Perhaps this thread is speculation. Perhaps it is fan fiction. Or perhaps I have information on the next expansion - information that I am dying to share with everyone else. All possible futures are laid bare to my sight. Today, I shall show you one of these possible futures - a time yet to come, a time long past, and a time that will never be...
- Patch 5.5 (which may, or may not, actually be numbered 5.5) is a patch like none other that has come before it. Simulatenously an epilogue to Mists of Pandaria and a prologue to Infinite.
- Alliance players will follow a quest chain that begins with helping the Alliance regroup and withdraw from Orgrimmar, and culminates in the homecoming of Varian Wrynn to Stormwind, where he is finally crowned High King of the Alliance.
- Horde players are tasked with picking up the pieces of their ruined capital, and their shattered Horde. This questline begins with a focus on bringing the orcs back into the fold - as the large majority of Orcs followed Hellscream - and this task is faciliatated primarily by Varok Saurfang. This questline culminates in the throning of the new warchief (who will be decided at the end of the SoO raid, so I won't spoil that here.)
- Both faction questlines rewards unique cosmetic gear that will be only available until the release of Infinite. "Wargear of the United Horde" and "Raiment of the High King's Guard" are two of the cooler looking armor sets in the game, and some of the only unique art assets found in this patch.
- Several weeks after the release of 5.5, emissaries of the Timewalkers will appear in capital cities across Azeroth, sending players on a short questline that tasks the player with tracking down a traitor from within the Timewalkers. This culminates in the corruption of Nozdormu, who disappears into the timeways shortly after (how is this possible? Explained in the quests is that our actions against Murozond, in the future, never happened - as that timeline was unraveled after Deathwing's defeat. However, unraveling that timeline did not stop those who have corrupted Murozond from doing so - it just means that this time it will play out differently than it did in End Time.)
- Players will be dispatched to various zones across Azeroth (including Northrend ) and Outland to fight off temporal invasions by the infinite dragonflight. Zones which will feature temporal incusrions include: Tirisfal Glades, Darkshore, Terokkar Forest, Storm Peaks, and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
- A Temporal Invasion event is part zone-wide quest, part scenario. Using Tirisfal as an example, the first part of the quest involves fighting off undead and legion forces who spawn from portals across the zone. Mobs from these inital waves have a chance to drop (for all players) infinite remnants, which can be combined in quanities of 10 to create an infinite essence.
- After enough portals have been closed, new portals will begin to open and spawn mini-boss MOBs. Again, using Tirisfal as an example, the mini-bosses include named Abominations, Nathrezim, and Infinite-corrupted Lordaeron Paladins. These MOBs drop Infinite Essences.
- The invasion of the zone now complete, players can now queue (for the next hour) for a scenario linked to that zone, where they will face off against a boss from the Infinite Dragonflight. In this case, players follow the timeways to Lordaeron, in the past, where they face a wave of infinite dragons disguised as knights of Lordaearon, followed by the boss, an infite dragon. The boss drops Infinite Essences as well as Time-Lost armor tokens.
- 10 Infinite Essences can be turned in to Timewalker emissaries for ilevel 535 rings, cloaks, amulets, bracers, or boots. 200 Infinite Essences will reward the player with an Infinite Drake, a dragon mount with an Infinite Dragonflight colorization. Time-Lost armor tokens can be turned in for a role-specific piece of armor with generic set bonuses (ala the UIndead Slayer sets for the Wrath pre-Event)
- Infinite Invasions cease to occur at the release of Infinite.
World of Warcraft: Infinite
- All this leads up to one thing - the release of World of Warcraft: Infinite, the fifth expansion World of Warcraft.
- Infinite continues the focus on compelling storytelling from Mists of Pandaria. The expansion itself exists as a way to bring into focus a wide variety of storylines that have existed within WoW from day one, but may not have always been made clear (or told well) when they were introduced.
- There is no new class and no new race for this expansion - the crafting revamp, the high profile story content, and the other features of the expansion are meant to be the selling point, not a new race or class.
- The level cap is raised to 100
- Crafting Revamp! Players can now join and gain reputation with several artisan factions, each with their own unique rewards and perks. Example - crafting certain blacksmithing recipes not only creates an item, but gains Thorium Brotherhood reputation, which unlocks special items including blacksmithing-specific minor glyphs that do things like give your blacksmithing patterns a chance to proc an extra copy of the crafted item, or a chance to proc purple items instead of blues.
