Brotherhood revolting. Ideally, the death of Van Cleef should inspire an uprising in Stormwind that shows just how rocky the political atmosphere in Stormwind is; this would be a great opportunity to expand on Onyxia’s hold on power - and make the threats seem closer to home, rather than just being “out in the country”.
Across the ocean on Kalimdor, much of the story already focuses on taming a wild land, and I think staying true to that is key. In 1k Needles, the Barrens, and Feralas, Ogres, Centaur, and Trolls should be amassing in greater form - threatening to wipe both factions’ forces out in those regions. Having the Alliance focus on threats down the western coast, from Ashenvale south to 1k Needles through Feralas, and the Horde fighting down the middle/eastern side of the continent, would be an easy and fair split.
Ashenvale and The North:
The Night Elves and Orcs would be battling against the Legion remnants/Satyrs in the north, along with the Naga and each other. It’d be wonderful to see a more complex relationship between the two factions, even having them come together to take down some of the greater threats.
Eldre’thalas (Dire Maul) should be a central point of conflict as well, as the Night Elves wish to reclaim it, and the Stonemaul Ogres desire it as a new home for themselves that is more heavily fortified. Their conflict over the region (Feralas) would inevitably lead to the Satyr’s/Sheldralar/Gordunni Ogres rising up to drive out both ‘invaders’, which would prompt the Dire Maul dungeon complex becoming available.
The Horde would focus on the Gordunni Ogre wing, the Night Elves on the Shendralar wing, and then both rush for the Satyr wing, within which the Horde and Alliance end up clashing against one another, only to be attacked by the Satyrs. This forces both factions to withdraw with neither having enough forces to claim or hold the city.
Dustwallow & Barrens:
The Alliance would be getting the largest share of the Onyxia raid lore, as they follow an investigation into the disappearance of Varian Wrynn. Once we get the good old king free from his prison in Dustwallow, and follow part of his journey across Kalimdor, we’ll team up with him to defeat Onyxia. The important thing is making sure all the story gets in the game, instead of leaving it exclusively to print/comics outside of the game.
The Horde, meanwhile, would be tackling the dire threat of the Quilboar, in what I would propose as a brand new raid on par with Onyxia’s Lair. Mankirk would be an ideal candidate to lead this effort to take out the Quillboar leader in a one boss raid high above the barrens, along the cliffs that overlook Mulgore. This would require a greater amplification of his story in the Barrens, and would draw in Thrall and Cairne and Vol’jin and Chen as well.
We’d see the Quilboar leader invoke ancient magic and summon Agamaggan, the Wild God from whose blood the Quilboar were born and the briar thorn was grown. This massive Wild God battle would be sizable enough to match Onyxia.
Later Patch Content:
Naxxramas and Ahn’qiraj would also play a larger role, and we’d have more well established events and quests leading up to either zone.
Bolvar would lead the coalition assault into Naxx alongside the Argent Dawn after the Scourge launches its massive assault across the world. The High Elves and Blood Elves would play a major role in this, along with the Forsaken and the Silver Hand forces still loyal to the Alliance. There would be tension, but ultimately a unified front would form that is able to lay waste to the legions of undead inside of the dread citadel. The conclusion to the raid, however, needs a twist.
We find that with Kel’thuzad’s last breath, he mutters something about his inevitable rebirth, and something about the hands of ambition. We all know that KT comes back, but the characters in game don’t know this. This tease would stoke an immediate suspicion of each other amongst the coalition leadership, and the Argent Dawn rises to the occasion to ease tensions - claiming that they will take and safeguard the phylactery of Kel’thuzad (and we know how that ends).
Saurfang, similar to Bolvar with Naxx, would lead the offensive into Ahn’qiraj alongside the Cenarion Circle, forming the Might of Azeroth. I’d vote to make this raid a bit more impactful than it originally was, however, as we’re dealing with old gods and it should pay off long term.
My pitch would be to have C’thun trick the Might of Azeroth into thinking that Ossirian the Unscarred, end boss of the 20 man raid, is the true leader of the onslaught that’s unleashed. Everyone is led to believe that C’thun is still far too weak, and has been made a prisoner by Ossirian. There’s no need to panic, C’thun is clearly still kept nice and tight behind bars.
In response, the Might of Azeroth makes their assault on Ahn’qiraj, which turns out to be a trap, and there are hints that the Infinite Dragonflight has had a hand.
Once the Might of Azeroth is inside of the ruins of Ahn’qiraj raid (the 20 man), Ossirian (upon his defeat) reveals that they were fooled, and C’thun emerges properly, laying waste to the armies of Azeroth that had gathered. Minions of the old god spread out across Kalimdor, and the player characters, along with their faction leader reps in Silithus, barely survive.
There would be a delay between the release of the 20 man and 40 man raid, in which players are completely unable to hold back the tides of C’thun. We see the Qiraji spill north, towards Feralas and the Barrens.
The only way to remedy the course is to seek out the Bronze Dragonflight, from who we learn that something is not quite right; strange wrinkles in time lead the Flight to believe there is mischief afoot. With them, we return to the time before the Might of Azeroth charged into Ahn’qiraj.
We would get an intensive lead up storyline in which we’re investigating anomalies in the timeline, but we can’t outright reveal who is at fault.
Finally, we get the 40 man raid, where we don’t go with the Might of Azeroth, but instead lead a strike team into the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj (the 40 man) to face C’thun directly. In that raid, we find our own player character corpses, revealing that someone had killed the ‘other us’ in the main timeline, who were meant to prevent the trap from being sprung. Essentially, the Infinite Dragonflight won the first round, and that’s how the Might of Kalimdor lost.
There’s a penultimate boss fight (just before C’thun) where we find an Infinite Dragon which sought to prevent us (in the first place) from killing C’thun. We take him out, but it raises questions about this new Dragonflight. Then, we beat the snot out of C’thun, who is effectively imprisoned once more, seeing as we are unable to outright kill him.
We return to the present time to see that our actions have altered the ‘present’ that we’re from as well, and that the Might of Azeroth was victorious.
The heroes of the Might of Azeroth remain unaware of our mission, and when they raid the Temple and find C’thun still imprisoned, they believe that their intelligence had been correct - C’thun was indeed too weak to pose a threat, and that Ossirian was the mastermind behind the Qiraji assault. It becomes a secret between the player characters and Nozdormu that the Infinite Dragonflight is a thing, and that an Old God almost got free.
Leading up to the expansion, we’d have Velen and Rommath sending members of the Horde and Alliance on a covert mission which neither are aware will overlap. The mission is to the Outlands: the Blood Elves still have an open gateway (as they’re still loyal to Kael’thas at this time), and the Draenei ambush and highjack this same portal. Both groups would have a scenario in which they’re in the Outlands, and they learn of “Illidan’s” ‘plan’ to invade Azeroth (which was actually Kil’jaeden luring us to the Outlands to kill Illidan for him).
Liadrin and Maraad lead these two parties. While initially these two groups will fight each other during their mission, they come together once they realize what’s at stake, and collaborate to reopen a gateway back to Azeroth. Velen and Rommath call for a summit, in which both factions, and the Argent Dawn/Cenarion Circle, attend. It’s in the middle of this summit, as the two are about to explain things, that various messengers barge in and proclaim, almost in the same breath, that the cities are under attack. There is immediate finger pointing, but it becomes immediately clear that it’s not the factions attacking each other: it’s the Legion.
Velen and Rommath hastily explain, and the summit adjourns. The Argent Dawn states that they’re going to amass at the Dark Portal while the Horde and Alliance retake control of their cities - and then prepare to counter attack.
Then we get the original launch event, in which capital cities are under attack by the Legion.
Even as the Legion invades Azeroth in order to draw the armies of the world to the Outlands, the Alliance and Horde also take time to engage in affairs and events all across Azeroth, so we wouldn’t be focused just on the Outlands.
That said, we’d see the Draenei take an active role in leading the Alliance expedition to the Outlands, much the same as the Blood Elves do for the Horde. Both factions wage a heavy assault against both Illidan, and the Legion, but we actually get story regarding what Illidan’s plan is, so the narrative would have more nuance; this would draw heavily from the Illidan novel.
We’ll follow Maraad, Auric Sunchaser, and Arator leading the Alliance into the Outlands to find the Alliance Expedition’s survivors, while Liadrin, Thrall, and Rommath lead the Horde in tackling the threat of Kael’thas.
In Hellfire Peninsula, we’d be struggling to push back the Legion and establish our own footholds in the area. The Alliance will come across Honor Hold, and the Horde will claim Thrallmar. The Horde’s story is fairly straight forward, taking the fight (first and foremost) to the Legion in this area. The Alliance, however, has a rough go at the start, and faces a great deal of inner conflict and tension.
The Alliance forces struggle to find an ally in the survivors of the Alliance expedition, who had believed Azeroth to have been destroyed along with Draenor. The arrival of the Alliance, they perceive, to be a ruse, and the reveal that the Alliance and Horde have struck an accord makes many even more uneasy given the history of the Orcs on Azeroth.
