I was going to simply write a reply to @AlternativeChat’s thought-provoking post here, but I decided it might be lengthy enough to actually post something of my own for a change.  On the most basic level, I agree with her premise that the time travel theme in WoD makes it very convenient for Blizzard to make massive changes back home on Azeroth.  I’ve actually been thinking similar things ever since I first read the blurbs talking about the expansion’s storyline, way before the cinematic came out.  So here I will point out the details where my tin foil hat’s signals differed from hers.  In some ways I do not go as far as she did, and in others I guess I go WAY farther.

1) Let’s start with the biggest difference: there is no way Blizzard is trashing all that old content until sub numbers are at least south of 1 million – probably not until they match other non-successful MMO types, which means sub numbers south of, what, 300K?  100K?  Despite what many headlines might try to suggest, that day is still quite distant.  Let’s face it, 100 is a nice round level number for Blizzard to come around sometime in the near future and say “hey, like the Warcraft movie out in theaters?  How about some WOW 2?”  Players with WOW accounts, especially toons at 100, will of course be offered legacy perks in the new game.

2)  Azeroth will not disappear.  But, I agree we will not be able to go back to the one we left.  I can see the mage/warlock portal scenario she described, but I expect the only recourse at that point will be to rebuild the Dark Portal yet again and jump back across, hoping for the best.  Hah, the best???  This is Warcraft!  Remember, Khadgar’s original stated goal is to fix what Garrosh was doing and restore our pasts so our present remains intact.  Obviously plans change once on Draenor.  Honestly, if that plan were to succeed and Blizzard tells me “nope, Yrel perished after all, here’s Velen back.  Happy Ending!” there will be hell to pay (and on the Horde side, since I play both, feel free to substitute the name of any significant Frostwolf or Laughing Skull orc for Yrel’s) 😉  Here is where Chromie and the Bronze Dragonflight would make an appearance, claiming that our actions in Draenor have made our previous timeline so broken that they can’t find a way back, or somesuch.

3) Once we get back to Azeroth (and into WOW2) we will find ourselves in a different time.  Probably the time of Medivh, since he was a major player in the time Garrosh led us to, being the one who opened the original Dark Portal the orcs were constructing in the WoD opening cinematic. Remember, Medivh is still at large in Azeroth in this timeline with Sargeras’s soul guiding his immense powers and no orc invasion to be killed for allowing.  But perhaps we arrive during the time of Tides of Darkness or the Scourge of Lordaeron.  Regardless, we will return to find the Burning Legion invading Azeroth in some new creative way now that the Iron Horde foiled their brilliant orc plan.  Perhaps an Undead Scourge with neither Ner’zhul nor Arthas as the Lich King (Medivh or Azshara, or both like Ner’zhul/Arthas, anyone?).

4) The Bronze Dragonflight can’t be taken by surprise.  It was one of their own gone rogue who started this in the first place.  There will be Ultimate Sacrifices made, but those who make them will be more linked to the Alliance & Horde – probably Khadgar and perhaps Thrall.

I guess that’s it for now – clearly these things have been in the back of my mind for some time 😉  Thanks again to Alternative Chat for the inspiring post!