As you read this, I'm most likely on a plane to Anaheim. Well, no, probably not, because I know you guys. Most of you are reading this the very second the post goes live, and if that's the case, then I'm still sitting at my desk in Milwaukee staring angrily at the high wind warning that has been issued in my area. The beginning of my flight is going to be fun.
Will the alliance become the dominant faction this expansion?
I've been trying to think of a kind way to say hell no, and the best I could come up with was a regular no. I don't expect that will happen. As an Alliance player, I have come to terms with the fact that we're likely to be the whipping boys forever. At no point in World of Warcraft has the Alliance been dominant, and the Alliance's victories are not victories so much as they are isolated events in which the Horde does not completely slaughter the Alliance. Blizzard does not really grasp how to write the Alliance at war. Blizzard is very good at writing the Horde at war, however. Notice how in Twilight Highlands, the #1 zone featuring the war between the Horde and the Alliance in Cataclysm, is a completely one-sided slaughter. The Horde is lok'tar-ogaring all over the place and rocking the Alliance's face in. The Alliance is busy holding a wedding.
I think Varian Wrynn embodies this somewhat. Blizzard is very much about the Horde and how they wage wars. It's into that so much that it gave the Alliance their king back, but they turned him into an Orc first. I don't dislike Varian Wrynn, but he's certainly not a bastion of humanity. He's Lo'gosh. He's the Ghost Wolf. The Alliance doesn't need a Ghost Wolf; the Alliance doesn't need an Orc in charge. The Alliance needs another Lion of Stormwind, but we're not going to get that.
Do I hope I'm wrong? Yes, absolutely. Swamp of Sorrows does have Joanna Blueheart, so at least one of the quest designers at Blizzard grasps how the Alliance rolls. If they can use her as their basis for Alliance warfare, we could have a great thing. Joanna is alone in her example, though. Things look ... bleak.
Does the sword drop from the Horseman or the bag?
So what do you guys unrealistically want from the next expansion? In other words, what's on your magical wishlist?
I want player/guild housing with a tremendous spread of decorative options that you can acquire and achieve in sub-raid content. Five-mans and solo are fair game. It would serve as a way to advance your character (or your guild) when you're at the level cap, and I think World of Warcraft desperately needs to get back into giving players something to work toward at the level cap that isn't just inflating your ilevel. Archaeology attempted to do this, but just grinding out fragments is not particularly compelling.
I think it would be incredibly fun to hunt down trophies, statues, armor racks, rugs, and so on to pimp your pad. I was on the fence about player housing for years, but after Cataclysm, I desperately long for something I can really strive toward on level-capped characters that isn't simply Blizzard pushing me back toward raiding. The Burning Crusade had a large amount of content like that, I feel. Wrath didn't have much and Cataclysm had even less.
What kind of parents name their kid Kel'Thuzad?
His name is actually Kelly Julius Thuzad, but since Kelly is a girl's name, he shortened it to Kel'Thuzad.
What are you most looking forward to at BlizzCon? Least?
I'm most looking forward to the WoW Insider meetup. Really, I am! BlizzCon is great and I'm excited about any WoW news that happens to come out of it, but the meetup is just unrivaled in the excitement department. We plan this thing off and on all year long, and September and October is when the planning comes together and coalesces into something real. We're all excited to hit the ground in Anaheim, prep our venue, and rock out with our fans and friends. I imagine it's how Blizzard feels about BlizzCon itself, except BlizzCon is a heckuva lot bigger.
What am I looking forward to the least? The lines. You always do a lot of standing in line at conventions, but BlizzCon is extra bad about it. All of the vendors are crammed into such a cramped space, and lines grow to be so long that all of the lines start wrapping around unrelated booths and intersecting with each other, and it gets to the point where you're not even sure you're in the right line anymore.
Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column. Leave your questions in the comments, and we'll do our best to answer 'em!