06Nov

Post-BlizzCon 2017: The Unknown Mysteries of Battle for Azeroth

The new expansion announcement of World of Warcraft: Battle of Azeroth revealed awesome details about the next chapter in the history of Azeroth, but it also left many unknown mysteries in its wake.

Alex Afrasiabi dropped a mega bomb on our collective minds with the following statement: “Now some of you might be asking: Hey, Alex. Why would the Alliance attack the Undercity? It is a good question. It is a good question. Here is a better question: why would the Horde burn down Teldrassil? Did Teldrassil fall first, and lead to the attack of Undercity; or was the burning of Teldrassil a response to the bold Alliance attack on Lordaeron? You will find out. Think about this: the stage is set for an Alliance-controlled Eastern Kingdoms, and a Horde-controlled Kalimdor with one great big sea separating the two continents — which leads us to our search for allies.” — reference: BlizzCon 2017 World of Warcraft: What’s Next Panel Transcript (page 1)

 

The implications of Alex’s statement are mind-blowing, and complex in so many different ways. Spawns more questions than answers, and leaves many of those existing questions unanswered. Unknown mysteries.

Here is what I mean, and hopefully you will understand what his words entail.

 

Teldrassil

What we know: Teldrassil will be burned down. Alliance-only Eastern Kingdoms

What we don’t know: Will the Night Elf be attacked and cornered to the point of mass-exodus to the Eastern Kingdoms?

For an ancient and proud race who has lived and protected Kalimdor for thousands of years, a retreat, leaving their territories behind to the Horde sounds impossible. But if this is the direction the story is going to, where would the Night Elves of Darnassus flee to? Would they merely flee to Ashenvale and fortify its borders? Well, that wouldn’t exactly be a Horde-only Kalimdor if the story was going in that direction.

 

I could see the Night Elves still having a presence in Ashenvale for that Warsong Gulch battleground to continue, but not a new city in Ashenvale to replace Darnassus. That would contradict Alex’s statement about a Horde-only Kalimdor, as well as a Alliance-only Eastern Kingdoms without Night Elves.

So Occam’s Razor: The Night Elves of Teldrassil will flee to the Eastern Kingdoms to be refugees among allies.

So the question needs to cross your mind. Where will the Night Elf city be built at to replace Darnassus? If the Pandaren haven’t gotten their own district in Stormwind, I don’t see a Night Elf district either. What makes sense for a civilization that has lived among nature guided by allies in the Emerald Dream is therefore to relocate to a region of the Eastern Kingdoms that has a gateway into the Emerald Dream.

That leaves two top candidates among a plethora of 24 Eastern Kingdoms regions: Hinterlands and Duskwood.

Both zones have lush forests, and both have a gateway into the Emerald Dream: Seranade, and Twilight Grove.

This immediately makes you wonder. Will these areas be completely redone to fit a city? Technically, those areas need an update because the Emerald Nightmare was defeated, so those areas could well be updated with new content.

But then you would ask yourself: Wait, but what about low-level players who had quests in those areas?

Well, let me leave you with a response from Jeremy Feasel (@Muffinus) during our BlizzCon 2017 interview that is going to jaw-drop you:

    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.

     

Now that you read what Jeremy said — wait a minute: In Battle for Azeroth, I can start a level 1 Undead character, start in Deathknell, move down to the Undercity and progress my level 1-110 story with my Horde city in Undercity, and the moment I accept the Battle for Azeroth quest, magically Undercity is now Alliance territory.

Did you just pondered what I am pondering? Phase technology coming to Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms? The only one time Phasing occurred in the old world was Mount Hyjal during Cataclysm. Remember when that zone was ablaze, then Cenarius restored its lush forests? Outside that, we haven’t really seen much phasing in the old world except for maybe the pre-expansion invasions.

So if we just got a confirmed Undercity and Teldrassil level 1-110 unchanged cities with phase technology switching to a burned Teldrassil and a (potentially) Alliance-occupied Lordaeron castle after accepting the first Battle for Azeroth quest at level 110 — then it is implied that after you accept the Battle for Azeroth quest at level 110 the Phase Technology switches to now show the new replacement cities for Darnassus in the Eastern Kingdoms, and the replacement city for the Forsaken in Kalimdor.