- Trial of the Timewalkers - a new way to advance characters from level 1 to 90. These trials are a series challenging scenarios that players can attempt at levels 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 85 that, when completed, instantly advance your character to the next rank (ie; complete the level 10 trial, advance instantly to level 20 with a full set of gear comparable to level 20 quest greens). These trials are not for the faint of heart, and require an understading of the class you are playing to proceed. The intention here is to make the leveling process easier for new players, making the expansion more accesible - however the challenge is great to ensure that players who level up this way do know how to play their class.
- Scalable Dungeons and Raids - Several older raids and dungeons have been given new scaling technology, allowing players to experience these instances at any level with the same challenge. Rewards are faction reputation, transmog gear, and tokens that can be turned in for heroic-blue equivalent gear.
- Zones in this expansion are not 'new' geographical areas. Instead, the 'new' zones are existing zones - but in a different time period, often altered in some way by the infinite dragonflight.
- Players can access these zones by utilizing a spell, granted during the opening breadcrumb of the expansion, that allows them to phase out of the prent timeline and into the destination timeline while standing in Timewalker Hubs scattered throughout the world.
- [89 - 92] Lordaeron (Tirisfal Glades + Parts of the Plaguelands) - First up in the new zones is Lordaeron. This zone will focus on the alternate past in which Arthas Menethil never discovered the plagued grain shipment to Stratholme, and thus never became the Lich King. In this timeline, Arthas has married Jaina Proudmoore and succeeded his father as Thanagor - King of Lordaeron. However, without Arthas to become the Lich King and wrest control of the scourge from the Legion, and without Jaina to travel to Kalimdor with Thrall, the Legion has conquered much of Azeroth and Lordaeron remains one of the last failing bastions still standing. The player is tasked with investigating this timeline, seeing firsthand what would have happened had Arthas not become the Lich King, and sees the plans of the Legion come to fruition. Throughout the zone the player also hears whispers from an ancient Old God, awakened and unchained from its ancient Titan Prison below tirisfal. The zone culminates in a doomed last-ditch defense against the legion, followed by the players and Chromie escaping this timeline - the players moving on to the next zone while Chromie travels to Northrend, in the past, to enlist the player's past selves to prevent this timeline from ever coming to pass.
- [98-100] Arathi Warfront (Arathi Highlands) - One of the final leveling zones is Arathi Warfront, a future version of the Arathi Highlands. In this zone, the players witness firsthand the chaos and destruction of the Burning Legion's all-out assult on Azeroth. Surrounded on all sides, the players encounter the Army of Light, led by a matured Anduin Wrynn (who is wielding Ashbringer). These forces include many high-profile names from through WoW, including members from all playable races, Dragons, and Naaru. Throughout this Zone, players see the endgame of the Legion and the 'defeat' of the forces of the light. A large portion of this zone's questing teams the player with a future version of themself - which is a really fun moment that adds a bit of a personal touch to the gameplay. The final verdict at the culmination of the zone - we don't stand a chance, as is, against the full might of the legion.
- Other zones throughout the expansion include The Cradle of Creation (Past version of the badlands that focuses on the Titan complex of Uldaman and allows players to witness the creation of the Earthen and see the Titan vs. Old God war.), past versions of Darkshore, Terokkar Forest, and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, and future versions Dragonblight and Desolace.
- The story of the expansion links together the Burning Legion and the Old Gods, and shows that the Infinite Dragonflight are Bronze Dragons that have been corrupted by N'zoth in the future. This is brought about by a 'traitor' within the Timewalkers who turns out to be the Demon Mal'ganis.
- Sargeras' fall is fully explained, and shows how the Burning Legion and Old Gods are connected via the fallen Titan.
- Dungeons include past versions of the Black Temple (where players are tasked, by Wrathion, to travel back through time and retrieve Illidan Stormrage, bringing Illidan into the future to team with Wrathion. Wrathion believes Illidan's knowledge is key to deating the Legion, and this is very likely a plant for sort of Demon Hunter class in a future expansion.
- Alleria and Turaylon are not addressed in the expansion, though it is hinted that the players will travel to a past version of Netherstorm at some point which will have, in some way or another, a connection to the two.
- The Emerald Dream is mentioned in the expansion by Khazgoroth (whom you meet in Uldaman, in the past). It will be site of a great conflict between the Titans (who created the Dream as a 'blueprint' of Azeroth), and the Old Gods.
- The Caverns of time have been redesigned and are now the site of a quest hub/mini-city that corresponds to this expansion.
There is much, much more to tell. But viewing the timeways, and relating their content, is tiresome. So I leave you now, mortals - for a time.