Fun Speculation: Ideas For Future Expansions

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Another fun speculation thread to start the week off about where the future of the world (of Warcraft) will take us. This time, it’s extending the ideas presented in my previous Fun Speculation article and expanding on them slightly. Some people from my old guild may recognise a lot of today’s article, as it is based upon my thoughts from before this summer.

The Burning Legion

The Draenei/Velen needs to do something, they haven’t had action since TBC. The most obvious way to bring them into the game more than just odd characters here and there (I do love Mishka though) would be to have a Burning Legion-focused expansion.

However, what Blizzard’s problem is for me at the moment is that we’re too quick to kill “big bads” – every expansion we’ve been to we’ve killed the big bad, [spoilers]though Mists might be the exception to this rule as Garrosh is currently awaiting trial until 5.5[/spoilers]. There are overarching storylines continuing across multiple expansions involving the Burning Legion and the Old Gods, but that’s mainly because they are hugely powerful enemies that we have to chip away one by one.

Fighting Sargeras this soon would be a bad move by Blizzard. It might bring people back, but it’ll have the Lich King effect where once he’s “dead”, people will believe that the Warcraft storyline will be largely over. And truly, what larger threat is there than the Destroyer of Worlds himself? Multiple Old Gods at once? The rest of the Pantheon that decide that Azeroth needs to be re-originated? We’ll be getting to Super Saiyan levels of power that will just end up being non-realistic.

However, what could happen, considering the epicness that has evolved from Mists of Pandaria, is go to a relatively unknown destination and have an expansion based around that – let’s not forget that Blizz have something big in store for Alleria and Turalyon after they went missing in Outland… Why not activate one of Outland’s dimensional gateways (or, more likely, portals in SW/Org) and explore Xoroth? Like Pandaria, the only things we know of it is the name and one or two native races there, and has massive potential for a great storyline. It’ll be a stepping stone of an “unknown” boss that could be built up with a pre-expansion event, with hopefully plenty of opportunity to build him up over the course of the expansion in patches and whatnot, like Lei Shen was for Pandaria.

Other planets we know of are: Xerrath which is completely destroyed, and apparently not worth going to according to the Warlock quest chain; K’aresh the Ethereal homeworld, maybe destroyed in the same fashion of Outland as Dimensius the All-Devouring opened up many portals were opened like on Outland – it could be a potential patch at least unless we were given more lore and reason to go there; Argus, homeworld of the Eredar and potentially a stronghold of the Burning Legion would be similar to Xoroth, but likely the place to have the showdown against Kil’jaeden.

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South Seas

There’s still opportunities for exploration in Azeroth. Personally, I think we’ve had enough of our own world and need to go travelling in space again, but there’s still the avenue of the South Seas, especially with the Zandalari Trolls on the brink of extinction, we still haven’t seen King Rastakhan and the Prophet Zul. The Human kingdom of Kul Tiras has been missing for years, and many expected it to be in Cataclysm when Tol Barad was announced to be making a comeback.

There’s also Tel Abim, Plunder Isle/Hiji, The Broken Isles with the Tomb of Sargeras (and Gul’dan’s final resting place). It would also be an excellent place to continue the Naga/Old God/Neptulon storyline with the inclusion of Nazjatar and its nearby places of interest. Although with the negative feedback of Vashj’ir we may not see too much of the underwater side of the expansion.

Nevertheless, Queen Azshara needs to be dealt with sooner or later, and she’ll likely be a target before we take the fight to Sargeras.

The Emerald Nightmare

Although the Nightmare is no longer a threat thanks to the Stormrage novel, it’s still a fan favourite to check out the place, especially as parts of it have been created. Plus, if several years had gone by, because the green dragonflight are being bitchy by just saying that the mortal races can take care of things, we’ll likely see some kind of resurgence of N’Zoth and the Nightmare. It could be massive, as the Dream is the blueprint of Azeroth.

Think Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Northrend, Pandaria, and more that was blasted beneath the sea 10,000 years ago. That’s how big the Dream is. The only problem with it is that most of it is going to be boring landscape as mortal hands haven’t touched it, so we’ll likely only focus where the Maelstrom is current day, at the Rift of Aln. The Rift is also speculated to be an entry into the Twisting Nether (demonland) or the Great Dark Beyond (space), so we might see that feed into another Legion expansion.

The Spider Kingdom

I can’t really explain it better than this guy, who’s made it his personal project to make this look as awesome as possible. It involves going back to Northrend, but there really was a missed opportunity when Blizzard decided to pull the zone from the Lich King concept stage. It could also progress the Bolvar storyline and bring him back to the front along with Sylvanas too.