It sounds like a stretch, but if you read into the response, this thought crossing your mind makes perfect sense — even if it was not confirmed to be the case.

Can Twilight Grove or Seradane be the new city of the Night Elves? Considering the Emerald Nightmare was cleansed and vanquished in Val’sharah — an update of these two zones is plausible. Low level quests there shouldn’t be a conflict if they are in a alternate phased Serenade and Twilight Grove for low-level players, while the level 110 players who accepted the Battle for Azeroth quest would have a phased version with a majestic elven city.

 

Again this new Night Elf city and its location hasn’t been confirmed (to my knowledge). We will have to wait and see.

 

Exodar

What we know: Though Alex Afrasiabi coined the term Horde-only Kalimdor during the Opening Ceremony, he later responded during the World of Warcraft Q&A panel that the Exodar remains Alliance-controlled as the last bastion of the Alliance upon Kalimdor.

However, the Exodar might join the Battle for Azeroth war in the future. It’s difficult to read through the cracks to figure out what that means beyond Patch 8.0. Will the Draenei be forced out of Kalimdor later on as the Horde closes in to surround them via Warfront, or will they stay in Kalimdor indefinitely? We’ll have to wait and see, but for the meantime the draenei are staying.

 

NEXT: EASTERN KINGDOMS CITIES

 

Post-BlizzCon 2017 The Unknown Mysteries of Battle for Azeroth
1. Kalimdor Cities2. Eastern Kingdoms Cities3. Battle for Azeroth: Mysteries4. Battle for Azeroth: End Game

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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts

 

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) ***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet's patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donations will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round to bring you the latest interview with the developers, photos, and panel videos (where allowed).

7 thoughts on “Post-BlizzCon 2017: The Unknown Mysteries of Battle for Azeroth

  1. I think that my question is if the “EK for alliance, Kalimdor for Horde” thing is meant to be permanent or just a temporary situation.

    In the same way that it feels really unfair for some races to be uprooted from their ancestral homes, perhaps continental hegemony for each faction would be indeed the best way for a lasting truce, if not peace.

    It would be interesting if this happens to be indeed the long term plan, but are they willing to shake up things so much?

    1. Well, to me it would make sense to move all Horde to Kalimdor, and
      all Alliance to Eastern Kingdoms. they have the phasing technology to
      keep the level 1-110 leveling experience intact, and then switch you
      from level 110-120 and beyond into the new status quo using a phased
      version.

      What would make this radical change
      interesting is the introduction of Allied Races. What if you start a
      level 20 Allied Race starting location and leveling experience in the
      Horde-only Kalimdor phased version instead of the old-school starting
      location? That would feel different in a sense, even creating new
      contemporary quests.

      By that I mean this: the old level
      1-90 quests are not contemporary with a Nightborne storyline. I mean,
      could you imagine a level 20 Nightborne starting in Silvermoon City
      reliving the Cataclysm quests, going through the Dark Portal into
      Outland at level 60, then going to Icecrown to kill Arthas the Lich
      King? Sounds Absurd.

      I say — Allied Races should have
      their own unique level 20-120 leveling experience. Or make them just
      start at the lowest level of the expansion which in this case would be
      level 110.

      Starting at level 20 I think is way too
      exagerated to level to 120 to unlock Heritage Armor. It is a terrible
      idea considering everyone wants to unlock at least 3 Allied Races, and
      future ones.

      1. As good as this sounds, even Blizzard’s resources are limited. I would already be happy if the introduction of the allied races makes us really experience the depth of their lore.

      2. Would be cool, yet highly unlikely with the resources that would be spent. That’s the major issue with adding any new races, the leveling experience will always be outdated for them.

        Even with the scaling leveling being present through all the game, it still means that any character has to go “back on time” when they reach 60 to go to Outland or Northrend.

