Gamescom HYPE! I can't believe we're probably only two weeks away from the 8.0 announcement. [Possible Spoilers and Leaks inside!]
The evidence is really starting to pile up (I may add more later).
- Terran Gregory, cinematic/cut-scene genius at Blizzard has been tweeting hype tweets for a while now, including a running train, mentioning how he was working really hard (over the weekend), and even going so far as to saying he's hyped about flying over to Germany in a couple of weeks.
- Notable figures including Game Director Ion Hazzikostas will attend Gamescom, and they have a lot of stuff coming up there.
- It will be their "biggest Gamescom ever".
- Jaina Proudmoore represents Warcraft on this year's BlizzCon key art. Everybody knows she is probably at Kul Tiras. While BlizzCon isn't until November, it's still interesting that she is on there when she hasn't really been in the spotlight at all lately.
- We have a ton of in-game clues, from the Kul Tiras armour set to the whispers of Il'gynoth, Varimathras dialogue on Argus, Alleria's dance with the Void, Magni Bronzebeard's chatter with Azeroth, and much more. These all build a certain narrative; while we can't say for sure yet if Sylvanas really will betray us all, if Jaina is a saviour or a villain, or if Magni is being deceived, we do know that it all seems to be pointing to Old Gods and the sea.
- Legion was announced at Gamescom 2015, followed up by additional information at BlizzCon later the same year. So they have set a precedent already.
- There will be no additional artefact skins added for the rest of Legion, and couple that with what looks like a climax to Legion's plot on Argus, it's very doubtful there will be any significant patches beyond 7.3.5. It just seems like the expansion is drawing to a close.
- It's quite common for Blizzard to unveil the new expansion around the time of the final patch of the current one, because it'll leave players with something exciting on the horizon. This probably prevents a wave of unsubs, as people start to prepare for what's next and get all hyped about WoW. I know it works on me, at least. Since we know 7.3 is probably out in september (77 days theory) and 7.3.5 with the raid around november, it's about time to show us what's next.
- Some sceptics say that it'll be all about 7.3 at Gamescom, but I find that incredibly hard to believe. We've seen the content data-mined, we've watched the cut-scenes, and we know what the story is. For Blizzard to spend a ton of money to send lots of developers over and arrange an event just to show a 7.3 trailer or talk more about the patch would be ludicrous. They already have free PR in that regard, and it would only lead to disappointment and frustration for dedicated players if that's all they talked about at Gamescom.
What I'm gathering from all of this is that we're probably going to learn what awaits us in 8.0, in a couple of weeks in Germany.
I'm personally betting and hoping that Sylvanas will betray us ("at the hour of her third death, she will usher us in"), and it will be completely out of left field for the leaders of the Horde and Alliance ("tell me, when she seized your throne of hides and bones, was your allegiance forced?"). Jaina Proudmoore and Kul Tiras will be under the sway of a N'Zoth cult ("her heart is a crater, and we have filled it"), but we will save them and pull her out of it at the start of the expansion. We'll need to find N'Zoth to put an end to all of it, and the entrance lies through the Maelstrom ("to find him, drown yourself in the circle of stars"). The way to open the gate, which will be done in the pre-patch to let N'Zoth's minions into Azeroth, is to use the five Pillars of Creation ("five keys to open the way. Five torches to light our path").
Khadgar will be the one to do it ("the Lord of Ravens will turn the key"), possibly manipulated by Sylvanas or encouraged by Magni Bronzebeard, who himself is being deceived by N'Zoth through whispers he believe to be from Azeroth ("the King of Diamonds has been made a pawn"). In the end, King Anduin Wrynn will take charge in the assault against the Old Gods and the Void Lords, after a personal inner struggle with the void ("the boy-king serves at the master's table. Three lies he will offer you").