Tin Foil Hat: Battle for Azeroth

Battle for Azeroth.

All things considered, it’s a pretty great title for an expansion. It’s snappy, easily acronymed (the internet has determined, BfA it is), and vague. What are we battling for? Well, Azeroth. But does that mean actual land territory? Or maybe the titan soul within the planet itself? And who is doing the battling?

When I first saw the expansion title, fading in all slow motion and awesome-like after the cinematic, the first place my mind went was oh, this is a Horde versus Alliance expansion. And when you think about it, that makes a lot of sense. Both factions are going to be spending much of their time trying to conquer the cities, zones, and continents of Azeroth. It is quite literally, a Battle for Azeroth.

But a question kept coming up.

Why?

Why now, after seeing the value of working together to defeat threats like the Legion? Why now, after learning via Magni of the dire fate that Azeroth is in? Why now, with a King on one side who favors peace and a Warchief on the other who just wants her people to be left alone?

Something doesn’t add up. While we don’t have all the story yet (the expansion is many, many months away, after all), it doesn’t make sense that the Horde would try to burn Teldrassil. It seems downright insane that the Alliance would attack Lordaeron. It seems downright insane….

One of the biggest threads left over from Legion (at this point) is the resurgence of the Old Gods. From the Shadow Priest artifact experience to the Magni questline to the entire zone of Val’sharah, it’s clear that the Deep Ones are beginning to gear up for something big. The world soul within Azeroth is vulnerable, and the Old Gods may be trying to capitalize on that weakness.

Unlike the other foes we face though, the Old Gods are never direct about anything. They don’t open portals and send armies through in endless hordes. They don’t tear free of the ground, burning all in their path. For all intents in purposes, they’re barely seen at all. Instead, Old Gods manipulate. They act behind the scenes, whispering to this person or that one to slowly but surely create chaos in their favor.

What better form of chaos is there than a global war? If all of the defenders of Azeroth, all of the people who could potentially see what the Old Gods were up to and put an end to their actions, are otherwise occupied fighting and killing one another, that gives the forces of madness plenty of breathing room to do whatever they please. No one’s eyes are on the old Titan holding facilities anymore, they’re all trained towards the enemy faction.

So, here’s my tinfoil hat theory: Battle for Azeroth has nothing to do with the conflict between the Horde and Alliance. Instead, it is the struggle between us, the heroes of the world, and the Old Gods who wish to corrupt the world soul. And, at this point, we’re losing. Badly. We don’t even see the threat.

Looking at it through another lens, the only other expansion we’ve had that, from first glance, appeared to focus predominantly on faction warfare was Mists of Pandaria. However, as we went through the campaign, we quickly learned that there was other forces involved. Specifically, the sha, remnants of a long dead Old God who were still inciting negative emotions and stirring up chaos. Mists of Pandaria taught us that using our own deep-seated hatred for one another is a classic Old God tactic. And if they used it once, they’re bound to use it again.

It took an entire expansion to fight off the effects of one dead old god (and his sha-infused orc puppet). What would happen if several, very much alive Old Gods decided to play with some emotions?

World war. We’d fight each other more viciously than we’d ever fought each other before. We’d burn down sacred places despite our own respect for them (the World Tree, while home to the Night Elves, is also revered by many other races). We’d attack the husk of a long dead city out of a vain desire to rout out the woman who runs the place. We savagely go at one another, all because someone or something is quietly dropping hints in the background.

I don’t think it’s any mistake that our “artifact” for this expansion is The Heart of Azeroth. There’s something going on at a much larger, more cosmic level than just an escalation of the faction war. While I do think it is pretty plausible that the Horde and Alliance would, when given the chance, keep fighting, the intensity at which they’ve picked up the fight seems extreme.

Azeroth is in immediate danger. The Azerite leaking out all over the place is the most visble symptom of a world soul under attack. Every moment that the Alliance and Horde spends fighting is another moment that Azeroth battles the Old Gods who would corrupt her. We refuse to listen to Magni’s warnings and our world soul only weakens further and further. It’s a race to see which will run out first: our hatred for the opposite faction or the nascent Titan’s life essence.

