Long story short, I'm not going to be surprised if we're still in the alternate timeline come 7.0. A caveat for that though, would be that Blizzard are planning on shorter, punchier expansions, so all in all two AU!xpacs might just come to about the same length as WOTLK (Just without the year without content.).
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I kinda like the idea of reaching Alt-zeroth to bolster our own universe, the light knows we just keep throwing people to the battlefield.
More than speculation this is fanfic, but why not indulge a bit? From a gameplay standpoint, it would be just too lazy to remade azeroth for a third time, who would want that? But since Alt-Draenor hasn't been blown up, maybe Azeroth could have that fate.
It would work to give us a solid idea what to expect, what is what the Legion is really after, a juicy tease about the truth of everything. Let the Legion succeed on the alt verse to have a glimpse of our own future.
So right after WoD, we see the destruction of Alt-zeroth (maybe using some phased version of our own) Given the scale of the catastrophe and our own weakened timeline (cause we just keep unweaving that shit) due the events of WoD, the crumbling Alt-zeroth shifts into our own plane and threatens to crash against our own continents.
Our first mission is to aid the Earthen Ring into protecting our world from the interdimensional fallout. We avert the damage, but the shifted chunks of planet remain in our world, some floating, some crash-landing on the oceans.
So lo and behold, more land for the alliance and the horde to conquer. Pretty much infested with demons everywhere, but still some alternative versions of factions remain alive, this gives the horde and the alliance the chance of recruiting races of the other factions to their own.
The horde can recruit Dark Iron dwarves and Night Elves, the alliance can recruit High Elves and Tauren.
Both Dark Iron Dwarves and Tauren are recruited after the destruction of main Azeroth, but the High Elves and Night Elves are recuited before, upon learning of the existence of Alt-zeroth and it's imminent destruction, both the Alliance and Horde send teams to recruit as many people as they can. Alt Draenor and Alt Azeroth are not on the same sync than our versions, so Alt Azeroth is closer, even a bit further, in it's timeline.
-The high elves of this timeline are less isolated, but not by choice. With the Orc invasion never happening, the humans managed to expand very fast across Azeroth. Although King Anasterian was adamant in keeping the humans at arms lenght, his son, Kael'thas, always saw the value of building their relationship. With the King's sudden passing, Kael'thas opened the borders of Quel'Thalas to the human realms, ushering an age of cooperation between the races. Many elves were not happy with this, and when the King took a human wife, they revolted and where exiled from the realm. Those elves returned to Kalimdor, where they found another group happy to side with them in their disgust of humans...
-The human Nation of Kul'Tiras became the foremost naval potency of the world, it was not long before they reached Kalimdor with their advanced goblin/gnomish technology. Discovering the rich forest of Ashenvale, they started a profitable logging enterprise with their goblin allies to supply the human realms (their forests all but depleted due to population growth) The night elves saw this as an offense of immerse proportions, which started the most savage war humans had seen in ages. With Azshara deforested within a year, and high priestess Tyrande fallen in battle, Warden Maiev Shadowsong suceeds her as commander of the night elven armies and swears to rid Kalimdor of the humans. The kaldorei army resorts to terror tactics, fighting with savagery not seen in millenia.
Weeks before the destruction of Azeroth, a flying city materializes over Silvermoon and urges the high elves to evacuate Quel'thalas. Kael'thas is shocked to realize that the leader of this Kirin Tor is Jaina Proudmoore, his own wife, and that her second in command is Vereesa Windrunner, the youngest of the sisters Windrunner. Although conflicted, he decides to believe them, but that he won't force an evacuation and that only the willing will go. Jaina tries to warn the human nations, but the reception is cold, much like when she took flight to Kalimdor. Although she has convinced Alt Dalaran, the city is is destroyed by the sudden attack of the legion. Taking in survivors, Jaina has to shift Dalaran back before the legion interfeeres. Kael'thas and Alt Jaina remain behind and moving all remaining elves to the sunwell to channel a barrier to protect themselves.