It takes a great deal of effort to keep the war rattled survivors from striking out at the Horde, and it puts tension on the faction leadership. Things reach a fevered pitch when, under Danath’s orders, an Alliance strike team pulls back from an assault when they realize that the Horde were already engaging the Legion - and losing, essentially leaving the Horde’s strike team to be annihilated.
This nearly prompts an all out declaration of war between the two factions in the Outlands, but Thrall intervenes, and tries to reel the Horde back.
Tensions continue to rise within Honor Hold as both factions continue to quest throughout the zone, and we get a near revolt by the soldiers of Honor Hold. The climax of the zone is tied to the Alliance not focusing enough attention on the demons, and as a result, the Legion are able to lay siege to Honor Hold. It’s the Horde that comes to the rescue of the Alliance in this encounter, which seems to be enough, for the time, to buy the Horde some good will in the eyes of overzealous and bigoted First/Second war veterans like Danath Trollbane.
We would get a neato-cheeto moment of Danath and Thrall coming face to face, acknowledging old hatreds, and agreeing that their common enemy needs to come first: for now. This also does wonders to put some nails in the coffin of “the Horde always being the bad guy”, as we clearly see them setting aside slights in order to save the world.
After Honor Hold is liberated, both factions turn their gaze towards Hellfire Citadel, from which Kargath reigns. In this raid/series of dungeons, we learn that Maggtheridon’s blood has been used to empower the Fel Blood Orcs who are in service to Illidan, but we uncover that Kargath has actually been turned by the Legion. Using demon blood was a great idea to strengthen soldiers, but not even Illidan’s engineers could prevent the corrupting affect that links the consumers to the host.
As a result, Maggtheridon has used Kargath as a proxy leader in Hellfire, and has tricked Illidan into believe the Orc was loyal to him. As we lay siege to the Citadel, Maggtheridon’s enslaved Orcs revolt against Illidan’s forces in the Citadel. The Alliance and Horde are able to make use of this advantage, and it proves to be the key to taking down Kargath, and Maggtheridon.
Coilfang and Terrokar:
The Alliance and Horde will then take a baseball bat to the Naga and Arrakoa. We journey beside Rexxar, Rommath, and Auric, in dismantling the Naga’s threat in Zangarmarsh, first.
We flush the naga down the toilet in the lake and eliminate Lady Vash’j, who, with her own final breath, mentions something about us ‘not knowing how wrong we were’. We pick up a crystal from her corpse which starts a quest line.
Through this quest line, we learn that Kael’thas broke away from Illidan and made a pact with Kil’jaeden. Through the series of quests (stealth missions) that carry over into Terrokar, we’ll learn that he’s made this deal only to enact his own plan for vengeance upon the Burning Legion for its role in the coming of the Scourge, and the destruction of Quel’thalas.
Kael’thas, allegedly, retains some semblance of his morality, and has struck a faux accord with the demon lord; his plan is to summon Kil’jaeden fully in order to allow the heroes of Azeroth to slay him.
Presented with an uncertain prospect, Auric Sunchaser, Maraad, Lady Liadrin, and Rommath (along with the Aldor and the Scryers) get together to discuss the risks in both pros and cons of trusting Kael’thas’ word. Voren’thal (leader of the Scryers) is particularly uncertain, as he’s seen what Kael’thas has done in the name of the Legion, even if he is working a long con.
While they deliberate on what to do, players pursue the Arrakoa and Firewing Blood Elves throughout the region, which takes us deep into Auchindon where we ally with Khadgar to fight specters of old enemies (Ner’zhul, Teron, etc).
We also get Arator seeking out his family at the Allerian Stronghold, which holds some interesting quests where we follow him on a journey to track down leads about his parents.
In Nagrand, we journey beside Thrall and Maraad as we begin to move through the region.
Thrall’s journey takes him on a quest to find Garrosh Hellscream, son of Grommash, and also his own family line, who are based out of Garadar. Thrall comes forth speaking of Shamanism, which Garrosh sort of blows off as being the ‘ways of old mystics’, which could never replace the strength of a warrior.
Riders come into the village bringing word of an Ogre raid threatening a small Orcish village, and Thrall and Garrosh both ride out to handle this, with the Horde players in tow. We see the two Orcs each trying to go about things in their own way, which puts a big wrench into things as they end up tripping over each other’s feet, so to speak. In order to beat back the Ogres and rescue the village, the two have to make compromises, and rely on each other’s strengths.
Garrosh, while initially skeptical, develops a respect for Thrall, and eventually comes to ask him of Grommash. Thrall begins to fill his head with mildly deluded stories and legends that set Grom up as a noble and always well intending hero.
Maraad, for the Alliance, leads players to the nearby Draenei settlement of Telaar. Here, Maraad comes face to face with specters from his past; the withering, dying mother who raised him. One of the Broken, she’s begun to fall ill and die.
Maraad’s mother has been having visions of Oshu’gun, which is actually the Naaru’s inter-dimensional ship which first brought the Draenei to Draenor. In those visions, she’s seen the tormented spirits of the dead being wrapped up and prevented from moving on. She, like many broken, can’t feel their connection to the Light anymore, and Maraad believes that the visions of Oshu’gun may have something to do with it.
Maraad then journeys to Oshu’gun and learns that K’ure, one of the Naaru, is falling into a void state there within the ship. Maraad grapples with the dark energies within, and has to face ghosts from his past, many of which are tied to his failures during the Siege of Shattrath. With our help, he manages to overcome the specters, and purifies K’ure. The Naaru commands Maraad to bring his mother to Oshu’gun.
Upon her arrival, K’ure eases the mother’s suffering and helps her pass away, returning her to the Light. This offers some bittersweet closure for Maraad.
Elsewhere in Nagrand, we’ll deal with the Legion, the Elements, and the Ogres who are a constant pain in the butt. Some of the Stonemaul Ogres from Azeroth come through to the Outlands with the Horde and seek out the ancient knowledge of the Ogre Empire. The Horde will get a lot of story in helping Ogre characters uncover fragments of the past, and learn of the fall of their empire to the Horde. Much of this eludes to future threads to pull on from the WoD storyline.
Blades Edge Mountains:
In the jagged spires of Blades Edge, the focus is fixed on three main objectives: the Black Dragonflight, the Ogre Menace, and the Mok’nethal.
Danath Trollbane leads the efforts to tackle the Black Dragonflight, who terrorized the Alliance during the Second War and also the Alliance Expedition while on Draenor. Here, we see Danath hunting the surviving black drakes, in which it’s clear that help is needed. Danath turns his focus towards Gruul, the Dragonkiller, believing that the monstrous Ogron could be the solution to his problems.
The Alliance works to lure Gruul out from his cave and set him loose upon the Black Dragonflights breeding grounds. With Gruul going ham, the Alliance sweeps in and begins to destroy the eggs. It’s important, however, for Alliance players to avoid Gruul himself cuz they’ll get crushed for sure; Gruul isn’t an ally, he’s the enemy of an enemy.
At the end, players confront Sabellian, son of Deathwing, and realize that he’s not the terrible, awful Dragon that he was painted to be. He reveals that while Deathwing had been corrupted by the Old Gods on Azeroth, Sabellian believed that the Outlands could be a fresh start. This wasn’t possible, however, because Deathwing was still a crazy pants.
Deathwing returned to Azeroth years ago however, and Sabellian has been trying to breed a new sect of the Black Dragonflight ever since who are free of corruption. We, as adventurers from Azeroth, were unaware of this, and blindly believed Danath’s accounting of the hardships suffered by the Expedition on Draenor. With us having enabled Gruul’s obliteration of Sabellian’s brood, we owe it to the dragon to help him kill Gruul, and all of his sons.
We’d then get the older quests we had to go after Gruul and his family, which includes the raid.
The Horde side of this storyline involves Rexxar reconnecting with his family, and forging a friendship with Sabellian who is under the guise of Baron Sablemane. Rexxar has a big journey to undertake as he tries to find acceptance in his family’s clan, and decide upon just who he wants to become. Does he want to stay behind in the Outlands with family, or return to Azeroth and forge a new life for himself?
He sets out on his BC quests to hunt the Ogres and the Ogron in the region, seeking to prove his worth to his father, and earn the “right” to make decisions for his own future without being seen as a disappointment. His father, originally, was disappointed in Rexxar for joining the Horde of old.
We’d see Rexxar take on more than he can chew with the ogres, and Baron Sablemane comes to his aid. The two forge their friendship, and in return, Rexxar agrees to help Sablemane with taking out Gruul the Dragonkiller.
We also have the older quests involving the Night Elves in the region.
When the time comes to head into the Netherstorm, the group of Elves that had been discussing what to do about Kael’thas comes to a decision: “trust without aiding”. They give the player orders to lay waste to Kael’thas’ forces in the Netherstorm, and if Kael’thas’ plan to summon Kil’jaeden comes to pass, they take the shot and eliminate Kil’jaeden. If not, and it turns out that Kael’thas truly has fallen and is simply leading them all on, they eliminate a serious threat to Azeroth and cut Kael’s head off.
