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  1. #1
    Titan Teriz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Beach City

    The clues from various "leaks" show that the next Expansion may not be Burning Legion

    ....or the South Seas.

    In less than 90 days, we will know what the next expansion to World of Warcraft is. We will know what features it contains, and what new races or new classes (or both) will be a part of the expansion that will cover the 10th anniversary of WoW. I don't pretend to know what those features will be. However, over the course of the last six months, I've noticed some interesting happenings in the internets that could give us hints to what the next expansion will be.

    Keep in mind, this is all purely speculation. Consider this an alternate to the various threads about the Burning Legion, or the South Seas popping up in the next expansion.

    Let's begin shall we?

    Clue #1: Tri-Spec

    In March, patch 5.3 emerged with an interesting datamined feature;

    Everyone scratched their head about why this feature would be in the game. That confusion eventually gave way to excitement. Finally, hybrids could switch between specs without having to go to a trainer. DPS specs were a little less excited, but even they saw uses for this cool new feature. A Warlock could enter an instance and swap between their three specs and not even worry about switching out of gear! Everyone was excited and pumped for this unneeded, but very cool feature.

    And then Blizzard took it away.

    Their reason?

    So, no tri-spec because it would make all the specs merge together and feel the same. Makes sense because there's only three specs. However, what if there were four specs?

    Clue #2 The Expansion Leak pic

    In May, a mysterious image popped up throughout numerous WoW forums;

    This showcased not only a 4th spec, but also a new class which clearly had a mechanical slant. Most assume it to be a Tinker class.

    Most people dismissed this, because they stated that there's no way Blizzard could possibly produce 4th specs AND a class for a new expansion. Numerous posts attacked the image for looking "cheap", or because the name of the person who supposedly leaked it wasn't a Blizzard employee. By the time the dust settled, most people had written the entire thing off as a hoax.

    To Blizzard's credit, they stated that 4th spec would be very hard to do, and would require a great deal of effort to accomplish. Most people accepted this, but also seemed to forget GC's older tweet stating that putting 4th spec in place for all classes would be like putting in a single class for the game. Blizzard's reversal on their initial statement was interesting, because the task went from something somewhat routine to a fairly herculean effort on their part. However, they also never denied that 4th spec was possible for the future of WoW.

    Updated: Ghostcrawler confirmed that this image is a fake;

    However, he didn't state that a Tinker or a 4th spec wasn't coming in the next expansion, he also said that it was a "clever" fake, so the speculation continues.

    Clue #3: The Iron Horde

    In June, another leak emerged. This was a supposed file leak that showed a supposed file from Expansion 5 entitled "The Iron Horde".

    The online site Joystiq ran this article about the possible leak;

    Datamining must always, always, always be taken with a pinch of salt, and in this instance we'd actually recommend a whole bag of salt. But nonetheless, it is fun to speculate, and this sort of thing has happened in the past and actually turned out to lead somewhere. Back in 2007, WoW Insider's Eliah Hecht reported on a section of the PTR client called "Howling Fjord", and wondered whether this might link to some future expansion taking place in Northrend. Guess what happened?

    And now we have word that there is a new item under expansion05 on the PTR client. For clarity, as far as we know, we are currently on expansion number four. Again it's worth taking all of this with a very large pinch of salt, but while the file itself is simply a bit of grey stuff, the name of the folder it's in is "Iron Horde", and its name is nex_envmap01t.

    Potential texture from the next expansion datamined in patch 54This is where we really start to speculate. This could be absolutely nothing. It could be a piece of iron that is in a horde area or on a horde outfit, or it could be the name of the next expansion. It could be the Horde's texture of an iron thing, or it could be a new offshoot of the "true Horde" that are coming to terrorize Azeroth in 6.0. Or it could be a red herring put there by the devs to confuse us.

    Obviously, this is rampant, unapologetic speculation. It should not be taken as fact, and nor should anything else that's datamined, but it's fun to think about these sorts of things, right?

    Eventually most people dismissed this as a mere texture that was misfiled (for whatever reason). However its important to note that the Howling Fjord leak was hit by similar scrutiny when it was revealed. Several months later it became clear that we were indeed heading to Northrend for expansion #2.

