I’ve been sitting on this bunch of expansion ideas forever, with some quick concepts that I sometimes refer to in conversations. I decided to write them down just to have a reference for the future.
Death of Azeroth
At the end of Battle for Azeroth, Azeroth herself – the world-soul – dies. Magni shatters out of despair and everything around us starts dying – plants, animals, people, everything just slowly withers and dies. But some of them start coming back as a new kind of undead that no one has control over. This is when the new faction of death entities shows up – I call them Reapers. These Reapers are not villains, although they are enemies. They’re fighting us not because they’re evil but because it’s their job to reap those whose time is up. And now that Azeroth herself has died, it’s our collective time to go, but we keep fighting back. Their leader – titled “Death of Azeroth” keeps trying to talk us down, but we refuse. His subordinates are titled things like “Death of Humanity” or “Death of Elves”, showing their responsibilities for reaping specific races. Perhaps Bwonsamdi gets recruited as “Death of Trolls”. Perhaps the other racial Reapers are also recruited from spirits of our former bad guys, like Arthas, Ner’zhul, or Dar’khan Drathir.
The perfect new class for this expansion would be the necromancer, a cloth caster or healer.
The expansion features two main storylines (similar to the garrison/class hall campaign) which you can choose for every character. The life campaign features people who keep fighting back against death and try to revive the world or at least keep it going. The death campaign features people who give in to death and try to use it to survive in this new environment. Either way, both campaigns are very bleak and dark in terms of story. Hope fades. Life ends.
Throughout the expansion we end up discovering the Emerald Dream was missing. But then, we find out it wasn’t destroyed with the world-soul’s death as we would expect, but the Old Gods shunted it away in the last moments because they didn’t want Azeroth to die. They wanted to corrupt it and turn it to their way of thinking, not see it destroyed. But now we don’t know where it went, and only the Old Gods – now all dead – know how to find it. So we go around the world, working with the Twilight’s Hammer, and find new avatars for the spirits of the Old Gods. We resurrect Cho’gall to serve as Avatar of C’Thun. We go to Northrend to find the long-dead body of Sara, and put Yogg-Saron back inside. In Pandaria, we collect the remains of the essences of the Sha and then go back to alternate Draenor and use them to bring Garrosh back as Avatar of Y’Shaarj. And finally, we bring Azshara back as Avatar of N’Zoth. The resurrected Old Gods bring the Emerald Dream back and begin trying to resurrect the world-soul using its latent Life energies, but the Reapers attack in force.
In the end, we destroy the racial reapers, and beat Death of Azeroth, and in the final moments, as Azeroth is revived, he admits it was not yet our time and only seeing our determination in clinging back to life he started to believe it was not the end yet. Then, his superior – titled Death of the Universe – speaks up and says we’ve earned our chance and we’re free to go. For now.
But now… the Old Gods are free again, using the bodies of our former enemies.
Zones: Kezan and Tel Abim
I believe Kezan can hold an expansion on its own, but since there is no other grand plot to fit with it, and maybe I want Kezan to make the Horde continent while the Alliance gets something for themselves, I paired it with Tel Abim and put the main action for DoA on these two “continents”.
On Kezan, you mainly befriend the goblins and learn more about their land, meeting the trolls of Edj and high goblins of the Kajaro Highlands (inspired by traiditonal D&D hobgoblins). On Tel Abim, you meet jungle gnomes (who have druids and shamans), as well as a new tribe of hozen who look more like baboons, and an ancient kingdom of minotaurs – regal tauren with bigger horns and straight backs.
Rise of the Black Empire
With the Old Gods free to roam, their old insectoids servants awake again. As Kith’ix erupts from Zul’aman, forever destroying the old troll capital, the Aqir emerge from underground and invade all the continents. C’thun/Cho’gall spawns new Twin Emperors. Yogg-Saron uses the flesh of undead nerubians to create new ones that serve him. N’Zoth/Azshara continues to exploit the naga who had so little time for freedom. Y’Shaarj/Garrosh brings the new mantid queen to his control and spawns a new mantid swarm, stronger than ever. After we beat back the initial attack, we decide we have to go into their land – the underground empire of Azj’Aqir, stretching all under the Old Kalimdor.
