User:Lon-ami/World of Warcraft: The Age of Nightmare

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World of Warcraft: The Age of Nightmare is an Emerald Dream fifth expansion idea by Lon-ami.

New features

  • Player level cap increased from 90 to 95.
  • Six new high-level zones: Tel Abim, off the eastern coast of Kalimdor; Great Canyon of Khaz Modan, in the far reaches of Eastern Kingdoms; Uldaman Conservatory, underground deep below Azeroth; Heart of the Dreamer and Depths of the Nightmare, inside the Emerald Dream; and Dreamfallen Atoll, north of Kalimdor.
  • Two new playable races, the naga rebels for the Alliance and the Apexis arakkoa for the Horde, with their own new leveling zones: Seaspire Plateau, Kul Tiras and Amani Forestland.
  • New race/class combinations: Human and blood elf players can roll as druids now, regardless of expansion level.

New playable races

The expansion introduces two new playable races, one for each faction. Both of them have their own two starting zones. The first one is instanced, and thus exclusive for the race. The second one is available for everyone, and will later act as the location for new scenarios.

Alliance Naga

Ten thousand years ago, at the end of the War of the Ancients, the Great Sundering tore Azeroth apart, sinking the center of the original single continent and pushing the remaining lands afar from their original locations. The Highborne, responsible for opening the portal for the Burning Legion, and therefore of causing the war, were trapped in the middle of the Sundering, unleashed by the implosion of the Well of Eternity. About to get drowned, at the bottom of the sea, the Old Gods made a pact with Azshara, their queen, and the naga were born.

However, the Highborne weren't alone between the first naga. Other night elves trapped by the disaster were caught by Azshara's pact, and forcefully transformed into naga as well. Most of them saw their new forms as a blessing from their former queen, for no matter the war, most believed Azshara still loved them, and were unaware or didn't want to believe she was the greatest responsible for everything. But some knew or saw the truth, and rejected her.

Azshara founded a new naga empire, ruled by her alone as the supreme empress and goddess, and rebuilt Zin-Azshari as Nazjatar, the new capital of the empire. The empress didn't like the seeds of rebellion coming from those who didn't trust her, and slaughtered all of them before they could pose a threat. However, between those "rebels", some knew of how she slaughtered the original citizens of Zin-Azshari, and took precautions, staying in the shadows, and exiling themselves when their comrades fell to the empire.

Since then, the rebellion has stricken here and there, slowly winning the support of the rest of their race. New generations of naga were born, and not all of them saw Azshara as their goddess. Some revered Neptulon, and others worshipped the Old Gods themselves. A minority of the lower castes even still revered Elune, the original goddess of the night elves, no matter how hard Azshara punished them, outright killing them or sending them to the slave camps of the Seaspire Plateau. Now, the Old Gods have started to move, and Azshara's part of the pact must be fulfilled. The slaves and pariahs of the naga society know they don't stand any chance, and that their only hope lies beyond the empire, together with the rebellion.

Horde Arakkoa

The Apexis were the most advanced arakkoa sect of Draenor. Their civilization was unparalleled, and only the draenei could compete with them. Their knowledge on planes and other worlds was astonishing for a race that had never left their lands atop Blade's Edge Mountains. Inexplicably, some day their creations turned against them. They send messengers asking for help, but neither the other arakkoa nor the draenei answered. Only a few orcs of the Thunderlord clan came to their aid.

However, the battle couldn't be won in any way, and they were forced to run away to the primordial plane of nature, with the noble orcs staying behind to help them escape. Inside the plane, they discovered they had been trapped by a dark cult of their own race. Unable to escape, they resigned themselves and fought to build a new home in the savage plane, while the rest of their race fell to the dark cult and lost their original essence, becoming parodies of their former selves.

Years later, a disturbance on the very fabric of Draenor and its planes merged their homeworld with another, strange world. The new world, called Azeroth, had similar planes to those of Draenor. With their own plane tore apart, the Apexis moved beyond the new borders and entered the plane of Azeroth, where they were able to live in peace for many years... until now.

The plane of nature of Azeroth, called the Emerald Dream, has powerful defenders Draenor's lacked, but still, they can't protect themselves from the dark forces trying to destroy it. Even worse, the dark hand behind those very forces seems to be the same behind the other arakkoa that betrayed the Apexis decades ago. Unfortunately for them, the Apexis won't lose their home for a third time, and they will fight back and send darkness back to where it belongs.

New zones

Unlike most of the previous expansions, the new zones don't compose a new continent. However, unlike World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the separate zones are heavily linked by static portals converging into Heart of the Dreamer, which is also linked with classic zones and a capital city for each faction: Darnassus and Silvermoon City. The Heart of the Dreamer will play a special role across the expansion, working as a major hub, being visited by the players between each zone, and using heavy phasing to represent the advance of the Emerald Nightmare and the inevitable reopening of the Rift of Aln, leading to the final zone, Depths of the Nightmare.