My prediction is that the first couple patches are going to be centered solidly around the faction warfare. We’ll fight, and fight, and fight some more. But, similarly to how we went to Argus halfway through Legion, I’m guessing that we will see a shift. Whether it be at the faction level, with both sides ceasing their battle or at the individual player level with us, the heroes of Azeroth, being pulled away from the battlefield for a much more pressing threat, I’m predicting that the focus of the expansion will shift to a more holistic scale. To a more… Old God scale.

War is never well timed. But this global conflict presented in Battle for Azeroth seems suspiciously ill-advised. The Horde and Alliance have a history of pulling together when it counts, so for us to be splintering now is downright worrying. There is something more going on.

Sk’yahf qi’magg luk sshoq anagg’qen, my friends.

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Blizzcon Recap Day 2

(Blizzcon spoilers ahead my friends!)
Well, it turns out, the day I thought would be full of live coverage of Blizzcon ended up being surprisingly devoid of anything WoW. Standardized testing in the morning and then an 8 hour Star Wars marathon with friends meant that I never got a chance to sit down and read about all the Blizzcon news until this morning. Hence, no blog post yesterday (I’ve officially used one of my eight free passes).

However, the news from yesterday absolutely merits a whole bunch of discussion, so I’m going to go ahead and do my Blizzcon Day 2 wrap up now!

Of all the information to come out yesterday, some of the most exciting and most polarizing definitely came from the Warcraft Q & A panel. First off, I think we need to address the elephant in the room.

Anduin is not a paladin??

Whaaaat?? Look, I don’t buy this! He’s running around in plate armor, carrying a sword, and casting spells that look suspiciously like Consecrate, how on Azeroth is this boy not a paladin now?? Per the Blizzardwatch live blog of the event, Afrasiabi seemed to insist that King Anduin was a hero class and could do things that players could not. But, correct me if I’m wrong, the hybrid between priests and warriors are paladins. Swinging swords and the Light is kind of our thing! Also, I was really, really looking forward to Holy Pally Anduin; Blizzard, you’re breaking my heart! I’m hoping that this decision gets overturned before the expac drops, Pants wants more lore paladin buddies!

No, you’re the one exploiting every opportunity to post more screenshots of Anduin

Second most important thing that came out of the Q & A was the hint at more body customization in the WoW character creation screen! The example given was straighter backs for orcs, but personally, I’m really hoping they put in more body types for female characters in particular. Curves can be wonderful, but I’ve always wanted more muscular options for all of my melee characters. It just feels wrong to be prancing around in plate with double Ds. If Blizzard is truly going to give more options on body times, I’m also hoping that they’ll introduce more hairstyles as well. And more variety in skin tone. And face structure. And pretty much everything. More customization, woohoo!

The clarification that Jaina was “complicated” and damaged rather than bad news bears brought me a lot of relief as well. Rather than throw her under the bus as another generic bad guy, it sounds like they’re making a concerted effort to tell a story with her, one that includes shades of grey. While I might main a solidly Lawfully Good paladin, I find that the most interesting stories are those that aren’t clear cut good or bad. With Jaina, Blizzard has the potential to tell a wonderfully nuanced story and I’m really hoping they take that path. Also, mages are my second favorite class, so definitely hit me up with that mage lore!

The announcement of a stat squish in Battle for Azeroth wasn’t unexpected in the slightest, but I won’t lie, I’m a little sad. There’s something so thrilling about doing millions of heals per second. It’s hard to see the squished numbers as nearly as impressive when you were just creating numbers so much higher. This is not to say that Blizzard shouldn’t do the stat squish; for the health of the game, I firmly believe that intermittent stat squishes are important to keep the numbers from becoming insane. But a little part of me will miss critting for three million with one Holy Shock.

Along the same lines, comes the item level squish as well. This one I’m actually a lot less concerned about. I’m curious to see how this will pan out for older expansion gear, but seeing as how we’ll be getting 1000 ilvled pieces of gear in Antorus, smaller numbers there would not be remiss. And if anything, with the smaller amounts of stats on gear (due to the stat squish), reducing the item level as well would make a lot of sense.