As we get to the Tempest Keep, the Naaru deviate from the plan, remaining absolute in their want to lay waste to Kael’thas, claiming that anyone who sides with the Legion, even with good intentions, should be purged. (We see here the zealousness that the Naaru bring to bear later on with Xe’ra.)
Privately, Rommath and Auric, respective to their faction, countermand the Naaru’s orders, and direct the player to spare Kael’thas, and take him into custody.
As we raid the Tempest Keep, we come to find plenty of portals had been opened from within the ship, and some of the mages reveal that the portals lead to Quel’thalas. Instead of being killed in the Tempest Keep during the now penultimate fight, Kael’thas escapes when the adventurers come, claiming that his plans aren’t yet ready.
The final fight takes us to Quel’thalas: Silvermoon City. Kael’thas and his Blood Knights have struck at the city to steal back the Naaru, M’ru. We chase Kael’s forces through the city streets, but they manage to escape, and we’re left fighting a massive infernal in the Court of the Sun.
At the close of the fight, we look out at the Isle of Quel’danas from the top of Silvermoon’s palace, and see a massive shield spring into place around the isle. This, most obviously, foreshadows the later patch which deals with Kael’thas and the Sunwell. We’re left with uncertainty as to whether Kael’thas truly is on our side or not. Auric and Rommath claim that it will take time to get inside the shield, and find out for sure.
Meanwhile, back in the Outlands, the armies of the Sha’tari would begin to push towards the Black Temple. This series of quests leads right into the Black Temple raid, with all the original content like the storyline with Maiev and Akama. We’d also be dealing with the Netherdrakes as they were in the original game.
Much of this zone will focus on the Orcs grappling with their legacy on Draenor, including the defiling of Karabor and the massacre of the Draenei people. The Horde will face shadows of the past as they try to fight towards the Black Temple; it’s revealed that their way is blocked by the souls of the dead who were slain at Karabor.
The Horde will work to summon visions of the past, and have to defeat them in order to release the spirits of the Draenei clerics of Karabor. Through this, they realize that one individual is responsible for this barrier: Teron Gorefiend.
The Horde stages an assault on Teron’s private sanctum, on a chunk of floating rock above the Outlands, and they battle him to near defeat, but he escapes. Despite making it out alive, his spellwork is broken and the Horde can advance past the spirits of the past: the western flank of the Black Temple is open for their armies.
The Alliance, on the other hand, will focus on the legacy of the Alliance Expedition, and reuniting the Sons of Lothar in the hellish wastes of Shadowmoon. Realizing they will need more forces to aid in the assault against the Temple, they stage an assault on a Legion prison world, and liberate many of the survivors of the Alliance Expedition who were captured decades prior. Here, they face an inquisitor who teases the fate of Alleria and Turalyon, but the Alliance has to withdraw before they learn anything concrete.
With additional forces, the Alliance can advance along the eastern flank.
The Sha’tari will push down the center of Shadowmoon Valley, plunging deep into Hand of Gul’dan (the giant volcano) where the Naaru, Scryers, and Aldor will face the echo of Gul’dan himself. Both factions will get to engage in this, and we’ll get to see Maraad and Thrall team up to beat down the echo, clearing the way down the center towards the Black Temple.
The Black Temple:
As we conduct the raid, we see that Illidan is in the middle of weaving a spell that Khadgar (who takes part in the assault) recognizes immediately as the same magic used by Ner’zhul which broke Draenor apart years before during the time of the Alliance Expedition.
The raid is mostly the same as before. The final fight against Illidan, however, is actually a fight against his demon hunter elites as they return from Mardum with the Sargarite Keystone in hand. While we’re busy with his demon hunters, Illidan spends part of the fight trying to dissuade the Sha’tari from continuing their assault, but they refuse to believe Illidan, convinced he’s trying to shatter the world once more.
In truth, they’re not wrong - but it’s not the full story, either. Illidan is trying to open portals to Argus itself, in the hopes of destroying that world, but at the expense of the Outlands. Believing he can sacrifice himself and the Outlands in order to deal a near fatal blow to the Legion, he continues to weave his magic, but the heroes eventually defeat his demon hunters, and challenge him directly; spoilers, he loses. His body, the Sargerite Keystone, and the demon hunters are promptly stolen away by Maiev and imprisoned.
The portals slam shut, and the way to Argus is closed, despite us getting a brief glimpse of it.
Obligatory Troll Raid:
As we’re wrapping up affairs in the Outlands, the Amani make an aggressive push out from Zul’Aman, seeing the Blood Elves occupied with the Legion. With the initial release of Quel’thalas in Vanilla, Zul’Aman would be a full on zone, not just a raid instance. The area itself would be inaccessible however, but looms over the starting quests. This patch would finally open up those gates, and makes the zone accessible.
Zul’jin, ever bitter about the Horde’s inclusion of the Thalassian Elves, seeks to erase Quel’thalas from the map. Calling upon the power of their Loa, the Amani strike out across the Kingdom, bringing flash point invasions where Amani raiders will occupy locations across the Blood Elf territory.
Their assaults draw the attention of both the Horde and the Alliance, who realize that having Quel’thalas under control is essential before they can turn their focus towards Quel’danas, and Kael’thas.
The Quel’dorei of the Alliance, the Sin’dorei of the Horde, the Sentinels of the Kaldorei, and the Banshee Queen’s Forsaken send their ranger forces to Zul’Aman to quel’thethreat (get it? hah.)
Vereesa Windrunner leads the Silver Covenant contingent, Hauldron Brightwing leads the Farstrider contingent, Shandris Feathermoon leads the Kaldorei Sentinels, and Sylvanas Windrunner leads the Dark Rangers who join.
The four leaders have differences of opinions on how to approach the situation, which leads to tension and uncertainty. We learn that Zul’jin has been marching his armies through the gates of Zul’aman, which makes a hard entrance that way near impossible. In order to increase the chances of success, the four groups split up, and tackle things from a few different angles. Each one starts their entrance into the zone with an epic gauntlet run on the backs of Hippogryphs, Dragonhawks, and Bats, the iconic mounts of the various groups.
We have two Horde groups and two Alliance groups, which allows us to have some variety. We’d get a vast forest in Zul’aman as a full zone, in which we have to complete dailies and quest-lines leading up to the raid. Maybe we even get a mini-dungeon as well.
Through the quests, we’d have Sylvanas and Vereesa going toe to toe, while Shandris and Hauldron serve as the other rival pair.
Sylvanas is hunting for links within the Amani culture to how they are able to survive for so long, and how they regenerate. She believes that she can harness this power and gift it to her people. Vereesa, while trying to keep Sylvanas focused on the Troll threat, realizes what she’s up to, and uncovers that Zul’jin made a pact with Death itself, and that’s how he’s managed to survive for so long; he sacrifices to Death, and is granted immortality.
Vereesa knows that it would further damn Sylvanas’ soul if she made the same pact, and she tries to thwart her sister’s plan out of something like compassion. Ultimately, the two end up butting heads as they charge into one of the dungeons, which culminates in a final fight that has Sylvanas and Zul’jin going toe to toe, and Sylvanas nearly has him beat. She calls out to make a pact with Death, claiming she’ll sacrifice Zul’jin’s powerful, immortal soul in exchange for being granted her own immortality, but Vereesa intervenes, and as a result, Zul’jin escapes the temple, and flees deeper into Zul’aman.
Hauldron and Shandris also seem to disagree on how to approach things. We get tons of quips about each others’ culture, but they are mature enough to put aside their major issues and collaborate on fighting the Trolls. We see them using wit and trickery to lure out the defenders of the rear entrance to the raid zone, but Shandris’ forces are overwhelmed once they’re engaged by by the loa empowered elite of Zul’jin.
Hauldron has an opportunity to strike at Zul’jin himself, and probably cut off the Amani invasion for good, but he knows it would mean leaving the Sentinels to be massacred. He throws aside the opportunity in favor of rescuing the Kaldorei, and we see both groups having to fight their way out of a tricky situation, which just so happens to end with a battle against the warlord responsible for defending the rear entrance to Zul’s fortress.
Then we’d get the full raid opening up, in which we kick Zul’s butt. In the aftermath of the raid, Horde players would get a scene with Sylvanas as she laments the wasted opportunity she had; but she does gain something of benefit to her. She recovers a totem of Death from Zul’s body which she claims can open doorways to great power.
Caverns of Time:
As we wrap up Zul’aman and head into the CoT dungeons/raid, it’s important to note that we need to carry through on the Quel’danas content as well: we’d get small quest lines tasking us with scouting out/probing the shield around the Sunwell, and trying to develop a plan to invade.
Outside of that…
We see the return of the Infinite Dragonflight throughout our questing experience, and we’re brought face to face with Nozdormu once more after Zul’aman wraps. He is working to keep the true nature of the situation a secret from the world. Drawing upon our pact with him from the C’thun affair, we work with his agents of the Bronze Dragonflight to help fight back the Infinite Dragonflight.
Cue the classic CoT dungeons.
During our journey we come across a Bronze dragon, Kairoz, who can’t seem to remember anything about where he’s been or what he’s done, but he fears that he may have done something awful in one of the timelines. This prompts us to dive into the raids/dungeons to begin unscrambling things.