    Clue #4: Some weird Steampunk-based contest at Blizzcon?

    I'll let the contest speak for itself;

    Win the Ultimate BlizzCon 2013 Experience Courtesy of SteelSeries, J!NX and The League of S.T.E.A.M.
    CHICAGO – July 29th, 2013 – With the return of BlizzCon this year to Anaheim, California, SteelSeries and our partners JINX and The League of S.T.E.A.M want to send YOU to the festivities in style. This once in a lifetime chance to be a part of gaming history is completely FREE to enter by visiting the contest landing page – Sweepstake entries will be open from July 29th through August 11th to all North American residents.
    The grand prize features two BlizzCon Show Passes, airfare and accommodations for you and a friend PLUS one custom costume by award winning costume designers The League of S.T.E.A.M! An additional $2500 in sponsored prizes will also be given away including World of Warcraft Wireless MMO mice and JINX gift cards!

    To keep up to date with the latest happenings of all the companies that made this giveaway possible, please visit the following websites.

    • SteelSeries –
    • J!NX –
    • The League of S.T.E.A.M –

    The Contest runs from July 29th, 2013 to August 11th, 2013.

    Now, Steelseries makes peripherals for computer games that are WoW related.

    Jinx makes pretty awesome gaming clothes that are WoW related.

    The League of S.T.E.A.M.? They're a Steampunk group. However Blizzard has no Steampunk games.... So why would a steampunk group be at BlizzCon sponsoring a major BlizzCon contest? Would someone attending BlizzCon be interested in a Steampunk costume when they're interested in Blizzard games that have no steampunk basis?

    The Conclusion (and pure speculation on my part):

    The clues appear to point to a steampunk-based expansion that will include the Tinker class, an "Iron Horde" of some sort, and 4th specs. How? It can be assumed that Blizzard was testing tri-spec to see how it worked with Druids, who currently have a 4th spec in the game. One could argue that the Druids having a 4th spec in of itself was a test to see if 4th spec could work within the new talent system. Considering the Druid's continued popularity, it would seem that 4th spec was a success.

    Tri-spec gives the expansion leaked image validity, because the expansion leak image showed 4th spec for every class. However, what about a Tinker/Technology class? As I have argued in my thread about a future Tinker class, it would make sense for Blizzard to add such a class into the game due to its thematic uniqueness, and the Tinker hero's ties to WC3.

    This is further supported by the "Iron Horde" leak, and the BlizzCon contest. "Iron" or "Steel" are often used to symbolize the early industrial age, which is the era in which the steampunk genre exists. Furthermore, a steampunk class like the Tinker would fit right into a steampunk expansion, since we all know that Blizzard likes to bring in new classes that fit the theme of the expansion. If WoW is introducing a steampunk expansion, it would make sense to have a steampunk group create a steampunk-based costume for the winner of the BlizzCon costume contest.

    Taken together, these clues point to a very different possible expansion than we expected. I'm not saying I'm right, I'm saying that Blizzard may be about to surprise us with the biggest curve-ball expansion we've ever seen!

    In the end, we'll all know the truth in a mere 90 days.

    New Information

    GC discussed the possibility of a Tinker Class in the future;

    Greg Street ‏@Ghostcrawler 11 Aug
    @Jimmymusicbox Not sure. Might be a little too whimsical for WoW. Would depend on the treatment.
    Interesting response.

    The Next Expansion's title is "The Dark Below", an expansion that has ties to the seas of Azeroth. Given that media often portrays undersea adventure and steampunk together (think 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, Bioshock, Atlantis, The Secret of Blue Water, etc.) it would make sense why the League of S.T.E.A.M would be in attendance co-sponsoring an event at BlizzCon.

    Updated: 9/16/13:

    More tweets on Tinkers from GC;

    Originally Posted by Ghoastcrawler
    Thoughts of a Tinker class? If not now maybe down the road?
    I've said before it depends on the treatment. Too easy for that class to be too wacky or precious. (Source)
    A more steampunk vibe sounds cool to me. A dude in a mech having misfires that poop out springs and gears less so. (Source)
    I don't know. Lucca from Chrono Trigger could work. A little bit of gnomish (tee hee) world enlarger goes a long way IMO. (Source)
    But maybe one of the designers will come up with a pitch perfect design that blows us away someday. Shrug. (Source)
    Anyone remember Tom Chilton's quote on Pandaren before MoP was announced?

