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WoWAug 2, 2019 6:00 pm CT

What would a Durotar Warfront be like?

As with all things datamined, here come the disclaimers — this is datamined content from the patch 8.2.5 PTR (courtesy of the folks at Wowhead), it may not go live, it may not even be intended to go live, the fact that the map is from Siege of Orgrimmar could in fact be a bit of the developers at Blizzard having some fun with the dataminers and those of us who leap on the latest news and breathily tell you all about it, and so on.

That out of the way, I will now speculate my little brains out about what — if anything — we could expect from a potential Durotar Warfront, and whether or not we’ll get one in patch 8.2.5.

What could a Durotar Warfront be?

The first possibility is of course that it is misdirection. It’s a map from Siege, the climactic raid from Mists of Pandaria, and trust me the people at Blizzard know about the fan opinion that Battle for Azeroth is a retread of Mists of Pandaria, and that Sylvanas is being turned into Garrosh 2.0. If they wanted to keep something hidden, slipping in an SoO map named Durotar Warfront would absolutely be a great way to do it. If they wanted to hide a Barren or even Mulgore Warfront (which would fit with what we saw in the War Campaign) then this could absolutely be a way to do it.

Another possibility that comes to mind is that we might actually see some of the Alliance take action against the Horde directly where it lives. Durotar is the home base of the Horde — it’s where Orgrimmar is — and so if you wanted to show that there are those on the Alliance side who aren’t down with giving up on that cycle of hatred just yet, this could be it. It would help set up that the Alliance isn’t of one mind, picking up on the tensions we saw when Tyrande decided she and her people were going to retake Darkshore with or without the Alliance’s help.

Wars fought on new ground

Durotar has a lot happening in it — Sen’jin Village and the Echo Isles in the south, Razor Hill towards the middle, with the ruins of Tiragarde Keep there to possibly serve as an Alliance staging ground. There absolutely could be a Warfront in the zone. The thing is, it’s hard to imagine the Alliance and Horde trading off ownership of Durotar the way they do with other Warfronts. It would be like if the Alliance lost control of Elwynn Forest on a weekly basis — it would feel extremely odd.

Of course, while thinking about a Durotar Warfront it’s almost impossible to forget the Darkspear Rebellion and that makes me wonder if this could be the first Warfront where both Horde and Alliance essentially play on the same side — either Saurfang/Baine loyalists vs. the Forsaken and/or Alliance vs. Forsaken. I really don’t think patch 8.2.5 would be willing to put both factions on the same side in a Warfront, because Heroic Warfronts allow you to form up a group and Alliance and Horde can’t do that, but I do wonder.

Imagine if you could queue up as Horde for either a Saurfang and friends assault Orgrimmar Warfront or a Sylvanas loyalists drive traitors out of Durotar Warfront.  That would be pretty cool.

Could this be a Timewalking Warfront?

For Alliance I suspect any Warfront in Durotar would be about building up a staging area first. With the south of Durotar in Troll hands and Razor Hill being an infamous hotspot, Tiragarde Keep would likely be very tempting — a harbor for bringing in personnel and supplies, in a defensible location, it could absolutely be both a vital military fortification and also allow the Kul Tirans a bit of pride in reclaiming a keep the former Grand Admiral once used. In fact, I even find myself wondering if we’d end up getting a kind of Timewalking variant on a Warfront — letting players relive the events of the Founding of Durotar missions from Warcraft III. While it’s unlikely, it could be — but either way, I expect Tiragarde Keep would be a good staging ground for an assault on Durotar.

This seems to fit the pattern for most Warfronts, although usually they mirror each other as the faction that currently doesn’t hold the Warfront is the one assaulting the faction that does. So we’d have to assume, if there was a Durotar Warfront and it didn’t end with Orgrimmar in Alliance hands, then likely we’d see the Horde offensive coming from Orgrimmar and trying to push the Alliance out of Tiragarde Keep, which would be astonishingly nostalgic for old school Orc and Troll players. Although that assumes that the Horde isn’t actually playing some kind of role as both sides in the Warfront.

So for now, please keep in mind — this is based on one datamined map that is itself an old Siege of Orgrimmar map that is named Durotar Warfront in the files. It could well be a joke, a placeholder, or simply old ideas that were left in. Until we get more details, don’t get too attached to the idea of a Durotar Warfront.

It would certainly be an interesting twist on the war if a major Horde starting zone got attacked in this way, and for that alone I’m interested in seeing what happens.

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