Blizzard plans to announce the sixth expansion pack for World of Warcraft next week. Until they make the reveal, all we can do is speculate.
There are a lot of different ways that Blizzard could go with this next expansion pack. The Warcraft universe is full of places and characters that we still haven't seen in WoW. Here are some ideas that we hope Blizzard will use either for this expansion or the next one.
Why It Would Be Great: The Emerald Dream is a spirit world that druids draw their power from. In that realm, nature is in perfect harmony and unspoiled by mortal races. It sounds like it would be a gorgeous place for players to explore. Furthermore, Blizzard has given players brief glimpses into the Emerald Dream through quests. In these quests, they learned that a dark force called the Nightmare is corrupting the realm. After years of teases about the Emerald Dream, it only makes sense for players to finally travel into its wilderness to stop this mysterious darkness.
Why It Wouldn't Work: The big issue with the Emerald Dream seems to be the story. The Nightmare seems to have been stopped in the novel Stormrage, so Blizzard would either need to retcon that book or figure out some other reason for players to enter the Dream. WoW's prior expansions centered around the Alliance and Horde launching military expeditions to stamp out a threat in far-off lands. This structure allows Blizzard to maintain the Alliance vs. Horde war at the heart of WoW. It's unclear what would make these armies invade a spirit realm, though. What's more, this trip into the Emerald Dream doesn't necessarily advance the larger storyline of the MMO.
Why It Would Be Great: WoW players have explored Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms, Northrend and Pandaria. However, there's still plenty of unexplored territory on Azeroth. For example, they haven't visited several islands of vital importance to Warcraft universe. Undermine, the capital city of the goblins, is here. So is Zandalar, the homeland of a troll tribe of the same name, and Plunder Isle, the base of the Bloodsail Buccaneers. It would be amazing if players could explore these dangerous seas at their helm of their very own ship.
Why It Wouldn't Work: The main reason for wanting this expansion idea to happen - player-owned ships - might be too complicated to add to WoW. Blizzard bolted an impressive amount of features onto this decade-old MMO but I'm skeptical that they'd be willing and able to turn it into Assassin's Creed 4. I'm not sure whether a South Seas expansion would work without ships, though. Blizzard said that they want to limited flying in future expansions. Furthermore, I doubt people want to be stuck waiting for ferries between islands like they did back in vanilla WoW.
Why It Would Be Great: The biggest threat to Azeroth throughout World of Warcraft has been the Burning Legion, an army of demons intent on destroying any worlds they find. Players have foiled their plans on numerous occasions but the Legion is still a threat. Isn't it about time that the Horde and Alliance went on the offensive? Perhaps they'll find a way to travel to the Legion's home, the chaotic realm known as the Twisting Nether, to defeat them once and for all.
Why It Wouldn't Work: Blizzard already did the whole "fighting demons in space" thing with Burning Crusade so they might think this idea is redundant. Plus, they're going to want a setting with enemies besides demons so players aren't just fighting the same type of foe from beginning to end. If players are off in the Twisting Nether and away from Azeroth, they wouldn't encounter the other enemies that they've come to expect over the years like murderous tribes of trolls, pirates, and murlocs. Players will no doubt fight the Burning Legion again, they'll probably do it in a more conventional setting.
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