Locations of the new zones and portals.

The heroes will be able to follow two paths to start their adventures against the nightmare. The first path will be by boat with their respective factions, sailing directly to Tel Abim. They will clear the coast, repel the local creatures, set up an encampment and enter a mysterious nightmare rift. Alliance and Horde players will land at opposite corners of the isle, and won't meet each other until until later. The second path will be by joining the Cenarion Circle to help them contact the green dragonflight. They will use a secret path, hidden in the coastal cliffs to the north of Nighthaven, to reach the Sleeping Gardens, the lair of the green dragons, where they'll get what they need to open their own portal to the Emerald Dream. At this point, the heroes will join together and follow the same path, doing some quests on Heart of the Dreamer. Once they are done with the first phase of the heart, they'll return together to Tel Abim to investigate what's behind the isle's corruption.

Eventually, as they progress, the heroes will visit the heart repeatedly, and find it different each time, changing to show the growing corruption. At the beginning, the heart will be a peaceful place, but as the heroes complete the first storylines, they'll return to see desecrated fields and dark clouds, which will keep growing until the Rift of Aln is opened and the siege is successfully repelled, returning the zone back to normal. The heroes will travel across the zone to reach new unlocked zones, and they'll be able to activate portals to the various Great Trees in different parts of the world, effectively making the heart the center of the expansion, and making the different zones feel connected to each other as if they formed a single continent.

New level 90-95 zones

  • Neutral Tel Abim (90-91) (Kalimdor): Lying far southeast the coasts of Kalimdor, the isle is a lush tropical jungle, with lots of exotic plants and fruits. Its remote location has isolated it from the rest of the world, until now. The Emerald Nightmare has infested the isle, transforming its formerly pacific fauna and flora into vicious monstrosities. Everything from the plants to the insects have grown in epic proportions and have started to slaughter each other. However, the "mutants" aren't the true menace, for the ships can easily dispatch them with cannon fire safely from afar. The real menace is deep in the jungle, where the shadow satyrs nurture fields of thousands and thousand of spores that, shall they mature and fly away to further lands, would extend the plague that already infests Tel Abim.
  • Neutral Great Canyon of Khaz Modan (91-92) (Eastern Kingdoms): Stretching from Twilight Highlands to Swamp of Sorrows, this mountainous land is cruel and desolated. The few explorers that ventured into it found nothing but the elements at their crudest harshness and failed centuries old Dark Iron clan mining attempts. The main reason for all of this can be found atop the highest peak, location of the original lair of the Black dragonflight. The lair was abandoned during during the War of the Ancients, and black dragons only used it as stops along the way. Nowadays, the only inhabitants are a few miners, who try to reclaim the treasures of this land, and the shamans of the Earthen Ring, who watch over the canyon, while they train the new generations of uncorrupted black dragons. The objective of the Emerald Nightmare in this land is unclear, and the answer may lie deep in the bottom of the vast unexplored cave system.
  • Neutral Uldaman Conservatory (92-93): Deep below the surface of the titan city of Uldaman lies an underground world, a haven for long extinct creatures and titanic creations, with forests and rivers of its own, and even a fiery orb hanging from the highest part of the cavern, emulating days and nights. It's there, in the sky of stone of this lost world, where the heart of Uldaman lies. Hidden temples and libraries, the last chapter of the legacy of the makers, that wasn't found in neither any of the excavations at Badlands nor the other titan cities. Secrets that go beyond anything found before, secrets of the very creation of this world and its planes. Secrets that would doom the Emerald Dream, and consequently Azeroth, if the forces of the Emerald Nightmare reclaim them.
  • Neutral Heart of the Dreamer (93-94): The heart is an unique place, located in the very center of the Emerald Dream. It houses the headquarters of the Green dragonflight, as well as the homes of many dream creatures, like arakkoa and worgen. The strongest links to Azeroth can be found here, too, as portals to Great Trees across Azeroth. The green dragon aspect Ysera, the Queen of Dreams, rules over the Emerald Dream from her palace above the zone. Unfortunately, she has fallen ill once again, while the Emerald Nightmare assaults the heart and tears it apart more and more with each passing day. Entire sections of the heart have started to collapse outside the dream, and shall the heart fall completely to the corruption of the nightmare, Azeroth itself would fall right after it.
  • Neutral Depths of the Nightmare (94-95): Beyond the Rift of Aln lies a world of madness, a twisted dark place, a world of unspeakable horrors, that rage to be freed upon the reality. It's here, in this sealed terrible plane, where the spirit of N'Zoth, Old God of Nightmares, was trapped after its death at the hands of the titans millenia ago. From the shadows of the city of Ny'alotha, it has plotted its revenge for ages: free this realm over the world, destroying everything. To save Azeroth, its defenders will need to travel to this realm, overcome their most inner fears and slay the champions of the Emerald Nightmare. The plans of the Old Gods must be stopped before all the defenders love becomes their own worst nightmare.
  • Neutral Dreamfallen Atoll (PvP) (Kalimdor): Entire sections of the Emerald Dream collapse over the physical world each passing day, and it won't stop until the nightmare is neutralized. One of those bigger sections forms now an atoll north of Kalimdor, not far from the cliffs of Winterspring and the Sleeping Gardens atop them, in the middle of the main naval routes. The flora is dead, dry, and the ice is starting to take over the land. Both the Alliance and the Horde have tried to control these routes since the war started, and the atoll is the perfect answer to their objectives... maybe too perfect. The Green dragonflight suspects it's some kind of trap against their nearby lair, and they have urged the heroes to investigate the caverns of the atoll while the battle doesn't rage on.