Image courtesy of Blizzard Watch

One of the other big features of the upcoming expansion is the Heart of Azeroth. While a lot of the details are a touch fuzzy, it sounds like the Heart will be Battle for Azeroth’s Artifacts. Players will explore the world and defeat bosses to get Artifact Power Azerite in order to power up the Heart and gain access to new traits. Unlike the spec specific approach in Legion thought, the Heart will be a spec and class neutral necklace (I think?) and will impact the helm, shoulders, and chest slot.

I am definitely going to need to give this one a lot of time and a sizable amount of in-game testing before I come to my conclusion. One of my biggest complaints with the early implementation of the Artifact System was the way that it severely penalized players who couldn’t log in every day. With how central artifacts were to your character’s power level, falling behind had a noticeable impact on gameplay. Credit where credit is due though; the developers did a fantastic job improving the system over the course of the expansion. However, this type of power increase system has still left a sour taste in my mouth. I’m all for more customization in terms of traits and talents, but this method has not been my favorite way of doing so. Gearing up becomes so much more complicated. But, like I said earlier, it’s still way too early to pass definitive judgement.

I’m positive I’m forgetting so many tidbits of information but in order to maintain some semblance of pithiness, I’ll go ahead and wrap up here. Blizzcon 2017 was pretty dang awesome! It maybe wasn’t the most hype-filled convention ever, but all of the features that Blizzard brought to the table are the kind of deep dive fixes that desperately needed to happen. While some of the big changes might not look as flashy, I firmly believe that much of what has been announced will improve the quality of the game immensely. I eagerly await where the game goes next!

Blizzcon Recap Day 1

Image from the official World of Warcraft account

(Blizzcon spoilers ahead my friends!)
Day one of Blizzcon is coming to a close and boy, has it been a wild ride of emotions! So many amazing things announced, so many unexpected twists, I wish I could have been at the convention itself! However, I have to give a shout out to BlizzardWatch and the Warcraft Twitter community for reporting so diligently on what goes on in Irvine.

Like I suspected, I wasn’t able to watch the opening ceremony live due to school (no matter how hype I am, I suppose grades are important), but I managed to watch the new Warcraft expansion trailer on the way to an after school activity. And man oh man, did I have so many emotions! It’s a darn shame that none of my IRL friends play the game, I had no one to nerd out with for a few hours, ha ha!

I’ll try to avoid a full blown analysis of the cinematic now (since there’s so much to cover!) but there were a few moments that I just have to touch on. First is something rather small, but it really stuck with me. Right in the beginning of the video, as Sylvannas is ascending the steps to the top of the wall, something hits the stone structure she’s in and all the rubble clatters in such a realistic and urgent way, I was immediately hooked! Like I said, I know that’s a super strange thing to pick up on but I feel like that moment really showcased just how incredible the WoW cinematic team is that, they managed to capture something so seemingly mundane so perfectly.

Secondly, Saurfang!! I’m an Alliance girl through and through, but even I was freaking out when it looked like the venerable orc was about to go down for good. I won’t lie, when he popped up later and was ok, I let out a veritable sigh of relief.

I have a dozen or so screen grabs of this boy, don’t judge

Speaking of being an Alliance girl, can we just take a moment to appreciate Anduin Wrynn? Take a moment and soak that all in. Usually I’m the last person to notice or comment on this sort of thing, but dang, Anduin is looking fine. But, more importantly, it looks like our not-quite-so-little king has graduated from priest school. Anduin Wrynn is a paladin, baby! This one actually got me to cheer out loud when I first saw it.

He is so sweet!

I’m very curious, however, to see what led Anduin down this path. Up until this point, he’s been a large proponent of peace and I wonder what forced him from this. Did warhawk Genn Graymane push the young king into it? Or did Anduin choose this course of action by himself?

Ok, one more before we move on

As soon as I got home, I sat down to watch the full opening ceremony and catch up on all the panels. There’s so much information floating around so I’m sure I’ve probably missed a few things (and I’m positive other things have been garbled in translation) but I won’t deny, my excitement did tone down a bit to more realistic levels. None of the features that were showcased were anything that I absolutely adored, although I thought all of them were excellent quality of life changes. And I’m very curious to see where this whole “Island Invasion” thing will go.

