After having learned about the cosmic origins of the universe and battled various gods of the afterlife in the game’s latest expansion, more than a few World of Warcraft players are yearning for a return to the more grounded (relatively speaking) world of Azeroth. And based on comments from lead narrative designer Steve Danuser, that could be in the cards for the game’s next expansion.
In a new interview with Game Rant about the game’s recently announced patch 9.2, Danuser says there is room for both massive, cosmic stories and smaller, more personal tales in the Warcraft universe. In doing so, he also heavily implies that the next expansion will be a return to the world at the center of the Warcraft universe, Azeroth.
“Don’t assume it’s just going to be one thing,” Danuser says. “There’s storylines building up for the next great book in the Warcraft saga. Some of that groundwork is laid here, but there’s a lot more back on Azeroth we need to get back to, and delve into some storylines and characters there.”
There is certainly plenty of story left to tell on Azeroth. Only a handful of Warcraft’s major characters, namely Anduin, Sylvanas, Tyrande, and Bolvar Fordragon, played a role in Shadowlands’ narrative, so a return to Azeroth and all the characters that didn’t make the leap into the various realms of the afterlife would make perfect sense.
Danuser’s comments line up with what he himself said in a recent developer preview for WoW’s upcoming patch 9.2. In that video, Danuser described Shadowlands as the final chapter of one particular book of the Warcraft saga, and that the team was already hard at work on the next book.
While new expansion announcements typically come as part of Blizzard’s annual BlizzCon convention, next year’s event has been canceled. Blizzard said it is instead looking to dedicate the time and resources that typically go into putting on BlizzCon into its various development teams. The cancelation of the event comes amidst ongoing fallout related to various ongoing sexual harassment and discrimination investigations directed at Activision Blizzard.
Patch 9.2, Eternity’s End, looks to be the final content update for Shadowlands, and will have players confront the expansion’s big-bad, the Jailer, as he seeks to breach the Sepulcher of the First Ones and rewrite the rules of creation. The patch will bring a new zone, raid, and the return of class-based Tier sets, but does not yet have a release date.
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