This becomes an absolute mess that the Dragonflight begins to lose control of, however, and some of the Bronze drakes are killed as a result of their battle against the Infinite. Some begin to consider the possibility that Nozdormu himself has begun a descent into madness. Kairoz tasks the players with helping him investigate several dungeons/timeline slips in order to uncover the truth of things.
In the CoT dungeons, we see the intervention of the Infinite once more as they mess with the timelines, and and we learn that some of the Bronze dragons are beginning to succumb to madness, and are no longer sure who they can trust.
We manage to put down the Infinites, and rescue some Bronze drakes, and then Kairoz takes us to the raid (Hyjal), at the end of which we find a Bronze dragon that has fallen to madness, and we need to put it down. This dragon has a crystal in hand which reveals information regarding Nozdormu’s descent into madness. We however, being totally meta, know he turns into Murazond, but for the lore perspective this would simply seem like foreshadowing.
Nozdormu then arrives, and he wipes Kairoz’s memory and casts him back into the present. Nozdormu explains to us that the Hour of Twilight threatens to unmake the world, and that everything must happen precisely as it is meant to, otherwise reality could crumble. He takes the crystal, and claims that he won’t wipe the memory of our characters because he trusts us, but warns us all that we must be careful, and help keep his secret, or our timeline could be doomed.
Aside from closing the loop when we leave (where we see Kairoz wandering about, confused as to where he’s been and what he’s been doing), we’re given the first serious indication that Nozdormu has begun to wipe the memory of his own flight just to prevent them from learning the scope of the crisis, and perhaps is even beginning to succumb to true madness.
The armies in the Outlands disperse and return to Azeroth, though the Shattered Sun Offensive is formed thereafter to lay siege to the Sunwell in order to defeat Kael’thas and stop his “madness”. We need to bring down the barrier, however, and that takes a combined assault from both the Shattered Sun, the Horde, and the Alliance. With the Outlands secure, the Naaru bring the Tempest Keep’s ships down upon the Isle of Quel’danas and focus their power into hammering the shield. It provides a small enough opening to get through, and we stage an assault to disable the shield (powered in the Magister’s Terrace).
As we strike at MT, we’ll learn more about Kael’thas’ true plan and realize that he hadn’t lied to us after all, and that he’s not betrayed his people. In truth, he is simply trying to bait and lure Kil’jaeden into the world so that we can kill him.
Circumstances have forced his hand, driving him to attack the Horde and Alliance to keep up appearances, and there is a splintering of unity as a result: the Naaru’s Shattered Sun Offensive wants to take out Kael, while the Blood Elves/High Elves wants to work along with the Prince’s plan.
In order to get ahead of the zealous forces of the Shattered Sun, Rommath leads the strike team (with us) to the Magister’s Terrace to 1) disable the shield, 2) try and reason with Kael’thas - refusing to give up on his long time friend.
In that final confrontation, we see that the eyes of Kil’jaeden are watching Kael through the crystals, even in his private sanctum, and we’re forced to fight against the Dawnblade forces there so as to not blow Kael’s cover.
We eventually get to Kael’s chamber, and instead of killing him, we focus on destroying the eyes that are watching (as ‘collateral damage’) during the fight. Once in private (once we whittle him down to 50% health or something and kill all the eyes), Kael reveals his plan, and Rommath/Auric warn the Prince about the price it will exact. Kael’thas claims that he knows it may require an ultimate sacrifice, but one that he will gladly pay for his people. He says that no songs should be sung if he dies - but that his people should live free of the Legion.
Kael instructs the heroes to gather up several artifacts from around the Isle, which can be used to defeat Kil’jaeden. He’s then allowed to escape, and flees to the Plateau. We bring the shield, down, and the Shattered Sun properly lays siege to the island.
Kael’thas, this way, totally becomes part of the final raid, and isn’t unceremoniously killed off in a 5 man.
We then join the Shattered Sun Offensive in their push on the Sunwell Plateau. We’re able to gather the items, and get to the final showdown.
Mid-way through the raid, Kil’jaeden is partially summoned, and looms over the plateau as we fight our way deeper. He begins to realize that we’re using items of power to counter the wards and protections that are empowering him and enabled his partial emergence into the world. Through this, Kil’jaeden realizes Kael’thas’ betrayal.
We defeat M’ru and arrive at the final chamber of the Sunwell where we see Kael and Kil’jaeden battling one another. We rush to join the fight, but Kael’thas is slain during the battle. We manage to take up the fight against Kil’jaeden, trapping part of his soul in the fel crystals in the chamber that the Blood Elves love to keep around; this further weakens him, and we use the items of power which Kael guided us towards in order to defeat the demon lord. He’s banished, effectively, with part of his soul trapped behind in the fel crystals.
Kael’thas dies a hero, and the champions acknowledge his complicated nature, and his ultimate sacrifice. Despite his claim that no songs would be sung, Kael is hailed as a hero, thus justifying the ridiculous statues of him in Silvermoon that haven’t been updated in 13 years. LOUD COUGHING BLIZZARD.
Key item to note here, the champions of Azeroth now are in possession of part of Kil’jaeden’s soul, which the Blood Elves lock away.
Velen restores the Sunwell; all things are good and dandy. Sort of.
A Brief Aside:
While the Alliance and Horde are busy responding to the threats on Azeroth in the immediate wake of the Legion’s assaults, and recovering from the fighting, Sylvanas (in Lordaeron) sets her sights on a separate, coveted prize; Gilneas. It would provide new harbors and resources for the Forsaken for what Sylvanas calls the Forsaken’s one true purpose, and would also eliminate a potential threat. Monster Hunters frequently come north from the kingdom, and their zealous attitude towards both Scourge and Forsaken alike drives them to hunt the undead.
Unaware of the Worgen curse breaking out across the kingdom, Sylvanas sets her armies south towards the wall. In the same beat, and without any awareness of the Forsaken’s movements, the Alliance sends a detachment of druids, from Kalimdor, to the Plaguelands to begin researching whether or not the lands there can be saved and healed.
With much of the world’s gaze turned towards recovering in the wake of the wars in the Outlands and on Azeroth, Sylvanas assaults the isolated and withdrawn kingdom of Gilneas. She confides in loyal Horde players that the totem she recovered from Zul will absorb the souls of those she slays, and that both she, and the Horde and Forsaken, will benefit greatly from this invasion.
She can’t, however, get past the Greymane Wall, which is heavily defended, due to so much of her forces already being engaged in helping the Horde and the Blood Elves elsewhere. She knows quite well that Thrall would never sanction an invasion of Gilneas.
She recruits the aid of the Goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel, who use their proclivity for explosives to bring down the wall, and open the way into Gilneas.
That zone’s events play out much as they originally did, but without Garrosh present: instead it is simply Sylvanas taking an advantage that was open to her, only to realize the situation is FUBAR. There isn’t any Cataclysm happening currently, but the zone still works well even without it.
The Goblins play a critical role in aiding the Forsaken as they wade deep into an already out of control civil war/humanitarian crisis in Gilneas.
Nearby, however, the Kaldorei druids become aware of the Forsaken army on the move, and divert to observe. They witness the plight of the Gilneans, realize the seriousness of the spreading curse, and intervene.
The rest of the Gilneas zone plays out as it had, with the Night Elves coming to the aid of the kingdom to evacuate the Worgen/Gilneans, though without outright attacking the Forsaken. Sylvanas takes Gilneas with the aid of her untested Blight, which they realize needs to be researched further before it can be effectively deployed (foreshadowing yo). She also manages to harvest many souls from the slain Gilneans for her death totem.
Genn still loses Liam, and accepts the refuge of Teldrassil for his people after the Night Elves arrive to help the Gilneans escape. Genn then travels to Stormwind and meets with Varian, who has choice words for the King who abandoned the Alliance to the Scourge.
They have a tense engagement, but the sight of Anduin, just a young lad, startles Varian into sympathizing with what Genn has gone through. Varian agrees to bring the Worgen into the Alliance, claiming that if Sylvanas is on the war path in Lordaeron, it can only mean the Alliance forces in the north are her next targets.
Despite welcoming Genn in, Bolvar has to reel Varian back, dissuading him from launching any retaliatory strike against the Forsaken. He cites the pressing issue of recovering from the war, and the fact that Gilneas, technically, wasn’t part of the Alliance at the time.
Similarly, Sylvanas brings the Goblins to Thrall, who is none too happy about what Sylvanas has done in the Eastern Kingdoms. Claiming that she’s put the whole Horde at risk, Thrall threatens to eject the Forsaken - believing he needs to uphold the honor of the Horde, but Cairne, once again, intervenes.
Sylvanas argues that the Horde has secured new lands, and that she took it from a Kingdom which posed a direct threat to the well being of her people. Most of all though, she has moved the Horde one step closer to defeating its true, great enemy; the Lich King.
