What’s Next For World of Warcraft After Mists Of Pandaria?
Fan art of The Avatar of Sargeras by breathing2004 on Deviant Art.
With Mists of Pandaria headed to WoW players this year, speculation has already begun on what the next expansion will be and who the millions of heroes will fight against. As a Warcraft fan, it’s not hard to bring up names of enemies who are still left living but World of Warcraft has breezed through so many huge names in Warcraft lore that it really only leaves a few corners left untouched. At this point, if we do get a Warcraft 4, we’ll need a whole new character set.
Warcraft’s lore is extensive. I used to get lost in WoWwiki’s pages. There are so many characters of importance throughout the ages, wars to be covered, and the ever changing world to read about. It is one of the more entertaining lores to read.
In terms of enemies, let’s first go through the list of those who were major but are now dead. Warcraft kept a lot open. World of Warcraft, however, is doing the complete opposite. We saw the introduction of many enemies through books and strategy games but this MMO is tearing through them and closing chapters. Sure, as a player it is exciting but as a fan of the series you have to wonder if the Warcraft franchise will end if this keeps up. We ended the sinister Kel’Thuzad. We took down Illidan. We took the Lich King off his throne. Then we defeated Deathwing, the most powerful Dragon aspect. If you want to incorporate a term from another Blizzard game, every single character you make in WoW is a nephalem. The feats that we, the players, have accomplished in terms of lore is just astounding. I remember thinking about where the game could go back before the Burning Crusade was revealed. Thinking about Illidan, Arthas, Deathwing, and some others. Now, they’re all dead.
I was a big World of Warcraft player. I started playing it to continue the series. I got addicted to it because of the sense of grandeur that raiding gave me. Finding those epic pieces of armor and fighting the ridiculously gigantic enemies was just too epic for me not to get involved in. I think back in my gaming history and WoW accompanies some of the top accomplishments and moments. My first Ragnaros kill in Molten Core. Completing my Tier 3 set was huge for me as I helped take down Kel’Thuzad. Killing an Old God in the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj. Storming the Black Citadel and helping the Warden and Akama take out Illidan. The invasion of Icecrown and taking the fight to the Lich King’s doorstep. Actually taking the Lich King down. Finally, defeating Neltharion, the Earth Warder was quite a spectacle.
World of Warcraft is a game first and foremost. Everyone has moments in games that they always remember. I may not hark back to all of those when I think of WoW or gaming in general but a couple of them always come to mind. WoW did a lot of things I did not think it would do. Killing Illidan, Arthas, and Deathwing was beyond me at the time. I kept thinking ahead to Warcraft 4 or even WoW2. Were we really going to be able to take out these giant threats that I had seen in past games? Well I got my answer and I was still surprised. Arthas’ rise and fall is something that I really enjoyed playing through, watching, and reading. His journey from Prince to Paladin to Death Knight and finally the Lich King is tragic in so many ways and in my opinion, one of the best best stories ever told in video games.
With so many enemies down and out, what’s next? Well, you most likely won’t find that answer in Mists of Pandaria. The story is headed back to war. The Alliance and Horde are back at it after a shaky truce brought them together against Northrend and the elements. It’s time to start fighting again. In fact, the last of the major raids for the expansion will see players fighting through Orgrimmar against an insane Garrosh Hellscream. You won’t find giant dragons, elementals, or undead freaks being your main boss this time. Mists of Pandaria is all about reclaiming and sorting out Azeroth’s issues.
So what then? Someone wins? The war ends? Everyone goes home? Not quite. There are still a few stones left unturned in this franchise. Two main enemies are still at large. In fact, these two enemies are the most powerful and dangerous of them all. World of Warcraft is not done yet. Not by a long shot. Expect two more expansions after Pandaria in which we deal with these two.
The way the name is spelled might give you a clue as to what N’Zoth is. He is the third and final Old God. We have fought two other Old Gods before in C’Thun and Yogg Saron. The Old Gods ruled over Azeroth in the days of its creation. The Pantheon sent the Vanir Titans and their kind to stop the workings of the Old Gods. These terrifying and powerful creatures were defeated after a long and arduous war. They were imprisoned deep beneath the surface of Azeroth. This was a terrible mistake by the Titans. The presence and influence of the Old Gods would return. Chains and ancient caverns would never be enough to keep them away.
