I went to the Outlands with 3 level 60 characters. My raiding shaman, Stormsoul, my warrior, Msaker, and my first character ever, a hunter, Arcarius. I journeyed to Northrend with 4 level 70 characters. The group above, and adding my druid, Greenclaw, to the list. Am I set to achieve that level of progression for the Emerald Dream? Will I have 5 level 80 characters? I think so. At least 5.
Stormsoul is already 80, two months after Northrend was opened to us. Msaker is level 75 now, Greenclaw is level 74. Arcarius spends a bit too much time with leather to be making decent leveling progress, he’s only level 71. But he’s also crafting Boomkin, Feral, and Hunter armor sets for folks who’ll get to level 80 without stepping foot in an instance. These should all reach 80 out of simple principle. By the next expansion? I think I’ve got time since the expansion has not even been mentioned yet expect in passing by speculators such as myself.
Candidates for being 80 in time for that are my Paladin, level 61 and my Death Knight, level 64. Inscriptionists both, with easy access to plentiful Northrend herbs (via Stormsoul and Greenclaw), they’ve at least got to be level 65 to master the last step of the profession, and then it’s just research. 65 to 68 should be easy enough and Northrend is thereby opened up. I think I’m going to have a lot of experience with Northrend by then.
And, is it me, or is it the Death Knight being OP, or did they make things easier in the Outlands? That guy in the Umbrafen village there in Zangarmarsh. One of the first quests. You kill so many seers, witchdoctors, and this guy. I thought he had a guard of two others with him, and one extra patrolling. Last night we crashed his party, we got the patrol, and found him alone. And the wife and I were a literal swamp monster man wrecking crew as we ripped the oppressors of the Sporelings a lot of new ones. We may as well just simply have aggroed the entire cave at one time and just aoe’d them down all at once. Iron Chef Sautee Competition, here we come!
Anyway. Two parter today.
The Ice Crown was an obvious location for an expansion. Northrend existed in lore. And, voila, we got it.
Where could the game go next?
The city of Undermine and the (small? jungle?) island of Kezan. When are the goblins going to get some respect? How about we give Azeroth’s other greenskin race some credit? I’m not sure if this island they’re found on is part of the Broken Islands, where Sargeras’ tomb is located, or another set of islands. Lots of islands. You need a maritime angle now.
Don’t forget Nazjatar, the Naga city in the deep waters below the Maelstrom. You pop some domes up underwater, populate it with Naga civilization, and you’ve got something there. Yes, maybe the Naga have water breathing, but let’s pretend they prefer to breath air like their ancestors did. Blizzard’s done the best of any MMORPG using underwater environments, let’s capitalize on it and take it further.
And to access this water milieu you’ve got ports and zeppelins, and you’ve got two closer locations as well. Open up Kul Tiras, for the Alliance, off the coast of Khaz Modan, and Gilneas, for the Horde, those darned Forsaken taking over!, south of Silverpine as access points to the Maelstrom. As an added bonus, add the Kulak walrus people to the list of Alliance races, the maritime angle, and add the Worgen as a Horde race, given the Gilneas angle.
Nazjatar and the islands of the southern seas, accessed by KulTiras and Gilneas, two new races, and you’ve got a full blown expansion. Replace this expansion’s ice with jungle, and Vikings with sailors, and you’ve got it.
Well, that’s one expansion. How about another?
The Emerald Dream is technically as far ranging as the entire world already. It’s the dream to our waking state. And it’s already breaking through in places. There’s that tunnel entrance leading out of Moonglade with some funky things happening in there. What would happen if the Emerald Dream erupted into a nightmare and started breaking through to our side of things? What nightmares will enter our world and require resistance and opposition to it?
And could Malfurian Stormrage be the next super villain? After all, consider that Illidian only did the things he did in interest of the ultimate greater good. Maybe Malfurian’s got some things to “fix,” by any means he feels necessary. Or the satyrs, created by the Burning Legion, (as opposed to the Naga that were created by the Old Gods), are on the loose again, staged for conquest in our Emerald Dream, for real this time, and it’s going to take everything we’ve got to stop them. For once you lose your dreams, what have you got left to fight for?
As for how the progression might play out, how about the islands and the new lands representing a further broadening to the game world, given new races, and let that be 1-80 lands. Heck, make it 1-68, some new zones for new races, then providing some locations to be an alternative to the Outlands, and then let the new and up and coming players complete 68-80 in the frozen north.
Then, for the progression of depth, let the 80-90 (80-100, run with it) content be in the Emerald Dream and/or fighting against it’s nightmares.
Naturally, 100, the final stretch, will involve us reaching the stars. We’ve already got spaceships in the lore. You’ve got the Exodar, Tempest Keep, even the goblins rickety X-52. I think it’ll be game over, scroll the credits, once we bump into the Protoss, Zerg, and Terrans. That’s a few years away though. :)
Or is it?