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Theorycrafting the Next Big World of Warcraft Announcement

Posted Fri, Oct 21, 2011 by Xerin

It’s only a few more hours until the start of BlizzCon and you’re all probably pondering what the next World of Warcraft expansion may be or if there will be announcement about it at all. We have a lot of questions about what could come out of today’s BlizzCon, like Warcraft 4 perhaps (or Warcraft IV) or maybe we’ll see World of Warcraft: Mists of Panderia. We could also see nothing at all, with a heavy focus on Blizzard’s other games.

Well, since the doors have yet to open and we’ve got some time between here and there, let’s pass it theorycrafting on what could happen tomorrow.

The trademark registration for Mists of Pandaria, WoW's next expansion?

Theory #1: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

I talk at length about this in another article, but the issue here is that while it’s possible, it is highly unlikely. Unless Blizzard is going to announce tomorrow that WoW now has DLC expansions and its first one is a light hearted romp through Pandaria (or Panera Breadia if we start having corporate tie-ins)  then I don’t see anything coming out of this one.

Theory #2: WarCraft 4 / WarCraft IV

It is possible that we'll hear about a WarCraft 4 at BlizzCon this year, but it's unlikely. Why? Well, we have a full article right here that goes in-depth why you won't be seeing a WarCraft 4. It's true we could do with a major injection of lore at this time, but Blizzard doesn't want to compete with itself and split the RTS fanbase between two games and keeping it up to date with the MMO would be hard, if not impossible.

So I don’t see a WarCraft 4 happening anytime soon, sadly.

Theory #3: A New World of Warcraft Expansion

There is a problem, and I admit a shady one, but a big problem in the fact that there are no leaks yet on anything about an expansion. For every WoW expansion we have seen a leak in regards to what the expansion is going to be about.  We haven’t even seen a single patch note talking about the next expansion. So either Blizzard has done a fine job of hiding the next expansion or one just doesn’t exist. If we do hear one, then I'm not even sure what it would be about, maybe the Emerald Dream? Who knows, but Blizzard has stated that Cataclysm is in no shape or form the last expansion.

Theory #4: World of Warcraft Patch Cycle Change

A smaller theory is that WoW will move away from larger scale expansions and into more DLC type / small scale expansions that you’ll need to purchase. A good example would be “content packs” where you’ll gain a dungeon, new gear, and new content to explore. For instance, maybe an Emerald Dream pack where you’ll venture into the Emerald Dream and fight the horrors that await there, get into the new dungeon affiliated with that zone, and a few other small perks.

This is kind of likely, since it would make sense, but at the same time I have doubts that we’ll ever see this happening.

Theory #5: WoW Goes Free-To-Play

This is kind of out in left field, but it is possible that Blizzard will announce that WoW is going free-to-play. While not as cool as a new World of Warcraft expansion or WarCraft 4, it would be kind of neat to give anyone who wants it the ability to play WoW. Though, again, I have some very high doubts.

So you’re pondering, what will be announced tomorrow? Well, no one knows. My best guess is that we’ll find out something about patch 4.4 (I doubt 4.3 will be the last patch) and maybe some hints at some new gameplay mechanics. Maybe patch 4.4 will include something like vehicles or phasing, maybe even sea combat or advanced flying mounts. Then the rest of the coverage will be focused on Diablo III since it is releasing soon along with StarCraft: Heart of the Swarm.

Whatever it may be, we have a full staff here at Ten Ton Hammer covering BlizzCon today so be sure to stick your browsers here and ready your F5 keys. We’ll be dishing out all of the news as soon as it comes in so keep your eyes peeled for the latest news coming out of BlizzCon here at Ten Ton Hammer.

While we wait, leave your thoughts, opinions, and theories in the comments section below!


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