I've been kicking this idea around for a couple months now, and think I'm ready to start sharing it. I was inspired by Golden Yak's Spider Kingdom concept, though I can't match his level of detail, or artistic ability. Even so, I'd love to start getting feedback.
An Azeroth you've never seen.
The Emerald Dream – a parallel world, created by the Titans as a living model for their shaping of Azeroth. This unchanging realm was never to be touched by mortal hands, and for countless millennia has been under the watchful care of the Green Dragonflight and their druid allies.
But now the Dream is changing. Some parts have been reshaped to reflect Azeroth as it now is. Other places are closed to the dragons altogether. For the first time, mortal champions of all stripes are entering the Dream. For if the Dream fails, Azeroth will be plunged into a new nightmare.
New realm – The Emerald Dream: Journey into lands long ago lost beneath the oceans of Azeroth, and explore the creation of the world.
New Hero Class – Dragonsworn: The Green dragons have called on their Red and Bronze brethren to help understand this new situation. Together they have empowered a new force of mortal champions to battle threats to the Dream and Azeroth.
New progression system – Path of the Titans: Explore the legacy of the Titans, and the blessings they placed upon their ancient servants.
New races – Alliance Naga and Horde Ogres: Two bands of outcasts will be forced to forge alliances for survival and join the battle to save the world.
New secondary profession – Sailing: Explore the ancient sea within the Dream aboard your own skiff, and face exciting new challenges.
New endgame content - Labyrinth: Gather your party and assault a sprawling, difficult stronghold full of your most dangerous enemies.
Level cap raised to 95.
INTO THE DREAM
For thousands of years, the druids of the Cenarian Circle spent their lives in hibernation, allowing their spirits to walk and serve in the Dream. Today, a new generation of druids have devoted themselves to the waking world, fighting as Champions for the Alliance and Horde. These young Night Elves and Tauren, along with the Troll and Worgen newcomers, are now being called to fulfill their original duty.
In the wake of the Cataclysm, the power of the dragon aspects has been greatly diminished. With strange transformations popping up in the formerly unchanging Dream, Ysera, leader of the Green flight, has called for mortal assistance to explore and investigate the extent of the changes.
Emissaries of the Cenarian Circle have come to Stormwind and Orgrimmar. With the help of some of Azeroth's brightest engineers, they have created a way for any mortal to enter the Dream sleep. Once there, the adventurer will begin exploring the first changes in the dream: recreations of the two capital cities.
In the east, a forest has bent and twisted itself into streets and walls, and springs fed canal-like streams. The Circle has dubbed it Stormbough. Across the world, an empty canyon has erupted with dark stone, forming great walls and wide huts: Onyxmar.
Both “cities” are inhabited by shadowy beings that flee before Cenarian druids and dragons. They have no such respect for the misplaced mortals, and reveal what they are: Naga. But defeating them will raise far more questions, and Ysera, seeing the extent of the threat to the dream, calls all who will aid to Moonglade, where she has created a gateway directly into the Dream.
She has also called her fellow dragons. Red and Bronze dragons enter the Dream for the first time, joining mortals as they explore this strange realm. Kalegos and Wrathion have come as well. Though neither has a flight to lead, both still possess great power, and understand what a threat to the Dream means for all of Azeroth.
Players will set out across never before seen lands, the place between Azeroth's familiar continents, that sank into the ocean in the Shattering. This is a vibrant world rich in life, some familiar, and some wildly different. But the creatures are agitated, and the farther you go, the more aggressive and destructive they get. Near the center of the great continent, a great barrier has risen, cutting the dragons off from whatever is inside.
There is even more to the Dream than first meets the eye. The Dream is the Titans' final model for Azeroth, but there are places where older versions exist beneath the surface. These dreams-within-dreams are earlier drafts of the Titans' work, and by entering them players can glimpse the very inception of Azeroth itself.
