Azeroth is at last safe, but there are countless other worlds in the Great Dark which have been overwhelmed by the Burning Legion. A number of refugee species have fled their homeworlds, most famous of which are the Draenei and the Ethereals. As pressure mounts to put an end to the Legion once and for all, the gnomes and goblins with naaru blessings and guidance have developed the first of the mighty Azerothian starships capable of crossing the galaxy to offer assistance to the countless oppressed.
New Neutral Race - Ethereals
Ethereals are astral travelers who dwell within the Twisting Nether, treading the chaotic spaces between worlds. They are known to be collectors and traders of arcane items and artifacts. Originally from K'aresh, some are now drawn to Outland where they are seeking to track down its treasures and steal them back into the Twisting Nether. Some are liars and scoundrels who will stop at nothing to pursue their mysterious aims. The ethereals have no interest at all in the Burning Crusade. They would even play both sides of the conflict against each other if doing so would serve to further their own goals.
Their homeworld of K'aresh was obliterated by the Legion, and they have since scattered across the stars. A number of them are now traders in Outland, and more recently they have been drawn to Azeroth, where they established colonies on its moons.
- Starting Zone: Apa'ro Crater
- 1-10 Zone: White Lady (one of Azeroth's two moons)
- 10-20 Zone: Blue Child (the second moon)
- Racial Capital: The Retina - a vast observatory and trading outpost deep within the core of White Lady
There are regular dimensional ships going from between the Retina spaceport and Everlook, with free connecting flights to Darnassus and Orgrimmar. They operate in a similar way to boats and zeppelins.
- Ethereal Body - does not have a solid body and so takes less damage.
- Nether Walk - can reach other worlds without the aid of a dimensional ship. However they still have to pay quite a lot of gold to get the ability, so the only real advantage is that it is faster.
- Haggling - recieves 2% more money from quest rewards and selling items to NPCs, and pays 5% less when buying.
- Engineering Specialisation
Voyaging between the planets in the physical dimension would take years even for a dimensional ship, so instead they slip into the Twisting Nether. Here travelling from Azeroth to Outland would take only a day or so, and one could cross the universe to Argus in little more than a week. For many years these were so big and complex that they were only ever used when transporting large populations, such as the flight of the Draenei, but now at last the engineers of the world have discovered how to make much smaller versions for personal use.
Theoretically a player can purchase one for theirselves, but at 100000 it is more likely that their purchase would be the product of a guild effort. There are a number of "spaceports" from which to travel - they can be reached by space elevators which touch the ground in many locations such as Everlook, old Dalaran and Area 52. There are also others on the new worlds Argus, Xoroth and K'aresh. Anyone in a raid group can board at one of these, and from there the ship can travel to any corner of the sky. While in flight the pilot has a special map to show the location of the ship and the named planets, as well as ones that have been visited already.
The dimensional ship system is similar to player owned boats from User:Jormungand01/Return_of_the_Queen#Player_Owned_Boats, with the difference being that between ground and flying mounts. So although players can go into orbit around any of the planets such as Azeroth or Outland they cannot actually descend without docking at a spaceport and going back into the physical plane. Colonizable worlds are the exception, but the player cannot leave the craft without putting on a "spacesuit" or building something to dock with. Furthermore it can only hold enough fuel for five minutes of moving about in the lower atmosphere, and that fuel will be needed later on for getting back up. If you run out then you're stuck until someone comes to rescue you or you teleport out.
New Secondary Skill - Colonisation
Throughout the Great Dark there are countless unknown worlds. Throughout Azeroth there are countless intrepid adventurers who would like nothing more than their own land to rule, free from the interference of their superiors. In such a situation the unknown worlds rapidly become known and a wave of colonists set out to establish outposts on them.
Land can be acquired in various ways. Some areas are occupied by hostile forces and must be taken by force. Others are owned by neutral or friendly factions or even another player and can be purchased. Once this is done they can travel to the purchased land and begin to build. There are a number of things to be constructed, and at low skill levels the only options are quite basic such as repairs and trading. Later on they can build an inn, flight point and walls, and at the highest levels a bank, auction house and spaceport. Ships can land without a spaceport, but they will be unable to refuel or take on supplies so it is best to land somewhere that does have one and then continue onto your own.
