One thing I’ve noticed is that there a plenty of people who want to put this cosmology adventure on pause after Shadowlands and return to Azeroth. Which makes me wonder should that happen, where exactly on Azeroth should we visit? And what should the story be?
We’ve seen most of the known islands and continents, with the Dragon Isles being the only one I can think of that we haven’t visited. And I can see a return of the dragonflight focus, and in light of the original vanilla plan for the zone to be Old God focused, we can clash with the void.
Or should we end up finding/going to a continent that has been ignored by the Horde and Alliance that resides between Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms? In that instance instance of being hidden by mists like Pandaria, I can easily see that the oceans were just too hazardous for travel and so most travelers decided to just use the known routes that are used today. A titan faculty could be present or something.
In that instance we could even have a mix of old and new threats, since their would be groups that risk a hazardous journey. Like ogres could have gone around Kalimdor instead of to it or decided that Kalimdor wasn’t far enough from their former Horde allies and Alliance enemies.
So should 10.0 bring us back to Azeroth, where should it be, where do you want to be, and what focus do you see it having?
The Ogres built a City at Seething Shore off the Coast of Silithus and on the Isle of Exile’s Reach in the North Sea south of Northrend there is a Highmaul-level City so any Continent beyond Kalimdor(as well as within the North Sea) can have full-blown Ogre Empires!
Speaking of Exile’s Reach: https://wowpedia.fandom.com/wiki/Northern_islands Seems it is the bottom of the Northern Isles.
Considering the Broken Isles was a full-fledged Continent we could easily have the Northern Islands as a Continent ruled by Ogres(the grandest Ogre City ingame at the moment), Northsea Freebooters(icy cold Pirate City), Tuskarr(wonder what a grand city they could make would look like), Vrykul and Frost Trolls(a pristine copy of Zul’Drak)!
So to recap for possible Expansions for WoW involving Azeroth:
Continent West of Kalimdor conquered by Ogres
Northern Isles with it’s grand cities ruled by Ogres, Pirates, Frost Trolls, Tuskarr and Vrykul
Darkspear Isles(last place in the Great Sea to explore)
Dragon Isles(west of Quel’Thalas and north of Lordaeron)
Undiscovered Continent East of the Eastern Kingdoms in the Forbidding Sea(which everyone believes has nothing in the place yet still wonders what is out there)
3 Continents in the South Seas, 2 Continents in the North Sea, 1 Continent in the Great Sea, only the Night Elves and Ogres know how many Continents in the Veiled Sea(which was named due to the mists surrounding Kalimdor due to Night Elves) and who knows how many Continents in the Forbidding Sea.
The Forbidding Sea is the biggest mystery of Azeroth at the moment as it is quite likely that the Night Elves know all about any Continents in the Veiled Sea.
WoW is based a lot on D&D in many ways, but even though we’ve always heard hints we’ve never actually seen Azeroth’s ‘Underdark’. Hell, we haven’t even seen half of the actual territory dwarves hold, because most of their settlements are underground. And underground areas can have a ton of variety to them.
Dragon Isles, as mentioned above (which was what people thought the next expansion was going to be, after BfA). They went to all that trouble to give Wrathion two new models, and now he’s completely absent after one patch. The character we’d been wondering about since the end of MoP and he’s present for a single patch. The Dragon Isles would be perfect to revitalize dragon lore in WoW. Remember when dragons were the most ancient and powerful things we encountered as players? Sure would be nice to get back to that in even a small way.
A real South Seas expansion would also be nice. It’s what BfA should have been, as opposed to what we got.
Honestly a power drain and some more grounded threats to fight would be a breath of fresh air.
The South Seas were merely the southern portion of the Great Sea(which aside from the Darkspear Isles is now almost completely explored outside the South Seas and Coral Sea).
A true South Seas Expansion would include Plunder Isle and Tel’Abim.
A Coral Sea Expansion would basically be the majority of Nazjatar outside the Eternal Palace’s courtyard that served as the Nazjatar Zone!
The Dragon Isles and Northern Isles are both in the North Sea. The Northern Isles judging from Exile’s Reach are capable of housing Ogre Empires(among other things I’m sure) so both could make wonderous Expansions.
Blizz is more creative than we are. They likely have no shortage of ideas to work with even if we can’t really envision very much.
