We are used to World of Warcraft expansion announcements at BlizzCon. It’s old hat.
What is decidedly a very new, very exciting hat is announcing three expansions that encapsulate a much larger narrative for the denizens of Azeroth moving forward.
Chris Metzen himself took to the stage to unveil such a dramatic shift in storytelling – resplendent in cheers and adoration from a justifiably excited audience – and revealed that the story of World of Warcraft was taking a look backwards for what should come next.
A focus was being put on unresolved issues, characters and motivations – jokingly mentioning that some of the plot threads need to be resolved before current players are forcing their grandkids to play on their behalf and fill them in. So instead of simply hearing about a new expansion, we are getting a full blown arc – known as The Worldsoul Saga. This storyline will actually persist across the next three expansions – each titled:
- World of Warcraft: The War Within
- World of Warcraft: Midnight
- World of Warcraft: The Last Titan
Metzen himself even made mention that this plan was an “ambitious creative endeavour for the Warcraft universe”, where past expansions had been quite happy to bookend major narratives a little too quickly. Usually a baddy might sneak off at the end of the content, re-emerging as a new pain the arse when the next hotness was due to drop, but nothing as structured as literally identifying each expansion as a chapter of a bigger story.
Chris did actually drop a little synopsis of each expansion, but the real meat was obviously regarding the very first one. The War Within will see players delving deep into the centre of Azeroth, visiting ancient subterranean civilisations that have been upset by a plot device that has long perplexed players – that honking great big sword that Sargeras stabbed into the planet all the way back in the Legion expansion. It is now clear that such a blow was intended for something – or someone.
This has had the oddly neat side effect of flooding some of those dark, underground places with light – as the point of the sword ends up acting as a radiant, pseudo sun:
The other expansions make mention of players eventually dealing with the ever-encroaching Void and finally getting to see what the heck the Titans had in mind when they were done fiddling with Azeroth – but they are all just outlines as the actual content is of course years upon years away. Or is it?
Once final note that I found interesting, was how Chriz Metzen did make mention the rollout for these expansions will come quicker than we may be used to, suggesting a quicker expansion cycle. This could allude to the greater arc of these expansions serving as a reason to fast track it’s deployment, as the greater story needs to unfold.
By whatever metric, it absolutely promises a shake up to how WoW players of all kinds are in for a whole new ride.
Are you excited for some new n’ improved storytelling? What do you think of Anduin with short hair and self-identity issues? Let us know in the comments or on social media!