New starting zones

  • Alliance Seaspire Plateau (1-6) (instanced): The main holdings of the naga empire after the Eye of the Maelstrom, the underwater plateau is located at the center of the South Seas, where all underwater currents converge. These currents are used as the empire's main transport system, a transporting that includes slaves of all kinds, even naga who don't please their empress. Recently, slaves have started to disappear, teleported away across a portal to a mysterious digsite on some sort of sunken city. One day, a slave managed to escape back and tell the others the horrors that await at the other side of the portal, horrors that will urge them to escape from where no one else escaped before.
  • Alliance Kul Tiras (6-12) (Eastern Kingdoms): This famous island is home to the human nation of the same name. Since the Third War, the Tirassians have stayed apart, having lost most of their resources, and being conflicted with the Alliance politics towards the Horde. Shortly, after the Alliance stance changed and war was declared, the shattering struck, and the nation was heavily damaged. Weak, recovering from the various disasters and so close to the sea, it has been the perfect hiding spot for the naga rebels that averted being captured by the empire. However, the runaway slaves learned this information from the empire itself, and it's only a matter of time before they move out and destroy the rebellion. The only chance for the naga is to find the rebels and join them against the empire, and try to convince the humans in the process or risk fighting on two fronts.
  • Horde Heart of the Dreamer (1-6) (instanced): The heart is a special place, where many different dream creatures build their homes, the arakkoa between them. It was a peaceful land, where all creatures lived in peace with each other, until some mysterious tremors, preceded by thick mists, started to shake the land. With each assault, more and more lands literally disappeared from existence, bottomless holes the only remnants at their original locations. Chaos didn't take long to spread around the inhabitants, and the green dragons were unable to stop it. The land of the arakkoa is next in line, and to worsen the situation, a pack of imprisoned worgen has freed itself and is wreaking havoc, while shadow satyrs have started to emerge from the fissures.
  • Horde Amani Forestland (6-12) (Eastern Kingdoms): The home of the Apexis has collapsed outside the Emerald Dream, upon the physical world of Azeroth, in the eastern forestlands of Quel'Thalas. However, this land is all but empty. The native forest trolls fight each other for supremacy, and won't hesitate to call a truce to fight against the arakkoa intruders. If that wasn't worrying enough, the druids suspect some of the trolls are working with the Emerald Nightmare, and that the landing here isn't a coincidence. The arakkoa will need to find new allies, and find them soon, if they want to avoid extermination.

New dungeons, raids and battlegrounds

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Release

  • Instance portal purple.png . (90) (Great Canyon of Khaz Modan): .
  • Instance portal purple.png . (90) (Sleeping Gardens): .
  • Instance portal purple.png . (91) (Uldaman Conservatory): .
  • Instance portal purple.png . (92) (Great Canyon of Khaz Modan): .
  • Instance portal purple.png . (92) (Sleeping Gardens): .
  • Instance portal purple.png . (93) (Uldaman Conservatory): .
  • Instance portal purple.png . (94) (Heart of the Dreamer): .
  • Instance portal purple.png . (94) (Depths of the Nightmare): .
  • Instance portal purple.png Wailing Caverns (95) (Northern Barrens): .
  • Instance portal green.png . (95) (Tel Abim): .
  • Instance portal green.png . (95) (Sleeping Gardens): .
  • Instance portal green.png . (95) (Uldaman Conservatory): .
  • Instance portal green.png . (95) (): .
  • Instance portal red.png . (95) (): .

First content patch

Second content patch

  • Instance portal green.png . (95) (Heart of the Dreamer): .

Third content patch

  • Instance portal purple.png . (94) (Hinterlands): .
  • Instance portal purple.png . (94) (Feralas): .
  • Instance portal purple.png . (94) (Depths of the Nightmare): .
  • Instance portal green.png . (95) (Depths of the Nightmare): .