Whatever happened to the World of Warcraft: Troll Wars Novel?

It has been six months since Amazon.de (and UK) and various book-finder outlets throughout Europe leaked the novel title and ISBN for World of Warcraft: Troll Wars by Paul S. Kemp.

My original post (published on May 2017), contains the book description about the high elven magi training humans to fight in the Troll Wars. A few days after the leak made headlines, the book title was changed to “A new novel” and the book description was removed.

Ever since, there has been no announcements, and no denial of its existence. I personally contacted the author Paul S. Kemp by email and via Reddit (as well as the Panini publisher) to confirm or deny this novel, but I did never get a response.

It is not a question at this point of whether the novel existed. Six months after it was leaked, it is STILL listed in Amazon UK and Germany, and its ISBN 9783833235375 shows up in search engines by other book websites. So the leak did exist, and it is been picked up by bookstores as “factual.”

The release date placeholder is set nowadays to December 31, 2018.


BlizzCon 2017 is now over, and Blizzard Entertainment did not make any mention, confirmation, rumor denial or else on World of Warcraft: Troll Wars.

Is the World of Warcraft: Troll Wars novel still a possibility after the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth expansion’s announcement? You bet it is.

With the Zandalar joining the Horde, and even an Allied Race Zandalari character to boot, it is a common theme for Blizzard to return to new Troll threats. We have gotten the Zul’Aman dungeon content twice (in Burning Crusade and the revamped version during Cataclysm), as well as the Zul’Gurub dungeon (revamped during Cataclysm). We also got the Zul’Drak content during Wrath of the Lich King, and the Zandalari threat in Isle of Thunder (during Mists of Pandaria).

With the Zandalari’s plans to resurrect the Emperor Lei Shen (Thunder King) for a new Zandalari age thwarted, the Zandalari are now in disarray. The Horde will come in to help the Zandalari with their local problems in exchange of joining the Horde.

The raid in Nazmir revealed that the Titans had labs there to experiment and research more about the Old gods, and possibly created Old god hybrids. One unspecified boss has been imprisoned there for milennias, and according to our recent interview with Jeremy “Muffinus” Feasel, two of the three seals that keep him imprisoned have been broken. We will find out as we complete the Zandalar questlines what will happen to that last seal.

    Danny: The Blood Trolls of Nazmir kinda have a Hakkar-vibe to them. Is there any relation? Otherwise, what Loa do they serve?

    Jeremy: Ohh, that is a very good question. Have you played the experience on the showfloor? So not to spoil a huge amount for you, Bwonsamdi (the Loa of death) plays a major role in that zone, and you will meet him for the first time, and see what he is all about; but really, these Blood Trolls are under the servitude of a powerful new creature that you will meet in the very first raid of this expansion.

    So there is a facility in Nazmir, where the Titans were doing experiments on Old gods. They were trying to solve the Old god problem; and you can imagine when you start experimenting on an Old god, really bad stuff has the potential to happen. What they ended up creating was something far worse; and this sorta new blood god — who you are going to see eventually (and this a huge amount of spoiler for you), but this facility only has one of the three seals remaining on it.

    During the course of the expansion, you are going to find out what happens to that last seal.

     

So this brings about several questions. Among them, if Nazmir — directly at the backyard of the Zandalari’s main city was a Titan lab … could it be possible Zul’Aman was built near another Titan lab yet to be discovered? See where I am going with this topic in relation to the mysterious Troll Wars novel?

It also brings the question about the origin of Trolls and what the connection is… whether the trolls are also experiments of the Titans using Old god DNA. That would be interesting. That implication has a direct impact on the Night Elves as well, because they were formerly trolls before they found the Well of Eternity.

In a recent article, I also mentioned the elephant in the room at BlizzCon 2017… but first, let’s recap:

  • We got two continents: Zandalar and Kul’Tiras. Both represent the leveling experience from 110 to 120. Three zones each continent.
  • We go there to search for allies. Both have the most powerful naval fleets in Azeroth.
  • The reason we need their fleets are to search for Azerite in the Island Expeditions.