Actually, scratch that earlier statement, there’s definitely one feature that I was totally stoked for – Allied Races! (Side note: my wish from the other day came true!) I’m so down for Lightforged Draenei, I’m seriously considering raceswapping my main, and I’ve never changed her appearance in all my years of playing her. This might also be the thing that finally gets me to play Horde; I’ve wanted to play as a Nightborne ever since Suramar, so I might have to swap sides, at least for a bit, in order to do so.

I spoke too soon again, there’s another feature that I’m really down for (I’m going over a crash course version of what was announced today as I write) and that is level scaling. This is such a huge quality of life change, I cannot stress enough how awesome I find this change. There are entire zones that I have not stepped foot in post Cata because of the way that quest XP used to work (also, I’m a bit lazy and getting Loremaster was way down on my priorities list). But, now, if I can actually level my characters at the same time that I explore the zones I missed, that’s a win-win! I’ll be curious to see if the faction control of continents will apply to all levels or just 120 (my guess right now would be 120 only, as that would otherwise require a good deal of re-jiggering), but on the whole, I’m very excited about this change. No more dungeon leveling if I can avoid it!

It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows however. I made the mistake of reading some of the commentary about all the new content and a rather vocal amount of it was surprisingly… negative. My perception of past expansion announcements might be skewed, but I don’t remember any other announcements being met with as much negativity. Being entirely frank, seeing all of those complaints really put a dent in my enthusiasm.

I want to be clear here, I don’t mean to dictate how people should feel about all this news. I’m definitely not telling people that they can’t have opinions. But on a purely personal level, I was bummed out. Approaching all of this news with excitement and then seeing largely criticism in response, it definitely took the wind out of my sails.

Since I’ve already touched on it, let’s go ahead and tackle the next expansion in general. World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. A return to the theme of faction warfare. With no more (visible) global threats that need to be neutralized by the combined might of the Horde and Alliance, we are left to our own device. Which, in the world of warcraft, definitely involves battles.

Personally, I am cautiously optimistic about the next expansion! It’s no Legion, with it’s features upon features that seemed to be catered specifically towards appeasing the fanbase, but I think there will be a lot of good stuff inside. From a historical standpoint, the only other expansion we’ve had that has put the primary focus on faction conflict thus far has been Mists of Pandaria, which was one of my favorite expansions to date. But, just like Pandaria, I think we’re going to find that there’s more going on than just battle. I’m still holding onto my Old Gods idea, and that partways through the expansion, we’re going to see a shift in focus. Regardless of whether that happens or not, I’m geniunely looking forward to Battle for Azeroth (what will our short acronym be? Battle? BfA? Azeroth??). Am I as hyped as I’ve been for previous expansions? Maybe not. But do I trust that Blizzard can put out a highly enjoyable product? Absolutely!

Overall, I’m thoroughly enjoying all the Blizzcon excitement! I can’t wait for tomorrow, where I can actually hear about a lot of this happening live.

Oh, and let me leave you with this kick-ass image of a Jaina who is not Crazy, just Angry (both predictions came true!)

Under the Wire Expansion Prediction

I very much enjoyed the memes that came out of this “leak” an expansion or two ago

As you probably already know if you follow me on Twitter and as you could likely infer from a lack of posts regarding it, Yotaan and I did not make the trip out to Blizzcon this year. Due to a number of factors, it just wasn’t in the cards. However, I still eagerly await all the news from the convention. I have a network of informants on the ground, instructed to bring me all information as it comes (read: I’m going to be nerding out in Discord with all of my guildies who were able to attend). I also may or may not sneak out of class to watch the opening ceremony. Most likely not. But I’ll definitely be checking my phone often.

The piece of news I’m most looking forward to? New expansion stuff, of course! I’ve heard little bits of rumors and supposed leaks floating about, but I suspect Blizzard has something even more wild than any of us could imagine planned.

That being said, I also know there is no greater honor than guessing new expansion details before they’re released. So, why not throw my hat into the ring in these last few hours before we know for certain?

PANTS EXPANSION PREDICTIONS!

My Best Guess: Old Gods on top of Old Gods with more Old Gods inside
I’m positive I’m not the only one thinking this, given the number of hints within Legion questing, but I’m thinking our next expansion is going to deal with the Old Gods. While I haven’t actually read about Antorus at all yet, it’s feeling a lot like we’ll be either defeating the Legion for good this expansion or severely reducing their ability to be a threat. That leaves the next logical and very large danger to be the Old Gods.

