The Shadowlands have their own rules. We can see that from the moment we take our first step into the ominous realm of the world of Warcraft. One of these rules concerns time – or rather, its course. Because time passes differently in the shadow lands than on Azeroth. This, in turn, will have an impact on the things that will take place on Azeroth after our excursion into the world of the deceased.
Ion Hazzikostas had a while ago already clarified in an interviewthat time in the shadow lands is not faster or slower than in Azeroth. Instead, the game director described the timing in Shadowlands as "chaotic". We'll have to see what that means for us players, he hinted mysteriously.
The editors of BlizzardWatch has taken this statement from Hazzikostas as an opportunity and speculated a bit about the effects of the "chaotic" time course of the shadow lands or what might await us after shadowlands in WoW. We don't want to withhold these ideas from you and have therefore summarized them for you and expanded them a little.
The simplest, but probably also the most boring option would be that no time goes by in Azeroth as long as we are in the shadow lands. We travel to the realm of the dead, save the world (again), return to Azeroth – and find that everything has remained exactly as we left it.
The question is: what does this mean for the WoW story? Our trip to the Shadowlands would have no impact on Azeroth because our absence did not cause anything to happen in the meantime. There was no split time in the literal sense. But that also means that potential tensions, problems, riots that developed before Shadowlands remain.
So Blizzard could devise a new threat for the expansion that appears after Shadowlands that works completely independently of the events of the Shadow Lands. The resulting events should at least correlate with which story-carrying characters travel with us to the shadow lands or are influenced by the events there.
Time in the Shadow Lands, Option # 2: We travel several thousand years into the future or the past
The opposite of no time passing while we are in the shadow lands would be a time jump of several thousand years into the past or the future. Blizzard has several options here to let us strand somewhere in the next but one WoW expansion: As soon as we have fulfilled our world-saving function in the shadow lands, we return to Azeroth, only to find that we have not landed in the present at all . Enlargement could then be about trying to go back to our real time.
For example, a trip back in time could take us to the time of the titans, the troll empires fighting against the Aqir or the high elves and humans, or destroying the fountain of eternity during the War of the Ancestors. There are still large gaps in the WoW lore that Blizzard could fill with an extension to Shadowlands. Alternatively, we could also find a future in which Azeroth has completely changed, Horde and Alliance no longer exist, and in which the question arises whether we want to go back to our own past at all.
Time in the Shadow Lands, Option # 3: We land on an alternate timeline
The third way that Blizzard could handle the effects of the chaotic shadow country after Shadowlands would be an alternative timeline. We might end up on an alternate timeline after our return from the Shadow Lands because Sylvanas somehow managed to kill Arthas and Kel'Thuzad before the undead plague can spread across Azeroth. Then there would never be an invasion of the Legion, the Third War and the destruction of Silvermoon.
So when we return to our supposed home in Shadowlands, we end up in a different time when Lordaeron is still standing and the orcs have never emigrated to Kalimdor. An impending attack by the Burning Legion could take all of our battle-hardened heroes because Azeroth lacks experience in fighting the demons. Alternatively, a new conflict could develop between the Alliance and the Horde, depending on the situation of the orcs.
Time in the Shadow Lands, Option # 4: We experience a combination of Options 1-3
Ion Hazzikostas had said that the time in the shadow lands is chaotic. So why shouldn't something chaotic happen with the Azeroth timeline, i.e. why shouldn't we experience all three of the above options at once? Maybe after Shadowlands we can expect an expansion in which the space-time continuum from World of Warcraft (buy now for € 14.99) completely messed up and in which we have to travel through time with the Bronze Flock of Dragons to fix time in the world of the living?
Maybe we will go back in time to make sure that it happens as intended. We make sure that Azshara really works with the Burning Legion, that the orcs travel to Kalimdor and, most importantly, that Sylvanas cannot interfere in the affairs of Kel Thuzad and Arthas to prevent their own death and the destruction of Silvermoon.
Blizzard, you have all options, please use them too!
Whatever Blizzard plans to do with the WoW story, and however our journey to the Shadowlands will affect Azeroth, one thing is certain: The developers have a wealth of options for using this "chaotic time". We are certain that Ion Hazzikostas would not have just mentioned some mysterious consequences of this Shadowlands temporal anomaly if Blizzard hadn't planned anything with it. We therefore hope that the developers take the opportunity and that the expansion to Shadowlands will be as chaotic as Hazzikosta's statement promises.
What do you all mean? What can we expect when we return from the Shadow Lands in Azeroth? What do you wish for the expansion to Shadowlands? Write us your opinion in the comments!
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