Expansion Concept: Shadows of Kul Tiras

The recently datamined armor in the 7.3 PTR points to the island nation of Kul Tiras being the setting for our next World of Warcraft expansion. Aside from hinting that Kul Tiras will finally be making its appearance in WoW, the naming scheme of the datamined files suggest Kul Tiras might not just be a zone in the next expansion, but an entire continent. Leveling gear in expansions usually follows this naming convention ““inv_(armor slot)_(armor type)_(“snippet of expansion’s name”quest)_b_01.” For example Legion leveling gear uses file names like “inv_chest_leather_legionquest100_b_01” and Warlords of Draenor used “inv_bracer_leather_draenorquest90_b_01.” That would suggest Kul Tiras is part of the expansion’s name, probably something like “(Blank) of Kul Tiras.”

The idea of making Kul Tiras into an entire continent is intriguing to me, so I couldn’t help but try to flesh out a potential expansion of that nature for myself. This won’t be your standard “South Seas expansion”, as we can also guess from the sheer amount of new ethereal and void models and art assets introduced in 7.3 that there’s a good chance they’ll play a major role too. I hope you enjoy “Shadows of Kul Tiras.”

Potential Expansion Leak in the 7.3. PTR

UPDATE: As several people have pointed out on Twitter, I shamefully forgot to mention another expansion leak via-dataming, done by our very own contributor Handclaw. The article has been updated with this information.

WoWhead has broke news about the recent patch 7.3 PTR build which could potentially be a look into the next expansion. A set of armor named after Kul Tiras has been datamined, in a situation eerily similar to three previous expansion leaks accomplished via datamining. Read on past the jump to learn more about these past leaks and what this might mean for expansion seven.

Who is the Final Boss of Legion?

The following article contains spoilers for the Kil’jaeden defeat cinematic in the Tomb of Sargeras raid.

From the moment of Legion‘s announcement, we’ve been wondering who the final boss of the expansion would be. The Avatar of Sargeras and Kil’jaeden were some of the most popular suggestions (I personally leaned towards the Avatar), however both of them have been dealt with in the Tomb of Sargeras raid. Another theory was that we’d be facing Sargeras himself, though that raises the question of how we’d be able to fight a raid boss the size of a planet, both from suspension of disbelief and technical limitation viewpoints. I’ve come up with a different theory, one that’s outlandish enough I can’t say I expect Blizzard to actually go through with it, but one I’d really like to see and think the evidence supports.

Read on if you are not bothered by spoilers.

If Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Existed in WoW

Ah Gadgetzan, the city of opportunity!

My favorite zone in World of Warcraft: Legion is without a doubt Suramar. Since Gilneas City in Cataclysm I’ve wanted a city as a questing zone rather than a just a place people stand around in to use to auction house or wait for LFG queues. Suramar City realized those dreams beautifully, and I’d love to see Blizzard do it again and expand on the idea. Then a few months after Legion‘s release Blizzard announced the newest Hearthstone expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. I was instantly in love with the lore behind the expansion, that following the flooding of eastern Tanaris during the Cataclysm, Gadgetzan had grown from a quaint desert trading post to a massive 1920’s New York-esque city, full of crime families and a wonderful blend of fantasy and anachronistic technology that’s always been one of my favorite parts of the Warcraft setting.

Besides that, the Hearthstone team had fleshed out the setting of this expanded Gadgetzan to an amazing degree for a game that has no story. I immediately started to imagine how this updated Gadgetzan could work in official Warcraft canon and in WoW itself (it wouldn’t be the first time lore created for Hearthstone made it into WoW). This would be the perfect setting to iterate and expand upon the same concept as Suramar City. Over the past few months I’ve been refining that idea, and much like my past two expansion concepts, I’m here to share how I would make Mean Streets of Gadgetzan inside of WoW.

The Terrible Truth Behind the Pillars of Creation and Expansion 7

The God of the Deep writhes in his prison, breaking free ever so slowly. You should hurry and defeat the fallen titan… there are greater battles yet to fight.

