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Patch 10.0: the Next WoW Expansion Supposed Leaks Discussion

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The "season of leaks" has begun as we still don't have any official information on the next WoW expansion, so it's time to take a look at what's out there. There have been two specific ones recently I wanted to go through, despite them being most likely fake, as they actually had some pretty solid (and logical) ideas, so let's get started.

Where Are These From and Why Talk About Them?

Both of these come from the MMO champion forums from now banned accounts, and they both agree on what's coming next: the Dragon Isles. The general premise makes a lot of sense as you'll see, with players clamoring for a more low-level approach and a return to Azeroth since... well basically since Shadowlands, and the Dragon Isles fit that bill and then some. A lot of these are just common sense features anyone would pick just knowing the WoW community even a little, so the various claims of them coming from a "private gamedev discord" or a "disgruntled senior level designer" aren't particularly relevant - what I want to talk about is the actual ideas and the likelihood of them actually happening, regardless of whether these are actual leaks or just someone's imagination.
 

Leak 1: "The Dragon Isles"

The name of the expansion is straight to the point in the first leak to come along, and this is the more dramatic and less likely of the two (but also a lot more interesting), as its main story point is Azeroth actually awakening. That's right, as a result of the Jailer fight in 9.2 the World Soul is born and its form is a "sort-of dragon", as we go around fixing the planet with her help and the new "World Shaping" system. We also get Black Dragons as a new race, there's new Covenant-like abilities (but not bound to a locked-in choice) which also have special effects depending on the Dragon Isles zone you're in, and the Worldshaping system will see us actually significantly change zones over time.

What's interesting/actually likely in this one:

  • It talks about the intro cinematic being the biggest so far, with the entire cinematic team working on it for over a year and had a lot of resources moved to it, scrapping Shadowlands cinematics. It's supposed to be a love letter to WoW, mirroring the original cinematic and ending with Azeroth being born. This just seems right in terms of tone and the 10.0 milestone, whatever we do get will be very much nostalgic and looking back 100%, aside from the suggested end which I'll get to a little later.
  • The theme of going back to Azeroth and rebuilding, fixing things and making the plot smaller and more local is an obvious choice both due to the community comments in recent times and  the giant 10.0 milestone nature of the expansion. The World Shaping system mentioned is sort of a perfect way to get us back interacting with the world (if it has some big components outside of the Dragon Isles, that is).
  • The new Black Dragon race would have two forms and a lot of customization (horns, scales, tails etc.) which seems like a big draw for the expansion (although I think a new class is much more likely). While Allied Races have deflated the new race hype train, this one seems flashy enough to be a draw and relatively easy to make.
  • No main big villain in 10.0 makes the most sense of it all after the, ahem, "response" the Jailer has gotten. This is again very much in line with community wishes.
  • Giant pre-expansion event with lots of invasions that also has us going back through "lots" of Azeroth-centric dungeons and raids in a "timewalking Season of Mastery". I'm torn on this one. While this is another amazing idea it just seems too big to pull off, but considering the end of Shadowlands is (presumably) going to last quite a while, this one isn't that unlikely and is one I'm really hoping is true.

What makes it unlikely

  • Azeroth being born is both the most interesting and most unlikely aspect of this leak. While it would make perfect sense after what happens in the end of the Shadowlands and fits very well with the 10.0 milestone, it would just cause a lot of trouble down the road (unless we put her back to sleep during/at the end of the expansion), especially since the entire history of Azeroth has been about outside forces trying to get to her. I have to say this would really be a BIG move on Blizzard's part and worthy of a 10.0 expansion, but to me it's just perhaps too big and smells more of someone's really good and ambitious imagination.
  • No new class. This one's almost a deal-breaker instantly, as I don't see any way 10.0 doesn't come with a new class, and since Allied Races were introduced, new races simply are not that big of a deal.
  • No mention of cross-faction content. This is also a big one, as we're almost 100% getting that in 10.0, and not mentioning it seems very unlikely.
  • It actually addresses the Night Elf horror show that's been (and is still) happening in SL, having them try to rebuild Teldrassil (actually featuring a giant version of the MoP farm where you plant trees etc.), so clearly it's a giant fake because of Blizzard's track record with Night Elf stories.


All in all this is a very interesting concept, and I congratulate whoever came up with it (whether it's Blizzard or this lone imaginative leaker). If this was indeed what we were getting with the expansion I dare say I'd be pretty excited (depending on implementation, of course) and it sounds like a worthy 10.0. In any case you ca head on over and read this pretty good work of fiction or actual leak over on the MMO Champion forums.

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Just a random drake mount gathering image that I thought fit. Source: Ogumel.
 