The boss Il’gynoth from the Emerald Nightmare is the biggest tip off. Many of the increasingly cryptic quotes uttered by that mound of flesh haven’t panned out to much yet, which makes me suspect that more is coming. Key on my mind is the quote “Your coming was foretold in the rings. The long circle is nearly complete.” That hints to something a lot bigger than just one raid instance. Tying that in with some of the Magni quests and we start seeing an Azeroth that is about to be overcome by corruption.

If it turns out that we go into Azeroth herself, I would be so down for that! Puns aside! I’ve always found caves to be one of the coolest things ever, and would absolutely love a super atmospheric underground expansion. There’s so much stuff buried underneath Azeroth’s surface that I don’t think Blizzard would have to stretch very far. And with the improvements to multi-floored maps, I think the player base might be more accepting. Who knows, maybe World of Warcraft: The Dark Below could be similar to Legion in that we only spend a portion of the expansion in one area before leaving to explore another.

Stuff I want to see, but I suspect I may not

Race Alternatives
Ever since the Lightforged and the Nightborne were introduced this expansion, I’ve spent all of my time wishing that I could make my characters look as wicked cool as those sub-factions. I know players have been asking for this for a long time, and the developers themselves have been cagey at best in their answers, but I’d absolutely love to have race alternatives. Give me those Wildhammer dwarves and Highmountain tauren!

However, I’m not convinced that this will happen. That’s a lot of model rigging, with comparatively low content pay-off. I’d be much less surprised if we got a new race (although, I have no clue what that could be as of right now). Not to say that I don’t want it, but I definitely wouldn’t be shocked if it didn’t happen.

A Jaina who is Not Crazy, Just Angry
I am legitimately worried about this one. I’ve always loved Jaina Proudmoore’s character for a lot of the same reasons why I like Anduin; she is brave, she is (was) an idealist, and she is underprepared but willing to give it her all. Jaina’s got spunk, and especially now that she’s all riled up, she’s no longer quite so passive. I’d absolutely love to see an active Jaina who decisively changes the course of events because she is just so gosh darn angry at the way the world is going. Not blinded by her rage, but focused.

Unfortunately, I’m not so hopeful on this one. Blizzard isn’t so great at writing nuanced female characters – let’s be fair here, they’re not the best at writing nuanced characters at all in the World of Warcraft. However, the writing has been improving a great deal in this most recent expansion (I think the treatment of Xe’ra can attest to that) so I do have hope that, should Blizzard choose not to go all Evil-Jaina, they could write a really compelling character.

 

I could probably just keep writing and writing about new expansion stuff, but I’ll go ahead and wrap it up here. If it turns out that I’ve called any of this, someone owes me a soda! And internet notoriety!

Tomorrow can’t get here fast enough!

Fussypants’ Guide to Spoilers and Spoiling

spoilers(Note: While this post talks about the act of spoiling and spoilers, there are no actual spoilers for Legion within)

It’s that time again.  Legion alpha has dropped, and with it, the trickle of Legion info has turned into a flood.  Spoilers are rampant and many people are making the decision to either avoid or embrace these tidbits.  The fires of war have been stoked once more, as the denizens of the internet prepare for battle.  Only through brutal and bloodthirsty combat will-

Hold on there, put down your pitchforks and torches.  Wipe off your warpaint, unstrap your armor, and just sit and listen for a second.  We don’t have to war over spoilers and spoiling, we just need a little common sense.

But first… What is a spoiler?

While this might change from person to person, a spoiler is generally any new information about Legion that has been gleaned after Blizzcon.  In other words, the datamining and news from the alpha are spoilers.  Spoilers can be anything from class changes to new model- pretty much anything at all coming in Legion that was not announced at Blizzcon.  Some people might include Blizzcon info in the off topic spoiler territory, but most consider Blizzcon news to be fair game for discussion, even in spoiler free zones.  But like all things, its probably a good idea to ask someone what they consider spoilers before you start discussing new Legion news.