She also invokes the unquenchable thirst for vengeance that humanity harbors towards the races of the Horde for their history of atrocities, which Etrigg and Thrall argue against, in spite of the collaboration of the factions in the Outlands. Sylvanas is quick to point out that it isn’t all good, though, and that the Alliance left the Horde to die many times in battle while fighting the Legion. Garrosh speaks up too, siding with Sylvanas, and that it’s the Horde’s duty to protect its future, and to put the Alliance in check.
Cooler heads are able to prevail, however, and the Goblins are formally recruited into the Horde, and Kezan opens up as a new faction city for the Horde.
Horde: (1 races, 1 city.)
Goblins: Capital is Undermine.
Alliance: (1 races, 0 cities.)
Worgen: Unofficial capital is Teldrassil.
Wrath of the Lich King
Some months will have passed between the end of BC and the start of Wrath; this allows for the new races to settle in, and the factions to begin recovering from the war.
It isn’t long, however, before we begin to see an increase in the Scourge’s presence across Azeroth, but no all out assault happens just yet. Amongst the Horde, Garrosh and Sylvanas both urge Thrall to take a more aggressive stance against the Alliance, referencing the saber rattling going on with the arrival of the Worgen. On the other side of the fence, Genn and Tyrande also press Varian to put more pressure on the Horde. Tensions are rising in Ashenvale as the Horde begin to cut down more and more lumber, agitating the Ancients, and Genn still wants retribution for Gilneas.
Both Varian and Thrall are brought to the table by Jaina Proudmoore, who has been urging for a peace summit following the events of Gilneas. Neither side is keen on talking, but things are held together well enough. The summit is called off, however, when both Genn and Sylvanas attempt to have each other assassinated, and Thrall and Varian almost come to blows over accusations when reacting to the events.
Both sides leave the summit more inclined to fight each other than before. But soon after, just as both factions begin to secretly plan out contingencies for war, the Lich King makes his play.
WoTLK would pick up from its original start point now, and both the Horde and Alliance will strike deep into Northrend. The Ebon Blade story happens just the same as before, as does the Argent Crusade narrative. We see more focused skirmishes break out between the factions in Northrend, but nothing outrageous happens until the Wrath Gate, where things take a dive. But before that happens… Malygos.
The Nexus War: The Blue Aspect, just as he does in retail, would do his insanity thing, and the Wyrmrest Accord would have to gather and lead the assault against him. The Kirin Tor teleport their city, and both groups set their focus on attention on the crazed aspect.
Following Malygos’ defeat, we have Naxx to deal with. We pick up with the story and learn the truth of what happened with the traitor in the Argent Dawn who returned Kel’thuzad’s phylactery to the Scourge. There’s a tense but brutal conflict to take out Kel’thuzad again, and we all know how that goes. Nothing here changes.
The Wrath Gate:
This, however, is where there are some heavier revisions: we come to the Wrath Gate. Since witnessing its shortcomings in Gilneas, Sylvanas has been ordering the Blight to be perfected (Dragonblight and Howling Fjord storylines), but of course, she is ousted in a coup as Varimathras takes over, just as the assault on the Wrath Gate is underway.
Both Bolvar Fordragon and Dranosh Saurfang are then killed when the Forsaken stage their ambush at the Wrath Gate. Sylvanas flees to Orgrimmar and gathers help in assaulting the Undercity to take it back, but Varian is preparing to do the same.
Varian is beyond furious at the death of Bolvar. With Fordragon having been the one person aside from Jaina trying to hold Varian back, the gloves come off real quick.
The King diverts forces from Northrend and sails the Alliance’s best soldiers to the shores of Tirisfal.
Sylvanas and the Horde manage to retake the Undercity through the sewers, dealing the killing blow to Varimathras while the Alliance cut the head off of Putris, who has fled the Undercity and was trying to escape by way of the sea to the north. Varian isn’t content with taking Putris’ head, and wants to bring an end to the Horde’s control over Lordaeron for good.
Taking the scenario almost exactly as it is from BFA’s launch, Varian and Genn (instead of Anduin), would lead the siege of the Undercity. Sylvanas, realizing the Horde can’t hold the Undercity without reinforcements, decides to destroy it rather than let it fall into the hands of the Alliance. She orders the Horde’s soldiers to evacuate as soon as the Alliance breaches the city walls, claiming that any who stay do so welcoming their own deaths.
There is a final showdown in the throne room which is interrupted as the caches of Blight, being produced all throughout the city, are detonated. Sylvanas embraces the power of the totem of Death she has recovered, and banshee modes out, leaving the Alliance to their fate; the Alliance heroes end up being rescued by Jaina. The Undercity is permanently lost to the Horde, and uninhabitable for the Alliance as well.
This loss of a capital city for the Horde balances out with their gain of Kezan/Undermine as a city from the expansion prior.
Tensions in Northrend:
The aftermath of the Undercity/Wrath Gate is that both sides are preparing for all out war against each other now, leaving the fight against the Lich King and the Scourge to the Argent Crusade, the Knights of the Ebon Blade, and Kirin Tor for the time being.
Those factions, in a large summit, join together to form a new ‘unofficial’ third faction, and call themselves the Champions of Azeroth. They resolve to bring an end to the Scourge, and any greater threat that endangers Azeroth.
Side note time: You know those first few quests we spend so long working towards in Icecrown, where we have to clear the valley and then fight our way to the top of a cliff and plant a flag and then build a tower? Yeah that was a let down; it was hinted at a keep or fortress being built there… and we got a tower. I’d have the Champions of Azeroth build a huge fort there and use it as their main base of operations, and have the Tournament overlook Crystalsong, instead of a grim and bleak ocean to the north.
We’re able to punch our way through towards the inner areas of Icecrown, but can’t yet penetrate the Citadel.
We join the Champions of Azeroth for the battle against the Old God - Yogg’saron, in Ulduar (as adventurers, not as Horde/Alliance). Within this scenario that leads up to the raid, we begin to learn of just how deep the old god’s corruption goes, and we have to liberate a few of the Keepers before we can assault the city.
We’re tasked with teaming up with Thorim to break Yogg’saron’s grip on Loken. This involves Nozdormu, who helps us go with Thorim back in time to before Loken was corrupted. We gain several items and learn several things, which we then use in the present to free Loken from Yogg’saron’s grasp.
The two brothers hash out their terribly history with each other, and will then team up to aid us in the raid.
Despite having both of these Keepers now, we’re still unable to breach the defenses of Ulduar. Loken suggests we call upon Odyn for aid, and he explains the history with the Halls of Valor and Ulduar. Technically, Loken is the Prime Designate after Odyn vacated the throne (when he did his “i’m a grumpy man” thing and raised the Halls of Valor from Ulduar).
Loken helps us open a passage into Odyn’s Hall, and we have to battle for Odyn’s favor in order to gain the aid of his Valajar in the effort against Yogg’saron. Odyn also swears us to a pact in which we will serve as his agents on Azeroth in return for his aid. (This will come back later. “Odyn will remember this…”)
We gain the aid of the Valajar, and are also given a key from Odyn which opens the way into Ulduar, enabling the group to take the fight to Yogg’saron. From there, we do the raid in full. We’re able to beat the snot out of Yogg’saron, chain him up once more, and have the Keepers reinforce his bindings so that he won’t be able to escape again of his own will. Like C’thun, it’s mentioned that he’s too powerful to kill.
Note that this is Old God #2 that we’ve defeated, and not killed.
Argent Tourney and Icecrown Citadel:
Tirion’s Argent Tournament then comes around, and works to bring the Horde and Alliance together, though only for the occasion. For a brief time, the war is set aside so that all attention can be focused on Icecrown Citadel.
We kick Arthas off the throne and Bolvar becomes the new LK.
Sylvanas then throws herself from Icecrown, totem of Death in hand, and kills herself, which is even more critically important considering her people have no home right now, and she’s making enemies everywhere. It’s through this death that Sylvanas is brought face to face with Helya (courtesy of the totem), who swears her into the service of Death. She is granted control over the dark Val’kyr, and returned to life.
Back in their capitals, both the Horde and Alliance know damn well that peace isn’t an option now that the Lich King is dead, and both are ramping up the war, even though Jaina and Thrall are still arguing for peace.
We get the Ruby Sanctum raid, foreshadowing Deathwing, but more importantly, a bit of lead up to future events long term. One of Odyn’s Valajar appears, and summons the player to the Halls of Valor. There, he tasks us with striking down one of Helya’s lieutenants, and taking from them a tablet which will help Odyn learn more about what’s keeping him “trapped” within the Halls of Valor (a result of his treatment of Helya).
We go on this quest in which we strike out at the Helarjar lieutenant, who calls out for Helya as he’s near death. An echo/image of Helya appears as the lieutenant is killed, and Helya demands to know why a ‘mortal’ has come seeking to kill her chosen. She demands the mortals (us) forsake Odyn, and serve her, or perish. The player has a choice to make here, they can choose to serve Helya instead of Odyn, or refuse her, and have to fight their way out.
If the player chooses to serve Helya, she’ll claim them as her own champion. She’ll then explain what’s on the tablet, revealing that Odyn was refused by the Vrykul when he asked for volunteers to become Val’kyr, and so he forced Helya to become the first, against her will.