    As always, thanks for reading. Feel free to participate in the poll, and leave your thoughts and opinions.
    Last edited by Teriz; 2013-09-16 at 07:43 PM.

  2. #2
    The Lightbringer leaks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I don't even know anymore.
    Yeah it was "iron horde" not "the Iron Horde" and it was clearly a texture file.
    "Terror, darkness, power? The Forsaken crave not these things; the Forsaken ARE these things."

  3. #3
    Bloodsail Admiral Treno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I dunno about your theory on what the expansion is, but (pasted from another thread)

    Wrathion's 5.4 dialogue, spoilers, (PTR so subject to change) reveals that Varian has foiled his plan to unite Azeroth by having the Alliance conquer the Horde. During this dialogue, Wrathion reveals his plan had allowed for approximately a year for the conquest just to take down Thunder Bluff, plus whatever time it would take to complete the conquest and time to prepare the newly united Azeroth against the Legion. Given this, we can see that the Legion's invasion is still a ways off, and may not be the next expansion.

  4. #4
    The other situations part from #2 are plausible.

    That image has to be the biggest load of shit I have seen.

    I mean logically think about it. Some dipshit has put an additional row, and added random spells.

    Warrior = Dragon Roar
    Mage = Blood Horror (suggesting blood mage - Not going to happen)
    Rogue = Honor amongst Thieves.

    I can go on.

    However, I lost all respect for this thread after you mentioned that. Hard to take someone serious when they can't use basic reasoning.

    However, that costume contest will be ultimate confirmation of Half-Life 3

    This is my signature. It states my prediction of the next expansion. Not only is it correct in my eyes, but should also be in yours too.
    Anyone who doesn't agree with me is an idiot, a bad, and a pleb.

    - A Quote from every narcissistic, defiant, self-absorbed theorist on these forums. True story.

  5. #5
    Warchief OGXanos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    The Nerdy South
    Give me all that with 10 levels and updated models and I don't care if we go to the land of fluffy bunnies. (OK I do but you know what I mean)

  6. #6
    Banned But I Hate You All's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    The West Coast of the United States
    Quote Originally Posted by Teriz View Post
    Clue #1: Tri-Spec
    They were testing it and I do not see 4 specs being added to the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teriz View Post
    Clue #2 The Expansion Leak pic
    Fan made Hoax

    Quote Originally Posted by Teriz View Post
    Clue #3: The Iron Horde
    Texture file that was misfiled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teriz View Post
    Clue #4: Some weird Steampunk-based contest at Blizzcon?

  7. #7
    Stood in the Fire
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
    The steampunk thing could probably be related to Titan. The other shit I really don't care about.

  8. #8
    Titan Teriz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Beach City
    Quote Originally Posted by Asag View Post
    They were testing it and I do not see 4 specs being added to the game.
    Their reason for it not to be released in 5.3 was because of the 3-spec system, and Blizzard has never denied 4th spec being possible for WoW.

    Fan made Hoax
    That just happens to match up with the other clues....

    Texture file that was misfiled.
    Perhaps. Or perhaps not....

    Could be. However, didn't Titan just go back to the drawing board in May? Additionally, if you're going to do a contest at Blizzcon, you probably want it done for something a bit more finished.

  9. #9
    You're reasoning includes something that could have been easily manufactured in Paint.

  10. #10
    I don't see them creating a whole expansion around a Tinker class. I think that would be a little too much engineering for my taste, and a big let down. It would be the third expansion in a row based on something else...that would be not as interesting as the burning legion.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Shefu View Post
    I don't see them creating a whole expansion around a Tinker class. I think that would be a little too much engineering for my taste, and a big let down. It would be the third expansion in a row based on something else...that would be not as interesting as the burning legion.
    He never said/speculated that the expansion would be based just on the Tinker Class.
    "The clues appear to point to a steampunk-based expansion that will include the Tinker class..."

  12. #12
    That "ironhorde" texture file is used for a banner frame in Siege of Orgrimmar. It really was just mislabled.