While down there, we encounter new allies and enemies. A forgotten and cursed human kingdom of Cimmeria was cast down into the underworld for siding with the trolls. Now they became a shadowy, goth-looking creatures who love pain and darkness. Some of them are still our enemies, but some side with the Alliance in an effort to get back into the light. Under Northrend, we meet the Sundered Monolith, a faction of nerubians who avoided the Scourge by hiding deep underground but are now under threat from Yogg-Saron’s new nerubians. Meanwhile, the Horde encounters a faction of dark elves who were cast down by Elisande and created their own dark copy of Suramar – sadistic and matriarchal, they make for difficult allies for the Horde. This and more you can find in Azj’Aqir – forgotten furbolg dens, fungarians, the dark underworld giants called the Fomorians, rock flayers and of course – Old God minions all around, including the revived Aqir.
The original release ends with defeating Kith’ix in the ruins of Zul’aman. In the following patches, we find and defeat the Old God avatars, but we realize if we kill them again, that will kill the fragile Azeroth all over again. So instead, we imprison them in their old cages, but strengthen them with all the magic we discovered in the meantime. But since the Old Gods are mobile now, we end up seeing them communicating with their true masters, the Void Lords. As we finally defeat Y’Shaarj/Garrosh, Dimensius talks to us in a new avatar and promises that in time, they will just send more Old Gods to destroy us. They are eternal and neverending, and any defeat we can serve them is just a small delay.
However, the next threat does not come directly from the Void Lords. Lothraxion comes back with an army of angels – recruited from many mortal races saved from the Legion and lightforged – and attacks both the Alliance and the Horde. Most of our leaders find it perplexing, but we end up fighting them back and seeing Lothraxion retreat on the Aurobos towards a world he occupied – Karkora.
When we go to Karkora, we see an entire lightforged civilization that is very peaceful and reverent. Among the Karkorans, we find both the natives, as well as lightforged versions of many demonic races, as well as entirely new races. It’s our job to disturb it to wreck Lothraxion’s plan and ensure the safety of Azeroth. But as we do it and Karkorans demonize us for destroying their perfect utopia, we end up talking to Lothraxion a couple of times and seeing his point of view. Turns out, he saw Alliance and Horde fighting again and decided the only way Azeroth can be united against the shadow is if they have a common enemy. So, he decided to become that common enemy to unite us. If he wins, he has united Azeroth and his new True Army of the Light will go out into the cosmos and fight the Void. If he loses, at least he has united Azeroth against him and perhaps opened our eyes to the true enemy.
Among the leaders of Karkora are both new characters, as well Yrel from the alternate Draenor who came here with her lightbound, and resurrected and reforged spirits of our past heroes, such as Uther and Maraad.
However, this society is not such a perfect utopia. It has become fanatical and fights back against any dissent. There was no dissent before we came, but our presence disturbed everything. Now they are becoming more and more radicalized and end up proclaiming free will as an obstacle to true utopia. In the original release, our final boss is Uther Lightbringer. When we beat him, he says his eyes are now open and realizes Lothraxion is going too far and while he originally believed in his crusade, they have become too radical and turned against free will. He departs the lightforged body and returns to Azeroth.
One of the other tier bosses in the original release is X’aaztre, the King in Yellow, an avatar of a Void Lord who once ruled Karkora, but was defeated and with his banishment, Karkora was thrown into temporal chaos that allowed Lothraxion to reforge it. But now, X’aaztre is returning and has turned a portion of the planet into the Black Forest and reclaimed his old seat in Carcosa. We beat the Void Lord back into the Void again, but he says he cannot be slain, for he is just a tiny piece of the true Void. A drop becomes the ocean, the ocean becomes a drop.
In the following patches, we fight Yrel and chase her back to alternate Karabor where we defeat her, Grom’s alternate son and K’ara and end up restoring the alternate draenei to their peaceful ways. We finally end up ascending the Mountain of Celestia to the Aurobos that became Lothraxion’s palace and defeat his utopia. In his final cinematic, Lothraxion shows no remorse. He keeps saying what he did, he did for the Light and to help the cosmos against the true enemy. Now that we united against him, he’s reached his goal and he says he’ll die happy.
But before he can die… fel portals erupt, and demons invade! Mal’ganis shows up with Demon Gul’dan and steals Lothraxion’s spirit before he escapes to the Twisting Nether.
Secrets of Elune
Before we can prepare for the new demonic threat, titanic ships arrive from the depths of space and titanforged descend on the world trying to convert or destroy everyone. We fight them back to discover a rogue Titan Keeper – who once served Sargeras before his corruption – is at the helm of this invasion and discovered the true corruption of our planet years ago, but it took him a long time to muster his forces and arrive. We meet the four Keepers and see them retreat to the white moon. Unable to chase them back easily, we get the gnomes and goblins to build space centers in order to go to the moon.
