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.

The armor models, which are very incomplete, have file names such as “inv_boots_cloth_kultirasquest_b_01” which WoWhead points out is the same naming scheme used for expansion leveling armor. For example, the leveling armor in Legion uses files names like “inv_chest_leather_legionquest100_b_01” and Warlords of Draenor used “inv_bracer_leather_draenorquest90_b_01.” One the of the datamined armor pieces even has a map of Kul Tiras (and some foreboding Old God-ish tentacles surrounding it) as part of its texture:

 

Now what really gets me excited about this armor is that this wouldn’t be the first, second, or even third time art assets from the next expansion were accidentally included in the final patch of the current one. There’s a clear precedent for leaks like this which goes back all the way to 2007.

When patch 2.4, Fury of the Sunwell, went on the PTR, dataminers noticed several new art assets had been added under the name “Howling Fjord.” This was months before Wrath of the Lich King would be announced at BlizzCon.

Howling Fjord art assets datamined in the 2.4 PTR. Image courtesy of engadget.

 

The same occurred again in 2009, when Blizzplanet contributor Handclaw discovered art assets for new Hallow’s End masks for worgen and goblins in the patch 3.2, Call of the Crusade, PTR (strangely not an end of expansion patch like the other two). Hallow’s End masks, at the time, portrayed only playable races and the artwork for both the worgen and goblin masks was brand new. Blizzard tried to cover it up by adding several more masks in the next PTR build, including vrykul, naga, ogres, and murlocs, but they were all recycled art of much lower quality (with the notable exception of the female ogre mask, which was the only canon depiction of a female ogre until the release of World of Warcraft: Traveler in 2016). Several months later, at BlizzCon 2009, Cataclysm was announced.

The infamous goblin and worgen Hallow’s End masks as datamined by Handclaw in 2009.

History repeated itself yet again with patch 5.4, Siege of Orgrimmar, going up on the PTR in 2013 with a mysterious texture called “Iron Horde.”

The “Iron Horde” texture from the 5.4 PTR. Image courtesy of engadget.

 

While less clear-cut than the Howling Fjord leak, mainly because no one had any idea what the Iron Horde was at the time, speculation bore fruit several months later with the announcement of Warlords of Draenor. Now it looks like it’s happening again, this time perhaps finally pointing towards the long-awaited naga/South Seas expansion. This also isn’t the only reference to Kul Tiras we’ve gotten in Legion. Kul Tiras marines can be found as skrog prisoners in Azsuna, and the game files for Azsuna’s art assets include a strange, half finished model for something called “Kul Tiras Lighthouse.”

Unfinished model called “7az_kultiras_lighthouse.” Found by me in the WoW Model Viewer folder for Azsuna back in October of 2016.

 

While this is all very exciting, history shows us that if this “leak” is correct we won’t hear anything else until BlizzCon. For now all we can do is speculate, and hope that soon we may finally be paying a visit to Kul Tiras.

 

Previous Kul’Tiras Rumor articles:

 

Ian Bates

World of Warcraft Writer and columnist for Blizzplanet. I am also known as The Red Shirt Guy (BlizzCon).

Twitter