After Helya became powerful enough, she shed her connection to the Light in exchange for a pact with Death itself, which allowed her to curse Odyn, trapping him within the Halls of Valor, which inadvertently trapped her in Helheim as well - but granted her impressive powers. The two are arch rivals now, with almost matching power: Helya is empowered by Death, and Odyn empowered by Life/Creation.
The only way Odyn can escape and return to the land of the Living in his full form is if that curse is broken, or Helya is slain. The pact works both ways, though; Helya is trapped in her own dominion as well.
If the player refuses Helya, and escapes, they have to fight their way out and return to Odyn with the tablet; they then learn the story from him, instead of Helya.
The player’s choice in this matter will tie into future content, especially with Legion and what comes after.
All out war erupts and the world is shattered by Deathwing, but the armies of the Horde and Alliance are out for blood; they clash and vie for territory regardless of the rampart destruction all around them. The Earthen Ring/Cenarion Circle join the Champions of Azeroth and help lead the efforts against Deathwing and the Twilight’s Hammer, while the two main factions clash endlessly like children.
Garrosh feels that Thrall is leaving the Horde open to attacks, as he’s putting “too much effort” into providing relief to the suffering people of Azeroth in the wake of the Cataclysm when they should be fighting to win, first. He challenges/defeats Thrall in Mak’gora.
Driven out, Thrall leaves the Horde, and joins the Earthen Ring formally, dedicating himself wholly to healing Azeroth, and feeling as though he’s failed to help the Horde rise above what many believe to be its destiny (to be monsters).
Important here: Cairne is then killed defending Camp Taurajo from the Alliance, and this only fuels aggressions even further as Cairne was beloved by the Horde, and widely considered to be a champion of peace.
Garrosh escalates the war against the Alliance as a result, in the name of Cairne, but he isn’t yet “unhinged”. Given the history of the conflict in this revision/reboot, the Alliance has been the ones that are heavily on the side of the aggressors, and Garrosh is seen as justified in ramping up the conflict.
Much of the same content as before is provided: lots of conflict across Azeroth between the Horde and Alliance, and also against Deathwing’s forces.
Nefarion and the Black Dragonflight:
The Alliance is facing its own new threat: Twilight Cultists far too close to home, and black dragons. Blackrock Mountain, again.
The Dark Iron dwarves seek out the aid of the Alliance in dealing with the sudden and violent emergence of the Black and Twilight Dragonflights clawing their way into Blackrock Mountain.
In exchange for amnesty, a place amongst the leadership of the Alliance, and also dependent upon the support of the Alliance in dealing with Nefarion who has come back and is lording over Blackrock Mountain in service to Deathwing, the Dark Irons will join the Alliance.
The Alliance helps the Dark Irons fight back Nefarion, we get a mini-version of the Blackwing Descent raid - but as a longer, heroic dungeon. Then, the Dark Irons make good on their deal, Moira ascends as a more prominent leader, and the Alliance gets Shadowforge City as a new capital city.
Obligatory Troll Patch:
The return of the Troll empires introduces complications as both the Horde and Alliance are heavily targeted. The Gurubashi assault the Alliance in the south of the EK, near Stormwind, the Amani lay siege to Quel’thalas in the north, the Frakkari attack the Horde and Alliance in southern Kalimdor, and the Drakkari rise up from Northrend as well.
The Zandalari make their appearance now, and the “Zulites” (those who follow Zul) become the common enemy. Princess Talanji appears, and seeks out the Horde for aid, revealing that Zul is acting without the permission of King Rastakan, but that he’s too powerful for the King to openly oppose. This, obviously, leads to the re-discovery of Zul’dazar.
The Horde learn that Zul has considerable power in Zandalar, and the Horde will need to plead their case to Rastakan in secret in order to secure an alliance. The Horde then gets the full Zandalar/BFA story, but with some new twists.
The Dark Irons will help the Alliance gain a foothold on Zandalar, and both factions must battle against each other, as well as the Zulites.
Both factions will get access to a series of four revamped dungeons: Zul’gurub, Zul’aman, Zul’farak, and Zul’drak. We have to take out the leaders in those zones, and gather items of power in order the get into…
The Uldir raid!!
In it, in addition to fighting a new old god, we also face Zul. In this version, Zul is killed - but his spirit manages to escape. Even still, we’ve taken out the new old god, and Zul, and eliminated the threat posed by the Zulites.
The Horde learn from Talanji that, without Rastakan (who has reigned for ages) the empire is heavily weakened.
The Amani, Gurubashi, Frakkari, Drakkari, and even the Blood Trolls have broken away from the empire, and headed into seclusion following their defeat. The Zandalari, however, under Talanji, choose to stick with the Horde.
Adding a whole new continent mid expansion is a bit wild, considering we also have the new Cata zones, plus a world revamp, but I think it’s a better place to fit the Troll content in the grand scheme of things.
We get our troll patch, our Blackwing raid, and two new races have joined the roster.
There is endless fighting across Azeroth, including on Zandalar, and the war begins to spiral out of control.
That said, destruction isn’t the only thing happening across the world. The hunt for new territory is also underway.
Hearth and Home:
Sylvanas, desperate to get her people a new home so they’re off the streets, draws upon the support of the Blood Elves and retakes Stratholme. They put out the fires, and turn it into their own capital city, complete with Forsaken architecture. This, however, thoroughly agitates the Argent Crusade, and so Sylvanas cuts off Stratholme from Hearthglen (connected in the north), and from the Plaguelands.
The Worgen, meanwhile, are working to reclaim Gilneas and purge away the blight. They manage to retake the city, and begin to settle in once more.
This patch would be ideal for new battlegrounds, one in a blighted Gilneas, and one in the burning city of Stratholme.
We’d also get tons of smaller stories bringing us up to speed with other Alliance and Horde affairs across the world, and also assisting the Champions of Azeroth with defending the world.
Firelands and Hour of Twilight:
The Firelands patch also has its come back, and the Champions of Azeroth wage a fierce battle on the slopes of Mount Hyjal. There wouldn’t be much difference here, narratively speaking.
What is important to dig into is the role of the Infinite Dragonflight, which brings us face to face with our years old pact with Nozdormu to defeat/imprison C’thun, and then Yog’saron.
As agents of the Infinite Dragonflight infiltrate the ranks of the Champions of Azeroth and both factions, we are tasked by Chromie to investigate rumors of a lost Bronze dragon. She has us gather up a few artifacts, which we combine into a time stone, which allows her to “help” this lost dragon. It turns out to be none other than Kairoz, who we learn has been repeating the same time loop since we last saw him during the Hyjal raid; a side effect of this is that he’s begun to crack.
Unwittingly having aided Chromie in setting Kairos free (who we were partially responsible for sticking in that loop in the first place), the two team up, believing themselves to be on the trail of a conspiracy. They begin to investigate the Bronze Dragonflight, and realize that it’s now tied up with the Hour of Twilight, should it come to pass. They uncover the truth about what Nozdormu has been doing to cover it up, as well as the Infinite Dragonflight’s role over the previous years.
Tensions boil over as the truth is revealed, and the Dragonflights confront each other. Using the chaos as an opportunity, an Infinite Dragonflight plot unfolds to unshackle the Old Gods. We learn that the Hour of Twilight is nigh, and that Deathwing and N’zoth are at the center of it all.
Kairoz and Chromie confront Nozdormu about his alleged fate, the one in which he becomes Murozond, leader of the Infinite Dragonflight. We end up managing to bring about a resolution to the tension between the three, and help center their focus on Deathwing. There are loose ends, however.
Nozdormu helped the adventurers defeat C’thun and Yogg’saron, and Murozond threatens to unmake those realities. We have to go back in time in a new CoT dungeon, revisit the battles against Yogg’saron and C’thun, and protect ourselves from the Infinite Dragonflight.
The end fight is where we help Nozdormu overcome Murozond, and defeat him.
Then, we go through the End Time raid and kill Deathwing like normal. Happy trails.
Towards the end, however, I think it’d be a solid move to give the Draenei a formal home on Azeroth. Have them turn the Exodar into a proper capital city, rather than a big waste of space.
Horde: (1 races, 1 city.)
Zandalari: Capital is Dazar’alor.
Forsaken claim Stratholme.
Alliance: (1 races, 1 cities.)
Dark Iron Dwarves: Capital is Shadowforge City.
Worgen reclaim Gilneas.
Mists of Pandaria
This expansion, for the most part, hit all the right notes. I think it’s fair to keep things steady as they were, with the exception of Garrosh. Garrosh should have been kept on the track of the honest and stern, albeit unwavering type of leader. I’d rather him be portrayed, in this revision, as a young leader who is struggling to find his place, and learning how to balance his style of leadership.
I think using the spit between Garrosh and Thrall is a great wedge to use for this. Cairne being killed is also a great and spicy element to revisit; however, as posted earlier, I’d have it happen in a different way (Cairne having died defending Camp Taurajo, instead of being killed by Garrosh).
This time, Garrosh takes the BFA Sylvanas’ approach, and goes overboard in his execution of waging war; that’s referring to Theramore, of course. It would be the first point at which the Horde starts to go… “Maybe we need to rethink this and slow down.”