Over in Kalimdor, Malfurion Stormrage awakens sensing the turmoil. He sways the kaldorei to face the burning legion by allying with the humans. Maiev, having killed Illidan to avoid his interference, is vanished from Ashenvale, but many follow her. She is warned by a shadowy figure that this world is lost, and that there is no fighting, only running left. Malfurion believes that he can stop Archimonde in Hyjal, but the invasion is so sudden and overwhelming that he keeps being pushed back. Our Tyrande warns him that he can't win, but he declares that he has to defend his world to his last breath.
Maiev, painfully deciding that survival of her people is more important than Ashenvale, rallies her followers to Feralas, here she plans to open the Emerald Dream Portal to escape the destruction of Azeroth. Gathering the rest of the Kalimdor races in her path, including the Dark Trolls and Tauren, she reaches Dream Bough, but her druids can't open the portal. The shadowy figure that warned her reveals herself as Zen'tabra, the first Troll druid of the Other Azeroth. Maiev overcomes her prejudice to recognize she knows kaldorei are the descendants of the dark trolls. Zen'tabra speaks to her of a faction of strong and honorable warrors, willing to die in a fight that is in constant struggle with the humans of their world. Zen'tabra offers her a place in the Horde and Maiev's army accepts. Zen'tabra brings in her druids, the few drakspears she saved in the Echo islands, the few amani that followed, a lone proud zandalari and a boat of arrogant high elves, and opens the Portal that connects the Emerald Dream. Within the Emerald dream, they must fight the hordes of demons pouring from Azeroth and find the Rift of Aln, cradle of darkness that connects all the dreams through nightmare before the world collapses.
Dalaran, having escaped with great difficulty, plummets against the ruins of Theramore and looses its airborne qualities. They manage to get the thousands out the pocket dimmensions they used for transportation, and quickly have to start mounting defenses against the threathened Ogres in the area. They manage to send all non fighters to havens in Arathi, Crystalsong and Westfall before the skies rip open and the crumbling mirror of the worlds descends upon the lands.
As the catastrophe rushes everywhere, Maiev must decide werther to seek refuge within her kind in this world even if they are allies of the humans, or follow the horde and keep her oath, even when they are sworn enemies of her kind here.
I don't think Blizzard would pull off the same gimmick a second time, they won't make a WoD 2.0 basically. They're more innovative than that I hope.
I think at the end of WoD the Dark Portal will return to normal and the chapter will close. The only thing that does mean WoD leads into the next expansion is characters making a lasting impact. For example, after seeing his people at the height of their power and seeing his family Thrall will return to Azeroth a different Orc, that will lead into the next expansion. Also I wouldn't be surprised if Gul'dan flees to our timeline after being defeated on Draenor, he could very well be summoning the Burning Legion in our timeline.
I think ideas like this are more subtle than just copying Blizzard's idea from WoD and replacing the Orcs with Humans and alternate Draenor with alternate Azeroth.
Wouldn't the most logical expansion 6 be a Burning Legion one?
Gul'dan is already working with them when we hit 6.0 and I'm already imagining Mannoroth showing up near the end of the expansion.
Anyway... do we really need speculation on the next expansion when we don't even have beta for the new one? I mean, come on...
And if anything, we'd get Arrakoa and Ogre as our new races, imo. Fuck High Elves So tired of hearing about something that should be, at most, a sub-race.
>As mentioned, Metzen's comments at Blizzcon.
>There's story potential here, and it's kind of a one time opportunity to tell it. Returning to the Iron Timeline 3 or 4 years down the line would seem weird.
>WoD seems very Horde centric, so it'd be good to see a story which is conceptually Alliance centric.
>They've said they want faster expansions. So spending two xpacs in an AU won't mean as much time as it would have during the days of WOTLK or BC. It would pretty much be spending the length of Wrath in the Iron Timeline.