|What kind of portal is it?|
But all things come in some variety of cycles and time has opened up somewhat and I'm back, at least for now.
It is the eve of the Warlords of Draenor. It's about three months out. The beta is allegedly going swimmingly. Garrisons are being considered, half my favorite abilities are being culled in The Great Ability Culling of 2014, and those are topics for another time.
Even when I wasn't playing, I was reading the blogs and caught all the Warlords reveal at the last Blizzcon and I've experienced the befuddlement of the greater WoW community in trying to figure out exactly what is going on with the premise of this expansion. At best, it seems very timey-wimey (if I may borrow an expression from The Doctor). At other points, it makes no sense whatsoever.
The big problem here is that this time travel business is the farthest edge of science fiction fantasy. There are some who have invested some serious thought into the business of this thing, but the facts are that we really don't even have a real-world working hypothesis for how time travel should play itself out, much less a theory or ... god help us... some laws of nature on the issue. The point is that each universe pretty well makes things up as they go along. But, I'd argue, that some sort of crowdsourced understanding of temporal mechanics has risen to the top of the public conscious and should be observed.
The point is: Azeroth is not dealing with an alternate timeline in Warlords of Draenor. Azeroth is being invaded by a parallel universe.