I think I have enough ideas to draw a layout for the end of Battle for Azeroth and the future expansion. The speculation is based solely on logic and expectations.
So, let’s start.
Battle for Azeroth – 8.3.
8.3. will deal with N’Zoth. He’s the Big Bad of the addon, and we will adventure in shards of the Black Empire (Nyalotha) for the final patch.
The final raid will be about us trying to stop N’Zoth’s corruption of Azeroth the Titan. With Tidestone in our possession and best magi in the world to operate it, it’s possible for us to wander any depths. It’s gonna wrap up the wound / Magni / MOTHER / necklace arc and justify the meaning of Battle for Azeroth as in titan Azeroth.
Most likely we don’t kill the Old God ourselves, although we may fight him in person. But defended hatched Azeroth will finish him. This will show us how powerful she is, and will give us an ending of cosmic value and epicness.
We will get a war campaign final scenario where Sylvanas is dethroned. Nathanos will be killed, but Sylvanas will not. After even the Forsaken “betray” her, she will flee – either at once, or breaking from imprisonment. She’s gonna be alone. Dark rangers and other fierce supporters will be killed, and the bulk of the undead will turn “good”. She’s gonna serve as the linking point to the next “death” expansion.
Kalia Menethil, who conveniently got an updated and unique Light-Infused Undead model, will be the new (and rightful) Queen of the Lordaeron Undead.
Baine will be the new warchief of the Horde, as an honorable guy who suffered most from Sylvanas’ reign. Thrall and Saurfang will lead the orcs together.
Alliance and Horde will make a peace treaty, and there will be a celebration rather than “we will crush you” reluctant Varian’s option at Mists’ finale.
Final Allied Races for the expansion will be Mechagnomes as a counterpart for Gnomes and either Vulpera or Kelpfin as a counterpart for Goblins. While I can easily picture both in Orgrimmar, I think that Kelpfin are more viable. They will get updated models along with Goblins, they have a zillion of customization options along with their wild skin colors. Vulpera, although cute and fluffy, are still more of locals than heroes, used to individual scavenging rather than be in the ranks, and they’re pretty happy where they are. Kelpfin are trying to find their place in the world. The requirements are obviously Exalted with Rustbolt/Unshackled, and probably completing the storyline for both zones, killing King Mechagon and Azshara respectively on any difficulty.
The pre-patch plot will see Sylvanas meet Bolvar, and the two will be plotting an undead invasion on Azeroth. WotLK 2.0. is at hand. Pre-patch will bring the Necropoli looming all over Azeroth and spewing out abominations, ghouls, banshees, frostwyrms and alike.
We will see Wrathion and other dragon flights playing a significant role. Wyrmrest is in the center of events again, and the dragons desperately try to survive the undead threat, whilst restoring their grandeur after the Aspects lost their powers.
Shadow realms is not an option, because we would never want to wander in the bleak and dark lands throughout 2-3 years. For what it’s worth, a tour to death realm is possible during a single raid encounter, a dungeon or a scenario.
My wildest, but best idea is: we will see a major rework of all continents – Cataclysm-style. Levels pruned to 60, we will get a brand new – modern – set of stories to playthrough during leveling. Gone will be the outdated Cataclysm plots, but stories like Duskwood, or eternal Booty Bay/Bloodsail fight may remain.
At least Night Elves and Undead will get their new starting questlines. Both will try to establish their new homes and fix the war damage – Undead led by Kalia restoring their home in Lordaeron, and Elves coping with Ashenvale and Darkshore problems.
Zones will be updated, as was Arathi, probably fixing Cataclysm damage to an extent.
All other expansions will be available as a leveling option – in a sense that you will always know that it was past, and you access there through a bronze dragon for leveling.
And of course, our final – and current – leveling destination will be reworked Northrend. There won’t be Dalaran, but rather a new city. I imagine one founded at the coasts of Dragonblight (as dragons will be our most vital concern), or on the ground under Dalaran. I think it’s gonna be a dragon-ruled city. All the terrain will be reworked – like with WoD’s Draenor, we may recognize some places, but the landscape will be a lot different. We should expect easy travel between zones on foot, and less impassable mountains. Like with WoD’s Draenor and Outland, it will remind of the old Northrend only vaguely – basically a new continent.
Helping the Dragon Flights is gonna be one of our major goals – we may even guess that flights will be the new zone reputation factions. Blues will reign Borean Tundra, Greens are bound to Sholazar, Yellows may link Nozdormu and Ulduar, Reds in Howling Fjord. Blacks is the most vulnerable faction, and Wrathion may operate the new central hub city. Only with their restored might combined we could hope to defeat Bolvar and end the undead threat.
Grizzly Hills will be again devoted to Worgen curse, and it will bring the new Allied Race for the Alliance – a Worgen counterpart. Genn Greymane will play the major role there and guide us to help the new worgen “race” and make them join us. Zul’Drak will be interesting to explore along with Princess Talanji, helping ice trolls and making them join the cause against the undead, restoring Gundrak in all its former glory. Basically this could be a faction-heavy zone pair, a nod to BfA’s separate leveling. I could imagine Alliance working in Grizzly Hills to gain Exalted with Worgen, and Horde putting effort in Zul’Drak for Exalted with ice trolls.
Tinker class is possible in either role – be it tank, healer, dps – but whatever.
The new – and final – Allied Races will cover Undead and Worgen, as the only ones remaining without a pair. The new Undead will be Light-Infused, as is Kalia Menethil. For Worgen, we may adopt another strain of Worgen from Grizzly Hills.
Let’s save this post until Blizzcon and see what of it is true :)