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wow-legionHow to Avoid Spoiling

You’ve just read up on all the Legion changes and you can’t wait to discuss them with all your internet friends.  You’ve just gotta share your opinions with the web.  But before you post in that website comment section, your guild chat, or a group message, ask yourselves these questions:

What is the policy for spoilers?

Often times, chat groups like this will have a laid out spoiler policy, and you should probably follow that before posting.  If the policy isn’t clear or isn’t present, it’s always a good idea to ask before you post anything that could contain spoilers.  Many websites will have an unspoken but agreed upon policy of having a SPOILER WARNING before posting any new Legion info (and I would advise including this warning almost anywhere you post spoilers).  Some guilds will ask that you keep spoilers out of chat while others will be fine with any and all spoilers.  And there are plenty of group messages that create separate rooms just for spoilers. In the excitement of the moment, it can be difficult to remember but for the sake of the place you are posting it’s a valuable rule to follow.

Why should I follow the policy?

First and most obviously, you avoid fights.  Often times, people who have been diligently avoiding spoilers get pretty ticked when you spill the beans on them. But another effect is that is often overlooked is that it can accidentally exclude people.  Especially if you are spoiling in a semi-private channel, those who don’t want to see might start avoiding you or the group in general.  Nothing is worse than being forced out in an attempt to avoid spoilers in a group you thought wasn’t going to post them.  For the good of all, it’s best to have a clear and adhered to policy.

What about social media?

This might change from person to person, but I would generally say that spoilers are ok in a social media.  Post a little warning in advance and then spoil away! I will touch on this again later, but because of the connective quality of social media, it’s almost impossible to avoid spoilers and thus would be silly to try and censor them.

TL:DR

~Ask what is accepted before you post in a public forum
~Include a SPOILER WARNING unless you are in a spoiler specific channel
~People will like you more if you don’t spoil it for them
~Social Media is OK to post spoilers on

.CensoredHow to Avoid Spoilers

You heard that Legion Alpha dropped and you’ve diligently avoided all of that news.  Every time you see that Legion logo, you close out of that window as fast as you can.  You’ve been avoiding all the major news sites and warning all of your friends that you do not want to see a single spoiler.  But you worry that you could be doing more.

What’s the best way to avoid spoilers?

The 100% guaranteed, will never fail you way to never spoiler yourself is to avoid the internet entirely until Legion drops. But really, this isn’t a viable option.  You have to be on the internet to go on the game.  And most people browse the internet for work or in their freetime.  So there’s gotta be a better way right?

In all honesty, the best way to avoid spoilers is to use common sense.  Don’t go to the websites that post spoiler news.  Don’t read the blogs or group messages that contain spoilers.  And don’t surf social media.  Or, if you’d rather not cut these things out of your life, learn to skim and skip quickly.  You can blame no one but yourself if you accidentally read a spoilerific comment on a website devoted to spoilers.  Learn to use restraint and you will probably make it to Legion almost entirely unspoiled.

Why no social media?

As I have said before, it’s almost impossible to avoid spoilers on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Because of the level of connection social media allows, it is so easy to stumble upon spoilers accidentally.  And especially with things like Twitter, a character limit makes it even harder to mask spoilers underneath a warning tag.  People are going to post spoilers and there is nothing that will stop them so you need to be proactive about avoiding it.

How should I react if/when I am spoiled?

I have never been an advocate for anger or foul language and I still maintain that even when you are spoiled new information, don’t lash out in frustration.  However, I do believe there are situations where its ok to be ticked off and express that (just please, stay civil!)

When its ok to be upset

  • You are spoiled in a place you have previously cleared to be spoiler free- such as a group message or guild where the policy was strictly no spoilers
  • Someone goes out of there way to spoil something for you

When its not ok to be upset

  • You read a spoiler on a site where the policy is to post spoilers
  • You go looking for spoilers
  • You join a group with the full knowledge that there might be spoilers

 

I will be the first to admit, I hate being spoiled.  There once was a girl who ruined the end of a book for me and I still haven’t forgiven her.  However there are times when it is entirely your fault that you were spoiled.  Those who decide to avoid spoilers until Legion have made a conscious decision to alter their habits but they cannot and should not force others to change because of their personal decision.  Managing spoilers is an art of give and take, you can absolutely do it, it just takes a bit more effort.