Garrosh lures the Alliance leadership to Theramore, intending to wipe out the Alliance’s capacity to wage war before the conflict can escalate further. Many of the Alliance’s command staff attend the operations in Theramore, and the entire region becomes a hotbed of conflict. There would be active questing involved this time in which players Alliance side uncover Garrosh’s plot, and then try to evacuate its leadership.
The Horde’s side would be focused on a war council amongst the leadership, which Garrosh has convened to unveil his plan. He brings the Horde’s leadership into the folds on his intention to bomb Theramore, and while there are many cries and protests on the grounds of honor, Garrosh makes the argument of what is more ‘honorable and civil’: to send tens of thousands of soldiers to their deaths, or to end the conflict swiftly and decisively?
Garrosh acknowledges the advice and counsel of the other leaders however, and reverses course, heeding their encouragement to not bomb Theramore, and instead decides to lay siege to it the typical way. Thaelen Songweaver, however, is a Blood Elf who is still bitter about the way the Alliance treated the Blood Elves during the Third War; he steals the Focusing Iris and deploys the mana bomb upon Theramore anyways, against Garrosh’s orders.
There is immediate chaos and turmoil, as the war council points fingers, and the Alliance reels from the devastation. Garrosh insists that he had no part in the ploy, and dispatches scouts and trackers to hunt down Thaelen, but the Horde realizes that there is no back-peddling now, and that the Alliance will come for blood.
Obviously, in response to Theramore, Jaina begins leaning heavily towards the Alliance, but manages to overcome her fury and portrays a sense of balance and neutrality, all the while plotting against the Horde in secret. The Horde’s leaders are shaken, worried about what the next ‘first strike’ would be, and how bad it will make things. Jaina rises to the role of leader of the Kirin Tor, thereafter.
I think an interesting twist bit would be to have the Horde getting a short storyline to hunt down Thaelen, who Garrosh executes for his crimes (violating the orders of the Warchief). Garrosh would then send the player to the Alliance to present the head of Thaelen as an indication that Theramore was not what it seemed. The Horde player would get killed, and then revived, and report the exchange back to Garrosh, which essentially cements his understanding that there is no turning back now.
Important to note now that the High Elves have lost their home, Theramore, and have to use Stormwind as a refuge.
We then get war spilling over onto Pandaria. The Pandaren finally get some content in earnest, and the story progresses normally, but with Garrosh taking more and more extreme methods in response to the Alliance’s unrelenting and savage thirst for vengeance.
Vol’jin begins to oppose Garrosh’s more extreme methods, trying to coach him on the values that Thrall instilled within the ‘new’ Horde. Garrosh makes the argument about survival over honor and morality, and claims that anyone not willing to do their part for the Horde should leave, because the Alliance is beyond reason at this point.
Tensions begin to rise within the Horde as a result of a divided mentality on how to bring a close to the war.
The Divine Bell incident then happens, but Jaina, again, maintains a level head. She demands that the Sunreavers turn over those responsible, or face expulsion from the Kirin Tor. The Sunreavers disavow the attack, but turn over no one, claiming that the orders came from outside the Sunreavers. Rommath manages to help ease things over, but Jaina levies harsh punishments on the Sunreavers. Instead of a “purge”, she uses these punishments as a sign that she’s furious and willing to punish, but still keeping her cool. In truth however, Jaina is really just waiting for the right moment.
Alliance players then help Jaina coerce and secure the loyalty and backing of the Council of Six through secret meetings. This Alliance only storyline lays out that Jaina has grand plans for the Horde.
Lor’themar privately tasks Blood Elf players with a special quest; they can either accept, or reject. The quest is to meet with SI:7 agents and open talks with the Alliance about breaking away from the Horde. Lor’themar claims that after Garrosh used the Sunreavers behind Lor’themar’s back, violating neutrality and risking Elven blood, he believes that the Blood Elves are being pulled further and further down a path they won’t survive. The conflict keeps escalating and there is no end in sight.
On the Alliance side of things, Genn and Tyrande are pushing for more extreme methods to be used against the Horde, but Varian (heeding Anduin’s wisdom) takes a cooler approach and tries to use more logic and wisdom than strength and brutality. He seems to have learned from both Bolvar and Anduin, and strives for an end to the war, rather than absolute destruction of his enemies.
This leads to tensions rising within the Alliance, as well - especially when Genn and Rogers and Tyrande begin leading a ruthless campaign against the Horde that tests the limits of the Alliance’s moral boundaries. Garrosh will also offer quests for Horde players to do the same.
Horde and Alliance players can opt into these storyline, or reject them. The quests would be all out barbarism and savagery, with Genn/Rogers/Tyrande or Garrosh/Warlord Zaela sending players out to wipe out settlements and butcher the enemy.
A Brief Aside:
As we’re pushing through the Pandaria content, Helya and Odyn contact their champions on Azeroth for another task, and we’re summoned to their dominions; both have gained wind of the plans of the other, and want to stay a step ahead.
What we learn is that there is a plane of existence within which two powerful strongholds exist: the Shadowlands. In the middle of this plane is the a region called the Undying Lands; neutral territory where the souls of the dead roam upon passing through the veil.
On one end of this plane is the landscape of Helheim, with Helya’s Abyssal Bastion as the “capital”, and on the other end is the landscape Valhalyn, with Odyn’s Halls of Valor as its “capital”. Both the Halls of Valor and the Abyssal Bastion themselves are permanently bound there because of Helya and Odyn’s ancient feud, and the curse; both are seeking a way to use their capital as a gateway into Azeroth and the world of the Living, however.
The benefit of this is would be the ability to use their Val’kyr to remake the world: Odyn wants to purge the old gods and control the world in the name of the Titans, while Helya wants to purge the living and let Death itself rule over Azeroth.
We learn that the faction conflict is feeding an enormous amount of souls into the Shadowlands, and that both Odyn and Helya are battling for control of those souls.
We’re tasked with seeking out an oracle deep out at sea who has had a vision of the future which is essential for Odyn and Helya. We are actually pitted against players who chose to back the other Titan-forged being, instead of our typical faction enemies. We’d get a new Tol Barad type zone/pvp event in which we fight over control of the Oracle’s temple, while representing our chosen Keeper: Death or Life.
During this pvp-match zone’s event, players of the opposing faction can group together, and win control of the Island. Once they’re in control, it opens up a two boss raid, at the end of which is the Oracle who shares a prophecy of the end of the world: Ragnarok. She grants players access to a stone which allows them to summon either Valajar or Helarjar to aid them in combat on cooldown.
Returning to Odyn or Helya with this news startles them, but sets them in motion to do “things”.
We get the Mantid storyline, and all that jazz. No changes.
Landfall patch; heat things up. Keep it mostly the same. Go go.
In Dalaran, Jaina finally sets her plan in motion. She begins feeding false intelligence to the Sunreavers with the intent of letting the leaks/Horde loyalists send the info onto Garrosh. This lures them and the Horde into pursuing a red herring about a source of great and powerful magic that the Alliance “has been working to secure”, on a remote island out at sea. In truth, she’s been using the intel to A) draw out the Sunreavers in Dalaran who are loyal to Garrosh, and B) draw the Horde’s best commanders and forces into a trap.
Horde players would be on the other side of this storyline, and be ordered by Garrosh to investigate.
When the Horde’s forces arrive at the location, they realize it’s a trap all too late.
During the scenario, Jaina swiftly executes the Purge of Dalaran (and the shattering of potential reconciliation between Quel’thalas and the Alliance), and breaks the Kirin Tor away from the neutrality. Using the support of the Council of Six, she goes off the rails.
Dalaran, appearing above the island on which the Horde has assembled some of its best forces, unleashes devastation; the spells that are unleashed from the floating city essentially vaporize the island entirely, erasing the soldiers from existence in every reality, just like what happened at Theramore. The impact is devastating.
Horde players would get to do the scenario on the island, and just barely survive it, while the Alliance play the other side, in Dalaran city itself.
Both the Horde and Alliance players return to their faction to report the results.
Vol’jin and Lor’themar confront Garrosh about the absolutely devastating trap, and also about his increasingly extreme approach to the war, and his use of the Sunreavers behind Lor’themar’s back, which resulted in their ejection from Dalaran and the purge of the Blood Elves there. They claim that the Kirin Tor picking sides is a clear sign that the turning point has been reached, and that all of Azeroth could be left in ruins if the war keeps escalating.
We then find out that Garrosh also knows that the Blood Elves were talking with the Alliance about switching sides, and the warchief outright threatens to exile both of their people from Orgrimmar for “betraying” the Horde, but he gives them one last chance, claiming that Dalaran should be proof that the Blood Elves have no place anywhere but with the Horde, and that only the Horde has accepted them. He uses the Kirin Tor’s attack as proof that there is no way to reel back the Alliance.
This time, it seems as if Garrosh genuinely has good reasons for starting to go ham on defiant members of the Horde, but it leaves them weak and divided as a result. The Tauren contemplate leaning towards the ‘underdog’ group in the Horde who want to sue for peace, but manage to hang on just a little bit longer; they’re still bitter about Cairne, and it provides a good motivation for Baine to pursue war, but they fear being obliterated by the vengeful Alliance armies.