Multiple colonies can be built on the same planet, so players may travel to others of the same faction by walking or by flight paths. There will also be enemy colonies as well and even a Burning Legion presence, so to defend against attacks defences must be built and guards hired. The simplest defences are walls, which serve only to obstruct the enemy, but later on locked gates and cannons can be added. Of course all these can be disabled by siege weapons, and gates can be lockpicked by rogues. In other words, it's similar to a town from previous Warcraft games, but with some additional building options.
When undertaking a project of this size participants must be able to communicate easily with no misunderstandings. For this purpose teachers have been sent to all the major cities to instruct the populace in their language. To start the skill must be acquired for 50, which gives a skill of 75/300, enough for basic communication. Speaking in that language raises the skill until it reaches 300, at which point the character is fluent. At first there are many words which cannot be understood and appear as random letters, but as the skill increases more and more become known.
In addition certain languages come in "families", such as Darnassian/Thalassian/Nazja. Knowing one language in a family makes it easier to learn the others by raising the skill. Some come in more than one, such as Draenei/Eredun and Draenei/Orcish, so that knowing Draenei will increase skill in Eredun and Orcish, but Orcish will not affect Eredun in any way.
The families are:
- Common/Gutterspeak/Low Common
There is no limit to the number of foreign languages which can be known at a time, but for each one the price increases by a factor of 2. This means that knowing all 22 would eventually cost over 200000 to discourage characters from trying to do so. Also if an Alliance player tries to speak a Horde language and vice versa a filter will come up to stop any abuse that he/she may wish to deliver.
The Great Dark
One important thing to note is that each of the worlds listed below is not a single zone but an entire continent. The zones themselves have not yet been decided since little is known about these worlds, but there will be at least three or four per world, as well as some instances and on some a neutral city.
Draenor was a much bigger planet than Azeroth, so Outland is only a small part of what was once a vast continent. Far away to the east across a vast abyss there are yet more remains, and they couldn't be more different. Previously there was an ocean seperating the two, so the orcs never had a chance to spread here, and therefore the land is pure and uncorrupted, like it was before the arrival of the Burning Legion.
Thousands of years ago when the draenei first arrived on Draenor, the great ship Oshu'gun malfunctioned in orbit and came screaming down to smash into the grasslands of Nagrand. However earlier, as the ship descended through the atmposphere, a faction of the draenei, believing that survival was hopeless, ejected in the escape pods and came to rest on the other side of the world. Believing themselves to be the only survivors, they named their new land Kalabor, or Survivor's Refuge, and founded a mighty city of Kaltrath. There they remained, unnoticed by the Legion, and until the planet was torn apart they knew nothing of what was happening elsewhere.
Recently with the demise of their leader Kael'thas the Felblood Elves abandoned Outland and set forth to find new lands for themselves. They journeyed in every direction, and at last one group sighted a large landmass floating in the Nether. On arrival they found a number of draenei already there and so proceeded to exterminate them. The draenei, with no weapons to defend themselves, were massacred and within a week the entire realm of Kalabor had fallen to the elves.
Instance - Kaltrath
Formerly the capital of Kalabor, this city is now a stronghold of the elves. Tul'therian, nephew of Kael'thas, rules from here and has built up a mighty kingdom to rival Quel'thalas. Naturally the draenei who once dwelt here wish for vengeance, and to do this they have once again contacted the naaru. While the naaru cannot directly engage in combat, they have agreed to recruit adventurers.
The former home of the eredar, the populace was long ago corrupted by the Burning Legion. Two of the three eredar leaders, Kil'jaeden and Archimonde, accepted Sargeras's promise of great power and became transformed into mighty demons, but the third Velen refused and fled. Those that followed him became known as the draenei.