So those three highlights summarize what the Zandalar and Kul’Tiras continents are for. What is the elephant in the room? None of these two continents is the end-game of Battle for Azeroth — and by that what I mean is that these two continents are simply the leveling experience before we move to the “Suramar” of Battle for Azeroth once we hit max level 120.

Wait… but where is that “Suramar” of the new expansion? Blizzard did not mention it.

All we heard about is the dessert (aka Heroic/Mythic Island Expeditions, and 1 Warfront in Stromgarde). Where is my main menu to feast upon when I hit level 120? It simply was not revealed at BlizzCon.

So we are left with a massive cliffhanger. What’s Next?

There are a couple of things that have come up in the interviews that softly caress the idea of what might lie behind this curtain of mystery.

The first one thing that peers through that curtain came afloat during our interview with Jeremy “Muffinus” Feasel. At first, you might just not get it, but you will after I point you to its potential.

    Danny: So they mentioned the Burning of Teldrassil, and the Assault on Undercity. Even a potential Horde-only Kalimdor and Alliance-only Eastern Kingdoms. So what does that kinda mean for the existing Night Elf and the Undead cities? Anything you can talk about that?

    Jeremy: Similar to the story, looking of other quests that you see in World of Warcraft, you can still level up in the initial Night Elf starting zone: Teldrassil. Same with the Horde starting in Tirisfal Glades: the Undercity. Once you get to that point in the story, that is when the story changes.

    Once you hit max level, you go through the story experience, then the world is forever changed for you. So your answer is that new phase version of the world where Teldrassil is on fire, and the Undercity is taken by the Horde (EDIT: Not sure if he meant Alliance); and then where we go from there, you will have to see in the expansion.

     

What can we learn from that response? Phase technology is coming back to Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms — the old world. We have seen Phase Technology since Wrath of the Lich King in Northrend, later in Pandaria, then in Draenor, and now in Argus.

However, the amount of times we have seen Phase technology in Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms have been very limited. I can mention out of the top of my mind very few instances where Blizzard has used phase technology in there:

  • Burning Legion invasion (pre-Legion)
  • Iron Horde invasion (pre-WoD)
  • Mount Hyjal (Cataclysm)
  • Gilneas (Cataclysm)

Beyond these examples, I have a hard time trying to pinpoint what Blizzard Entertainment has brought to the table in terms of Phase technology to Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms outdoors. Now all of a sudden, Teldrassil burns and according to Ion during the Jesse Cox interview what remains is a big pile of ashes. The Ruins of Lordaeron are invaded by the Alliance, and Sylvanas and the Forsaken will have to retreat and vacate the Undercity.

The use of phasing technology in Tirisfal Glades is heavily implied by Jeremy Feasel when he said: “Same with the Horde starting in Tirisfal Glades: the Undercity. Once you get to that point in the story (Battle for Azeroth), that is when the story changes.”

Does that mean Ruins of Lordaeron becomes an abandoned pile of dust and rubbish, or is there an opportunity for Greymane to rebuild a new Alliance city at a later time? For now, the BlizzCon panel confirmed the former. Once you accept the max level quest in Battle for Azeroth, phase technology kicks in and phases out the old status quo replacing it with a massive pile of ash where once Teldrassil stood, and a further ruined Ruins of Lordaeron. (actually, it’s difficult to interpret which version is correct: we have heard we will see a massive pyre at Teldrassil, and also that it is going to be a pile of ash).

I am laying down the groundwork here of the direction I want you to walk through. That brings us to: “Why didn’t Blizzard Entertainment mention what the “Suramar” of Battle for Azeroth is?

 

Suramar 8.0: The level 120 end-game PvE content

To answer the “what is the “Suramar” of Battle for Azeroth?” question, maybe we can simply go with the simple Occam’s Razor explanation. For Horde… Kul’Tiras is the level 120 Suramar. For Alliance… Zandalar is the level 120 Suramar. This is mildly pointed at during the MMO-Champion interview with Steve Burke:

Will max level content be added to the old word?

Steve Burke: Team wants to focus max level content into the new continents. The great thing about this expansion is each faction has three leveling zones and then another three open up when max level is reached.

