The Next Expansion is Emerald Dream

And it’s already for sale… as a book.  No, we’re not being funny.  No, we’re not trying to be cute.  This isn’t a stretch; it’s just a flat out fact.  The Emerald Dream expansion many of us were expecting between WotLK and Cataclysm/Maelstrom happened just as we thought it would, but it was released as only a book instead of a full fledged addition to the game.

How so?  Picture everything we surmised would happen in the Emerald Dream Expansion.  Forget spoilers, this is the stuff we could easily extrapolate from what we already know:

The expansion begins with the Nightmare gaining power, threatening Azeroth, and ultimately needing to be defeated by Azeroth’s heroes in the final boss fight.  We’d also find out what happened with Malfurion Stormrage, and answer any other druid-themed questions posed so far.  What is the Nightmare?  What’s up with that Morrowgrain quest-line Hamuul and Fandral had us do in Un’Goro?  What happened after we freed Eranikus during the opening of AQ40?  What’s going to happen when Malfurion finally confronts Fandral regarding the questionable things Fandral’s done during Malfurion’s absence?  Speaking of Fandral, what’s up with Teldrassil, the tainted world tree he created despite Malfurion’s warnings?

On the first day you log into Cataclysm, all of these things will have already happened.  All questions answered.  The Nightmare is effectively no more.  (And don’t pretend that’s a spoiler.  The whole point of an end-boss is to be defeated.)

I have to confess, on a personal note, the Stormrage novel really threw me for a loop.  Obviously, we speculated that the Emerald Dream would be the next expansion since, “Why on earth would Blizzard release a novel about Malfurion Stormrage if they were doing anything else?”  We now have our answer.  Blizzard skipped over the Emerald Dream expansion entirely to go straight to Cataclysm.  They then released the book to fill in the large gap created in the lore.

So is this good, bad?  Sure, we can complain we missed out on a great expansion, but more-so… aren’t players going to be confused in Cataclysm when the NPC’s are all referring to this great war that recently happened against the Nightmare involving every citizen of Azeroth? (Yeah, it’s that big.)  Hopefully Blizzard’s creative development department will be able to bridge enough of this in the game, so it doesn’t harm the immersion.

Suffice to say, if you’re into WoW’s lore then you need to read this book.  It’s not a question of “neat flavor” as it is with all of the other books.  If you don’t read this book, you’ll likely be very confused when you jump into Cataclysm.

Is the book any good?  I enjoyed it.  It’s not my favorite, but it’s a good one.  I’ll add this… Brox fans will like it, but I won’t say why.

Was there anything I noticed in it that made me raise my eyebrow?  Yes.  This isn’t direct, and I’m curious if anyone else catches it… but lets just say Malfurion Stormrage likely now knows where Jarrod Shadowsong is.

I have more to say about the book, but it’ll be spoiler heavy, so I’ll allow some time for everyone to read it.

I hope you do.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dangablad April - 2010 at 6:35 am

As it is, I feel cheated if this is the case, however, there is some hope from what’s come out in the news.

Hyjal is going to be everyone’s starting 78-82 zone, and will be heavily phased. What has happened in the past when a zone/portion of a zone has been heavily phased? Two major plot changes. Plot change/phase use 1) The Death Knights broke away from the LK and became part of the free races. 2) A little thing called the Wrathgate (and the assault on the Undercity).

So while I feel cheated, and don’t understand how we can be told about this awesome battle we somehow missed while we were off ending Arthas’ unlife and liberating Gnomeregan and the Senjin Isles, at the same time I have hope that the Cataclysm expansion is actually going to start out with our helping out with Malfurion’s fight against the Nightmare.

2 Crofe April - 2010 at 6:40 am

I need to make a note to myself to pick this book up. What sucks is that there are now no bookstores in the city where I live. The only one in the mall was shut down when B&N and Borders shutdown a lot of their small (B. Dalton and Waldenbooks).

I enjoyed the previous WoW books and if this is going to bridge the gap between WotLK and Cata, then I think it’s a must read.

3 Quivering April - 2010 at 8:24 am

long time reader, first time poster

if this is the case, i am a bit dissappointed as i wanted to experience the dream and nightmare more.

but youre right, the creative dept will really have to go above and beyond to piece this together. wow lore is hard enough to piece together with so much going on at once. so many characters, tangents etc.

from the previews of cata, theres been some hinting toward this, but its so focused on deathwings return, i just wonder if theyll create some sort of in game segue (maybe with ysera) to ease us into it, an epic quest line catching us up to speed on the recent happenings in the dream. the aspects got a LOT more face time in wrath, so im guessing cata is going to be their expansion, so i dont see it as a stretch. ysera didnt play a big role in wrath anyway so maybe she will in cata with some sort of lore bridgework. idk. picking up the book is a must now tho, i thought it was just flavor (as you say).

4 Izzie April - 2010 at 11:19 am

I was ridiculously bummed to put 2 and 2 together. I had hoped maybe the Emerald Dream would at least be a content patch (IE Sunwell happened long after the Manga had been out). But it’s as you say… Cataclysm is also affectively a time jump from what I gather (lol @ Anduin Wrynn suddenly being 18) and this will all be over.
They have said, though, that world tree and co. will play a big part in the Hyjal leveling zone, so it remains to be seen if we won’t get anything in this area at all.
Definitely puts a huge question over future expansions, though.

Thanks for the update, love to read, as always.

5 Josh February - 2011 at 12:11 pm

Perhaps they will incorporate this into a future Caverns of Time type instance.

6 Duskhowl June - 2013 at 8:52 am

Guys,there is only one thing which makes me feel that we are not still entirely done with the undead and that’s Blovar’s existence as the Lich King.

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