The Dragon Isles obviously very strong possibility. Also there’s nothing but open unused ocean on the other side of Azeroth that no one ever sails to or returns from. It’d be really easy to spawn a landmass there of any kind like they did with Pandaria. Really very few ever sail off in that direction, it’s just uncharted sea we know nothing about. Anything can be made there.
Maybe even go underground, a hidden world of gigantic caverns and zones ruled by crab people. There’s other options outside of Azeroth too, but keeping to the topic here.
But again Blizz is way better at this stuff. WoW has long since moved past the WC days. We’ve been to the traditional and most known areas already. From here on is going to be a lot of just brand new territory that we won’t know exists until they tell us it does. So it makes it difficult to predict anything.
That I disagree. In terms of world design and building Blizz is pretty good.
Every expansion they usually take a vague idea or concept of lore and blow it up into a full scale region with new history, characters and culture of their own.
Shadowlands as the most recent example. Before all this we only knew it as some dreary grey plane where spirits just roam around aimlessly. And from that they spawned everything we have now making a legit realm from the ground up. Kul Tiras and Zandalar also gained serious development.
Whether you like or dislike the lore is only your opinion and irrelevant. Blizz has plenty of ideas making all of this from nothing. By definition that is what creativity and imagination is.
The answer is a decade to two skipped Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor where to do it justice one would be 10.0 and the other 11.0, where the whole continent is part of the story and pieces unlock as the patches go, or part of each depending on story structure.
Mind you I’m talking more than a Cata revamp here I’m talking whole new Azeroth maps, where your not stuck with the Cata/Classic zone definitions.
Roughly the 2 meta threats with these would be interwoven of the Return of Azshara and the Naga and Yrel and the Light Crusade. Roughly 2-5 years before we returned Azshara returned and the Naga started taking over the place, culminating in Azshara literally collapsing the canyon wall of Ogrimmar to allow the naga to mount an aquatic invasion of the city. With the Horde and Alliance armies still not being in great shape Turaylon with the help of Adal ignoring the warnings of the Horde Maghar reestablishes the link with AU Draenor to request the Draeni’s aid to cash in on the IOU. Things however go south when after learning of the Alliance tolerance of void elves Yrel declares Azeroth must be lightbound and Yrel’s crusade seizes control of Stormwind.
Basically we’d arrive shortly after the Fall of Stormwind, where most of the Horde leadership has relocated between Zandalar, Suramar, and Quel’thalas, while the Alliance leadership has relocated out of the Exodar, Kul’tiras, and Gilneas.
The primary hubs for this story would start off with Gilneas and Gnomregon/Ironforge (basically both cities became interconnected highly while we were gone) for Alliance and Quel’thalas and the new Forsaken capital of Stratholme for the Horde. During leveling we would be focusing on dealing with the domestic/local threats in these areas in order to get their ships in order before Yrel turns her sights north. Kalimdor wise things have largely gone dark at this point where after the fall of Ogrimar the Naga turned their sights towards attempting to siege the new Night Elf capital at Teldrassil to get the Well.
I mean it’s not far off. It was very bare bones (intentionally?), and apart from Odyn rooting around looking for info - which was terribly non descript - we have the Ebon Blade just rolling into “The Shadowlands” to pinch some souls. The latter is very likely retconned, and it shows that they had zero idea of the mechanisms of The Shadowlands at that time.
I’ll give a more detailed answer when not using a phone lol but my summary would be I want Cataclysm mini’s, going forward.
I LOVED revisiting the old world in BFA. Revamped Arathi and Darkshore were beautiful, and it was nice to go back to Uldum and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and see what’s going on there.
With that in mind I think we’ve done enough new exploration, and it’s time to actually return intentionally to places we already care about, to see them developed.
Revisit old zones as levelling content and endgame. In geographical regions. For example Northern Eastern kingdoms could be a great flashpoint for conflict between the factions. Alliance in Stratholme, Horde in de-blighted Overcity. Graphically revamp the zones and totally overhaul the story to make it current and relevant. Furthermore, keep the old world visitable thanks to bronze Dragons. Done. You could do this with the whole world and get like 5 or 6 expansions out of it, if not more!
That’s a good point. Speaking of “Underdark”, I think that WoW could make Azjol’nerub its own expansion. Help rebuild the Nerubian Empire, learn more about the history of the world, fight off villains and monsters. It could be like MoP but without the faction conflict.