Leak 2: "Rise of the Aspects"

This leak is a LOT smaller in scope and pretty depressing overall, although it does agree with the first one on the theme of the expansion. This one also has a lot more specific details and timings, like the fact 9.2 is releasing late February and the expansion announcement is coming 2 days after the final three bosses of the raid are enabled (so 16 days after 9.2 launch). The rest is honestly extremely bland, with the usual level cap increase, 5 zones based on the aspects, a big Old God temple raid, a new Island Expedition/Torghast "Lair" feature, partial old world revamp for a few zones, cross-faction endgame, and a few more. The only thing that's even remotely interesting here is the new class, the Tinkerer (which has nothing to do with the expansion theme whatsoever), a ranged DPS/tank.

So this one isn't really worth discussing that much as it's extremely low on features and has no creativity whatsoever, and is basically just listing things that are either obvious or community wishes. The class not having anything to do with dragons is especially telling, since Tinkerer is just one of the most wanted/shared fan concepts for a new class, so it got included. You can read more of this one but I'd say don't waste your time, because if this is what we're getting... oh boy is the game in trouble (but it's not so np).
 

What Will 10.0 Actually Be?

It's no surprise the Dragon Isles are the top pick for the start of the season of leaks, as they've been rumored to be an expansion since, well Vanilla really (with Emerald Dream being a little more popular back in the day). It's actually very likely that this is where WoW is heading, regardless of the accuracy of the leaks, but it's far from the only option. The concept of a "back to basics" expansion is an extremely likely one, and it doesn't have to be necessarily linked to the Dragon Isles, as there are plenty of other options for that sort of content. I'll actually be diving into some of the other options for 10.0 soon, but I have to say that first leak is pretty much what I'd have guessed was coming as well.

 

What do you think 10.0 will be and, more importantly, what do you want it to be?

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They need something big to draw in the players that ledt.

No daily chores, new races/classes, nore customization, no systems that get abandoned after two years etc

 

I mean, something like Class Halls had the ability to stay relevant with every expansion, but they abandoned it

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18 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

They need something big to draw in the players that ledt.

 

Besides the new COD MW 2022 they will have nothing else that will generate sales/pre-sales this year except 10.0.  I suspect they'll throw everything they can in the announcement even if the end result will be some bland additions like a new class with only 2 specs that plays with a 2 button rotation .

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Being a dragon will bring me back as a hardcore player. with these in mind:

1- A progression system that survives more than two patches.

2- Less gated content, let players smash content and be happy about their progression.

3- Revive old Azeroth. bring back the World of Warcraft.

4- a new talent row, or redesign of the talents. or new specs for every class. (that one would give me more excitement than dragons by the way)

 

I miss World of Warcraft.

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Still hoping for a Light&Void themed expansion, or, now that I think about it, just the "Light" one. Since we have a setup already with Stormwind's dynamic duo and Yrel can probably find a way to follow the Horde players and Mag'har into Azeroth eventually. Quite positive no one would consider her a "cosmic being".

Two things I'm personally a sucker for are exposing the unsightly extremes of Good on the Good/Evil spectrum (which Legion started to do before the idea was not given further development), and being forced to ally with unquestionably "evil" side of it in desperation - which never happened before in WoW, if I'm not mistaken.

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I really like the idea of adding specs to existing classes. In particular, the DPS-only classes would benefit greatly from having a heals or tank spec added. I’ve been saying for years (not an exaggeration) that mages would make a great tanking class (ice spells for shielding, fire spells for self-heals, arcane spells for taunt).

I could see rogues, and maybe hunters and mages getting healer specs. I guess a case could be made for warlock healers, too. Hunter, mage, shaman and warlock would all make sense to have tank specs added.

Edited by Trest
typo
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First and foremost, bring back World of Warcraft. Close the theme park, for good, its enough.  All big, bad guys are dealt with. But good ol Azeroth, both continents, have suffered a lot and its time to rebuild. 

Theres a "big" sword in Silithus, a World Tree has been burned, Elementals in turmoil, there is no Lich King for quite some time, so the Scourge went nuts, unchecked threats all over the place, as Horde and Alliance had no time to keep their home in order.

And most important, a rebuild Azeroth needs rebuild frontiers. Both factions lost territory, in one way or another, its time to bring back the old status quo of World of WARcraft. 

 

Edited by Helvorn
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you know what would be cool.... maybe an xpac where we actually tie up the lose ends from it... rather than oh this exists now ... it wont be relevant for the next few packs or maybe never again .... just forget about it just like blizzard forgets about azeroth when something happens to it but a new xpac takes us away from it

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I would rather see some of the old zones updated with some lore. Of course, they'd need to have some relevant content for endgame as well. This sounds better to me than suddenly having some Dragon Isles pop up as another continent. We already had enough of "land hidden by some magical illusion/mists" stuff, like Uldum and Pandaria.

