So now in the last two weeks before BlizzCon, many threads like these emerge, many of them claiming that the Burning Legion is next in line, because of Wrathion and whatnot.
But I say, the hints we got point more heavily into the direction of an expansion based upon Azshara and N'Zoth.
Now, all of this is speculative and nothing confirmed, but I wanted it to get out there before any huge leaks appear and the majority can say "Yeah sure, you knew it all beforehand, stop kidding us and yourself, yadayada".
My concept for the next expansion would look like this:
It would start with Azshara raising Nazjatar and other parts of the oceanfloor up to the surface, the first step in her masterplan to finally conquer Azeroth and rule over it.
Questing would be a choice between one mostly underwater-based route, and one mostly land-based route, so those that hated Vashj'ir have an alternative route to quest through, although both routes would feature underwater and land zones/parts of zones, but each more heavily than the other.
1-2 Zandalari, which are going to set up the first raid of the tier.
1 Makrura, featuring their city of Mak'aru
1 Bloodsail Buccaneers
1 Tomb of Sargeras
1-2 revamped Dungeons into Level 100 Heroics -> Blackfathom Deeps & [Wailing Caverns OR Temple of Atal'Hakkar]
1. Abyssal Maw; 2-4 Bosses, with Ozumat as the penultimate, and the corrupted Neptulon the Tidehunter as the last Boss.
2. Zuldazar; 6 (7 for heroic) Bosses, with Prophet Zul as the last Boss, and a revived Hakkar as the heroic-only Boss of this tier.
3. ???; 4-6 Bosses, probably involving Faceless ones
Emerald Dream Daily Quest Hub//Hub similar to the Timeless Isle//Merge between Daily quests & exploration, events, etc.
1-2 Heroics, setting up the raid // 3-4 Scenarios
Rift of Aln Raid; 12 Bosses, with N'Zoth as the last Boss of this Tier
Nazjatar Raid; 14 Bosses, with Queen Azshara as the last Boss of this Tier and the expansion.
6.1 & 6.3 being filler patches with a few Scenarios, setting up the next big Raid patches, continuing the story of the expansion.
Now, I know many people would love an Emerald dream expansion with Azshara/N'Zoth as the big baddies, but the majority of the Nightmare has been dealt with, except for the sealed off Rift. Now with the Aspects losing their powers, this seal might've been broken by N'Zoth, and we need to venture into this specific part of the Dream, helped and guided by the remnants of the green Dragonflight and the Cenarion Circle.
I think that Queen Azshara as the main big baddie and N'Zoth being number 2, is way more probable than an Old God being the one all the attention is focused on. Similar to WotLK, where Ulduar and Yogg'Saron was 3.1, although you may argue that Yoggy was/is more powerful than the Lich King, but the expansion was focused on the LK and not the strongest enemy we would face during the patch cycle.
I could even imagine that Azshara has cut her bonds with the Old Gods, or at least does so when we defeat N'Zoth and allying herself with the Legion - but not so foolishly like she did during the WotA, but wanting and being promised a leadership position in the post-invasion Azeroth - and when we finally confront her in the last raid, out of desperation in the moment she is about to lose, she opens up a portal to allow the Burning Legion access to Azeroth.
This would then be a perfect lead-in to expansion VI, where we have to face the Invasion of the Burning Legion.
NOTE: This is a work in progress, so over the next few days I'm going to expand on this framework, adding in more lore for the filler patches, possible raid bosses etc.
Now, please try and don't turn this into a thread where the Legion fanboys and the South Seas fanboys bash each other, throwing with "facts" why the other side is so wrong about what is coming next, etc. etc.
Hope this remains a constructive thread about possible next expansion ideas as long as possible.