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.