-Xal’atath, Blade of the Black Empire

Since the moment this quote was first discovered in the World of Warcraft: Legion alpha, I haven’t been able to get the idea that Blizzard might already be teasing expansion seven out of my head. While N’Zoth has been built up as a threat for quite awhile, and is one of the last pre-existing big-name villains we have yet to face, nothing else like the above quote appeared. Until now.

With the release of the Emerald Nightmare raid on live servers yesterday, we’ve seen the full dialogue for the Il’gynoth boss fight. After looking through Il’gynoth’s quotes, not only am I confident in the old Xal’tath whisper as being a hint towards something greater, but I’m starting to think we may know how Legion will end and the next expansion might begin.

Expansion Concept 2.0: The Hand of Zul

Hand-of-ZulWith Legion pretty much complete and awaiting launch on August 30th and the pre-expansion event confirmed to not start until next month as well, we’re in a bit of a dry spell. In the meantime, I thought it would be interesting to share another of my expansion concepts. You may remember my ill-fated Age of Azshara project, which I may revisit in the future, but this time I’ve chosen to focus on a different idea for an expansion. Ever since patch 4.1, the Zandalari trolls have slowly been built up as a new villainous group. Their mysterious prophet Zul has grown in infamy despite us never actually seeing him.

Some may bemoan troll raids, but they were absent from Warlords of Draenor and there’s no sign of any troll involvement in Legion. I think we’ve been given enough of a break to welcome a troll expansion to confront Zul, King Rastakhan, and the Zandalari once and for all. I’ve also been careful to fill my expansion concept with new races and enemy groups alongside the Zandalari to prevent any “troll fatigue.”

Today I’ll be talking about the basic plot and feature overview for the expansion, which I’m calling The Hand of Zul. We’ll go into greater detail on zones, dungeons, characters, races and more in future articles. Read past the jump if you’re interested.

Dungeon Lore from the Legion Alpha Part 2

Welcome to our next look into the dungeon journal lore for World of Warcraft: Legion, as taken from the alpha. For Legion’s five primary zones (not counting the Broken Shore, which has no instances or raids) each has two five-man dungeons, one intended to be done once you’ve completed the main storyline in the zone, and one not accessible until level 110. In our previous entry, we looked at the two dungeons in Val’sharah. Today however, there is a small exception. Highmountain is unique in that it has only one dungeon, Neltharion’s Lair, so I’ve paired it with Assault on Violet Hold, which is located within Dalaran itself and not part of any specific Legion zone.

Read the dungeon descriptions and boss lore entries from the dungeon journal below the jump.

Dungeon Lore from the Legion Alpha Part 1

This most recent alpha build has updated a small feature which most would overlook, but to lore fans is of great importance: the dungeon journal lore entries. Often they’re the only way to learn who non-final or pre-existing bosses in dungeons and raids are, and why we’re fighting them. Now, with the exception of a few world and Violet Hold bosses, all Legion dungeon and raid bosses have lore entries in the journal, which I will transcribe here for those curious about the enemies we’ll be facing in World of Warcraft: Legion.

Due to the number of bosses throughout Legion’s ten dungeons, I’ll be splitting this post up into a series. Today we’ll be covering the two dungeons located in Val’sharah: Black Rook Hold and Darkheart Thicket.

World of Warcraft: Illidan Novel Review

It’s been close a to a year since the last World of Warcraft novel was released. This Tuesday we’ll be getting another with World of Warcraft: Illidan, by William King, a newcomer to the Blizzard novelizations scene. Have you ever wondered exactly what was going on during The Burning Crusade‘s convoluted story? Pondered what its like to become and live as a demon hunter? If Illidan really is “the Betrayer” everyone makes him out to be? Want to know how William King stands against previous Warcraft novel authors? If you answered yes to any of these, read on!

NOTE: This review contains MINOR SPOILERS for the novel. You have been warned.