What Can We Expect In WoW's Future?comments powered by Disqus
Posted on Thursday, December 4 2008 @ 16:13:13 Eastern
Hi guys. Another World of Warcraft post, so be warned. Earlier this week I hit level 74 on my warrior and completed a series of quests which led up to an assault on the Wrath Gate in an attempt to draw the Lich King (the main antagonist of the expansion) out from hiding in his big, icy lair. A lot of stuff happens during this attack, which I'm sure many of you have already witnessed. Anyway, as predicted, things don't go as planned (it would suck if the big, bad guy of the entire game died when the player ain't even level 80 anyway). Following the destruction of the combined forces of both the Alliance and Horde, total war threatens to break out between the two factions.
According to the designers over at Blizzard, this little fiasco signals the end of the first 'Act' of the expansion with two still to follow. What can we expect from these forthcoming patches, then? Well, join me as I make some well-educated guesses:
Malygos, who leads one of the dragonflights in-game, is the first major dragon to be killable since the game's release. Blizzard seriously don't care about character shields, and will probably continue to make such key players in the lore into boss encounters. As such, we can expect at least one other dragonflight leader to die. But who? Even if this is true, how would they work it into the current storyline?
Until Wrath was released, many speculated that Neltharion (also a dragonflight leader; specifically the black one) had been captured by the self-proclaimed 'Queen' of the dragons, Alexstrasza, and was being kept under her close guard. However, opinion has shifted away from this theory after old Alexxy positioned herself in the middle of the Dragonblight to fight against both Malygos and the undead Scourge. Her main encampment is located at Wyrmrest Temple - an ancient Titan city. Underneath this structure lies a small lobby, known as 'Chamber of the Aspects', which includes five doorways, four of which are empty. The last is a portal to the Obsidian Sanctum, a black dragonflight-orientated area. It is obvious that, over time, the developers intend to implement other encounters related to the other aspects.
Or do they?
Think about it. We're already fighting alongside the reds, the greens are busy pratting around in their fantasy world, the bronze lot are dealing with the darker side of their own flight (who are messing around with the past) and the blue dragonflight have been destroyed. If anything, it makes sense to portal the players to other groups of blacks across the world (or even further), slowly eliminating that aspect alone, instead of needlessly fighting against other dragonflights. As long as the fights and locations are kept varied, it could turn into quite a good story arc, especially if it climaxes with Deathwing's defeat.
Extra cool points to Blizzard if he smokes a hookah during the encounter.
It is claimed on WoW Wiki that Deathwing is actually somewhere in Grim Batol, carrying out some evil experiments on his fellow flight members. This does not detract from my 'Chamber Of The Aspects Portal' idea, though: It could simply be a gateway to some inner lair within the old Dwarven city.
Alliance vs. Horde
As anyone who has completed the 'first act' will realise, Varian (who's the Alliance's new poster boy because Fordragon - Stormwind's former guardian - kicks the bucket) is a bit of a nutter. After the betrayal of the equally crazy Forsaken at the Wrath Gate fight, he goes a bit insane and attempts to kill Thrall. Unfortunately, the bint Jania comes along, freezes everyone and teleports the Alliance forces back to Stormwind.
'That's the end of that,' you may think. However, I wouldn't be so sure. Given the focus on PVP that this expansion has brought us, I'd safely bet that we see this possible conflict heat up a little more.
Currently, the main focus of inter-faction warfare is set around two major locations within Northrend: Wintergrasp and Grizzly Hills. The former is an entire area dedicated to siege warfare, whilst the latter features more open-ended gameplay, orientated towards guerrilla strategies. Still, we are yet to see all-out combat between forces, as most of the conflict is kept to isolated areas (battlegrounds being a key example). Now, I'm not going to suggest that Alliance camps will suddenly spring up outside Horde cities. Hell, there's enough moaning about town raids on PVP servers alone! Still, perhaps the inclusion of more 'assassination' quests? After all, Varian is already giving the level 60s quests to kill the Forsaken's Blightcaller out in the Plaguelands, so why can't we have similar escapades for the Horde, too?
These guys are now the main, key enemies of the expansion. With the blueys out of the way, the undead seem to be the more prevalent threat to all life on Azeroth. We've already had the whole 'zombie invasion' thing, so what can the developers possibly do now to improve on the epicness of that event? What possibly could be better than a zombified Melaisis?
Well, to be honest, nothing really spring to mind. This isn't solely a testament to how awesome an undead version of myself is, but rather: How do you 'up' the standards from that? What will the final encounter with Arthas actually be like?
Ideally, I'd hope for the real battle with the Lich King to be worth talking about. I picture the siege upon Icecrown to be a mixture of the 'Gate' events of Quel'Danas combined with Ahn'Qiraj's opening. An epic questline would have to be completed, requiring the greatest players on the server, in order to get even close to Arthas. In the meantime, the rest of the populace should be donating to the war effort. Turn-in NPCs could make a come-back, or other means.
You have to remember that Arthas is supposedly one of the most powerful beings around at the moment (despite him being barely taller than my Night Elf). When his personal lair is invaded, it should be felt by all of Azeroth; not simply a tiny minority of the server population.
Old God Rumble
Now for the fun options!
Its implied at various points throughout Wrath that there may be many Old Gods loitering about. Despite being defeated thousands of years ago, the remains of these ancient beings still appear to be causing chaos across the land. Aside from C'Thun in an old-world instance, there's a beast known as 'Yogg-Saron' dwelling beneath Grizzly Hills. Yoggy is currently throwing a hissy fit because the old, ruined World Tree penetrated its lair. There is great potential here to slip in an encounter, especially if reason is given for the Old God to be even more pissed off (Arthas attempts to tame it, maybe?).
Furthermore, there's still a possibility that the Nerubians (semi-arachnids) may worship a god different to Yogg-Saron, but it makes little sense for two different ones to be so close together.
An opinion that no one seems to have considered, is the big blighter above. She is a giant sea goddess, worshipped by a bunch of walrus-men on the shores of the continent. Oacha'noa (that's her name) is absolutely bloody huge, and gave me the creeps when I first called her up. Honestly, there's a tall pinnacle off the coast of Dragonblight, and this bint dwarfs it easily. She is involved in this one quest only, and gives advice to the player about what the aforementioned talking walruses should do regarding the war with the Scourge and blue dragonflight. I didn't pay attention to her, though: I was ******** myself.
However, she definitely has potential to become a raid boss (despite her being a re-skin of the Lurker Below in Serpentshrine), especially if - oh, I don't know - she becomes somehow corrupted.
The Ressing Of Galakrond
Galakrond - the father of all the dragonflights - was laid to rest in the middle of the Dragonblight in Northrend. Unfortunately, his remains are being dug up by the Scourge and Arthas wants to resurrect him as the ultimate frost wyrm. Sly, Lichy!
The Scourge's evil plans are foiled by the player leading up to the Wrath Gate event, but surely their efforts could be restarted, given the reward? However, having a raid boss who is supposedly as strong as a Titan flying around may be a little too far for WoW's developers.
Huge thank you to WoW Wiki for the inspiration and images. Kudos, gang.