 

 

In essence, Steve Burke said there that we level up from 110 to 120 on our new faction continent, and then the max level 120 zone (aka Suramar in Legion) is the new enemy continent’s 3 zones.

If Uldir is the first raid (aka Emerald Nightmare of Legion), then what is the level 120 Suramar Insurrection questline + Nighthold equivalent in Battle for Azeroth? Uldir is the only raid mentioned by Blizzard in somewhat detail. Azshara was slightly hinted, but I assume she would be the Tomb of Sargeras or Antorus raid of Battle for Azeroth. Further ahead. More on raids of Battle for Azeroth in the last portion of our BlizzCon 2017 WoW: What’s Next panel transcript.

 

Kalimdor & Eastern Kingdoms Phase/Sharding Technology

So if the equivalent of “Suramar” for Battle for Azeroth is the enemy continent (Alliance level 120 in Zandalar, and Horde level 120 in Kul’Tiras), what is the “Broken Shore” content equivalent? … the next chapter in the Battle for Azeroth story.

My theory is that the old world might have a few zones (if not most) having heavy phase and sharding technology sprinkled through Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms.

We know Silithus is one of them with the massive scar left by Sargeras’ sword crashing there, and there is a bronze dragon NPC named Zidormi that allows you to switch between both phases of Silithus: before or after the scar (as seen in Patch 7.3.2 | MMO-Champion). We also know Teldrassil and Tirisfal Glades will have phase versions. That’s three zones with phasing confirmed, so far.

Then we also know that the first Warfront takes place in Arathi Highlands for the Battle for Stromgarde. According to Ion Hazzikostas, a Warfront is a 20-player cooperative raid — and that shoots up few questions. Do you join the Warfront only and exclusively through the LFG Battleground tool, or does it work like when you walk seamlessly into your Garrison in Draenor + Tol Barad/Ash’ran, and then you are automatically queue onscreen to join a group?

Is there a new Arathi Highlands phase/shard for level 120 solo questing + world quests, and then when I gather resources, I queue to a Warfront? That would mean there would also be a separate phase of Arathi Highlands for low-level players to quest in the old version of Arathi. Interesting couple of questions.

Tentatively, I’ll go with Arathi Highlands as the 4th level 120 phased zone in the old world. Mostly “implied” with the fact that a Warfront exists in there with a new Stromgarde model. It would be weird to have the new Stormgarde model only in a battleground, and then have the old level 25-30 Stromgarde model appear outdoors.

 

There are many questions there to ponder around that topic alone. Our interview also revealed there are plans for more Warfronts, and that we could probably imagine where those might happen.

    Danny: Back on the Warfronts: You guys announced Stromgarde. It is not the only Warfront out there. Right? Is there going to be more? I think there was some confusion on that.

    Jeremy: Currently, Stormgarde is the Warfront that we are working on. Finalizing for this particular expansion pack. We don’t have much else to say beyond that other than we are working very hard at making it an awesome experience. Can’t wait to get it in people’s hands to see how they feel about it.

    It is in a system that is definitely expandable. You can probably think of a couple locations right now that you are like: “wow… that would be really cool to fight in this particular location; and knock this race out of this particular continent. Wouldn’t that be rad?”

     

 

Taking Jeremy’s invitation to– think or imagine a couple locations to (for example) knock the Blood Elves out of Eastern Kingdoms … I can imagine a few potential Warfront locations with that hint in mind. For example, if the Alliance was heading toward the last bastion of the Horde in the Eastern Kingdoms: Silvermoon City, then the natural next step after Warfront: Stromgarde is Warfront: Stratholme. Would that mean new level 120 content for Eastern Plaguelands in 8.X? Would we gather resources, complete daily quests, and have an epic storyline akin to Argus’s in that zone to prepare for Warfront: Stratholme? If so, will it still be named Eastern Plaguelands or renamed to something else? Will it be a plague-cleansed phase-version?

