Blizzcon is very close and I want to share what my predictions for WOW are and see how close to the mark I am. While I do play Starcraft as well, I’m not as clued into that community as I am with World of Warcraft so any predictions I have there are going to be wild and outlandish. However, I sincerely hope that we see a trailer for Legacy of the Void and some new units.
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New Expansion Theme
The new expansion will be Burning Legion themed. There are a number of reasons for why I think this:
- The devs said one of their goals with Mists of Pandaria was to re-create the sense of wonder and excitement that vanilla WOW had when it first released. I see a pattern forming with MOP being equivalent to vanilla WOW and the next expansion being equivalent to BC. If there is an expansion after this one I think it will deal with Northrend / The Lich King following the pattern.
- For those of you who have been following the legendary quest chain through the expansion, Wrathion has been harping on about a threat larger than the squabbles of the Horde and Alliance and directly mentions the Burning Legion at the end. This Black Dragon seems to know what the future has for us.
- A lore question that is frequently asked is “Where are Alleria and Turalyon?”. Both of these characters went through the Dark Portal to Draenor before it was split apart and became Outland but were no where to be seen during the Burning Crusade. Alleria has a town named after her in Terokkar Forest and both have statues at the entrance to Stormwind yet neither have had a single mention. Given the next point, I think it is highly likely we will finally find out what has happened to these two.
- On the 1st of November, MMO Champion had found that Blizzard has resisted a trademark for “Warlords of Draenor”. This is very solid evidence that we will see the return of the Burning Legion in some capacity.
New Race / Class
The precedent has been for a new class, race or both, to be released with each expansion. However I don’t think we will get something new in this area for two reasons;
- The devs spend a lot of time on class balance. Currently there are 11 classes and I don’t think that they will implement a new one.
- Typically the new race / class is a selling point of the expansions. I think that the selling point of the up coming expansion will be the new race models that have been in the works for some time. These will be the new race / class stand in and selling point.
However if there is a new race it will be available to both factions like the Pandaren, it wont be a tank or healing class either. It will be either a pure dps class like Hunters, Rogues, Warlocks & Mages or a new support class. Ghostcrawler has mentioned that a “buff class” has been discussed. From my limited RPG / DND understanding, it would fill a similar niche to that of a Bard.
If this class is to go ahead, one or more of its specialisations will have to include DPS to some degree in order for it to be able to level through questing and participate in other game activities. I think it would also wear mail armour. Cloth, leather and plate already have 3 users each while mail only has two – Hunter & Shaman. It would also be on the Conqueror tier token as it is the only one with 3 classes on it. The Vanquisher and Protector tokens already have 4 classes each.
I don’t think that any new professions would be added, rather similar to the new character models, the older professions will be overhauled and reworked to be more useful / easier to level / interesting. But I would love to see either something to do with wood-crafting / lumberjack, mainly because of this item, or another profession that uses leather as a resource. Currently mining and herbalism have multiple professions that use their resources while skinning only has leather working. I would love to see this balanced out for all of those skinners out there.
New Expansion Release Date
Release dates are the hardest thing to pick sometimes. The latest raid patch was released in September 2013, about one year since the current expansion came out. We (players and devs) don’t want any repeats of Icecrown Citadel or Dragon Soul. Based on this we would have to see it at the start of the summer in the northern hemisphere, around May 2014. This gives us about 8-9 months in Siege of Orgrimmar. Eight months is still a long time though which brings me to my next point…..
I’m highly confident that we will see a Patch 5.5 before the pre-expansion patch even though the devs have said that there will be no more “content”. Mainly because there is a significant amount of time before the new expansion will be released and there is still some story to tie up in this expansion and currently nothing but the ramblings of a Black Dragon to give any idea of where we are heading. Patch 5.5 would ideally contain some or all the following:
- Closure for the Garrosh trial either through quests, scenarios or some form of story telling. What happens to Garrosh after Taran Zhu drags him away in chains? What are the plans of the Horde and Alliance now? These questions are yet to be answered.
- New Brawlers Guild Bosses – Given the long amount of time until the next expansion, players are going to want something to entertain them. Brawlers Guild was introduced in Patch 5.1 with additional content added in Patch 5.3. If the pattern holds out, hopefully more content will be added in Patch 5.5.
- More pets from BC instances – As with the Brawlers Guild, the Raiding with Leashes achievements and pets were added in Patches 5.1 & 5.3. They only go up to Tempest Keep and Serpent Shrine Cavern (Tier 5). Black Temple, Mt. Hyjal and the Sunwell need some pet love too. I hope the pattern continues.
- While I feel that there is still mountains of content to do, other people are wanting something new. Coupled with Blizz’s new philosophy of more content faster, which they have done for the duration of Mists, I think it’s very likely we will see some kind of content, hopefully a decent world event.
What are you predictions for Blizzcon? Will the next expansion be Burning Legion themed or something completely new like in Mists? Do you think we will get any patches or content before the next expansions? Let me know what you think. You can leave a comment on the post, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on twitter @Elamari_ or like and comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.