As the players come to the barrier, the truth will be discovered. Queen Azshara has found a way to twist the dream in order to reshape Azeroth, and her goal is raising her sunken capital from the floor of the ocean. From there she can unleash the power of the Dream upon the mortal races, and usher in a dark new age for Azeroth.
New Horde Race: Firetide Ogres
It's been nearly thirty years since the Dark Portal opened and the Orcs and their Ogre slaves invaded Azeroth. Since that time the ogres have spread across Azeroth, settling in whatever hole or hovel they can find. Some clans have fared better than others.
The Firetide clan came from Hellfire Peninsula, where they lived on the volcanic shores of Draenor's great ocean, fishing and hunting great sea beasts. At the end of the First War they took to Azeroth's seas, eventually making their way to a rugged stretch of the northern Lorderon coast. Ringed by mountains, behind seemingly impenetrable shoals, the Firetide have built a life in the shadow of ancient Night Elf tower.
Shorter and sharper than the average ogre, the Firetide have thrived in their new home. Neither the Scourge nor the Cataclysm posed a threat to them, and none of the other peoples of the region have troubled them. Excellent fishermen, they have even established a small amount of trade with the Blood Elves in the Ghostlands, trading lumber and smoked fish for tools and refined materials.
But now a threat is rising from the ocean itself. Naga have stormed through the Firetide villages, slaughtering all in their way as they head inland for the elf ruins. Now the Firetide's survival may come down to the one action they never wanted to take: returning to the Horde.
New Alliance Race: Silverdeep Naga
Long ago, much of the great sea between Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms was land, ruled by the Night Elves. Beneath the waves many of their ancient cities still remain, but the inhabitants are no longer elves.
As the land collapsed in the Sundering, the Highborne Queen, Azshara, made a pact with a dark power to save herself and her people. Twisted and remade into the Naga, they have long seethed with hatred for those who live on the surface.
The most remote naga city is Naz'tej, home of the Silverdeep clan. This clan has spent 10,000 years watching over the Silver Temple and the powerful relic within. But now Azshara has sent agents to unleash the relic's power, regardless of the damage it will cause to the city and its people.
With the rest of their kind bringing war against them, the Silverdeep have no choice but to flee to the surface, and seek out allies among those who walk the land.
Dragonsworn are plate-wearing, mana using soldiers with specializations in melee DPS, caster DPS, and healing. They are available to the original World of Warcraft races: humans, dwarves, gnomes, night elves, orcs, trolls, tauren, and forsaken.
Dragonsworn, like Death Knights, begin at level 55. Their questing experience will be significantly longer, but they will finish at level 85. The DS's story will play out in chapters, and weave in parts of the regular questing experience in the zones he visits.
Specs and Playstyles
Time Breaker: Melee dragonsworn empowered by the Bronze Dragonflgiht, Time Breakers are fast moving dual-wielders, who compliment swift weapon attacks with arcane and nature spells. With both disengage and charge type abilities, and several ranged spells, the TB can be a danger to any enemy, in any moment.
Dreamstate: Schooled in the power of the Green Dragonflight, these dragonsworn have a constant sense of the Emerald Dream. Wielding great power of nature, they use powerful debuffs to control their enemies, and synergistic procs to unleash devastating damage.
Life Binder: A healer following the Red Dragons, the Binder uses the powers of nature and cleansing flame to heal allies and consume enemies.
THE TIMEWALKERS AND THE INFINITE RAIDERS
Beside the Dragonsworn, a second mortal force has been empowered by dragons: the Timewalkers. This new faction serves and aids the Bronze Dragonflight in the same way the druids serve the Green flight. Led by Chronormu, who is known in gnome form as Chromie, they will assist players in entering and exploring the deeper levels of the Dream, pursuing the ancient secrets of the Titans' power to shape the world.
