|Desperately grabbing anything as potential news? CHECK.|
Item One on our Blizzcon Checklist? FIND OUT THE NEW EXPANSION'S NAME.
Last time around, we already knew, because some bright spark had grabbed the copyright information, but not so much this time. Yes, there have been various registrations, a fair number of shenanigans related to a particular mark's significance, but nothing solid has emerged regarding the name of our next destination. Some people have speculated this is because we might not have an expansion at all, others (like me) think we might just end up getting an old name rebranded. Without any potential information on the table, Tin Hat Speculation [TM] is likely to be come rife in the weeks leading up to the event. Little nuggets like this from @Loreology, for instance... why would Dave Kosak NOT want people to know about when Lei Shen was in power?
Is this something to do with the Titan Technology that the Mogu seem so inextricably linked to and why is the timeframe suddenly so important?
I reckon I know the answer to this, and I'm thinking all the speculation in the last few months has been in reference to one significant event in Azeroth's history which links past and present together, an event that would make absolutely THE MOST PERFECT BACKDROP for the 10th Anniversary Edition of the game. Oh, and you remember that Movie that we now have a release date for? All of this gets finally tied together in 2015 in with elegantly bound reels of cinematic magnificence.
|PRECIDENT STANDING BY.|
The Great Sundering, also known as simply the Sundering or the Cataclysm, was a world event which reshaped Azeroth approximately 10,000 years ago at the end of the War of the Ancients. This was caused by the Well of Eternity imploding, due to it being too weak when Sargeras tried to enter through a portal fueled by the Well's energies. The implosion of the Well created a vortex that began to consume the central landmass of Kalimdor, and by the time it stopped, the continent had been split in four.
Prior to the Sundering, there was only one continent on Azeroth, referred to as Kalimdor.
In the catastrophic explosion, eighty percent of the land mass was destroyed leaving behind the major continents and scattered islands that are known today: Northrend, Kezan, Pandaria, the Eastern Kingdoms, and the remnant still referred to as Kalimdor.
The site of the Well of Eternity became a swirling vortex of power known as the Maelstrom.
We've had the remaining 'active' Dragon Aspect with a more than vested interest in our actions this time around in Pandaria. Let us not forget his Dad was instrumental in the events of the Sundering (we even got sent back there in Cataclysm to make sure things actually happened the way they should.) Bear in mind that when you first meet him to pick up your Legendary questline, he tells you the war between Alliance and Horde will pale into insignificance with what he knows is coming next. Then follows an animation of large fireballs hurling their way towards Azeroth... but we don't know exactly WHO is hurling them. As it happens it could be any number of unspeakable horrors we've previously encountered. The Legion might be the least of our problems: this could be the Titans on their way back to finally re-engineer the planet, once and for all. Don't start me on the Old Gods either. You know, for a bunch of developers who don't like going back and amending old content, there's a ridiculous amount of recycling that does go on here...
The fact remains, we now have a movie adaptation that will effectively bookend this Expansion, which could be one of two things: either it's a triumphant last act on the journey that brought Blizzard back up in subs and prominence, or it's the final part of the game, the triumphant conclusion to events, the end of 10 years of the game. Although many people have been quietly predicting the End of All Things for some time, the numbers tell their own story. Subs have been on the decline for some time, and there are those of use who can see Blizzard wanting to go out on a high rather than letting the game die in a slow and lingering demise. If that's the plan, then you'll want a plot in that film that is pretty much fundamental to everything that the game is and becomes, and the Sundering is pretty much that point in the chronology. How Mr Jones then links in all the disparate aspects of the game to that conclusion... we wait to see. Needless to say I'll confidently predict this time around that the tie-in game won't suck royally.
|Old Gods. LEAST OF OUR PROBLEMS.|
I'm still holding onto 10th Anniversary Edition or Anniversary Edition as the name that pays this time around. What this game actually contains will be our subject for discussion in the next few days, but I think the old and the new might be far harder to distinguish than they have been at any point in the last eight years...