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I like the Dragon Isles One and hope that is it. I am looking forward to the next x-pac, whatever it may be but I hope they move away from the chores and the awkward borrowed power systems. I am not confident though, time will tell.

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Uncommon Patron

Not sure why you think that there will definitely be a new class. I personally would not be surprised if we never see a new class...Blizz has enough issues dealing with the current ones.

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33 minutes ago, Calysia said:

Not sure why you think that there will definitely be a new class. I personally would not be surprised if we never see a new class...Blizz has enough issues dealing with the current ones.

Blizzard has no issues and would not have if they added a new class. Players however, they do. Let Mage Tower be an example, it's possible to complete all challenges but there are people who say it's overtuned. All specs are viable but not every player.

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While the dragon isles concept sounds good I hope that more changes are coming to the game, not just the usual expansion to expansion stuff:

- we need to get rid of work-like grind systems

- make old content relevant OR introduce something like legendaries/trophies/housing or whatever that will be still relevant in next expansions

- resign from introducing beta suggested QoL changes in the last patch of expansion

- do not time gate features, 1-2 weeks is still fine, but definetely not months

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1 hour ago, Calysia said:

Not sure why you think that there will definitely be a new class. I personally would not be surprised if we never see a new class...Blizz has enough issues dealing with the current ones.

It's not so much that I think there should be a new class but more that there kinda HAS to be one for the 10.0 milestone and the hype. It's been a long time since a new class arrived, it's one of the biggest additions to the game in general and brings more gameplay to most players than any other system and keeps the game fresh.

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22 minutes ago, Starym said:

It's not so much that I think there should be a new class but more that there kinda HAS to be one for the 10.0 milestone and the hype. It's been a long time since a new class arrived, it's one of the biggest additions to the game in general and brings more gameplay to most players than any other system and keeps the game fresh.

Indeed, either it has to be a new class or race as a huge selling point. By race I mean a full new race, without reused model or animations like allied races. I assume it's hard to make a new class stand out from others, it's easy to make them play similar to existing ones, which could either make some of existing classes redundant or new class wouldn't be as desired if others can do what it does but better. Plus, there are always issues with balance. Perhaps they don't want additional workload on balancing (it would've been a bit easier to balance if they stopped messing with those borrowed power systems). DH already had only two specs, it shows how they didn't want to risk adding another damage specialization, which could be too similar to the other one, some classes already had this issue before.

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1 hour ago, Starym said:

It's not so much that I think there should be a new class but more that there kinda HAS to be one for the 10.0 milestone and the hype. 

I stumbled onto a site which had several hundred reviews of Shadowlands early after its release. I've forgotten what site it was, but the people leaving reviews were obviously people who'd just bought it as another game, much less invested in it as a franchise or experience than anybody here, or on wowhead or mmo-champ, what have you.

What surprised me was the number of negative reviews complaining it had no new classes or races. At that point I would have said I wasn't too sure about the story, or some of the systems, but... I hadn't even noticed the lack.

I think for the casual player -- meaning 'guy who plays wow only occasionally', not just 'guy who doesn't raid' -- a new class might be bigger than we'd think 

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1 hour ago, Starym said:

It's not so much that I think there should be a new class but more that there kinda HAS to be one for the 10.0 milestone and the hype. It's been a long time since a new class arrived, it's one of the biggest additions to the game in general and brings more gameplay to most players than any other system and keeps the game fresh.

Issue is... what IS there to add, even if they tried?

And by that I mean, look at Demon Hunters. Blizzard barely had enough of class identity to put two specs together, and even then multiple DH abilities were either copied or outright stolen from existing classses. Anything else that came out of players' minds over the years - Wardens, Tinkers, Runemages, Bards, etc. - would fill one spec at best, and we'll be lucky if that won't be at the expense of other classses.

Other issue - every new class introduced so far is melee-only, with a tank spec - plus one healer - wearing leather and plate. So next one up is asking to be mail caster, but there's hardly enough magic that is not represented already in playable classes' arsenal.

Best case scenario - additional specs, with themes befitting the existing identity of classes, rather than wildly going "MAGE TANKS AND HEALERS!!!!".

I.e. want more tanks - warlocks were doing that already for years, and shamans are asking for an earth-based spec as much as paladins are to finally introduce Holy Magic based DPS caster, of which we still have none, etc.

And I mean... 3 new specs or 12 new specs, which does qualify better as "new gameplay"?