TL:DR

~The best way to avoid spoilers is to avoid the internet entirely
~A good way to avoid spoilers is to avoid the places where spoilers could be
~Stay away from social media if you want to avoid all spoilers
~Its ok to be upset about being spoiled only if you are in a place where spoilers are not allowed
~Avoiding spoilers is a decision that changes your habits and no one elses
~Don’t expect others to change because of your decisions

I have been following these rules since Mists of Pandaria, and I have yet to be majorly spoiled on any of the big expansion news, so I think this is generally a good guideline to follow.  And yes, this blog will be spoiler free until Legion drops because I again will be avoiding them.  All you spoiler free folks can read here safely!

Really the best way to sum this all up is use common sense.  Treat others how you want to be treated but don’t force your decisions onto them. Nothing is worse than spilled beans.

Next Expansion: Make it Brony

Photoshopped by the marvelous Scott Leyes

Photoshopped by the marvelous Scott Leyes

Yotaan brought up the topic of the next WoW expansion the other day.  Unfortunately, he brought it up over the dinner table, so the whole family got involved.  Including the members of the household who had no idea what Warcraft was, let alone what a new expansion would entail.

Yotaan started off by saying that he and I should post our speculation before the info drops on Thursday.  But before we could get anywhere with that speculation, my mom butted in.
“Brony.  It should be brony,” she said in the matter of fact way that only my mother can. “No wait wait wait, it should be that terrible dinosaur sitcom from the 90’s.  You know, the one where the actors dressed up in dinosaur suits and it looked horrendous.”

My father laughed out loud, and piled on that the next expansion should be Jane Austen to get more women in the story as they make their way through Elizabethan age life.  Pride and Paladin, my mother added.

But it got better.  My mom, having another flash of inspiration shouted “No! I know what it should be! Sex in the City! All the women will sit around discussing women things like their periods and men.  And all the guys will be gay but the women won’t be, so it will create weird tensions.” And even I have to admit, it’d be pretty funny to see hulking brawny orcs sitting around discussing their feelings.

Not one to be left out of the fun, my little sister joined in with ‘Unicorns! The next expansion should be unicorns! There will be unicorns running around and you have to do quests to free them and get meat.  And the unicorns only turn purple after they’ve been with humans!”

And we all agreed that she had the most fleshed out expansion idea of them all.

However, Yotaan and I still needed to write out our expansion predictions.  I sat down and did some good hard thinking.  Unlike the rest of my family, I was going to come up with a legitimate and plausible expansion idea.

The way I saw it, there were two options.  The first and more obvious one would be some sort of demon expansion.  With the lead up of Hellfire Citadel, a return of the Burning Legion made the most sense.   I foresaw some sort of invasion, either on our part or on the demon’s parts.  But the second expansion option is what I would prefer to see.

We return to Azeroth after the Draenor campaign to find that the Naga have been acting up again.  Racing to the oceans, we embark on a South Seas Expansion filled with Naga, pirates, forgotten islands, and more.  Eventually we discover that the Naga have been in contact with the Burning Legion (again) and are once more trying to bring them to Azeroth.  Neptulon plays a part so we finally get that thread wrapped up.

This is the expansion that I would really want to see.  I’ve always thought that the Naga make a great and chilling enemy and I really want there to be more pirates in WoW.  Also, the idea of islands instead of a single continent could be an interesting new take (provided there is fast travel between islands).  And we also are wrapping up tons of plot threads as well as smoothly transitioning from WoD.  It could be perfect!

My father (unfortunately) was way less… conscientious… about his expansion idea.

Yotaan: The heroes return to Azeroth after being away in Draenor battling orcs and demons only to find Disaster has struck!

All the major cities and towns are overrun with zombies (queue zombie invasion from Wrath)  How could this be?  We defeated the Lich King! Bolvar still sits on the throne…

But an old nemesis has risen again – Deathwing!  Now he’s a zombie and he is seeking (again) to destroy the world.  This time, he will crush all civilization first with the zombies under his control.

As if this is not horrifying enough, there is more…  Who is behind all of this?  How did Deathwing become a zombie to terrorize us again?

Oh no!

Its Gul’dan!!!!!

He’s at it again!

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We shall see who’s right come tomorrow!