Cataclysm: Maelstrom, Next Expansion?

maelstromSo just a few hours after I made my post about the test server leak, it was announced that Blizzard had acquired the trademark for “Cataclysm”.  You can check out more of the details here.

At first there was a bit of back and forth as to whether this news actually pertained to WoW’s next expansion, or if it could be one of our first solid bits of information regarding Blizzard’s next MMO.  This all ended when it was further revealed (speculated?) that Blizzard had snagged the URL from someone in Australia.

The opinion here at Loregy?  It’s simple.

The term “Cataclysm” already has a strong foothold in WoW lore.  The explosion that created the Maelstrom is known most of the time as the “Sundering”, but also sometimes as the great “Cataclysm”.

So guys, gals… the money is leaning strongly now towards Maelstrom.  Yes, I personally find it strange, since the rest of the franchise will now have to take place “outside” of Azeroth.  But note that I say “outside” in quotes, since with Blizzard’s new phasing technology, the “Emerald Dream” could mostly take place on a phased version of Azeroth.

In fact, here’s something to consider.  The Emerald Dream is a version of Azeroth that never went through the Cataclysm.  In other words, it’s Azeroth… and then some.  With that in mind, it makes sense that Blizzard would have to complete the Azeroth we know before they could create an Emerald Dream version of it.

Speaking of Emerald Dream, with all of our eyes focused on this “Cataclysm” trademark news, we need to not forget about the “Malfurion” book.  Yes I keep harping on it, but look, Blizzard would not be coming out with a book about Malfurion Stormrage unless they were finally doing something with his character.

So what does this mean?

It means that Maelstrom is most likely the next expansion, and Malfurion Stormrage will somehow be involved.  How?  Who knows.  Could Malfurion be standing there the first time we log on?  Sure.  Could he not be involved until the Maelstrom Expansion’s “Sunwell Plateau” type patch is released to finish things up?  That’s possible too.  It’s also possible that after all this time the “Emerald Dream”, as we know it, ends up being “just an instance”.  I hope not.  But it’s possible.

If we are indeed deciding that Maelstrom is now the most likely next expansion, then the current question has become, “Why are they releasing a Malfurion book to coincide with Maelstrom?”

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Himeros July - 2009 at 11:54 am

God, I hope they don’t destroy the Emerald dream by throwing it in with the Maelstrom. They’ve been working on the dream since original WoW, and I hope they don’t gut it like they did with Azol’Nerub.

2 El Greco July - 2009 at 8:12 am

Whatever their next expansion may be, I just hope they will have a bit more respect for the lore. I am certain that Blizzard now regrets the way they handled Illidan in the Burning Crusade. I’m still hoping that he will come back somehow and meet his end, and thus be redeemed, in a colossal battle with Kiljaedan and the Burning Legion (perhaps fighting alongside his brother, Malfurion)…

(Malfurion’s just lame by the way. Virtually no one really finds him cool or interesting. Blizzard NEEDS to bring Illidan back).

3 Kubica online July - 2009 at 10:40 pm

Emerald Dream could be an and patch similar to Isle of Quel’Thalas. It feets well into such scenario from some reasons.

Secondly I started to think about future races/classes and it’s more confusing and harder to prejudge. I’m leaning towards Pandarian for the Alliance, but I’ve got few posibilities for Horde. It might be Goblins or High Elves (which is less possible). The are needs for Worgen but they don’t feets into lore well… They even doesn’t have it’s own capital. Maybe Gilneas it’s good place for a new capital/starting area. But on the other hand Blizzard when was showing new races he made them totally new. Worgens are already in Silverpine Forest and Greyman is long enemy for the Horde. They may be now all lean towards Horde, but it’s not very good explanation…

It’s little less confusing when I think about possible classes. Current in the WoW there is one class type, wide spreades through other RPG and not represented in WoW. I’m talking about Monk, light armored ,melee fighting and throwing something occasionally and finally with healing abilities (We have only one true healer in WoW and sometimes it’s hard to find healer into party). So, the Brewmaster class has everything mentioned. Finally


So, Pandaraen or Worgen Brewmaster anyone?

4 Kubica online July - 2009 at 10:43 pm

Ooops. It should be:

Any race can become a brewmaster though most known brewmasters are pandaren

LF Pandaraen or Worgen Brewmaster, anyone?

5 Himeros July - 2009 at 8:14 am

I doubt there is gonna be any new hero class with this next expansion coming out unfortunately. But I do think they will add new races, such as the Taunka for the Horde, and the High Elves for the Alliance.

There’s supposedly some list of races in the game which list em in a book or something, and has the Taunka and High Elves added to the sides already. Though I see no difference between Blood Elves and High Elves so I hope they don’t do this.