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5 hours ago, Teufel said:

being forced to ally with unquestionably "evil" side of it in desperation - which never happened before in WoW, if I'm not mistaken.

But... But... 'unity'... 

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2 minutes ago, Halock said:

But... But... 'unity'... 

..lil' lost here, help me out.

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Not sure what more is about to come for the dragon aspects. The leaders all lost their powers at the end of cataclysm to power up the dragonsoul. And even if we ignored that. Most of their story was already told in wow. So aslong as their is no weird timetravel thingy with chromie where we experience the past i dont know what they will fill it with. Even with Azeroth is waking up what have dragons todo with that?

Well now i remember the chromie deaths event from legion. Wasnt that the future she showed us? Well maybe there a tiny little bit of possibility. But still. Would probably be lame.

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3 hours ago, Teufel said:

..lil' lost here, help me out.

On reflection, I suppose it wasn't as obvious a connection as I thought. 😆

You said we don't have difficult choices. And I thought, boy, isn't that because it's always those guy's fault? Is BFA's faction conflict the fault of A) Sylvanas, B) N'zoth, or C) the Jailor? Trick question! It's D), Sargeras! Definitely not us!

In fairness, BFA made a decent stab at bringing some responsibility into it through Saurfang and Anduin. MoP did too. I don't think it's the fact they don't try.

I think it's more the fact we unite to defeat [villain], and the consequences are forgotten. Then it's reset, and we do it again. 

But you get the idea.

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6 hours ago, Halock said:

On reflection, I suppose it wasn't as obvious a connection as I thought. 😆

You said we don't have difficult choices. And I thought, boy, isn't that because it's always those guy's fault? Is BFA's faction conflict the fault of A) Sylvanas, B) N'zoth, or C) the Jailor? Trick question! It's D), Sargeras! Definitely not us!

In fairness, BFA made a decent stab at bringing some responsibility into it through Saurfang and Anduin. MoP did too. I don't think it's the fact they don't try.

I think it's more the fact we unite to defeat [villain], and the consequences are forgotten. Then it's reset, and we do it again. 

But you get the idea.

Generally yes, but I meant it more as we work with one unquestionable villian to beat  a stronger one - simply because we're both screwed otherwise. The closest there was is accepting Azshara's help to beat N'zoth, but it was more like a side objective.

And there was her tricking us into releasing N'zoth (and since she planned to murder him anyway, guess we were doing her bidding)... Might use a reverse - us working with a villian (maybe even on their terms for being convincing) and preparing a double-cross that will turn the situation to our advantage.

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12 hours ago, Halock said:

I stumbled onto a site which had several hundred reviews of Shadowlands early after its release. I've forgotten what site it was, but the people leaving reviews were obviously people who'd just bought it as another game, much less invested in it as a franchise or experience than anybody here, or on wowhead or mmo-champ, what have you.

What surprised me was the number of negative reviews complaining it had no new classes or races. At that point I would have said I wasn't too sure about the story, or some of the systems, but... I hadn't even noticed the lack.

I think for the casual player -- meaning 'guy who plays wow only occasionally', not just 'guy who doesn't raid' -- a new class might be bigger than we'd think 

I think a new class is one of the biggest additions there can be. Pretty sure that basically every single player from casual to veteran would play it at least a little and for a fair amount of those it could become their new main. It's also heaven for altoholics (which, let's face it, is most of the playerbase at this point, at least in the 2-5 range), brings TONS of new stuff to chase lie transmogs etc, but it's a lot of work (even balance aside, you have to add SOME unique armor looks that aren't just from the expansion, and god forbid it's something weird like naga or the black dragon mentioned and the old sets don't fit).

I mean personally I don't care for a new class AT ALL, but I'd 100% play it and switch to it if it played well and was fun (mained DH in Legion, not so much DK in Wrath). I think the balance concerns are WAY overhyped. For those people that say that classes are unbalanced and fucked etc. why should they care that there's just another one to be unbalanced and for those that are more realistic about it, class balance has been ok - not THE best but not even close to the apocalypse the crazy people talk about. I watch the rankings every week and there really are like only 1-2 outliers at the top and a few more at the bottom, the rest are totally fine.

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12 hours ago, Teufel said:

Issue is... what IS there to add, even if they tried?

And by that I mean, look at Demon Hunters. Blizzard barely had enough of class identity to put two specs together, and even then multiple DH abilities were either copied or outright stolen from existing classses. Anything else that came out of players' minds over the years - Wardens, Tinkers, Runemages, Bards, etc. - would fill one spec at best, and we'll be lucky if that won't be at the expense of other classses.

