So last Saturday I sat down to write this the big post I had been holding off on, but desperately needed to have published before BlizzCon. The plan was to put together every single hint the lore has given us regarding the next expansion and post it all in one big, mega-post.
So I sat down, ready to write, but first decided to check my favorite WoW sites, and there it was. Boubouille had made his post spilling everything.
I read it over, thought, “Yup, that about covers it!” and decided the mega-post was now moot.
Then the controversy started.
Based on that, I think it’s time I weighed in based on what was going to be put in that post.
So what is Loregy’s official stance on Boubouille’s post? Simple…
It’s true. All of it.
Not only that, I think there’s a bombshell everyone’s missing regarding a particular class/race combo. I don’t think Boubouille sees it, even though it’s boldly written between the lines on his post.
So why did Loregy take this stance? Let’s start at the top… The Cataclysm name: That’s a given as we’ve already discussed.
Level Cap of 85: The question is this: Blizzard wants to release their WoW expansions more frequently. So how could they pull this off? More use of phasing? Fewer zones? The answers all revolved around one central concept, “Same quality, but less quantity.” Dropping the level cap from a speculated 90 down to 85 makes perfect sense for accomplishing this. In fact, because of the 85 level cap I am standing by my guess that the next expansion will be out by May of 2010. I may be off a little, but hey, I calculated that guess over a year and a half ago before Lich King Alpha had even started, so cut me some slack. 😉
New Classes: This was inevitable. We saw it coming with the next chapter of the “An Injured Colleague” in patch 3.2.2 currently on the PTR. More specficaly, what we saw were a hints regarding Night Elf mages and something going on with the Horde Druids.
What came out of left field in Boubouille’s post was the sheer amount of new class/race combos. Granted some of it doesn’t make sense. But ironically, what doesn’t make sense the most is already in the game. The Night Elf mage is labeled as a “Highborne”. But we already know the Highborne; they’re the High Elves and Blood Elves. They began living during the day to shun their Night Elf roots, which in turn changes their coloring and height. You can almost smell the incoming retcon.
As for the others, lore wise, it makes sense that with everyone intermingling eventually some Dwarf is going to ask a gnome mage, “Mind showing me how you do that?”
Troll Druids have been especially controversial, but let’s face it, they already are shapeshifters. Their technique may be different, but they’re already intimate with the concept. The problem then rests with the question, “How?” How are the trolls now able to be druids? Hamuul Runetotem is now willing to teach them? That makes sense. Remember, Hamuul himself is the product of an ArchDruid (Malfurion himself) being willing to teach another race the art of Druidism.
Tauren Priests/Paladin’s struck me as odd when I read that in Boubouille’s post. But then remembered Tauren are already established as being a group open to multiple religions. Don’t forget that up until now, they were the only race who practiced both Shamanism and Druidism, the idea that a few of them would be interested in exploring the light makes sense. The only question then is, “What is their conduit? Who’s teaching them?” The obviously answer is, “The Blood Elves” but that also seems strange.
New Races: A leak is a leak, and I think those first two Halloween masks told us what was coming. That female ogre within the second set of masks was hastily ripped out of a WoW rpg book, which screams panicked cover-up. Worgen and Goblins, here we come.
As for the bombshell…
We now have two druid races within the Horde, and only one within the Alliance.
However, they have not yet announced what classes the two new races will be.
Remember when I pointed out that the trolls were already known shape-shifters? Now… See where I’m going?
You heard it here first.
It makes me wonder if they’ll retain “Lion” or let them have “Worg”, but with the same abilities.
So there you have it. Another druid race I think so. The game mechanics dictate it. Lore-wise, I confess, it does feel strange.
As for those outright complaining though, here’s where I get snarky…
If you’re a female Night Elf druid and you’re complaining about disrespecting druid lore, go sit in the corner.
Classic Azeroth Revamp: The question I was going to pose was this… If Maelstrom is the next expansion then that means after this we’re pretty much done with Azeroth. Next up it’ll probably be Emerald Dream and then off to fight the Burning Legion. If Blizzard doesn’t revamp classic Azeroth now, then when? My guess was we would finally see flying, which would mean opening zones such as Hyjal (and Gilneas, but we already knew that).
I also was going to speculate that now would also be the time to open up any unused instances within Azeroth, namely Grim Batol and Uldum. In fact, I’d place a double bet on Grim Batol. For those of you who don’t know, Grim Batol is now the home of Deathwing. As has been mentioned before, Deathwing can’t be that much more powerful than Malygos. With Malygos defeated at 80, Deathwing can only be on the horizon.
Obviously Azshara’s involvement is no revelation, nor is the idea that there’s an Old God there with her.
Now, if there’s one thing that hit me completely out of left field it’s the “Thrall as the Guardian” concept. There’s already a character in the comics who seemed destined for this roll. His name is Medan. He’s the son of Medivh and Garona. Since everything else in Boubouille’s post is correct though, I’m willing to take this one on faith.
As for the lore, obviously the most controversial revelation is the death of Cairne. My general question was this: “When the heck are we going to get some Tauren lore?” WoW’s history with Tauren lore is strange. It was set up with Magatha in Vanilla WoW then pretty much forgotten. (Much like the Morrowgrain quest chain, which I imagine will be picked up again in Emerald Dream.)
Cairne dying makes sense. Obviously the charges of “Traitor” would be something trumped up by Garrosh.
My personal fanboy hope was that Magatha Grimtotem would finally make her move. The Grimtotem would try to take out Cairne and seize Thunder Bluff. The climax would be Hamuul wailing on Magatha like a hurricane as it turns out he was the one charged with watching her. Consider this… Magatha is arguably the most powerful Shaman in Thunder Bluff… so why is she not on Spirit Rise? Why is she over on Elder Rise with the Druids? My guess is that Cairne wanted her somewhere where she’d be under someone’s watch, namely Hamuul (Cairne’s oldest and most trusted friend).
Back to the matter at hand though. Only Wrynn and Cairne have established sons in the game, so they are the ones most easily lifted out (watch out, Wrynn). Something big needs to happen as a catalyst to bring the Tauren lore back up to snuff. I was going to speculate that it was the Grimtotems finally attacking. Cairne Bloodhoof being killed by Garrosh is even better. (That being said, I will personally /cheer any Alliance I see killing Garrosh.)
To take this all one step further, with the new Tauren lore in mind, I have to ask… will Garrosh find he likes the Grimtotems?
So there you have it. As far as I’m concerned the game mechanics, and especially the lore bakc up everything Boubouille has posted. Yes, a chunk of it came from the SomethingAwful forums… So what? Yes, they love pranks, but consider this: if you had to make a list of internet groups who would love nothing more than to spoil the next WoW Expansion right before BlizzCon, who would top that list?
I rest my case.
Boubouille’s post is fact, and Loregy stands by him completely.
Are we wrong? We’ll know Friday.