We recently spoke about our optimism and concerns on World of Warcraft: Classic as well as our hopes as to what the final product may end up being , but while we wait for this project to be fully revealed, we shift our focus onto more current matters with Blizzard’s newest announced expansion for the MMO giant in Battle for Azeroth. While we are just as excited as anybody for what seems a return to a more classic style conflict for the franchise, there are a few things that we need to be clarified before venturing through World of Warcraft’s seventh expansion.
Diving right into it is how World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth will play out narratively. The cinematic revealed much of the upcoming expansion and new details on the pre-events have already been made to the public showing exactly what will be the major focus throughout our campaigns. Both the Horde and the Alliance will be at each other’s throats and wage war against one another, fighting for dominance. On paper, this does seem like an excellent idea but will cause many plot holes, as well as a major disconnection to what the story has been led up until now.
In World of Warcraft: Legion, we fought alongside one another to defeat what was considered to be the largest threat for the entire franchise (up until recently) by imprisoning Sargeras and defeating his Burning Legion, saving Azeroth and many other worlds. Now, within the time from Legion to Battle for Azeroth, we are expected to go at it against one another over some new mineral that has surfaced from the wound that the Dark Titan left upon the world. It just seems odd to have such a conflict arise so rapidly and have the factions turn on one another right after defeating such a prominent lore figure and the reasoning behind it also seems to be strange.
Maybe it is because much of the story that is present in Battle for Azeroth is quite similar to how Mist of Pandaria played out and ended up being an underwhelming experience. The Horde was perceived as the enemy, Garrosh was turned into a ruthless dictator and the transition into Warlords of Draenor was an utter mess. Sure the story “worked” in a sense, but it played out awfully with much of the major events of the transition between MoP and WoD was put into a book rather being integrated into the game. Blizzard has gotten much better over the years in transitioning from one expansion to the next all while delivering on an intriguing story, but that creeping fear of having a redo of Mist of Pandaria still lingers.
The other area of concern is on the newly announced Allied Races and how they will play out during this expansion. While the idea of this is fantastic as it adds new playable races without having to go far for models and assets, what concerns us is more on how they will be implicated and which races gets an Allied Race. Blizzard has already hinted of more of these sub-races being added later and it wouldn’t surprise us to see more introduced throughout World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, but some of the current races may not get the same love as other without having to pull some stretches.
We currently have the Dark Iron Dwarves, Void-Elves and Lightforge Draenei for the Alliance and the Zandalari Trolls, Nightborne and Highmountain Taurens for the Horde, all of which had a unique role throughout the entirety of World of Warcraft. Many people have already voiced their thoughts as to which race should be added next, but it may seem some may be left in the dark. The Goblins, Gnomes, and Pandarians quickly come to mind for this and it would be a shame to see them not get a special Allied Race to themselves, but it also wouldn’t be surprising if Blizzard skips out on these races altogether.
On the other side of the coin, races such as the Orcs, Undead, and the many different Elves variants will surely be a topic of discussion until an official announcement. We aren’t sure if Battle for Azeroth will feature one Allied Race per race, but if we go by our gut feeling on the matter, there will be many fans feeling left out that their favorite sub-category of Elf was left off the roster. It is something that will be difficult to please everybody on but we’re sure that Blizzard will deliver a unique experience when it comes to the Allied Race.
There are many other things that we’re still unclear about for Blizzard’s next MMO expansion, but without any other details, this quickly becomes all speculation and our concerns may be for naught. Whatever the case may be, World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth looks to bring back the classic conflict between the Horde and the Alliance all while putting a new spin on it. While we do have a few questions we liked answered we’re eager to see what comes out next for the aging MMO.