The “season of leaks” has begun as we still don’t have any official information on the next WoW expansion, so it’s time to take a look at what’s out there. There have been two specific ones recently I wanted to go through, despite them being …
The "season of leaks" has begun as we still don't have any official information on the next WoW expansion, so it's time to take a look at what's out there. There have been two specific ones recently I wanted to go through, despite them being most likely fake, as they actually had some pretty solid (and logical) ideas, so let's get started.
Where Are These From and Why Talk About Them?
Both of these come from the MMO champion forums from now banned accounts, and they both agree on what's coming next: the Dragon Isles. The general premise makes a lot of sense as you'll see, with players clamoring for a more low-level approach and a return to Azeroth since... well basically since Shadowlands, and the Dragon Isles fit that bill and then some. A lot of these are just common sense features anyone would pick just knowing the WoW community even a little, so the various claims of them coming from a "private gamedev discord" or a "disgruntled senior level designer" aren't particularly relevant - what I want to talk about is the actual ideas and the likelihood of them actually happening, regardless of whether these are actual leaks or just someone's imagination.
Leak 1: "The Dragon Isles"
The name of the expansion is straight to the point in the first leak to come along, and this is the more dramatic and less likely of the two (but also a lot more interesting), as its main story point is Azeroth actually awakening. That's right, as a result of the Jailer fight in 9.2 the World Soul is born and its form is a "sort-of dragon", as we go around fixing the planet with her help and the new "World Shaping" system. We also get Black Dragons as a new race, there's new Covenant-like abilities (but not bound to a locked-in choice) which also have special effects depending on the Dragon Isles zone you're in, and the Worldshaping system will see us actually significantly change zones over time.
What's interesting/actually likely in this one:
- It talks about the intro cinematic being the biggest so far, with the entire cinematic team working on it for over a year and had a lot of resources moved to it, scrapping Shadowlands cinematics. It's supposed to be a love letter to WoW, mirroring the original cinematic and ending with Azeroth being born. This just seems right in terms of tone and the 10.0 milestone, whatever we do get will be very much nostalgic and looking back 100%, aside from the suggested end which I'll get to a little later.
- The theme of going back to Azeroth and rebuilding, fixing things and making the plot smaller and more local is an obvious choice both due to the community comments in recent times and the giant 10.0 milestone nature of the expansion. The World Shaping system mentioned is sort of a perfect way to get us back interacting with the world (if it has some big components outside of the Dragon Isles, that is).
- The new Black Dragon race would have two forms and a lot of customization (horns, scales, tails etc.) which seems like a big draw for the expansion (although I think a new class is much more likely). While Allied Races have deflated the new race hype train, this one seems flashy enough to be a draw and relatively easy to make.
- No main big villain in 10.0 makes the most sense of it all after the, ahem, "response" the Jailer has gotten. This is again very much in line with community wishes.
- Giant pre-expansion event with lots of invasions that also has us going back through "lots" of Azeroth-centric dungeons and raids in a "timewalking Season of Mastery". I'm torn on this one. While this is another amazing idea it just seems too big to pull off, but considering the end of Shadowlands is (presumably) going to last quite a while, this one isn't that unlikely and is one I'm really hoping is true.
What makes it unlikely
- Azeroth being born is both the most interesting and most unlikely aspect of this leak. While it would make perfect sense after what happens in the end of the Shadowlands and fits very well with the 10.0 milestone, it would just cause a lot of trouble down the road (unless we put her back to sleep during/at the end of the expansion), especially since the entire history of Azeroth has been about outside forces trying to get to her. I have to say this would really be a BIG move on Blizzard's part and worthy of a 10.0 expansion, but to me it's just perhaps too big and smells more of someone's really good and ambitious imagination.
- No new class. This one's almost a deal-breaker instantly, as I don't see any way 10.0 doesn't come with a new class, and since Allied Races were introduced, new races simply are not that big of a deal.
- No mention of cross-faction content. This is also a big one, as we're almost 100% getting that in 10.0, and not mentioning it seems very unlikely.
- It actually addresses the Night Elf horror show that's been (and is still) happening in SL, having them try to rebuild Teldrassil (actually featuring a giant version of the MoP farm where you plant trees etc.), so clearly it's a giant fake because of Blizzard's track record with Night Elf stories.
All in all this is a very interesting concept, and I congratulate whoever came up with it (whether it's Blizzard or this lone imaginative leaker). If this was indeed what we were getting with the expansion I dare say I'd be pretty excited (depending on implementation, of course) and it sounds like a worthy 10.0. In any case you ca head on over and read this pretty good work of fiction or actual leak over on the MMO Champion forums.
Just a random drake mount gathering image that I thought fit. Source: Ogumel.
Leak 2: "Rise of the Aspects"
This leak is a LOT smaller in scope and pretty depressing overall, although it does agree with the first one on the theme of the expansion. This one also has a lot more specific details and timings, like the fact 9.2 is releasing late February and the expansion announcement is coming 2 days after the final three bosses of the raid are enabled (so 16 days after 9.2 launch). The rest is honestly extremely bland, with the usual level cap increase, 5 zones based on the aspects, a big Old God temple raid, a new Island Expedition/Torghast "Lair" feature, partial old world revamp for a few zones, cross-faction endgame, and a few more. The only thing that's even remotely interesting here is the new class, the Tinkerer (which has nothing to do with the expansion theme whatsoever), a ranged DPS/tank.
So this one isn't really worth discussing that much as it's extremely low on features and has no creativity whatsoever, and is basically just listing things that are either obvious or community wishes. The class not having anything to do with dragons is especially telling, since Tinkerer is just one of the most wanted/shared fan concepts for a new class, so it got included. You can read more of this one but I'd say don't waste your time, because if this is what we're getting... oh boy is the game in trouble (but it's not so np).
What Will 10.0 Actually Be?
It's no surprise the Dragon Isles are the top pick for the start of the season of leaks, as they've been rumored to be an expansion since, well Vanilla really (with Emerald Dream being a little more popular back in the day). It's actually very likely that this is where WoW is heading, regardless of the accuracy of the leaks, but it's far from the only option. The concept of a "back to basics" expansion is an extremely likely one, and it doesn't have to be necessarily linked to the Dragon Isles, as there are plenty of other options for that sort of content. I'll actually be diving into some of the other options for 10.0 soon, but I have to say that first leak is pretty much what I'd have guessed was coming as well.
What do you think 10.0 will be and, more importantly, what do you want it to be?
Source: News Latest Topics https://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/63658-patch-100-the-next-wow-expansion-supposed-leaks-discussion/