While thinking about what to expect the next expansion many things come to mind. First off we will be seeing Gul'dan whom I have been, not so secretly, asking to be our big baddie for about 4 or 5 years now because I love the fact he is pure evil and not like all the others we face. He is not corrupted. He is not seeking a greater good. He does not have an agenda. He is just evil for the sake of being evil and I think that is what a true villain needs to be. Sadly I do not see him being as big as I had wished him to be but that does not mean I am not glad we are going to be seeing my favorite bad guy.
So we do not know yet how the expansion will end, of course we do not, but it will come and we will find out. Sometimes it is easy to see who the big bad guy will be. It was easy to figure it out in BC, in wrath and in cataclysm without it even needing to be said and while we were told it would be garrosh in mists it was the road to getting there that told the story. Blizzard is not very good at keeping secrets so we will find out who the big bad guy is for warlords before we even have a release date for it, I am almost sure of that.
But I would like to offer a what if scenario for a moment. What if blizzard was good at keeping secrets and what if they had the ultimate surprise up their sleeves, something that would be OMGWTF awe inspiring.
What if we lose in warlords?
I am not talking about losing to the iron horde, I am talking about losing to the alternate universe's burning legion.
Here is how I see next expansion happening for my what if scenario.
We fight back the iron horde from out lands and keep them from entering again by bringing the fight to them. This much we know is true so far but it is past that point that I go on a tangent we know blizzard would never have the balls to do so I will do it, just for fun.
After we start fighting the iron horde and taking out their leaders to make sure there is no threat to us our appearance there raises the interest of some very powerful beings. Beings we know of as the burning legion. We know that they have made contact, just look at Gul'dan for proof of that. So it is only logically that they are keeping an eye on what is going on, seeing if the seed they planted is growing or dying.
When they come back to check on their crop of orc killers to find that not only has this massive army been dismantled but all its leaders are dead or dethroned, all except Gul'dan of course, who informs them of the encroachment of these creatures from another world. This, of course, will require a swift and forceful response because these so called creatures have dismantled the army that the burning legion was making to carry out it whims as the front line fodder in their effort to take over new worlds. The disturbance will need to be dealt with and swiftly.
In the second tier of raiding and story telling we will meet some of those legion members and fight our way through the camps they have begun to set up on the world. We will get to meet, and kill, some of the most famous names we have ever had the pleasure to cross blades with but in a new and interestingly different way. This burning legion is not the same burning legion we beat back, it is a stronger burning legion, one that resides in a reality where no one interferes with what they do and we interlopers must die and they have the power to make that happen.
We finish off the second tier of raiding by defeating the high commanders of the burning legion and seemingly dispelling them from the area. This tier also ends with Gul'dan as the big bad guy of tier 2 because he was the one helping the legion get here sooner all thanks to the information he has learned from capturing and torturing people from our reality that knew about the portals and how they were originally created. He was able to create them himself and he needed to be stopped as he was using them to call reinforcements from many different worlds to his side in an effort to keep us not only at bay, but on his world, until the leaders of the legion could come and claim our heads as their prize.
After we defeat him and close all the gates to the many different worlds he created we begin to pack our bags as the war is over. Or at least we thought it was until names like Kil'jaeden, Archimonde and Sargeras show up to free Gul'dan and give him more power, absolute power, to open as many gates as he possibly can for a full scale invasion from all forces all over the galaxy. No one has ever resisted them in this alternate universe like we have here and they will have none of that now on this world because all worlds belong to the legion or they burn.
Mountains of creatures from different planets come into the world and we are forced to fight them off with every last breath while trying not to let any into the gates to our world. The massive flow of minions of the legion coming through the portal and the raw power Gul'dan is channeling begins to start to cause the world under his feet to tremble and crack. The world will not survive, it will become as the one we know, broken and torn, at the foot of this epic battle.
Our job, as the heroes we are, faced with a challenge we can not win, is to keep the legions forces at arms distance from our portal to our world as long as we can and get as many survivors as we can off draenor in the last raid. We go from zone to zone to hot spots of battling to save what few survivors are left on this planet that is being torn apart. Draenor is a dead world now, the legion could not control it the way that they have controlled it before so they are destroying it in the process.
In their efforts they are not only killing every living being on the planet but they are making a push to come to our world because they wish to enslave us, the people that were able to stand up against them, the only true opposition they have ever had. They want to make us part of them, assimilable us, because we would be great foot soldiers for them.
The last raid is us attempting to stop them from doing just that. The first few fights are generals in the legion army and evacuating as many people as we can, leading heroes we knew from our past and some we just met to our world, people like Durotan, Y'rel and many other civilians and heroes of draenor.
As the time comes closer to full world destruction the bigger foes start pushing us backwards where we have to kill them before they can kill us and the people we are escorting off this dying planet and bringing to our reality. This is the first raid where we are not moving forward to a boss, we are moving backward to escape through the portal before it closes. Any wipe means azeroth, our azeroth, falls at the hands of the alternate universe burning legion.
Just when we think we have it all in our hands we come across a challenge, one we would have never imagined in a million years, one that couldn't possibly be true. Gul'dan opens a gate and then disappears through it but his running does not surprise us even one iota as much as the surprise we get when we see ourselves walk through the gate and the battle begins. We must face ourselves, our alternate reality selves, our empowered by the legion opposite selves.
People always wondered about azeroth in this alternate world, well, azeroth in this alternate world has been a legion stronghold for years. Now we know and now we need to fight them, fight us, the alternate us.
After defeating them we think the coast is clear and we are tasked with closing the gates to our own alternate reality world before we head back to our world. In a fight that will be completely random each week we end up fighting some of the greatest warriors from our past in their alternate reality legion infused versions. The longer the fight goes the more heroes of our alternate world we need to kill meaning the group needs to work on destroying the gate and defeating people whom in our own histories are people we look up to with great respect and great honor.
Then the last battle comes, a battle against the big three, all at once, summoning minions, making advances, and we have to hold them back for however long the portal takes to close. It would not be a set time, it would be some sort of mechanic, the further away from the gate we are the faster it closes, if we let the bosses or minions come closer the fights takes longer.
If we lose this fight our azeroth is destroyed and we see the legion marching through unopposed because all the worlds greatest heroes, the only ones that could have stopped them, were crushed under foot in the alternate universe azeroth. In an interactive twist that has never been added to the game, once this last raid patch is released, legion forces will be pouring out of the dark portal and continue to do so until the some guild on the server downs it in mythic. And then, each time someone wipes on the last fight in mythic, a small pack will come out even after that point. So there will always be a part of the raid in the real game, interaction. A wipe from any one on the server means mobs in the real world.
If we succeed the gate is destroyed and our world is saved with no way for them to come through to our world, at least not now, but we are left with knowing two things. One is that we need to be on the lookout not only for our burning legion but a much stronger and much more advanced burning legion from an alternate reality and two being the knowledge that we have finally met our match and we can not win if ever faced with those numbers on our own soil.
We end the expansion knowing we might have saved ourselves but our interference destroyed a world and alerted another threat of our existence. In the end, we won a few battle but we lost the war, only escaping eradication but not even close to being able to call our venture to the lands of an alternate world a victory. We leave it knowing how truly weak we are. We leave it having lost the war for the first time ever.
How would you envision the next expansion if you could do anything you want, what if you designed the rest of the next expansion past what we already know?
Oh, some added lore for fun.
Durotan becomes the new horde warchief. Y'rel becomes the new leader of her people and Velen steps down to begin building the army of light with Anduin and Baine.