Other issue - every new class introduced so far is melee-only, with a tank spec - plus one healer - wearing leather and plate. So next one up is asking to be mail caster, but there's hardly enough magic that is not represented already in playable classes' arsenal.

Best case scenario - additional specs, with themes befitting the existing identity of classes, rather than wildly going "MAGE TANKS AND HEALERS!!!!".

I.e. want more tanks - warlocks were doing that already for years, and shamans are asking for an earth-based spec as much as paladins are to finally introduce Holy Magic based DPS caster, of which we still have none, etc.

And I mean... 3 new specs or 12 new specs, which does qualify better as "new gameplay"?

Gotta hard disagree there. The reason DH was mildly crippled IMO is the theme. They couldn't do more with it because it would directly steal from Warlocks identity and skills. With a brand new theme (like dragon or tech/tinkerer) I'm sure they'd come up with original stuff (that depends on what you think is original, there really are only so many things you can do in a game/MMO - Lost Ark has a giant number of classes and at some point you see that even though they're all different and cool, 80% of the skills are basically the same with a different animation coating).

In terms of new specs... GOD NO. Excitement level is about 500x less than a new class and it's the same or even MORE work (depending on number of specs).

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4 hours ago, Starym said:

For those people that say that classes are unbalanced and *filtered* etc. why should they care that there's just another one to be unbalanced and for those that are more realistic about it, class balance has been ok - not THE best but not even close to the apocalypse the crazy people talk about.

I think balance isn't great, there is a huge gap in power between item levels (you either steamroll those below you, or get steamrolled by those above you, at least in Legion/BfA fights lasted a bit longer and there was still some fighting chance), they locked most of gear for people who don't raid, aren't doing rated or mythic+. Also some classes have way better survivability. But balance aside, it's getting harder to make a class that feels unique. Necromancer would likely share a lot with warlocks: curses, debuffs etc. Perhaps minions would have worked differently, with more reliance on shadow magic than fel fire but mechanically it's still pretty close. Tinkerer sounds distinct enough thematically, although mechanically they could still overlap with some of the existing classes. Regardless, they need a huge selling point. Personally, I don't see the appeal of playing a dragon. They would likely look just like regular humanoids with some draconic bits. Rather weird to fight as a humanoid, then transforming into a full dragon form to only use it as a mount. 

4 hours ago, Starym said:

I'm sure they'd come up with original stuff (that depends on what you think is original, there really are only so many things you can do in a game/MMO - Lost Ark has a giant number of classes and at some point you see that even though they're all different and cool, 80% of the skills are basically the same with a different animation coating).

 

Lost Ark might not be a good example here. Afaik, this game is more like a Diablo/hack n'slash. Their classes are gender and race locked, they are introducing male/female counterparts for some to remove gender locks who are, as you've mentioned, barely different from the other class. Different game so it might work better there. Korean games are also known to usually have gender/race locked classes, for a simple reason - not having to make unique animations for different models.

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      Netherblade (Tier 4 Set)


      Deathmantle (Tier 5 Set)


      Slayer's Armor (Tier 6 Set + Warglaives of Azzinoth)


    • By Staff
      Blizzard made some changes to the Sepulcher of the First Ones raid that will go live with scheduled maintenance in each region. The changes focus on Mythic Rygelon and Jailer nerfs.
      (Source)
      With scheduled maintenance in each region (earlier today in this region), we’ve made the following tuning adjustments to the Sepulcher of the First Ones Raid:
      Anduin Wrynn Blasphemy duration increased to 12 seconds in all difficulties. Lost Soul duration increased to 40 seconds in all difficulties (was 35 seconds). Wicked Star now targets one player at a time in Mythic difficulty. Players are now invalid targets for Blasphemy for 20 seconds after the effects of Lost Soul expire (was 10 seconds). Reduced the health of Grim Reflections by 15% in Mythic difficulty. Rygelon Rygelon’s health has been reduced by 5% in Mythic difficulty. Collapsing Quasar Fields now last 8 seconds (was 6 seconds) in Mythic difficulty. Dark Collapse damage has been reduced by 25% in Mythic difficulty. Unstable Quasar radius reduced by 25%, and damage reduced by 20% in Mythic difficulty. Cosmic Ejection damage-over-time reduced by 33% in Mythic difficulty. The Jailer, Zovaal Azerite Radiation increased Arcane damage is now 80% (was 100%) in Mythic difficulty. Meteor Cleave damage decreased 10% in Mythic difficulty Torment initial explosion damage decreased by 10% in all difficulties. Shattering Blast damage over time decreased by 33% in Mythic difficulty. Chain Breaker damage decreased by 10% in all difficulties.
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