6 Hatch July - 2009 at 9:21 am

I’m guessing Malfurion is important to the Maelstrom story because he was the opposite of Azshara. He led the force that defeated her, and he led the cultural opposition to her within the elven culture as an outspoken Druid who eschewed arcane magic. I’d bet that the upcoming book will be more about his upbringing and life before and during the great war (much like Arthas’ book was a biography of sorts). The only question, then is how he can be extricated from the nightmare, story-wise. I’m sure they can come up with some lorelol contrivance that frees him from the nightmare without ending the nightmare, opening the door to go back there in the next expansion, after Azshara is taken care of.

7 Hatch July - 2009 at 9:27 am

Also, I’d like to add my vote for a Brewmaster class. Make it available to Pandaren, Dwarves, and Gnomes Alliance-side, and Goblins, Trolls, and Undead Horde-side. Use the philosophy of DK talents, where all 3 trees can be specced for either healing or dps. It’s a toss up whether they’d wear leather or mail. There fighting would be monk-style using fists/daggers/staves/maces, and their healing would be based on the various brews. They could even create kegs that give out items the same way healthstone wells work.

8 Kubica online July - 2009 at 3:54 pm

I think goblins are real possibility.

Why? Because they are very deep connected with Horde South Seas lore. They homeworld is at Undermine (just like Dranei was at Outland). Similar. Pandaraens like Blood Elves are from “outland”. They are also gap, because of engineering. Alliance has gnomish engineering and gnome race, and Horde only has goblin engineering.

Now the last I want to guess. What will be new proffesion?

9 Orthien July - 2009 at 8:02 pm

The way I see it progressing is Blizz releasing the Emerald Dream as a Sunwell patch after Ice Crown, in which we have the chance to explore a part of the dream and ether defeat or at least uncover and weaken the nightmare so that the druids Malfurion included can return to our world at their will. Some of cause will stay to sort the place out but no doubt Malfurion will return with us to aid in the battle in the next expansion the Maelstrom.
Im also hoping for a Tomb of Sargeras raid in the CoT to go with the Mealstrom, possibly with Illidan or maybe set earlier with Guldan.

10 ananab July - 2009 at 4:42 am

high elves are blood elves.
brewing could be a profession and monk a new class.
panderan have been under my suspicions for a while.
i think horde should have moknathal that look like rexar in wc3
i think maelstrom will be before emerald dream personaly it just fits better with the warped azeroth fluff

11 Mordorlay July - 2009 at 8:42 am

I’m curious…

What are the possibilities of the Nightmare finally consuming Malfurion and freeing him could be the final battle within the Dream/Nightmare? After all, aside from the dragon aspects, he’s spent the longest time inside, and aside from seeing him Post-AQ Sceptre quest, his showing has yet to be known for the majority of four years. Everyone assumes he’s in the Dream, leading the charge, but what if the Nightmare took control?
Sadly, if that’s the case, then Blizzard hasn’t dropped the whole ‘good that went evil to return to good’ theme. I’m getting slightly tired of trying to save people who are trying to kill me because someone jumped into their heads.

Given that Illidan’s still kicking to some degree (his story was cut too short to be finished), I could see him use what remaining power he has to enter the dream and help rid his brother of the evil that is corrupting him (thus giving him his redemtion death, despite his lack of love for his brother).

Thinking about it, despite my thinking there won’t be new races, what about adding two separate hero classes to the mix? Furbolg Druids, so to speak. Toss in a more healling-centric system to them, remove the tanking capabilities druids normally have, and we have ourself a fresh hero. Toss Taunka to the Horde, given them the same idea.

12 Thurokiir July - 2009 at 11:47 am

Cocles, Remember when *I think* Kaplan said at that conference that “we need to stop putting a GD book into our games? No body wants to read them?”

Well, I think that might be why they are releasing that Malfurion book, to give a level of *here and now* gravitas to the expansion to the people that WILL read the proverbial book in the game.

Those that haven’t read war of the ancients that is.

As for races, think jungly or watery blizzard releases classes and races based on the mood not the “balance in need or class gaps” Then they make the mood of the expansion based character fill those needs that the game needs.

Probs something like defecting naga from azsharas cause on horde? and ??? for alliance

13 dysleksja July - 2009 at 4:12 am

wow, WoW aquatic mount. Another leak 😀 Check this:

Hahaha! They’ve removed this. No screen, but it was time this was even at Thotbott.

South Sea anyone?

14 Dubb July - 2009 at 9:15 pm

Malfurion is to Azshara what Tirion is to the Lich King. I think it would make perfect sense for him to lead the charge in the next expansion.

15 Frostwolf July - 2009 at 1:34 pm

There is a leak now that is possibly bigger if the datamine is correct and not a red herring. See

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