That terrible day took place more than 25,000 years ago, and Argus has been transformed into a bleak desert world with rivers turned black by the poisons in them. The city of Mac'Aree, formerly glittering with precious stones, is now a dark fortress from which the Legion is ruled. Kil'jaeden resides here, as did Archimonde before his downfall, and most of the senior commanders have a palace where they spend time when not bringing death and destruction to unsuspecting worlds.
Instance - Elemental Spire
Located just outside Mac'aree, the Elemntal Spire is to Argus what the Well of Eternity was to Azeroth. A massive obelisk rising a thousand feet above the ground and built of the purest titansteel, for thousands of years it acted as an energy transponder - drawing power from the Twisting Nether and converting it into arcane, which was then transmitted across the surface. However unlike the Well it could also convert any eccess into elemental energy and store it in the ground, providing a back-up source if the spire ever broke down. However, since the majority of the eredar joined the Burning Legion, the Spire has been turned to a much darker purpose. The vast reserves of power stored in Argus are being drained, and it is this which helps generate innumerable new demons for the Legion in times of war.
Cutting off their link to Argus therefore would strike a major blow against the Burning Legion, with new soldiers taking far longer to breed. But this can only be accomplished by using the waters of Eternity, another source of magic, to seal the rift to the Argus version of the Elemental Plane. Currently the only surviving sample is held by Talgath, lieutenant of Kil'Jaeden, who took it from the body of Illidan Stormrage after his death at the Black Temple. And it is Talgath whom you must battle at the peak of the Spire in order to retrieve the vial.
Neutral City - Mac'Aree
Many of the lower class eredar still on Argus are not overly fond of the Burning Legion, but they go along with it anyway to both ensure their safety and to sate their thirst for power. Despite this the majority of the inhabitants are not hostile to outsiders, even people not belonging to the Burning Legion, but will refuse to speak with you while under the watchful eye of the Legion-loyalist guards. Among them though has arisen an undergeound rebellion comprised of eredar who wish to return to what they were before. The draenei have made contact with this secret organization, and are now working on helping to cause trouble for the Burning Legion until it can be finally defeated and the city freed.
Instances - Fel Hill
On a hill in the city centre of Mac'aree there are three rings of dark palaces, one for each of the Burning Legion's commanders. The lesser commanders, such as Mannoroth and Kazzak, occupied those on the edge, overlooking the city. Further in are those of Kil'Jaeden and Archimonde, the right and left hands of the supreme commander. And in the middle, towering above the rest, only able to be supported by magic, is the great Tower of Sargeras, for when he used to visit Argus.
The former home of the Ethereals before the arrival of the Void Lord Dimensius. When he launched his void armies against Ethereal civilisation he utterly destroyed everything in his path, razing cities, flattening mountains and filling in valleys. By the time the invasion was over the surface of K'aresh was nothing more than a vast plain abandoned by all life and punctuated only by the occasional pile of ruins.
The sudden absence of life forms created a vortex that drew more void walkers into being, and soon the entire population was void-based. They have recently begun excavating and have discovered many ancient Ethereal inventions which had been forgotten by all. Using these discoveries they have begun to launch their war against other worlds in the vicinity as well, and if they win they will be able to spread further, eventually conquering the entirity of creation.
Xoroth is one of the many worlds conquered by the Nathrezim a hundred thousand years ago when the world was young, before even Sargeras descended into madness. The inhabitants, including roaming herds of wild horse-like creatures were subjected to psychic assault and eventually had their minds dominated. The people became mindless slaves of the nathrezim, the horses were transformed into fiery Nightmares, and even when the nathrezim were defeated and imprisoned by Sargeras they managed to subtley influence the Titan
Seventy thousand years later their combined efforts finally managed to break Sargeras himself. He stormed from the ranks of the Pantheon and proceeded to release the countless demons he himself had imprisoned, including the Nathrezim. They, along with the eredar, pledged allegiance to him and became some of the most powerful commanders of the Burning Legion. Before long they had reclaimed Xoroth and used it to provide the legions of foot soldiers and cavalry that were needed for final conquest.
Zone - The Scorched Plains
This is the ancestral home of the Nightmares, from which come Felsteeds, Dreadsteeds and Gorgons. The fires which rage beneath their skin have burned the grasslands to ashes and left behind a barren wasteland. It is now the site of Legion-controlled breeding grounds, and the dreadsteeds produced are often delivered to cavalry regiments which are the terror of worlds.