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Caverns of Time

How I would love an expansion where we get to go to Azeroth’s past and help out at different locations and times, for example War of the Ancients (yes it was in Cata, but it really wasn’t justified as Blizzard saying they’d look at it ), the War of the Three Hammers, the War of the Shifting Sands, the Troll Wars, the Pandaren Revolution, etc.

The Bronze Dragonflight are out of action, and it would be a very off-topic expansion, but it’s just a dream of mine. The Infinites may have been stopped when Murozond died, but timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly means that in some strands of time, they may still exist and the Timewalkers have taken over the duty of the Bronze. Plus, with the ongoing questline on the Timless Isle from Kairoz, there certainly seems to be a new storyline creeping onto our doorsteps with regards to the Bronze Dragonflight.

We could then use what we learn from the battles of the past to fight our tough battles of the future (mortals vs Titans).

Old Gods

We know of at least 5 existing according to Warcraft III lore. So far we know of C’Thun, Yogg-Saron, N’Zoth and Y’Shaarj. There’s still one more out there, and we still need to take care of N’Zoth too. We’ll have an expansion based in Azeroth at some point (unless we team with Old God to defeat Sargeras) in order to firstly find out who this is.

Conclusion

Realistically, I’d probably see the expansion cycle go like this, in my opinion (so nothing has been said and I will probably have lots of people tell me I’m wrong):
MoP > Xoroth > South Seas (with a patch of the Emerald Dream, merging the Rift near Nazjatar with the Rift of Aln) > Argus > Battle for Survival Against Sargeras.

If the Spider Kingdom and Caverns of Time were included, they’ll likely be between Xoroth and South Seas and between Argus and Battle for Survival respectively.

 

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What Addon Could You Not Live Without?

WoWScrnShot_072813_001507So, my UI is pretty messy most of the time. I have plenty of areas that could be tidied up and made to look prettier, but it’s a functional mess to say the least. 5.4 dawned on us last week, and as always there will be me grumbling that I’ll never pay for Curse Premium, but only being able to update 2 addons at once when you’re nearing 100 (of which about 30 needs updating on patch day alone) really does begin to suck. And every single time, someone asks why I have so many addons. Do I really need that many? Most likely not, but there are a few key addons that I probably couldn’t live without. Could I nail them down to a single one that I possibly couldn’t live without? Let’s find out.

Addon List

Well, here’s the embarrassing part to begin with. Currently ingame at the moment while standing in front of Ordos I am using 212MB on addons, the largest culprits being Wowhead Looter, ArkInventory and one of my Auctioneer modules. Otherwise, I have:

  • Advanced Trade Skill Window
  • Altoholic
  • AMFG Lazy Symbiosis
  • Archy
  • ArkInventory
  • AskMrRobot
  • Atlasloot
  • Auctioneer
  • BalancePowerTracker
  • Bartender4
  • BattlegroundTargets
  • BattlePetQualityNotifier
  • BGDefender
  • BigBrother
  • BLTRaidCooldowns
  • CollectMe
  • DBM
  • EnsidiaFails
  • EPGP
  • EPGP Lootmaster
  • GladiatorlosSA
  • Gladius
  • GoGoMount
  • GTFO
  • Healers Have To Die
  • LoggerHead
  • LoseControl
  • MikScrollingBattleText
  • MinimapButtonFrame
  • MogIt
  • NPCScan
  • OmniCC
  • Oqueue
  • Outfitter
  • Paste
  • PhoenixStyle
  • Postal
  • Prat
  • Quartz
  • RaidAchievement
  • RaidBuffStatus
  • ReforgeLite
  • SellJunk
  • ShaOfFearAssist
  • Skada
  • Stuf
  • TidyPlates
  • TipTac
  • TomTom
  • TradeForwarder
  • TradeSkillMaster
  • VuhDo
  • WeakAuras
  • WIM
  • Wowhead Looter
  • ZygorGuides

Quite a long list, I’m sure you’ll agree. Some parts of it can easily be pruned down, and some I don’t activate unless I’m partaking in that part of the game (Gladius, HHTD, Auctioneer, etc), but it’s still a massive list. Some just make the screen look more palatable (Stuf, Tidyplates), some are leftovers from raid leading (RaidBuffStatus, BLTRaidCooldowns), some are decent quality of life changes (Postal, ReforgeLite), and some are for achievement purposes (RaidAchievement, CollectMe). Of course there are those for raiding (DBM, Skada) as well as those for PvP (Battleground Targets, GladiatorlosSA) too, which are a godsend. But out of all the addons listed above, I’d probably say the one I’d miss the most if I had to get rid of all of them would be Weak Auras.

