Blizzard embrace their inner Blue Box…

Unless you’ve been on Skaro for the last week or so, you’ll be aware that as adventurers we are about to be presented with a lot of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey gubbins when the new expansion hits. Since the introduction of that ultimate MacGuffin, The Caverns of Time, we’ve been given the opportunity to move back in time to those pivotal moments in Azeroth’s history and to ensure the present remains reassuringly intact. However with 4.3 we’re not just visiting the past, we’re going into the future, to a Dragonblight destroyed and littered with the remains of the existence we currently play in. This is what we have to look forward to if we don’t destroy Deathwing. Don’t say you weren’t warned…

Overseeing all of this are the Bronze Dragonflight, who are perhaps one of the best utilised factions Blizzard have ever produced. It was them who helped us open the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj back in Vanilla, a truly Epic undertaking in every sense of the word. It is they that have saved Thrall from an untimely demise (and hopefully will do the same again at Wyrmrest) and who ensured Arthas took is pre-destined place at the Frozen Throne. The implication that they have been present at every significant event of Warcraft Lore is in turn reassuring and disturbing: who do these guys think they are? Are they really simply ensuring that Time runs as it should or is there a more sinister agenda behind their machinations? I could compare them to that race whose soul surviving member rides around in a Blue Box on TV right now, but I think Matt Smith’s getting enough publicity already. I wonder how many mages are thinking they HAVE to get 5/5 Tier 13 just for the name… ^^

Anyway, I digress. When the Escape from Durnholde five man first appeared in TBC it became hugely popular: it wasn’t just the scenario either. Venture into ‘old’ Southshore and you could find nods to a plethora of well known NPC’s and a conversation in the Inn that made lore nerds squee uncontrollably for months afterwards. Blizzard made an effort not simply to populate the foreground but the background too, and it made for a fantastic experience. I hope that as we move through time in 4.3 that the same attention to detail is being covered, that I’ll be able to complete the instances and take a trip around what was and what might be and uncover more slices of lore and moments of fangirl love.

From a development angle, time travel gives Blizzard a near infinite amount of potential content to explore in the future, and I’m wondering how much of what we are yet to see in patches and expansions may use this MacGuffin to take us there. As much as I love the idea of exploring potential possibilities, I hope this isn’t the beginning of a trend where we’ll be flitting backwards and forwards. I love Azeroth as it is, and however much fun it might be going back to the future, I want to progress in the timeline I’ve forged for myself.

Is it time for the PTR yet?

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