The Naga are in these places as well, aided by a dark version of the Timewalkers: the Infinite Raiders. These traitors and their mysterious leader, “Velocity”, are seeking powerful artifacts out of history, some to steal out of the past, and others to recover in the present. Players will race against them through quests, instances, and scenarios.
The Raiders' existence sparks great concern among the other dragons, and the Aspects confront Nozdormu. He angrily brushes aside their concern, saying mortals getting corrupted was inevitable, so better to let it happen and stamp it out quickly. The other Aspects worry that his self-prophecied fall is beginning.
Near the end of leveling the Raiders' leader will be discovered, a highborn elf named Velos Lightswift. He was a servant of Nozdormu thousands of years before, and was thought by the Aspect to have died in the Sundering. But he was captured by the Old Gods in the same way Azshara and her followers were. While they were transformed into Naga, he was spirited away, kept by them until he could be useful.
PATH OF THE TITANS
Hidden throughout the Dream, and in many subdreams, are Titanic markers. These obelisks are like notes the Titans left on their work. But each one is also a vessel of immense power, and a mortal who can learn to tap one will be able to gain a small portion of that power.
That is done by recovering uncharged Titan runes. These are found as rare drops when killing mobs, and can be gained in dungeons, scenarios, and even via PvP. But they are most easily produced through archeology.
Bringing an uncharged rune to an obelisk will siphon a hint of its power, giving the player access to new bonuses. Uncharged runes can be sold or traded, and are used in professions as well. Once a rune is charged it is placed in a runebook. From here players can select the runes they want to place in a their Path, something like a small, personalized talent tree.
A few runes unlock strong combat abilities, many others are small buffs, and some grant utility abilities and superficial appearance options. The most powerful on-use runes, Master Runes, require several weaker runes lined up in a chain to be enabled. Runes are not class-specific, but will not be useful to all roles.
Increase duration of damage reduction abilities by 25%.
Gain the power of Khaz'goroth, increasing strength by 50% for your next three attacks.
Greater Enhancement Runes:
Increases your mana returns by 100% for ten seconds.
Call on Eonar to cause your direct heals to heal additional nearby allies for five seconds.
Lesser Enhancement Runes:
Increase hit rating by 1%
Increase haste rating by 1%
Runes of Titan's Touch:
You become larger than normal for your race.
You become smaller than normal for your race.
The powers you wield leave a permanent mark on your skin. Visit a barber to change how it appears. (tattoos!)
Perform a last right over a vanquished foe, gaining health and (regenerating resource), and/or delaying the decay of (decaying resource).
The Dream is rife with buried Dragon and Titan artifacts waiting to be discovered. Brann Bronzebeard has established a new group, and is encouraging all adventurers to find as much as they can. To foster this, he has brought Professor Harrison Jones in to teach Remedial Artifact Recovery. This will allow players to skill up their archeology profession at the cost of a few hundred gold and a modest amount of time.
At the center of the Dream sits the Rift of Aln, a bottomless gouge in the Dream that corresponded to Azeroth's lost Well of Eternity. Once it was a fount of power, but when the Well imploded in the Sundering the Rift fell dark and empty.
Recently, Malfurion Stormrage pushed the Nightmare back into the Rift,. Though he could not destroy it, he sealed the rift to hold the Nightmare at bay, freeing him to help deal with the Cataclysm. Now the darkness is seeping out again, twisting the land and the creatures of the Dream into malevolent forms.
But this time, something has erected a barrier around the Rift, protecting it from dragon and druid alike. Ysera reacted by erecting a great outer barrier, enclosing all the corrupted and threatened lands, protecting the rest of the Dream. But it has sapped much of her power, forcing the dragons to seek aid.
Throughout the Dream there are Titan markers, relics left by the shapers as notes on their work. These will help players unlock their Path of the Titans advancements.
The Green Lands (90-92)
Initial area, players will deal with naga and corrupted wildlife in the dream.
