Thursday, June 16, 2011

Here's my Real Prediction: Azshara

Azshara, twisted queen of the Naga: Our next big challenge
Haha. I'm almost sorry to keep coming back to this issue, but I keep giving it more and more thought.

I think I'm ready to put down my bet: The major antagonist of the next expansion is going to be Azshara. I'm not sure that makes the whole thing and "undersea" expansion per se. There are plenty of creative ways to introduce different settings to a story. But that's what it will be: Time to finish the Naga threat.

The thought that occurred to me about an Azshara-based expansion: Blizzard originally planned two raids for tier 12 raiding, the Firelands and an Abyssal Maw raid. The undersea raid was tabled, since the devs were allegedly more "excited" about the Firelands. 

Abyssal Maw had been announced and it's cut from patch 4.2 was one of the things that has been a major, major letdown. But, reading between the lines, if Blizzard were actively contemplating a significant undersea expansion, it would make a lot of sense to save the ocean raid material when they know it will thematically fit into the story they have coming up. 

Other key pointers:

  • We know the Old Gods are busy at the bottom of the sea. Nothing we did in Vashj'ir made a dent in that. In that story, the players basically just barely escaped with their lives from that evil. And it is pretty clear we are not going back this expansion.
  • Most of the major antagonists we saw swimming around Vashj'ir have escaped.
  • Azshara has been foreshadowed already with her appearance in Dark Shore. 
  • There were also hints of other significant Naga heroes around the Ruins of Vashj'ir that could be interpreted as foreshadowing.
  • There really was no Twilight Hammer or Deathwing influence in Vashj'ir. Those guys are connected to the naga by means of the Old Gods. And Azshara's appearance in Dark Shore was a feint meant to trick Malfurion Stormrage away from Hyjal. But most of the Naga activity we  witnessed probably wasn't really related to Deathwing's plans at all. I think we might be able to say that the Horde and Alliance just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessed the first movements of another grand plan.
  • Azshara is the only named antagonist in existing lore who I can think of that hasn't been vanquished. Except for Sargeras, and it can't be time for him yet.
  • You know deep inside, you've always expected to hear the line, "Serpentshrine Caverns was merely a setback!" Lady Vashj must surely be swimming around there somewhere. After all, what else could Blizzard recycle?

So there. Let it be said in the months ahead when this news is bound to be announced for real that Merinna at "Be Healed" said it was going to be Azshara back on June 16.


  1. Well, we have CentreBet here in Australia. I think I'll call them & ask what kind of bet is available on Azshara. Might get good odds.

  2. Burning Legions. A common threat to both Alliance and Horde, people of Azeroth in general.

    Perhaps Azeroth will be bringing the fight to the Burning Legions home front or planet.