I originally posted this on the official forum (http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/8498400198), but I guess I'll try to bring the discussion here as well:
With less than 2 weeks till BlizzCon, I wanna try to guess the next expansion. Anyone wanna join me?
Here's my take:
"The Dark Below" will be a WoW expansion (despite "everyone" saying the names a fake). Remember Ozumat (the kraken) from "Throne of the Tides" dungeon? His title is "Fiend of the Dark Below". To me, this indicates that the next expansion will make another attempt at underwater zones.
Patch 6.0.1: Judging from all the clues that Wrathion gives during the current legendary quest-line, I expect to see a return of the Burning Legion. Wrathion is temporarily teaming up with Queen Azshara. Together they re-open the portal near the first Well of Eternity to the Burning Legion's homeworld in attempt to launch a counter-attack.
Queen Azshara's corruption and anger runs too deep, so Wrathion abandons her and we'll face her as the 1st boss of the 1st tier.
Kil'jaeden returns to Azeroth (the Sunwell was merely a setback!). He will be the 2nd boss of the 1st tier. Upon his defeat, he will herald the coming of Sargeras.
Patch 6.1: Filler-patch. Reveals that an Old God is about to break loose.
Patch 6.2: One of the Old Gods will be raid-boss for the 2nd tier. Probably N'Zoth (check out the whispers from the "Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron": http://wowpedia.org/Puzzle_Box_of_Yogg-Saron#Notes). He will be referred to as "The Dark Below"
Patch 6.3: 2nd filler-patch. Inhabitants of Azeroth is preparing to defend against Sargeras' invasion.
Patch 6.4: As Kil'jaeden has fallen for the last time, Sargeras will make a personal visit to Azeroth in a final attempt to conquer it, and he will be the end-boss. Sargeras resurrects Queen Azshara to be part of a scenario, or 5-man (the raid was merely a setback).
New level cap is 95.
The Burning Legion will attack from two fronts: The portal that Wrathion and Queen Azshara opens and Outland. Either the already discovered parts of Outland will get a revamp, or we will see the discovery of new Outland zones (possibly a combination of both).
If new Outland-zones are discovered, these zones will have been more heavily affected by the strange properties of the Twisting Nether. The new zones may be constantly morphing. Some instances might get random layouts every time you enter (like Diablo-maps). And we may see historic events repeat itself as time does not exist in normal state in the Nether.
Due to the success of 3-man scenarios, I expect to see raids getting scenario-like mechanics as well.
Old raids will be revived!
By old raids, I mean all the tier-raids like Molten Core all the way up to the latest raid-tier.
The way I imagine that people access these raids is that a time-less artifact has been found. The artifact can either already have been discovered by some NPC's and made available for immediate use, or access could be given through an attunement-quest. You can only group up with other players from the same "Connected Realm"-group and/or RealID/BattleTag-friends. Through this artifact, people can enter all the tier-raids that has ever been.
When people enter the raid, all mobs and bosses will be scaled up (think like SoO Flex). To give an example: When people enter Molten Core through this artifact, mobs and bosses will scale up, based on the average item-level of the raid (this to prevent people from over-gearing the raid). And similar for people entering Dragon Soul.
So what incentives should there be for people to run these raids if gear doesn't matter? I think leaderboards can be created, much like for the challenge-modes. Bosses and mobs can drop cosmetic versions of the items that they would otherwise drop when entering them the normal way. For example: Ragnaros can drop stat-less cosmetic versions of T2 leggings and any other item that would drop in the normal raid. This can also be an alternative way of acquiring alternative currency like Valor and/or Justice points, or "Lesser Charm of Good Fortune"-equivalents.
LFR loot-system will be changed to give rewards based on contribution in the raid. This system will also look at the highest average ilvl of your gear (not just equipped, but also in bags/bank) to determine a minimum level of expected contribution. No more free loot to AFK'ers! \o/
More world-events, similar to the events in Guild Wars 2 and the fates in "Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn". Will use contribution-based reward-system.
Another thing that came to my attention is that The Emerald Dream problem was not entirely solved. There's still the "Rift of Aln".
This "primeval" energy could emanate from an Old God, and since it says it comes from the depths of Azeroth's sea, I'd say this is quite an obvious reference to the Dark Below. Very likely N'Zoth.Originally Posted by http://wowpedia.org/Rift_of_Aln
One scenario that pops into my mind now is that N'Zoth might try to corrupt Wrathion, the way he corrupted Neltharion. To me, it wouldn't make sense to kill off Wrathion already, so maybe we'll have to fight N'Zoth to save Wrathion, and one possible place to fight him would be within the remains of Emerald Nightmare.