[Update: For an updated version of this post, please check out the new speculation here at Future Expansions for WoW - Redux. As for those of you curious about our past speculating, read on!]
Alright, lets lay some cards on the table. What’s going to happen with WoW? Not WoW2 as we tend to discuss, but WoW. Will we run out of characters? How many expansions will there be? How long will it go for? The answers are, No, Five, and 2013.
Here’s the time-line with a history thrown in as well.
11/2004 – World of Warcraft released. End boss, Kel’Thuzad.
01/2007 – Burning Crusade Released. End boss, Illidan/Shade of Kil’Jaeden.
Okay, here’s where we start to speculate…
11/2008 – Wrath of the Lich King. End boss, Arthas. We also know from Metzen that there’s an Old God in the spider kingdom. You’re probably wondering how I came up with that release date. Here’s how.
Beta testing hasn’t even started yet. Heck it isn’t really even being buzzed about yet. No one is talking about Alpha. With that in mind, it’s at least 6 months out. Probably a bit more. Once you hit October, you have to figure that Blizzard as a company is going to want to milk Christmas. As a fellow fanboy though, I’d rather err on the side of optimism. So I’ll say November of this year instead of December.
Alright, lets continue to be optimists and say that after WOTLK we begin getting expansions every 18 months. There are two more expansions that are obvious.
5/2010 – The Emerald Dream. End boss, The Nightmare. I think it’s safe to say that “The Nightmare” is another Old God.
11/2011 – The Maelstrom. End boss, Queen Azshara. This expansion will feature all of the island kingdoms that we know exist like Kul Tiras and Kazan (the Undermine), not to mention the Tomb of Sageras and Tol Barad. Queen Azshara would of course be in or near Nazjatar. I would be surprised if there wasn’t an Old God down there too, along with the original portal (now dormant) to Sargeras’s home-world from the War of the Ancients.
At this point we’re now all level 100 and all five Old Gods are dead: Darkshore Skeleton, C’Thun, Spider Kingdom, The Nightmare, and Maelstrom.
So what is left? One more expansion.
05/2013 – Sargeras’s homeworld. End boss, Sargeras. In a patch similar to 2.0.3 I bet we’ll see the original War of the Ancients portal reopen, allowing us to finally take the fight to the Burning Legion’s own home-world (following in Brox’s footsteps). This is where Kil’Jaeden would really die along with all the other remaining major demons. I would not be surprised if Jarod Shadowsong returned from his long absence to lead the Horde/Alliance invasion as he’s more than capable of leading a cross-faction army against the demons. We kill Sargeras, perhaps with some help from the Titans. End of game.
The year is now 2013. We are level 110. WoW is nine years old and finally in need of a rebuild from the ground up. Everything that could serve as a major threat to the Horde and Alliance has been defeated. The perfect time for peace… and of couse, also the perfect time for the Forsaken to leave the Horde, the Night Elves and Dwarves to break out in civil war, and all sorts of other fun stuff to happen making for a rip-roaring WC4 or WoW2.