When we arrive on gnomish and goblins spaceships, what seemed like an airless silvery wastelands turns out to be an illusion and there are vibrant ecosystems thriving on the surface. Many colorful zones not out of this world let us experience a more Outland-level of space fantasy. We also meet silvery elves who serve Elune herself and in the end, we meet her in person, living in a grand, silver palace at the heart of the expanse. During the expansion, we discover her true nature. Turns out, she was one of the first spirits born out of the clash of Light and Void and as such, she had an enormous power, enough to be a god. She was the one who gave shape to much of the universe and she was the one who first created the world-souls and put them inside planets to incubate them and to let the people on their surfaces shape their personalities. Azeroth was her favorite, and as such, she put herself in close watch, on the closest body.
However, when the Titans came to Azeroth, they did not realize who she was. Discovering the Void energies in her, they decided to cast the Night Warrior side out. They could not completely sunder a true god and merely made the Night Warrior, the Dark Side of the Moon, into a separate entity, but she lashed out and forced them back. Now we have to beat the Night Warrior but not destroy it – just make Elune whole again, so she can act with strength, but remember her compassion.
Among the other bosses are the Blue Child who is a forgotten Titan Keeper meant to keep watch on Elune, but who was lost to corruption. We repair her and Elune takes her under her wing. Another main enemy is Sicco Thermaplugg. Turns out, when the Alliance went to the moon, they needed his expertise and freed him from his prison. Expectedly, once on the moon, he turns against us and builds a new fortress on a remote island.
In the final patches, we beat the evil Titan Keepers, Perses, Pallas and Astraeus, squatting on Elune with her help. We use a newly build space fleet to battle their space fleet and beat them back, as Elune bestows the “Blessing of Flesh” on the remaining titanforged who served them, letting them join us.
Worlds of the Nether
With our new space fleets, we can finally go out into the Twisting Nether and fight the new demonic threat. For once, we are proactive instead of waiting for them to strike us. Each players gets to build his own ship and recruit their own crew, which uses an improved version of the garrison systems. Each crew member can be assigned a job, which include combat missions or gathering resources. The ship originally looks like one of the four versions – a human-inspired Skyfire-like ship, an orcish-style ship, an undead one or a night elf looking one. But as we play, we unlock more customization, such as more ship styles, smaller elements, as well as various aesthetics for our crews. When you choose your ship, you also pick a ship class, which defines its role in ship combat – juggernaut (tank), frigate (“melee” DPS), carrier (ranged DPS) or a freighter (healer).
Yes, ship combat! While you go between the planets, you sail through the Twisting Nether and encounter other ships, frequently hostile. The Twisting Nether is meant to be a full fledged zone, all about using your ship to navigate, fight the enemies, and discover random small worlds on the way that provide randomized content. Unlike Occulus-style 1, 2, 3, 4 mechanics out of nowhere, you end up leveling your ship and learning to use it like it was a new character. And if you hate the gameplay… there will just be portals between planets and other ways of acquiring resources.
But to the plot. We pursue the demons into the Twisting Nether and discover Mal’ganis has reforged his new Dread Legion and he’s not afraid of using the Void to further the demons’ power. Gul’dan, who’s become a demon since his defeat in Suramar, is at the head of their forward forces. As we break through their lines, we discover a whole sector of planets who managed to hide from the Burning Legion for centuries, but have now been compromised. We discover a whole new political mess, with the imperialistic dwarves from the Irden Empire who want order above all things and want to segregate all races based on their original roles in the Pantheon’s plans, and the liberal gnomes of the Gnadra Confederacy who try to uplift lesser races. Recently, they became embroiled in a war and it’s up to us which side we join.
Meanwhile, the Dread Legion is invading both their worlds, as well as a newly awakened threat from the Xa’tac Empire, the undead civilization that once threatened the Gnadra Sector. We beat the Death Gods of the Xa’tac and destroy them permanently, and learn of the Burning Legion’s role in defeating them originally, and how the Xa’tac inspired the Scourge. We end up beating Gul’dan again and chase Mal’ganis to the ruins of Nathreza. However, the Void turns against him and we have to fight Dimensius who re-emerged in a much more powerful avatar.
In the final raid, Mal’ganis returns to Nihilam where he’s opening a portal to the Seat of the Pantheon to free Sargeras. While his Dread Legion was a cry for supremacy for the “real demons”, the natives of the Twisting Nether like the nathrezim or the annihilans, as opposed to the corrupted mortals like the eredar, he is growing desperate. We beat Mal’ganis but not until he frees Sargeras… who has now taken over Illidan’s body and in the final act, escapes into the universe to start anew and fight the Void on his terms.