        So yeah, it won’t make any “in game” sense so you gotta see your leveling experience with these new races as non canon, though I do agree with the idea that it would make more narrative sense for the allied races to start at 110, it would give them a very unfair advantage in terms of investment. People would just make allied races to bypass the leveling haha!

        I think we are stuck with that, at best we can have a disclaimer that, IDK, Chromie is sending you back in time so you can experience this world you have been so cut off from, like your whole leveling experience is a Caverns of time instance. Heck, maybe you have Chromie in the “Adventure Guide” explaining this to you.

    2. While we can’t rule it out, hitting the reset button with us being where we were before the
      expansion started sounds cheap. Then again you are right: Having the two sides seperated by so much distance would rob WoW of much of its potential for tension.

      There might be a plot twist like: The Horde retakes the Blackrock Mountain with the surrounding territory, while the Alliance takes Dire Maul.

      1. Yet in a way, having the continents divided itself is a gridlock that makes the tensions everpresent, yes, but unyielding in results and stagnant.

        With one continent per faction, at least each would be able to truly consolidate their power and advance with more stability, which would benefit Azeroth in the long run. This in turn would make any new territory a new scenario for war, which I think could be a good way of preserving the conflict.

        Personally, I would have preferred if both continents had been split in half rather than a continent each. The divide for EK is easier, on the Thandol Span. North for the horde, south for the Alliance.

        For Kalimdor, I would actually have the horde loose Orgrimmar and Durotar, with the divide happening on the scar in the Barrens, folowing west to give Stonetalon to the alliance, and Desolace to the horde. Thunder Bluff becomes the new Horde capital, the orcs resettle on Dustwallow. Mulgore and the revitalized Desolace serve as food suppliers.

  2. Well I think we miss a simple solution regarding where the Forsaken and Night Elves are going to live now: Silvermoon(one half of the city is free for rent) and Azurmyst Isles(a lot of free space). This would give Blizzard a reason to update these places.

    But speaking of these two races we forget there are a lot of minor Horde powers in the Eastern Kingdoms in peril no one asked about. The Renvantusks are probably save, but what about Okril’lon Hold in the Blasted Lands, with the Dark Portal being a major strategic assess? Stonard, the Blackrock clan, the Dragonmaw clan… I can’t see a bright future for them in an Alliance-controlled continent. Oh and let us not forget the Frostwolves. Could Thrall return with a vengeance story?

    My best guess at how it plays out before the next expansion hits:

    Sylvanas’s rule in Undercity is challenged by the Desolate Council, a group of Forsaken seeking deat since they see no reason to go on. At the same time Stromgarde is retaken by Danath Trollbane, with the Worgen making major moves, maybe taking Southshore. Genn is openly vowing to retake Lordaeron. Meanwhile in Silithus the Alliance manages to take a major load of Azerite from the Horde and ships it to Teldrassil. Sylvanas knows the power of this material and leads a naval attack on Darkshore and Teldrassil(bypassing Ashenvale) to take it back. Something happens and the Azerite explodes, setting Teldrassil on fire.

    The Alliance retaliates…

    This would give both factions a reason to fight for, without making one the big bad. Would Sylvanas order the torching of Teldrassil in cold blood, I can’t see the rest of the Horde standing with her.

    The efforts of Horde and Alliance to have Kul’Tiras/Zandalari join them is pretty logical. Who has controle over the sea has the initiative to attack the other continent. With Azshara appearing I guess we will have a major naval battle between the factions in patch 8.1 or so. Suddenly she and her Nagas appear, sinking the majority of both fleets, ensuring she is the queen of the oceans.

    We deal with this, but I hope we don’t kill her. Kezan being just a dungeon is a heavy blow already.

    As for the endgame: With the Naga defeated both factions resume the war. No distractions and no mercy anymore. Every place of major strategic importance is a battlefield. I don’t know where the last raid starts, but having it being Stormwind would make for a nice tribute to Warcraft 1 and the Siege of Orgrimmar. The Horde would win and major lore figures on both sides would die. Before there can be any victory celebration or even a burial of the death though, we see darkness falling as the forces of N’Zoth make their move, attacking the exhausted Horde/Alliance forces.

    As I said, this is only my best guess.

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