While you have a point about Kul Tiras, Zandalar was already fleshed out pre-BfA. Also, Shadowlands was poorly received, which is telling.
We come out of the Shadowlands and for us, time was at a stand still, but for the rest of the World (of Warcraft) about 5-10 years have past. We were thought dead, similar to those who stayed behind during the Dark Portal.
Alliance and Horde fell apart without their leaders, resulting in us being in a familiar world, but no real place to call our “home.” We fall back to our Class Halls and try to figure out our place in this “new world.”
Lordaeron has been cleansed, but is taken over by the Scarlet Crusade. Gilneas fights for control.
Dreadlords are trying to open a portal to Nathreza
Silvermoon is in a civil war or conflict of sorts, with debate of rejoining the Humans.
Zul’Aman is revamped into a Void Elf mini raid, trying to create a Voidwell. (Opposite Sunwell)
The dwarfs have retreated back into the Mountains.
Goriona, surviving Dragon Soul, had laid a new brood of Twilight Eggs…
The Hinterlands have divided the Troll races. Which Loa to worship, if Zul’jin is fit to be the Loa of Kings, etc…
Never enough Troll Dungeons
Stormwind is govern with an Iron fist by the Light Zealot Turyalon. Human refugees fled to the South, as a new leader arose through the Defias ranks… VanCleef’s other daughter.
3 Giant Ship Mega Dungeon. swing from ship to ship
Hyjal and most of the surrounding Woods have been claimed by the Night Elves, no longer allied with the Alliance, the Night Elves fend off their lands with great hostility.
While some still follow Tyrande and Malfurion, other Night Elves wonder why Elune abandon them in their time of need and seek a new… Queen… to follow…
Durotan and the Barrens have divided the Orc clans once more. Without a Warchief, the orcs clans began to fight for territories and limited resources.
Gruul style raid
With the Earth Mother gravely wounded during the assault of Sargeras, the Tauren seek a way to heal her and while the Titanic constructs try to find a way to extract Sargeras’ mighty sword.
Ulduar style raid, where the Titans are experimenting on creatures with little to no regard for the inhabitants of the planet.
A new time line fractured within the Caverns of Time, but Murozond was thought to be defeated…
Relive Mythic+ Dungeons from MoP (plus challenge modes)
2. Revamped Northrend, 10.0 Dragon Isles.
“You must not let him reach the… Citadel.”
9.2 sees us return to Azeroth, to a revamped Northrend, with our Class Order Halls reuniting, but in groups.
DK, Priest and Paladins take up camp in ICC.
Druids, Shaman and Hunters in Grizzly Hills
Rogues, Warrior and Monks in Stormpeaks
Warlocks, Demon Hunters, and Mages in Howling Fjord
Ulduar is a “mini raid” where we team up with our Titan friends (and Odyn) to stop Helya once more.
Ice Crown Citdel is over ran with Mawsworn and a new Prince sits atop the Frozen Throne. (Anduin)
10.0 Takes us to the Dragon Isles which we discover were actually “floating” isles, and why we couldn’t find them.
The islands had been floating north of Northrend (as seen in the Azeroth Planet model within Ulduar)
3. Dragon Isle to an "Alternate Universe Azeroth"
Zovaal had been planning this for a long, long time. He got all four sigils, he got the First One’s power, and he is winning.
With no options left, we travel to the Dragon Isles and meet up with Wrathion, he has constructed a new “Dark Portal” that will take us back in time, much to the disapproval of the Nozdormu, but we are left with no option.
We overshoot our mark of traveling back in time, and end up in an Alternate version of Azeroth. Zones are familiar, some faces are familiar, but a lot has changed.
Arthas is the ruler of Lordaeron
Windrunner Sisters rule Silvermoon
Malfurion and Azshara are married
We do the 1-60 leveling experience all over again, a way to introduce WoW 2.0, or at least as close as we can get to it.
Dwarven Kingdoms Expansion with Ironforge Depths, the Dark Iron Kingdom(led by High Justice Grimstone & located beyond the gate of the Dark Iron Highway leading away from Shadowforge City), Uldaman Depths and Grim Batol as Zones.
Azjol Nerub & Uldum Expansion with not only Nerubian Cities in Mushroom & Ice Environments and Underground Uldum Cities but also the innards of the Forge of Wills as Zones.