What would a different World of Warcraft progression look like?
One of the speculative posts I saw online in the wake of last week’s tease by J. Allen Brack about potential The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King takes on Classic servers interested me. I got to thinking — what if, instead of doing any of those, they did a completely alternate expansion to World of Warcraft? One that looked back on what they wish they’d done differently… and then did do it differently?
What if, instead of going to either Outland or Northrend, the next WoW expansion had been set in Azeroth, exploring places that we got in much later expansions? Imagine a version of World of Warcraft that went from Classic to the Broken Shore, without all the Legion infesting everything, and just explored those islands. We could meet the Highmountain Tauren and Nightborne without the imminent threat and perhaps, instead of Blood Elves and Draenei, the Alliance could recruit the Highmountain and the Horde the Nightborne. From there, Deathwing returns, but this time more as a Machiavellian schemer than a brute force figure who toys with the mortal races and tries to exact revenge for the deaths of Nefarian and Onyxia.
You could even have Deathwing himself be responsible for the opening of the Dark Portal — he left his eggs back on Draenor, after all, and perhaps he sends his flight there to secure them. This leads us to Outland, where we meet the Draenei for the first time. The Nightborne recruit Kael’Thas and the Blood Elves to the Horde, while the Draenei join the Alliance and we deal with the Black Dragonflight’s efforts to enslave the Nether Dragons as well as Illidan’s plans for the Legion. In the end, both sides work together with Illidan to strike at the Legion’s portal network, only to end up with the Legion returning to Azeroth via traitors in the Horde and Alliance who’ve gained access to the Nightborne’s wards on the old Temple of Elune and thrown the place open to the demons.
The Legion invasion of course doesn’t go unnoticed, and the living denizens of Azeroth are soon forced to come to an uneasy peace with the Lich King, formerly Arthas Menethil, and his Death Knights.
Please understand, I know this isn’t going to happen. But it’s fun to think about. If you could, how would you change the way World of Warcraft progressed from the original game to the modern day?
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