    If Blizzard were going to list details of 4th specs and a new class it would be several pages of text, not just a load of icons with no context.
    Last edited by Netherspark; 2013-08-11 at 02:14 AM.

  13. #13
    Most of the reasons seem very flawed. They simply added the third spec option, and decided not to use it. Not everything they add in the PTR is used. That fourth spec leak is fake. Ironhorde is barely anything, it's a texture for probably new Orgrimmar buildings when it's repaired. Also again on fourth spec, it's possible but he said they might do it couple classes at a time (if they do decide to do it).
    It adds a lot of -- bloat is probably too mean a word, but it adds a lot of stuff to the game that we have to balance, that players have to learn, that we have to support with set bonuses and all that other stuff. So I don't want to say never, but it's not something that's going to be right on the horizon. It's a big change to the game. It might be easier to do it slowly, a couple classes at a time, or something like that.

    Overall these aren't really leaks. The steampunk group might be onto something, but everything else not so much.

  14. #14
    Scarab Lord zephid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Teriz View Post
    Their reason for it not to be released in 5.3 was because of the 3-spec system, and Blizzard has never denied 4th spec being possible for WoW.
    Blizzard has never confirmed it either.

  15. #15
    I don't like the whole steampunk idea for WoW it just seems too much out of place. However I could see blizz implementing a tinker class , even though I wouldn't want a tinker class in game. I hope next expansion isn't a steampunk theme lol.

  16. #16
    The "leak" picture was dismissed as a fake because it was a fake.
    Conveniently highlighting the "popular" themes all in a single image.
    A tedious way to present the information leaving lots of room for interpretation, and so making it harder to dismiss ideas or suggestions because there was no proof that was not what it meant.
    Anyone in blizzard would not send something so open to misinterpretation.
    It would be text, and meaningful images and not a selection of icons placed on action bars, and then manipulated with minor edits to some icons.

    The poster who supposedly got the leak had on at least one previous occasion posted possible class ideas.
    They then release an image days later which conveniently matches their own "theories".

    Also on the "discovered" image.
    That is an environment map, something people choose very deliberately to ignore.
    Which means that it is used in the lighting effect of a surface.

    Therefore very reasonable that the iron description could be simply a material from which part of a structure or item is made.

    There is a huge difference between a named location and something very vague like that.
    Last edited by ComputerNerd; 2013-08-11 at 02:22 AM.

  17. #17
    Warchief MrKnubbles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Gainesville, FL
    I hope you're right because I would enjoy these changes. For a company to remain successful, they need to evolve over time and make improvements. In the past, Blizzard has added new races and classes. To keep things fresh and interesting, a 4th spec is completely reasonable. This is their opportunity to remake several classes and have all 4 specs feel unique. The Monk was a great example with this and I know they could do it again with the others. It would be nice if the new specs also filled a new role. Like, a true hybrid spec, not hybrid class. A spec that will have lower damage output but moderate healing. Maybe even a support or off tank spec. This is all entirely possible. I don't think they'll add the same, expected content. They always surprise us with something entirely new and interesting.

  18. #18
    For those mentioning Titan, blizz said they're delaying it until 2016 a few months ago.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Netherspark View Post
    That "ironhorde" texture file is used for a banner frame in Siege of Orgrimmar. It really was just mislabled.

    If Blizzard were going to list details of 4th specs and a new class it would be several pages of text, not just a load of icons with no context.
    The file was already proven to be a metal shine texture for SoO.

    I don't dispute that tinker is a likely next class, or that 4th specializations are likely.
    But I have a very hard time believing that Blizzard is going to add both 4th specs AND a new class.
    That's 14 new specs to balance...

    That's like adding four new classes at once, one of which is completely new with a presumably new resource mechanic and unique types of combat.

    All that ontop of everything else that goes into a normal expansion? That's a bit much.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Hitei View Post
    The file was already proven to be a metal shine texture for SoO.
    I was unaware of that update, so thank you.

    So what does that leave for "hints" ?
    The steampunk theme competition, and that is a stretch and a half at best.
    It is a popular theme in media, and can be the source of some very interesting costume ideas, especially if working mechanics can be involved.

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