Throughout Warcraft’s history, their influence has been felt as they are the reason why Neltharion went mad and eventually became Deathwing. The Dragon Soul was their idea. The Green Dragonflight has been suppressed by the chaos within the Emerald Dream, a nightmare caused by the corruption of the Old Gods. The Naga, one proud High Elves, were created due to a pact between Azshara and the Old Gods. The Tauren histories mention of how their race was once bloodthirsty and cruel due to the whisperings from deep beneath the surface.
We saw our first Old God when the kingdom of Ahn’Qiraj re-opened. The Qiraji were empowered by C’Thun, a risen Old God. His manifestation was incomplete when the heroes got to him, however. It is said that we, the players, fought C’Thun and defeated him when he was at 1% power. This was due not just because he wasn’t fully manifested but also because the Old Gods are still recovering from the war with the Titans. Being chained and captive for all this time has not made healing easy. Still, the battle with a barely functional Old God was tremendous.
During the invasion of Northrend to end the Lich King, we felt the maddening grip of another Old God all over the continent. It wasn’t just the scourge and Arthas that had ravaged that land. Deep within Ulduar, the bindings of Yogg Saron were broken and his influence stronger then ever. Over the years, he had corrupted some of the ancient Titans who had stayed to guard his prison. He then gained enough power to corrupt a Titan outside of the fortress, Loken. These pawns served Yogg Saron well. The power of the Titans in the maws of an Old God. This was never fully realized as heroes broke through Ulduar and defeated The Lucid Dream and death god. This battle was terrifying as Yogg Saron used the player’s dreams to assualt not just their minds but also their emotions and will.
We got out first mention of the last Old God during the Dragon Soul patch in Cataclysm. N’Zoth was announced as Deathwing’s aide by way of Warlord Zon’ozz. Players can also find a rare artifact while using archaeology called the Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron. Trying to open the box will give off several different whispers that the player hears. These whispers talk about a drowned god, a sleeping city called Ny’alotha, and a black forest. This could be talking about the location of the final prison of the Old Gods and N’Zoth.
In the book Stormrage, Malfurion and Tyrande cleansed the Emerald Dream of the Nightmare and stopped Xavius, the Nightmare Lord. However, there is one area of the Emerald Dream that is left unclean. A rift of unending depth was barred off from entry by the couple due to Malfurion feeling the essence of an ancient evil at the bottom of it. Malfurion believes a new war resided within. This is most likely where N’Zoth and Ny’alotha are.
Look for N’Zoth to be a major player sometime down the line in World of Warcraft.
Sargeras was one of the Vanir Titans created by the Pantheon to protect the realm. Sargeras’ role was to combat and destroy the taint of the demons. Through eras of constant war waged, Sargeras succumbed to the chaos he had lived by. The Titan fell, left his brothers and sisters, and carved out his own path in ruthlessness and destruction. He created the Burning Legion. Sargeras strives to undo all life and everything the Titans have worked for. He is the epitome of evil in the Warcraft universe.
Does that mean he is the main enemy? Not necessarily. If you read everything I said about N’Zoth, it is entirely possible that the last remaining Old God could take possession of Sargeras’ mind if the fallen Titan entered Azeroth. Though we have never heard of an Old God being able to corrupt a Vanir Titan, Titans themselves have not been free of their wrath. Still, Sargeras is perhaps the most powerful of foes in Warcraft lore. He has attempted to enter Azeroth before during the War of the Ancients.
This is where I believe seeing N’Zoth becoming the main enemy of Warcraft is completely viable. It is said that Queen Azsahra heard the Old Whisperings which drove her and the Highborne mad enough to follow the Burning Legion’s commands. What else could make them completely okay with summoning Sargeras into the world using the unstable Well of Eternity? It’s not like the entire army of demons were in Zin’Ashari. No, they were made to believe Sargeras was a god. They believed and did everything they could to be classified as fanatical and insane to bring their god into existence.
Why, though? The Highborne weren’t always like that. They could have fought back and repelled Xavius and the demons before anything bad happened. Yet, they succumbed quickly. The Old Gods wanted it to be like that. They wanted Sargeras to come through the Well. They wanted to take control of the fallen Titan. With Sargeras and the Burning Legion under their control, they would be unstoppable.
Sargeras almost came through the well, too. He was close but was stopped. Now he’s trapped in a limbo-like realm. His mortal visage has ceased to be. However, that doesn’t mean he is dead. Far from it. Sargeras will return and he’s going to be pissed. He hasn’t been heard from or seen since the War of the Ancients. We have no idea if Kil’Jaeden is in contact with him somehow, either. We do know that we will see Kil’Jaeden again. Perhaps we’ll see the rescuing and revenge of Sargeras as the final or one of the last story lines in World of Warcraft.