So if you have been paying attention to the gaming news lately, or you have read my recent MMO Times post, you know that Blizzard has confirmed that they will be announcing the sixth expansion for World of Warcraft at Gamescom next week. I was really surprised that they decided to announce it at Gamescom, usually they save that kind of thing for Blizzcon, but maybe they have other plans for Blizzcon (perhaps the release date of said expansion) or perhaps Gamescom paid them an obscene amount of money to do it.
Whatever the case may be, the rumor mills will start churning and all of us will have to stew in anticipation for a whole week. So I want to take this opportunity to contribute to said rumors and discussions. I want to share my thoughts on what might be coming in the next expansion and I would really like folks to share their thoughts and theories in the comments. A couple days ago someone from the MMO Champion forums discovered a PDF that claimed Blizzard registered the trademark “Council of Glades”, although there have been several follow up posts since then suggesting that it’s a fake or some kind of obfuscation.
I wanted to say that we will finally see an expansion centered around the Emerald Dream, but I think that ship has sailed, sunk and has been swallowed whole by Moby Dick. Perhaps it might be centered around a person (Azshara, perhaps), like Arthas for Wrath of the Lich King? I do hope they pick a good story line that makes sense because I haven’t enjoyed the story since Wrath of the Lich King. I don’t know where else they could take players. We have traveled to Northrend, destroyed “the Destroyer”, fought for Pandaria and traveled back in time. What new continent or zone haven’t we been to (although Pandaria hadn’t existed in lore prior to that expansion, so maybe they will invent a new zone)? This goes back to my whole “Emerald Dream” theory as that would essentially be a different plane; or perhaps an alternate reality??
What about other forms of new content (beyond new zones)? I don’t expect a new basic class since we just had Monks added to the game in the last expansion, or a new race for the same reason.
- We haven’t had another hero class since Wrath of the Lich King. Will we see demon hunters or high elves?
- Will there be another profession (Inscription was the last time we had one of those)?
- I almost want to say that player housing is a must (and the obvious progression from garrisons).
I want to go back and explore this “alternate reality” concept I mentioned. Honestly, that seems like the most natural progression from the current expansion. We have all earned followers whose future, as it was prior to Warlords of Draenor, looked quite grim (ex: Millhouse Manastorm). Plus there is the whole “time travel ripple effect” where even stepping on a cockroach would have rippling effects through the space-time-continuum (hah! I’ve always wanted to use that phrase!!)
The problem with this “alternate reality” concept is how would you render that in a game?
What kind of coding effort must that require?
It would almost be like World of Warcraft II!