Alliance and Horde representatives are stopped by the dragons, who do not want their conflict in the Dream. Both sides manage to send a few agents in among the non-uniformed adventurers.
Players will quickly meet an NPC “guild” from their faction: Wrynn's Raiders or Thrall's Thrashers. These groups will serve as quest givers, and several scenarios will have the players “filling in” on their “raids”.
The Endless Plains (92-93)
At first glance, this is a seemingly small zone, and is apparently free of the Nightmare. A gently rolling plain, Stormbough sits on a high ridge at the western edge, with Ysera's barrier just beyond it. The Timewalkers have based themselves in this “city”. From here players will be sent repeatedly out, crossing varied, earlier versions of the region: a dense forest, a rocky desert, a fiery volcanic plain, and toxic swampland. Each version will have its own variation on animal and elemental life.
Through these phases players will get vague glimpses of the Titans themselves, echos seen through smoke and shadow of the great works and decisions of Azeroth's shapers.
The Inner Sea (93 – 94)
Several archipelagos, a few large islands that correspond to modern South Seas islands.
Home to a race of newt-like people, the Eld. Powerful water magicians who have shaped homes and villages within the coral reefs among the islands.
Without flying, players will be taught the Sailing skill, and use small rafts and skiffs to navigate the islands.
Primary Naga presence within the dream.
Naga have brought the captured Neptulon, and are using him to manipulate the Dream's seas.
Alliance and Horde have established small outposts without the dragons' notice, and are discretely contending for resources.
Wrathion and Kalecgos have set up here, to observe the Naga and direct players in how to deal with them. They will ultimately help you drive Neptulon out of the Dream.
On the north coast, Zandalari trolls have crossed over from their homeland, and are raiding Naga camps in the Dream, stealing what the serpents have sought.
Leveling will stick to the chains of small islands in the north of the sea. End game opens up access to higher levels of sailing and larger boats, to access daily quest zones on the large islands in the south.
The Rampant Nightmare (93-94)
Home of the Druids of Nightmare, and the most tainted portion of the dream. The Cenarion Circle has dug in in Onyxmar, and from here will launch an assault on barrier that has enclosed the rift.
The Dying Paradise (94-95)
A region of death and decay, once unimaginable in the Dream. Here Green and Red dragons work hard to undo the damage even as they try to grasp how it happened. Lost spirits, rampaging elementals, and Nightmare aberrations roam among dead forests and toxic pools.
The Naga are in the area as well, and players will be able to ambush and capture some. Interrogations will glean that they are also curious about what has happened in the area, though their reasons why are not shared.
The Emerald Rise (95+)
A high plateau overlooking the barrier around the Rift. From here Ysera powers her outer barrier, and the green dragons guide the mortal champions in battle against the corrupting forces. This small zone will serve as the sanctuary for factions, and a central hub to send max level players out for dailies.
There will be portals connecting to important points in other Dream zones, as well as flight masters. Players will not initially be allowed to fly, as “the skies are too dangerous for the untrained”. (flying enabled in patch 6.1)
The Nightmare has been reaching out into Azeroth, capturing the minds of dark and disaffected people. Former cultists, bandits, and others have slowly been gathering in the Barrens, mingling among corrupted plant and animal life. This elite force is being shaped to wreak havoc on the waking world, and must be defeated before it can be unleashed.
The Naga have made a large push into the caverns and substructures of this ancient Night Elf temple. Clear them out, and find out what they're after.
Caverns of Time - The Tomb of Sargeras
The Infinite Raiders have emerged in the Third War, when Illidan entered to search for the Eye of Sargeras. Intercept the Raiders and make sure they do not interfere with history. And search for anything else of value while you're there.
The Dragon Slayers
Chase a team of naga and Infinite Raiders through time, preventing them from assassinating Ysera at key points over the months leading up to her discovery of the Nightmare's return.
