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We interrupt this countdown of rambling for some ACTUAL NEWS.
I'd been discussing with various people the notion that many, many people already knew the Expansion's name, but weren't saying anything. If you're not familiar with the concept of the News Embargo (no, news isn't instant which may come as a surprise) it is something that doesn't get mentioned a great deal in gaming circles but is beginning to hold significant levels of importance in the way by which companies can create interest and enthusiasm about their product. Needless to say, yesterday MMO decided the gloves were off, and away we go. As Blizzard own the dot.com domain for this, I reckon that's as good as it gets but the fact this was only effectively registered yesterday...
That's a story for another day.
So, what exactly can we glean from this Title?
|From pl.wow.wikia.com coz B&W is COOL|
A lot of the places on that map are gonna look familiar to you. I didn't immediately make the connection until the WowWiki came to may rescue: this is what became Outland. This where the Draenai lived with the peaceful, Shamanistic Orcs until they made a deal with a demon called Mannoroth and the place was pretty much reduced to rubble. This is where the Horde's journey as a faction begins, and how the Dark Portal allowed them access to Azeroth. If you want a title that takes us back to our origins, then this is it.
Without the Horde, there is no Alliance.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is pretty much it in terms of what this title tells us. Unlike Pandaria, we aren't being teased to a new land, this is pointing us very much back to old places and familiar stories, and that is something of a sea-change in terms of expectation. Returning to the First War gives us a pretty vast range of possibilities to consider in terms of where we could be sent to quest, and what we might expect to encounter as 'Big Bads' too... and, as we have not grown tired of pointing out, it's a fabulous setting for a movie. Yes, there will always be one eye on the Warcraft Motion Picture as we play this Expansion, and to start at the beginning... well, that makes a lot of sense. To keep those events fresh in everyone's minds as we play is also a sound move.
What did become apparent last night in Twitter discussion, at least in the pool of people I follow, is that very few people seemed against the idea. Yes, there was the obligatory joking and mickey-taking that is traditional at such announcements, but nobody seems that frustrated or annoyed at the choice of 'general theme' The Burning Crusade is very well liked as an expansion, is many people's entry point into the Franchise, and demons generally are a popular choice in terms of things to poke with pointy sticks. More significantly, if we are returning to the First War there is the very real possibility that the Caverns of Time may have a significant part to play in proceedings. We've not touched the place since Cataclysm after all... perhaps the lack of Dragon Aspects may now begin to have a detrimental effect on Azeroth life...
The fact I could sit here for days and easily cull scenarios from the start of Warcraft's history using Draenor as a start point is enough to tell me that it's actually time to stop speculating and now just wait. By this time next week I'll know enough to stop my brain from exploding, and if I didn't know already this is the moment to sit back and let other people go to town. We have a name, now all we have to do is wait to see exactly which direction the designers are going to take with it.
If they do it right, this could end up as Blizzard's finest hour.