Before you yell bloody-#$%, let me explain. On day one of Battle of Azeroth launch, if you have a level 50 alt character and login, you would see the same old cataclysm-revamped Eastern Plaguelands. However, if you login your max level 120 character, and go to Eastern Plaguelands — it is a level 120 Eastern Plagueland with level 120 new quests, world quests, and different creatures and NPCs. Phase technology separating the 120 version from the level 50+ player experience content. So they exist simultaneously without affecting each other. NOTE: This Eastern Plaguelands and Stratholme theory is just that. It is not official, nor confirmed in any way.

This is what the topic of this article is discussing: The use of sharding and phase technology in the old World to drive the Battle for Azeroth war engine — and how all that connects with the World of Warcraft: Troll Wars novel (if it is ever published).

This could explain why none of this was brought up at BlizzCon. If the old world was to be revamped in some way for the level 120 end-game experience, that requires a lot of time to develop. Would you showcase something that is not presentable yet for BlizzCon? I wouldn’t. However, we did get a few hints that seem to point in this direction.

If the key of Battle for Azeroth leads to rallying your forces toward the last bastion of the Horde in Eastern Kingdoms (Silvermoon), and the last bastion of the Alliance in Kalimdor (Exodar) — then I must say that a Zul’Aman revamp might happen at some point post-launch. Zul’Aman is in the direct path toward Silvermoon City… the last bastion of the Horde, with a veteran Alleria and her new Void-powered ex-Blood Elves who no doubt wish to retake their ancestral lands back with the help of the Alliance.

Do I have any doubt concerning this Warfronts: Stratholme, and Silvermoon raid assumption? If you had any, then the BlizzardWatch interview might knock you off your socks:

Are Silvermoon and The Exodar going to be affected by the war in the expansion?

Steve Burke: No plans today. With the feature set we’re launching with, we’re getting pretty focused on exactly what we’re going to deliver. I won’t say it definitely won’t happen, but it’s not something we’re planning on today.

 

Plus this slide screenshot shown at BlizzCon:

 

Caverns of Time: Troll Wars?

The Troll Wars novel’s ISBN leak might have another kind of implications for the Battle for Azeroth expansion. What is another thing that was completely absent from BlizzCon? That’s answered with another question: What’s the new Caverns of Time content? That would be a whole different beast with a lot of lore and special NPC appearances.

The gem of the BlizzCon reveal, in a sense, is the Warfront: Stromgarde.

How is that even related to the Troll Wars? Well, if for whatever reason we need to go to Caverns of Time toward the Troll Wars — that’s exactly the connection we were looking for with the new expansion. The Troll Wars came to be with the alliance between the High Elves and the Humans of Stromgarde.

The High Elves trained 100 humans to learn arcane magic, and together, they vanquished the trolls and scour their numbers from most of Quel’Thalas and Lordaeron.

The question is… if this World of Warcraft: Troll Wars novel is published, will the story be translated into something we need to do or a threat in the present-time Lordaeron content, or will it be translated into Caverns of Time content?

More questions: Is Nozdormu about to become Murozond in Battle for Azeroth, and thus start his Infinite dragonflight shenanigans? The birth of Murozond requires Nozdormu to be corrupted by N’zoth … or by one of those Old god experiments in Uldir. The world of Azeroth is wounded, on its last pangs bleeding its lifeblood — which is no good for the Old gods. The Alliance and the Horde fighting each other driving the world to its extinction.

To me it sounds like The Troll Wars might be the first candidate to go about if you were a newborn Murozond. That was the second most important event in the Warcraft history. It leads to the creation of the Order of Tirisfal and the first Guardian. No Guardian, no Dark Portal. No Burning Legion. No death of Nozdormu — or in this case Murozond.

If Nazmir is a Titan lab with Old god experiments, what does that mean for Zul’Aman? is there another Titan lab hidden deep in Zul’Aman? Who broke the two seals of the blood god in Nazmir, and are they also doing the same elsewhere in other Titan labs around the world?

Maybe a look back at what happened behind-the-scenes during the Troll Wars might shed some light on whether that’s the case. After all, Trolls of that era venerated powerful Loa and maybe darker things (over 2,800 ago) that now might be relevant in Battle for Azeroth — especially if mysterious agents seek to break the seals of powerful Titan experiment test-subjects.

Read the BlizzCon 2017 panel transcripts

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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