In the middle of the zone is an instance, The Testing Lab, where Legion scientists work to create a new and improved version of the nightmares. Their latest experiment has produced something monstrous, something which tore apart its makers and overran the lab before it was restrained. Something which would be fit for purpose as the steed of the Demon Lord himself. Now replacement testers work to retrieve the secret of its creation, and if they succeed it may spell the end of millenia of resistance.
Instance - High Peak
The last stronghold of the Nathrezim located inside an extinct volcanic crater was not made by them, nor even by their native predecessors. It is generally believed to be a creation of the Titans, but since Xoroth was one of the first worlds they visited this would make it nearly 150,000 years old, older than any other known structure. The only way to reach High Peak is by flying, because of the sheer fall around the crater lip and the steepness of the lava chute, and its ten-metre thick walls of solid felsteel make this one of the best protected fortresses in the known universe.
Neutral City - Underpeak
If High Peak is the crater, Underpeak is the vast labrinth of tunnels underneath. There are many valuable minerals down here, so long ago the Nathrezim rulers enslaved their lesser cousins the Tothrezim to work the mines. After the War of the Ancients the Tothrezim took advantage of the Legions temporary weakness to revolt against the oppressors, but the rebellion was swiftly crushed and the leaders executed. More recently during the Third War they again rose up, but this time appear to have thrown off the shackles for good. Tothrezim will serve anyone who has money, so they have begun to open up their city to outsiders. The main entrance is in a cavern on the mountain slopes, although there are plenty of others in the surrounding countryside, and in the middle it is possible to fly up the vent to reach High Peak.
Never actually appears until patch 7.9 (see below), but is often referred to in quests. The Legion Stronghold is a massive lump of rock torn out of the ground from Xoroth, and which was fitted with thrusters and an artificial atmosphere to enable it to fly through the Great Dark. Until the conversion of the eredar it was Sargeras' seat of power, but it now serves as the Burning Legion's main offensive outpost, which they use to conquer worlds where they are unable to open portals directly. A typical strategy of theirs is to identify the main enemy bases, smash the Stronghold into it from orbit, and then have millions of demons swarm out massacring any resisters they see. The Stronghold is magically fortified to protect it from these crashes, and is large enough to hold up to one hundred million Felguard if they are all crammed together.
Hero Class - Demon Hunter
The first time demons appeared on the soil of Azeroth was during the War of the Ancients ten thousand years ago. For most of the war the night elven defenders relied on good old-fashioned spells and swords, putting them at a severe disadvantage to the demons which would not hesitate to be even more destructive no matter the cost to their allies. However hard they fought the night elves always had to face yet more demons, and they would surely have eventually been slaughtered.
Into the midst of this crisis came one night elf who was as much responsible for changing the course of the war as Malfurion or the time travellers who had happened to get mixed up in it. Illidan Stormrage realised that the only way to be sure of defeating the Legion was to use its own powers against it. He made history by being the only person ever to deceive Sargeras, from whom he obtained a "gift" of having his eyes burned out, and then used his new abilities to delve into the Well of Eternity's secrets and suck every last demon out of Azeroth.
Illidan was imprisoned in the aftermath of the Sundering, but in the brief period of time before he gained many loyal followers among the Moon Guard and the Highborne. After some trial and error they managed to duplicate the "gift" and became the next generation of Demon Hunters. Although they were shunned by Night Elf society they predicted that the Legion would come again and so saw themselves as an essential part of the defence when it did.
Today the world is coming to realise the need for them and the noble sacrifice that they make, so the demon hunters have at last been accepted by both Night and Blood Elves. Even some other races are beginning to follow the way of the demon hunter, most notably humans and gnomes for the Alliance, and orcs and forsaken for the Horde. The draenei look in horror at anyone who has taken demonic energy into their bodies, and indeed treat them as they would a demon, with tauren and dwarves taking a similar outlook, while trolls lack the skills and patience to succeed in this delicate art.
