Brace yourself. Blizzard has recently trademarked “Eye of Azshara”.
Yeah, I know. That could mean damn near anything. Is it a WoW property, Hearthstone, or something else entirely? Could this be something that will be announced at Blizzcon 2014? According to a Reddit poster who knows a guy, that is a definite maybe.
Eye of Azshara is the next expansion to World of Warcraft and is planned to launch Q1 2016. Blizzard is intentionally breaking their mold and announcing this expansion at this year’s Blizzcon for a few reasons. First, there’s about to be a big company-wide push to bring the Warcraft franchise into the next decade with Hearthstone, WoW, and a PVP Battleground themed console game that will also be briefly teased at Blizzcon. Second, the loss of subscriptions at the end of MoP was a big blow to morale as they went into the expansion planning regular content patches – they want to prove to the gaming community that WoW is going to be around for awhile, and won’t go stagnant at the end of the next expansion (the last patch of WoD is tentatively planned 4 to 6 months prior to the launch of EoA)
Eye of Azshara will be the ‘South Seas’ expansion players have hoped for. Nazjatar will rise from the ocean and Queen Azshara will begin an assault on Azeroth. New zones will include Nazjatar, Zandalar, the Rift of Aln, and Kul’Tiras. The Alliance will ally with a faction of uncorrupted highborne seeking to usurp their former leader, the Horde with a disgruntled Naga tribe. (These are not playable races, but NPC factions)
Azshara is working closely with Sargeras and this expansion will be the second ‘pseudo’ Burning Legion expansion – heavily legion influenced without the Legion as a central theme. They’re building the Legion up big time.
EoA will be introduced at Blizzcon during a video celebrating the next 10 years of Warcraft. Also in the video are clips of the Deathknight class for Hearthstone and an alpha gameplay clip of the console battlegrounds game. The video is narrated by Martin Sheen, in character as Nozdormu, and is a ‘glimpse into the future’. Cheeky.
The big focus of Blizzcon, as far as Warcraft goes, will be the content patches of WoD. One of the Tanaan Jungle raids will be previewed (Hellscream’s Ascent), but the big news is that Illidan is coming back. When the Legion begins to invade Dreanor in 6.1, Khadgar believes it’s time to fight fire with fire and, with the help of Chromie, sends the players back in time on Azeroth to free Illidan from his prison. Illidan comes in as a ‘wild card’, leading a faction of Demon Hunters against the Legion and Gul’dan. My friend says she doesn’t know for sure, but it sounds like Demon Hunters as a playable class is being set up.
Blizzcon just keeps getting more and more interesting.
Not to mention easy on the eyes.