A great tree within the dream, this has been the resting place of the Druids of the Pack, the original worgen, for millenia. The tree lies beyond Ysera’s barrier, but the feral worgen within are awakening and showing signs of corruption. Assault the den among the tree’s roots and kill the remaining worgen.
The Cenarian Assault
Join the Cenarian Circle and the Green Flight in the Dying Paradise as they attempt to bring down the barrier that has enclosed the Rift of Aln. Fight through an army of corrupted creatures, traitorous druids, and naga to reach the barrier, only to see the power of the nightmare unleashed on the mighty Green Dragon leading the fight, forcing you to kill him before he is used to wipe out your forces.
The Golden Reef
Help the Eld reclaim their home from Naga invaders. Battle above and below the surface, in a large instance rife with optional bosses, akin to Halls of Origination. The more bosses you kill, the more powerful and rewarding the final boss will be.
Nightmare Vault - Violet Hold style instance in Stormwind’s unused canal fortress.
A storage center for dangerous artifacts recovered by the Alliance, this fortress of stone and iron and magic can not be penetrated from the outside. But Nightmare dominated dragons have crossed over from the Dream, bypassing those defenses. Chase them through their rift, and hold off attacking waves of enemies and the dangerous powers they unleash from the Vault, until the Cenarion druids can close the rift.
18 waves - random boss encounters at 6 & 12, dragon boss at 18.
Items of power/boss fights:
- Kel’Thuzad’s phylactery - Releases the Lich’s spirit, who reconstitutes a body from the remains of your foes.
- Kael’thas’ armory - The weapons of Keth’thas’ advisors are taken up by the Nighmare’s servants.
- Talisman of Binding Shard - Empowers the enemy who seizes it with wind and lightning.
The Kaj Mountain
On the Dream’s version of Kezan, great crystals of kaja’mite dot the slopes. The same substance was found on Kezan, and the Goblins in the horde are eager to claim it. Naturally, the Alliance wants anything the Horde wants. Gather nodes of crystal and bring it back to your base, without drawing the ire of the green dragons that periodically pass overhead.
RAIDS - FIRST TIER
World Boss – Carla Fort, the Crypt Bandit
This mage is a powerful member of the Infinite Raiders, and is frequently found digging for artifacts in the Dying Paradise. A one-time student of Brann Bronzebeard, she is determined to surpass her former teacher and unlock the Titans' secrets for her new masters.
World Boss – The Dream Crawler
A massive crab ancient who has long lived peacefully in the Dream's seas. It attacked the naga when they invaded its realm, but was badly wounded battling Neptulon. It comes ashore now on the southern islands, driven mad by pain and sickness from its wounds. It wields a tree trunk in one massive claw, threatening any who approach with “the surf bat”.
The Serpent Front
Assault the Naga base in the Inner Sea, and drive them out of the Dream.
The Engines of Creation
A Naga force has been spotted in Northrend, heading into the great machinery within the Storm Peaks. These massive Titan machines have never been properly explored, and their fantastic power is about to be activated, with unknown consequences. Battle naga and reprogrammed Titan constructs, and, under the direction of Mimiron, sabotage the massive machines themselves, while fighting off waves of naga, earthen, and mechagnomes trying to stop you. (Ideally it would be a fast-paced, dynamic fight of moving platforms, drops, launches, and whole lot of hilarity. Imagine trying to raid inside a giant pinball machine.)
The Rift of Aln
The source of the Nightmare, it was sealed away by Malfurion Stormrage, but was not permanently defeated. Bosses will be corrupted dragons and druids, with the Nightmare as the final fight. Nightmare will coalesce into a series of low HP bosses which when defeated dissolve into an untargetable form to unleash heavy raid damage before bringing the next form in. (Potentially, each form and AoE phase could be a boss from an old raid tier. Familiar mechanics to long-time players, but a dozen or more possibilities for how the fight can go.)
Updated 5-28-13 with new instances, a BG, and links to Dragonsworn thread in OP. New Patch info found here.