They are capable of wearing cloth armour, with the option to upgrade to leather at level 30. Demon Hunters can wield any bladed weapon either as either two-hand or dual wielding. Many have Warglaives - these are special demon hunter-only two-handed swords which can be converted into two one-handed swords, and vice versa. A demon hunter's weapon is an essential part of him - when acquired it must be charged with fel energy which is used for most abilities. The better the weapon the more fel energy can be stored on it. The final part of his equipment is a blindfold, which is chosen at the character creation screen. While serving no major purpose, it hides his missing eyes and so makes the demon hunter less horrifying to look at.
- Drain Energy - drains mana from the target and gives fel energy to the demon hunter. When the mana runs out the target loses health extremely quickly. Only works against spellcasters.
- Arcane Sight - during a level 10 quest the players eyes are burned out and replaced by a magical version. Activating this spell allows the player to see anything remotely magical such as auras and ley lines. Demons show up bright orange. It also lets him see details about spells that a mob could do, as well as making connections between buffed/debuffed mobs and the one who cast it.
- Track Demons
- Metamorphosis - transforms the player into a demon, increasing all attributes by 40%.
- Evolution - as the player levels up he/she becomes gradually more demonic in appearance. Eventually at level cap the player appears exactly the same as he would while under the effects of Metamorphosis.
- Skin of Flame - covers the player with fire, dealing damage to attackers.
- Power Blast - pumps energy into the target, causing 20 points of damage for every point of Fel. At level 150, the final level cap, this can be devastating, doing approximately 400,000 damage when at full power.
Demon Hunter spells and talents come in three trees - Arcane, Fire and Sacrificial. All abilities have 5% more effect on demons than on other mobs. Demon Hunters use Fel, a new resource system and the base amount of which depends both upon their level and on the item level.
Patch 7.9: A Titans Bane
News of the destruction wrought by the Burning Legion has at last reached the Pantheon. They have resolved to amend this minor anomaly, and recently sent their new champion Aggramar to deal with this. Unfortunately although he managed to decimate their ranks the demons managed to corrupt him and he swiftly descended into madness to become the second Dark Titan. Fortunately he was subdued before he could do any harm, but with this catastrophe the Pantheon held a council of war and decided that nothing short of their full strength would suffice in destroying the root of chaos once and for all. As they began to search for suitable creatures with which to comprise their armies they became dismayed at the spread of corruption. Every world they visited had been either reduced to a desert or turned over to the Legion's war effort, until they arrived at Azeroth.
The Alliance and Horde immediately agreed to join in the last war, and even neutral factions pledged their help when the time came. The Titans maneuvoured their chief city into orbit around Azeroth and began to teach them the skills needed to triumph. Unfortunately this soon came to the attention of the Legion and shortly after the Second Coming they raided the city, tore its power core apart and scattered the pieces throughout the Great Dark. Without it the mighty city completely shut down and was abandoned as the survivors fled to the surface. The Legion Stronghold then emerged from the Nether to feed upon what energies remained.
Although all the Titans survived, they had lost their deadliest weapon since it could only be powered by the shattered core. Fortunately it was soulbound to Aman'thul so the Legion couldn't use it, but without it once Sargeras was summoned back into the world there would be no stopping him. The only hope is for bands of intrepid adventurers to venture inside some of the greatest Legion strongholds and retrieve the shattered pieces, then battle through the lost Titan city, reactivate the weapon and use it to weaken Sargeras so that there would be a chance of defeating him.
World Event - The Fourth War
When this patch is released there will be a full-scale invasion of Azeroth in the form of a world event lasting a full month. Portals are opened by their minions in various locations across the world, out of which uncountable numbers of demons pour forth. The two largest ones are located in Blasted Lands and Desolace, and it is from these that the two highest ranking remaining commanders arrive. Over an undetermined period of time, depending on how much resistance is faced, Azeroth falls bit by bit to the Burning Legion. The maximum time is 2 weeks, and if the Legion has not triumphed by then Sargeras sends his avatar to crush the last resistance in an instant.
