How ‘World of Warcraft Dragonflight’ Could Affect The Future of the MMO’s Story

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Dragonflight - But Why Tho (2)
This article contains spoilers for the main story questing experience in Dragonflight

This week, the first season of World of Warcraft: Dragonflight begins. For two weeks, I’ve explored the lush and expansive Dragon Isles as the new Evoker class, flying around on my very own dragon. The ninth expansion, like these new lands, is filled with hope. They’re about coming home to all those players/heroes/adventurers who’ve hung up their weapons along the way. Whether they grew out of the game, rage quit, or stepped away after learning about the toxic culture at their favorite game’s development studio, Dragonflight, like its reveal trailer, seems to be a beacon welcoming many back home, to a world they once knew. The thing is, while we’ve been adventuring, the story has felt quite void in one major area: The ultimate baddie and the overall direction of where we’re headed. With the launch of the first raid, Vault of the Incarnates, we’ll supposedly have an idea of what exactly we’re facing.

One of the shocking revelations from the Drakthyr (the new dragon humanoid race) starting zone is how the first major threat is unleashed upon Azeroth. Primalists, similar to the Twilight Cultist who prayed for the return of the Old Gods’ rule, broke open the Froststone Vault, unleashing Raszageth, the primal incarnate of storms. Then, through dialogue between Kalecgos, the Aspect of the Blue Dragonflight, telling Khadgar just what will happen if Raszageth frees the other primals… the end of Azeroth and their attempt to revive the ultimate proto-drake Galakron. A story we’ve heard for the nth time at this point. There’s just no rest for our heroes.

As we quest towards the new level cap of 70…again, Raszageth and the Primalists appear time and again. Each time, showing just how devastating one Primal can be on its own. It’s all established that the final thread could be the Primals together, right? I mean, that’s what we’re trying to stop in the first raid. From some data mining and the adventure guide, we even know that the final fight of the raid takes place on top of the most powerful Primal’s cage, Iridikron. Also, for a first, the first raid will have a cutscene that will supposedly point us to what’s next. However, I don’t think that the Primals are the ultimate baddies in this adventure.

I think the Primals are a means to an end. The primals have one major goal besides Azeroth’s end: to bring back Galakrond. For those who don’t know, Galakrond was a proto-drake corrupted by the old gods and was always hungry. Imagine one of the alpha dragons from How To Train Your Dragon and multiply that by two. You can actually find his bones in Northrend’s Dragonblight. Now, he is dead, but there is a way to bring him back… time magic or Necromancy. Since this expansion isn’t focused on necromancy, and I doubt Blizzard will steer toward something Undead related, now that Sylvanas and the Scourge are out of the picture for a while, that leaves us with time magic. And who else to do that than to plant seeds in the background with the most well-known corruptable time dragon, similar to what they did with Mists of Pandaria and Garrosh.

During Mists of Pandaria, we had a similar start to our adventure. War and destruction after Deathwing’s escape led us to the lost continent of the Pandaren. During our adventures, we fought the Mogu, who attempted time and again to free their most powerful historic leaders. Yet, during our adventures, there was one story growing on the side. The rise of Garrosh Hellscream and his hunt for the heart of Y’Sharrj, the dead Old God. His hunger for power and world domination led to his corruption and a campaign between the Alliance and the insurgent Horde to take him down once and for all. There are twangs of similar happenings in the Dragon Isles. Not a direct one-for-one, but something Blizzard has hinted at for quite some time.

World of Warcraft Dragonflight

During the renewed dungeon, Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr, released in 10.0’s second phase of pre-patch content, an interesting enemy appeared. A dragon of the Infinite Dragonflight, led by Nozdormu’s corrupted future self, Murozond, appears to stop us. The Infinite Dragonflight’s one goal is to bring about the hour of twilight, an unwinding of the true timeline the Bronze Dragonflight preserves, leading to the release of all the imprisoned Old Gods. If you’ve been playing for some time, you may recognize the Old Gods as the Lovecraftian monsters we’ve fought in Vanilla (C’Thun), Wrath of the Lich King (Yogg’Saron), and Battle for Azeroth (N’Zoth). A fun, interesting lore bit. They’ve never died. Each time we’ve beaten them, we’ve really only suppressed them, sending them back to their prisons. The end of the Battle for Azeroth gave us a hint as to what could happen if they get freed. Madness and a world plunged in complete darkness.

Taking a few steps back, Nozdormu’s corrupted self, Murozond, is the herald of the ultimate release of these nightmarish beings. As part of Nozdormu’s gift from the titans and his rise as the Bronze Aspect of Time, he was gifted with knowing what exactly will happen to him up to his demise as Murozond. His corruption isn’t from his knowledge of what will happen but a trick from the Old Gods. Which one? We’re not sure yet. But we do know it’s happening. During our time questing in Thandraszus, the mountainous fourth region of the Dragon Isles, we know it’ll happen soon. As part of the final questline, the Infinite Dragonflight try their hand at corrupting Nozdormu. They fail, of course, thanks to our help, but Chromie, our favorite bronze dragon who’s helped us time and again, takes it upon herself to find a timeline where Nozdormu doesn’t get corrupted.

All this exposition is to lead to my belief that Murozond, and this hour of twilight, is where Dragonflight will end. As such, I believe we’re entering the end game of World of Warcraft. Delving deep into the Dragon Isles will expose something to Nozdormu. An exposure to Yogg’Saron, just like what happened to his older brother Neltharion that led to his turn to Deathwing. The five aspects, Chromie’s meddling in time trying to stop the inevitable, and the eventual defeat of the primals will expedite Nozdormu’s turn. Now, we’ve already defeated Murozond during the End Times dungeon in Cataclysm. But we also know that End Times is a timeline if we failed to defeat Deathwing. If we happen not to be able to stop Nozdormu’s corruption, I think we’re about to experience something worse than if Deathwing won. The true Hour of Twilight, as heralded for many years by the Twilight Cultists.

I mentioned before that I think we’re in the end game of World of Warcraft. I don’t think the long-running MMO will end soon. However, I think Blizzard is pulling on narrative strings that have been unraveling for quite some time. The release of the Old Gods, the void lords take-over of the world and the universe, and our teaming up of all the people we’ve stopped before to take them down. This is something that’s been hinted at since the Anduin: Son of Wolf comic which was released during Legion. That being Anduin, the Draenei leader Prophet Velen, and many forces launching into space to fight the Void Lords, the true final fight that we know of, and the true threat that every enemy we’ve faced up until now has been trying to prepare to take down by any means necessary.

Whatever the future holds, It’s exciting to have lore that makes sense again. Since the lead-in from Battle for Azeroth to Shadowlands, the narrative lines have been crossed with many new lore bits thrown in haphazardly and quickly forgotten. Now that we’re back in familiar territory, it’s interesting to see what the future of one of my favorite games holds. I would also love to be proven wrong. What if this isn’t leading to the Hour of Twilight and is just a fun side expansion of dragon threats, with the new narrative team planning something completely different and unique? That’d be pretty cool too, as long as it makes sense. Please… no more funky lore like in Shadowlands… That barely made sense.

World of Warcraft Dragonflight is now available on PC.


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