Most can agree that at this point Blizzard is just attempting to retain its player base, or entice old players, not necessarily trying to bring new players into the mix. Warlords of Draenor is that sentiment in a nutshell, as it doesn't necessarily introduce something "new" but returns to the lore of the past.
Many have complained about Warlords not really getting into new content and bringing Word of Warcraft back to rehashed characters to fuel Chris Metzen’s infatuation with the orcs. However, I don’t think that Warlords of Draenor is necessarily a bad thing lore-wise, and can produce some cool and new things overall.
I’ll warn you from here on out you may find it difficult to follow if you don’t have at least some relative knowledge of Warcraft lore.
We don’t know an awful lot about the particulars of the lore surrounding Warlords of Draenor yet, but we do know that players will be going “back in time” to an alternate dimension where the orcs are still on Draenor and many of their heroes are still alive like Grom and Durotan.
We also know that the orcs have avoided the Blood of Mannoroth, meaning they are not corrupted by the Burning Legion, which then led to the creation of the Iron Horde led by Grom.
With that knowledge, why then is it a good idea for Blizzard to take its players back to Draenor?
There are two significant reasons for it lore-wise.
First, it reintroduces the Burning Legion as a threat. Kil’Jaeden will still be focused on Draenor (thanks to Talgath), possibly more than ever as his plan with Mannoroth failed, so the player's arrival may spark even further interest. While much of the focus will obviously be on the Iron Horde, one cannot ignore that Kil’Jaeden and others are actively looking for a way to get rid of Velen.
That means Kil’Jaeden will be actively doing something, Mannoroth may be back and working on things, Ner’zhul may still be being manipulated by Kil’Jaeden, and maybe even Gul’dan. All of those have huge implications on what could happen.
However, the biggest of them all would have to be that Medivh is still around. While the expansion will take place on Draenor, the Medivh of that alternate timeline will be very aware of what is happening there, just as the Medivh of the current timeline was aware in the past.
This is significant as Medivh is essentially Sargeras. Sargeras is the end all of the Burning Legion, and if World of Warcraft is to wrap up an essential part of its story in the next expansion or two, Sargeras has to be reintroduced and deal with in some way. Going back to Draenor is a way to do that.
This is all a very good possibility seeing as Wrathion has warned us several times of the Burning Legion's return.
Second, this expansion may help shed some light on the Old Gods. We don’t know a lot about them right now, other than the fact that there are some imprisoned on Azeroth.
On Draenor are the arakkoa who, during the time when Gul’dan took control of the orcs, attempted to summon a “master” to help them, which if you remember turned out to be an Old God. We know that Old Gods are not native to Azeroth, and there are more than are imprisoned on Azeroth, so the arakkoa may actually introduce a new one that will be active on Draenor instead.
This is a possibility as the only thing that stopped them before was when Gul’dan found out about it. That may not happen with the new expansion, which may mean a new Old God, which then could have all kinds of other implications.
So, there is some opportunity to know where the Old Gods come from, what their motives are, and generally just more information about them. However, that may not be the case either as Blizzard has been tightlipped about them.
Warlords of Draenor has the potential to shed light on two of the biggest adversaries in all of Warcraft lore. Whether that will happen or not is up for debate, but going back to Draenor at this critical time may offer some insight into what will happen.
To the Warcraft lore lovers, I say don’t fret but wait to see what happens as there is huge potential for something really cool to happen, especially considering that the expansion will reintroduce some of the biggest lore characters to ever exist in Warcraft.
What do you think about the new expansion? Let us know in the comments!