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Following on from the might of Power Auras, Blizzard decided to have a go at their own version of the addon, and created visual HUD images and sounds whenever a specific ability procced. This is all very nice and that, and for the casual player these effects are tremendously useful. When you get into raiding, especially heroic raiding, these simple ability Power Auras just don’t hold up too well on their own. Weak Auras is an incredibly powerful addon that will allow you to track pretty much anything. I can’t even wrap my head around all of the features and how to work them just yet, and often ask people or google for their Weak Auras to get a full pack of pop-ups on my screen. Theck over at Sacred Duty has an excellent collection of Weak Auras for many classes, and many raiders also swear by it for different encounters.

For example, on Durumu I had both GTFO as well as a weak aura to tell me if I was standing in purple stuff in the maze during Disintegration Beam phase. On Malkorok there was a Weak Aura I saw that could tell me how much of a shield I had, and if it was low I could call out for heals or yell at someone nearby to take the pool instead of me. There’s plenty of other encounters that has use for Weak Auras, like Amber Shaper’s vehicle HUD, and more. In PvP, I can track enemy buffs and debuffs so I know when they’ve used a specific ability, such as Cloak of Shadows, AMS or even have a Cyclone on them. I can track enrage effects for my Druid, Hunter and Rogue to make sure to dispel them if necessary, and my Priest, Shaman and Mage have access to magical buffs that I can purge or steal.

As a raider, I could live without DBM. Blizzard have massively improved their encounters so that anything special does have something easy to track, for example energy bars on Iron Juggernaut, Malkorok or Tortos. Or there are big warning signs that appear in the middle of your screen to tell you that something is about to happen. Skada is always nice to keep track of how well you’re performing (assuming you use it correctly) and I’ve left Omen in the dust long ago in favour of Blizzard’s threat bars – plus with 500% threat there’s little chance for me to rip aggro after the first 15secs into the fight. For PvP, although I’d be even more terrible without them, I could live without Gladius in arena if I set my current macros aside and created new ones especially for PvP/arenas. I could live without Battleground Targets and just use name plates to find targets to CC or to kill. When I play the AH, I’ve found no better addon than TSM to help me with everything – and although the quality of life coming from that addon would be severely reduced from no longer having it, I think I could live without it.

But I’d have to say that WeakAuras is the one addon I couldn’t live without. How about you guys? Are you particularly keen to stick to something like Battleground Targets, because your scene is more PvE than PvP? Maybe you’re stuck on a dead realm and you can’t live without Oqueue? Have an excellent weekend, and I’ll see you for another article on Monday!

RL PoV: Siege of Orgrimmar

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Siege of Orgrimmar, as if you haven’t seen enough about it yet. At the end of the week after 4 raid nights we’re 12/14 normal.

I have been looking forward to a new ICC-like instance, actually raiding the instance and even though the first couple of bosses seem completely unrelated, actually going into Orgrimmar and raiding the instance in its purest form, going in and killing the Horde in the city, storming up to Garrosh, having some RP in there between the alliance and the horde. It does give me an ICC feeling and I like it a lot.

Now to avoid the one-tanking as we saw happening a lot in ToT most fights seem rather similar for tanks, there is a frontal cone debuff which requires a switch. A bit disappointed with that in all honesty, it’s almost a standard now. But that said the fights are made interesting enough to work with that.

I can’t say anything about the instance other then it is very well tuned. People who have been killing ToT heroic completely and have 550 iLvl find it easy, where people who only did ToT normal have a hard time getting through half the instance atm.

Where the first 4 – 6 bosses are easy to blast trough at our iLvl, from there on it starts to get progressively harder up until the moment where Siegecrafter Blackfuse, the 12th boss, was a very hard challenge due to our tanks just taking almost unhealable damage.

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The fights in SoO vary a lot, you have to heal friendly adds on Immerseus in a massive room where every healer will only ever be in range of 3 or 4 people at once even. Norushen requires your players to go into a different realm and complete trials on their own in order to get the boss down. Galakras is a fight that requires your raid to split in two for half of it and then function as one oiled machine in the second phase, which, I will admit was challenging. Malkorok is a fight on which people can not be healed, instead your healers will have to top off a shield in the same way they had to do on Tortos HC, and they will not be able to be healed up once they lose health. Spoils will actually require your raid to split up in two 5 man parties and act on their own while timing is essential. And Thok being a dragon fight but then with a Raptor. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a proper dragon with a frontal cone, tail lash etc. Which was nice to see again. Fixates on random people requiring the whole raid to have good awareness and move.  And last Blackfuse which allows you inside of his machines, you will have to go onto the Assembly Line to make sure that some devices don’t get crafted.

Altogether even though there are so many bosses in there I don’t feel like they have held back on creativity. This raid requires your group to all be good though, often you will have to split of one or two people to do something on their own, or split your raid in two. There is a lot of pressure on your healers, tanks (on the later fights) though not as much on your dps which, still is, the majority of your raid.

All together I have really enjoyed the instance so far and I am really looking forward to facing the Klaxxi and Garrosh next week. How do you feel?