Warlords of Draenor – The Next World of Warcraft Expansion?

With Blizzcon just around the corner, people are waiting with bated breath for news about two things. The first thing on everybody’s lips is “Can I have a beta key please?”, and the answer is maybe. More importantly however, is the second question:

What is Warlords of Draenor?

The trademark was first spotted by MMO-Champion, who promptly posted it on their front page. Blizzard trademark a lot of things, not all to do with World of Warcraft, but this one is all about timing. The community has been left to it’s own devices, driving itself insane with what the next expansion will entail. What will the next playable races? Are Demon Hunters going to be a thing now? Will unheeded warnings about our lack of subsequent preparation be the death of us?

Not even his dinner can escape Illidan's mad obsession with appropriate preparation.

Not even his dinner can escape Illidan’s mad obsession with appropriate preparation.

So starved of solid information are we, so desperate for confirmation of concrete information, that Blizzard are throwing us the proverbial bone – just before Blizzcon. A lot of speculation revolved around Warlords of Draenor being an extension of Hearthstone, Blizzard’s new turn-based strategy game, but I’m not so sure. Not only is the administrator of MMO-Champion, Boubouille, rather confident that this is WoW related after expressing his personal belief that we’re onto a winner here, but the warlordsofdraenor.com domain was registered months ago.

I was always expecting an Emerald Dream expansion, especially after Chris Metzen’s impromptu reveal of N’Zoth at Blizzcon during the Catalysm expansion. The Emerald Dream, where Azeroth exists untainted by mortal actions, is a vital part of the lore which has only been touched on only in parts in the physical game. Malfurion Stormrage sensed a horror that even deterred him from investigating it in the books, in a place known as the Rift of Aln. Speculation heavily suggests that this is the location of the Old God N’zoth, an entity associated with the formation of the Naga, and therefore the entire storyline relating to Azshara and her disappearance.

Phewph.

Is my neckbeard showing yet?

Is my neckbeard showing yet?

Warlords of Draenor would, however, take us down a different yet equally lore-tastic route. Turalyon and Alleria have been absent since the Second War and the subsequent sundering of Draenor, and many fans want to see their valiant Alliance commander make a return. Grom (not Garrosh) Hellscream is thought to be the main antagonist too, something you might find hard to believe judging he’s been dead for years. No obstacle, say many, after the time-travelling escapades players have been experiencing since WoW’s second expansion, The Burning Crusade, and the emergence of the Caverns of Time. Nozdormu, the Guardian of Time, and his bronze dragonflight run the show here, so we may well be seeking their assistance once again.

Either way, I can’t wait to see what Blizzard come out with. The combination of university and the sorry excuse for internet that runs in my flat means that streaming Blizzcon is only a dream, but I’ll be keeping as up-to-date as possible. Fingers crossed we see a big reveal!

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