The Forsaken are also uneasy about which way they’re leaning with regards to the internal strife within the Horde, as they are just as hell bent on the Alliance’s destruction at all costs, but they understand where the cards may fall. For now though, they remain with Garrosh.
We begin to see things crumbling of the Horde, which is compounded by the emergence of a new threat that puts pressure on everyone. In this, the Horde players are tasked by Garrosh or Lor’themar/Vol’jin to remain neutral, to keep a foot in both camps to serve as eyes and ears.
Alliance side, Varian is livid that Jaina destroyed an opportunity to draw in a new ally in the war, and tensions boil up fast as the leadership of the Alliance come to an all out shouting match over the direction to take. Varian outright condemns Jaina’s actions, calling her a monster who is just as bad as Garrosh. The arguments spiral out of control, and the leaders nearly come to blows.
Many want to strike early at Orgrimmar while it is vulnerable, while others want to wait for a potential rebellion to take hold, and instead focus on the new threat that has emerged.
Ultimately, the Alliance realizes it has no choice but to divert from its focus on the Horde as storms gather all across Azeroth, and the thundering serpent riders of the Thunder King assault holdings all across the world.
The Thunder King:
The Thunder King has risen at the hands of Zul’s minions. After his defeat on Zandalar, and being driven out, Zul has rallied the scattered remnants of the Amani, Gurubashi, Frakkari, Drakkari, and the Blood Trolls, and has bound them to his will once more.
Leading a de-facto empire, empowered by the ancient magics, Zul unleashed the Thunder King upon Pandaria, and Lei Shen there after empowered those who would fight beside him with incredible powers. We get a world event for the Isle of Thunder patch, in which the Thunder King’s war parties strike out across Azeroth. Storms would roll in over a zone, and shortly after, thundering serpents, elementals, and war parties of Mogu and Trolls would invade the zone (sort of like Legion Assaults).
While this happens - the Horde get a small side storyline.
HORDE: The arrival of the Zul’ites, and their hunt for magical power and items, raises awareness of the heart of Y’Shaarj for Garrosh, which he sets out to pursue, along with Baine. The two take the player hero with them, but they’re waylaid by Vol’jin, who claims that the Horde needs every soldier to pursue the Thunder King, and that dark magics and cursed parts of an old god will do no one any good. Garrosh commands Vol’jin to leave and go back, that he doesn’t need people who would bow to the Alliance, but Vol’jin refuses, claiming that he won’t let Garrosh go down the same path that his father had.
Vol’jin explains the parts of the story about Grommash that Thrall never told Garrosh, which only drives more instability in the young warchief.
Vol’jin prepares to challenge Garrosh to mok’gora then and there, but Baine intercedes, claiming that the Horde must always stand together, even through its worst days, and that a challenge will only divide them further. He tries to reason with the two, but neither will budge, and Garrosh claims that the Horde is weak without him as its leader; that he alone can provide what will keep it strong: war.
Baine refutes this, surprised to hear it in fact, and claims that unity and trust is what has kept the Horde strong. He claims that all great leaders fail in the end by refusing to trust, and by allowing their lust for power and disregard for their people to blind them to the fracturing within.
Garrosh gives them both a choice; give everything, even their souls, for his Horde, for the Horde, or be banished. Vol’jin claims he’ll never stop fighting for the Horde, just not Garrosh’s. Baine, inspired and also seeing the inevitability of endless war under Garrosh, decides to stand with Vol’jin. Garrosh’s assassins then try to take out both Vol’jin and Baine, and Garrosh goes after the Heart. The player will be able to save Baine and Vol’jin, and it becomes clear that there’s a dire need for action.
The Kirin Tor Offensive and the Sunreaver Onslaught then lead their dual offensive onto the Isle of Thunder. We get Jaina taking power from the Forge for her staff, and Lor’themar securing his own power from Lei Shen’s vault (where his altar is) which he imbues into his bow, and both factions go head to head on the Isle.
We get that showdown we had before, and Jaina/Lor’themar agree to work together to defeat Lei’shen, and then to handle their own conflict after.
We fight the Thunder King, then Zul, and kill off both for good. Jaina and Lor’themar then handle their beef, acknowledging that the war can’t go on forever, and that there needs to be an end; that said, both admit they will never, ever forgive each other for the atrocities committed by either faction. Lor’themar reveals what happened with Vol’jin and Baine, and explains that both are still alive, and seeking out Thrall and the others who will come aid in the revolution.
The focus shifts to breaking away from the war mongering and escalation, and towards saving the heart of both the Alliance, and the Horde.
The Timeless Isle:
We get this lovely patch, tons of new content, and of course the threads of the story leading into WoD. We see Kairoz again, who continues to suffer the crippling side effects of having been trapped in the time loop for so long. He’s convinced that, despite having defeated Murozond, there is a great darkness looming, and only one way to approach it. He begins to task us with gathering up echoes of time from throughout MoP areas, including the upcoming raid.
He explains that he’s trying to build a device that can set right the timeline, but is unwilling to trust Nozdormu with it given their history together. The player will help Kairoz build the device throughout the rest of the expansion.
The Siege of Orgrimmar:
Word spreads about the revolution and coalition, though not all leaders are happy about this ‘tentative alliance’. As Jaina unveils the plan to the Alliance leadership, Genn and Rogers and a few others outright refuse to comply, claiming that siding with the Horde is an utter betrayal of the people the Horde has massacred. Genn and Rogers go off on their own, and Varian dispatches the Alliance player to stop them.
Both factions prepare for the Siege of Orgrimmar.
With both Zul and the Thunder King slain, both factions (as they did originally) set their focus on Garrosh, and bringing a swift end to the war. We see Garrosh go for the Heart of Y’shaarj, destroy the Vale, and then the revolution takes full swing. The Trolls, Tauren, and Elves are ejected from Orgrimmar, and the Battlefield Barrens content rolls out, which is followed by the Siege of Orgrimmar.
During the Battlefield Barrens and lead up to the Siege, the Alliance players track down Rogers and Genn who are preparing an ambush on the revolutionary forces.
Instead of getting the infamous ‘robo spy cat’ quest, the Alliance players would be tasked with halting a potentially crippling blow to the revolution, and have to halt Rogers and Genn from following through with their planned attack. Varian and Jaina arrive for this, as well, and Varian invokes Bolvar (who was like a brother to him) and claims that revenge will never bring back the dead.
Varian unloads about the siege of the Undercity, and the destruction he brought down, and how it’s only made the conflict worse. Genn and Rogers seem to be reeled back for the time being.
We then get the siege, in which we face a similar ending to the faction conflict.
Varian makes his promise that if the Horde violates the truce, or acts without honor, the Alliance will come after them and finish what it started.
Garrosh and Loose Ends:
Garrosh goes on trial, Vol’jin becomes head of a Horde Council, thereby abolishing the role of Warchief, and there is tentative peace on Azeroth for a short time.
We then deal with the trial, in which Kairoz recruits others to help free Garrosh, and enable his escape to another timeline. Apologizing for misleading the players, he proclaims that there is only one way to stop the coming darkness - and that is through making right the past. He then uses the device we helped him build in order to take Garrosh away.
While Garrosh is doing his time jump thing, it’s really important that there be follow up to the faction conflict.
One of the stories I’ve really wanted to see happen on both factions is a recognition of just how much the faction war has cost the Horde and Alliance, and just how extensive the damage has been. In the story, we’ve heard the economy in nearby regions is being sucked dry by Stormwind for war funds and soldiers; we’ve heard the Horde is “on the brink of defeat” and “struggling without supplies” for ages, and yet none of these things are ever manifest in the game.
Kind of like the Genn/Anduin “So this is the last of the soldiers” quote from the cinematic, and then suddenly we have tons of Soldiers for Nazjatar and elsewhere - there’s never a 1:1 parallel with what is said/what is seen.
I’d want stories to roll out dealing with that. Have players of both factions come across homeless war veterans in their capital cities, for example, and need to go to get medicine or food for them. In the time they’re away, the war vet passes away from whatever they were sick with/starvation.
We find Sons of Lothar/Scourge War dog tags or commendations of some sort, and bring them to someone like Danath Trollbane or Saurfang; I think it’d be great to see a more grounded side of these older war veteran characters, and have them confront their faction leaders about not doing enough to end the wars sooner, and to provide for the soldiers who serve, and the people who suffer.
Maybe they have us go and gather up other veterans, or npcs who have been made homeless, and a feast is thrown for them city wide, and then relief programs enacted in those cities.
There’s tons of zones like Redridge and Westfall, Ashenvale, Durotar and Mulgore/the Barrens that have been laid waste to during the war, and returning to see this conclusion is really important.
Having a period of time, or even a whole patch, where we’re tasked with going to older zones/revisiting older characters, and helping them recover from the conflict, would be a fantastic way to see the world as new again, and also to reconnect with characters we’ve helped before, or maybe townships and people we didn’t help enough, and see how they’ve suffered.