However the demons then settle for destroying the countryside rather than hunting down the last survivors. And in four seperate locations they begin to gather together and rebuild the armies. For the remainder of the event all players will be based from one of these four, and new ones will begin at them too. A new set of quests will be launched on fighting back, ranging from hunting down spies to launching an assault on the portals. All levels will have their part to play, as the demon level varies according to the players, so that lower level players will not be left with nothing to do while the invasion goes on.
For reconquering Azeroth each zone must be reclaimed bit by bit, but with several thousand of the enemy in the way. Each zone starts with 20,000 reinforcements, which come out of the portal as others are killed at the rate of about 1 every 10 seconds. These have to be either destroyed or somehow circumvented so that you can reach the portal and try to shut it down. However even once you've got there it's not so easy as it sounds, since as soon as they see you tampering a hundred elite Doomguard along with the commander in charge of the site will come forward all at once to try and stop you. Only once they have all been taken down, assuming you survived the fight, you can deactivate the portal to stop more demons coming in. After that it's simply a matter of cleaning up the ones that have already come through.
Of course, if you then sit back and relax the portal will no doubt be set up again by warlocks from the next zone. About once every three hours a large group of Eredar accompanied by Felguard will attempt to reinvade. IF they're not taken down before they reach the site they will reconstruct the portal and all your hard work will have gone to waste. So it's best to either keep a watch so that any attackers can be beaten back, or keep on the offensive. You'll have to repeat the process with the next zone over anyway, so it might as well be sooner rather than later and save lives and money.
The final battles, four weeks after the invasion began, take place at the larger portals in Blasted Lands and Desolace. Up until then the way in is sealed by fel magics while they prepare for their last stand. Eventually the pass is opened, the combined armies of the defenders of Azeroth pour in, and are immediately confronted by a wall of demons outnumbering them a hundred to one. This last battle is basically a much harder version of the ones earlier on, and don't be surprised if your raid group wipes a few times. However you needn't worry about the demons recovering, as no doubt there'll be other raids fighting alongside you, not to mention plenty of NPC soldiers.
The final boss, who is chosen randomly from one of the Burning Legion's leaders, drops a Portal Key which is required to shut down the portal once and for all. However if you prefer you can step through and continue fighting the Legion on the other side. Who knows what mysteries you might uncover there, or the hidden powers you might gain on the lost homeworld of the Titans?
This war is merely the precursor to the arrival of a much worse enemy. Your everyday Titan is one of the most powerful beings ever to exist - they are even capable of holding their own against an Old God when one-on-one. But Sargeras is no ordinary Titan. For more than a hundred thousand years he has empowered himself with demonic energy and there is now no being which has the strength to challenge him and live for more than a few seconds.
In his normal form Sargeras has over 100 trillion HP and each of his critical strikes can do a million damage, not to mention his awesome spellpower. So it is clear that any raid trying to go after him without assembling the Titan weapon must have a suicide wish. This weapon has been imbued with a large part of the essences of all the Titans and when used to blast him will decrease all Sargeras's attributes to a hundredth of what they would be.
Even still he would be a formidible opponent, capable of taking down an entire 40-man raid group of level 150's with the best gear available. Fortunately you will have a small army with you when you go to attack him, not to mention most of the Pantheon. Once you have that it's just a matter of enduring, making sure you don't make any mistakes and using all your talents correctly.
After an epic battle you manage to get Sargeras down to 99% health. Realising that there is a small chance he might not win, he freezes the entire army and tries to escape. At that moment Aman'thul appears with the newly redeemed Aggramar. The two challenge Sargeras to a duel and manage to overcome him. However, instead of slaying the Dark Titan, Aggramar offers him the chance to be cured of his madness. Sargeras accepts, is cleansed by a wave of light, then with Aggramar by his side departs to finish off every last demon to be found.
To ensure that neither of them is ever again able to wreak such terrible destruction on the innocent, both champions give up their swords and take other, lesser ones. As a reward for helping, the two are given to one of the players with instructions to have Khaz'goroth reforge them. Once he has done this Gorshalach, the most powerful weapon in the universe, is reborn.