“Finally, a seafaring expansion!” exclaims longtime World of Warcraft player Teqheala, a draenei shaman, as she uses a teleportation beacon to warp aboard the Vindicaar, a golden glowing alien vessel built to traverse the dark expanse of space. “We’ve been building up to this for ages!”
Battle for Azeroth, WoW’s latest upcoming expansion, will be a stark contrast to Legion, the current expansion. Since its release in 2016, Legion has seen the player leaping across spacetime to wage war against a numberless army of immortal demons, up to and including their burning, planet-sized god, Sargeras—one of the single most powerful beings in the Warcraft universe. Battle for Azeroth will be about which faction has a bigger boat.
“Just think of how long we’ve been staring at that big open sea, wondering what adventures could be out there waiting for us,” Teqheala continues, sauntering through the Vindicaar’s lower level to the Netherlight Crucible—an impossibly ancient, esoteric forge fueled by the shattered remnants of two bona fide demigods—which she uses to give her weapon a little pick-me-up. “The sheer scope of the next expansion is just mind-boggling. I mean, we’ve been using boats to get around since Vanilla, but these are boats are…”
Teqheala trails off.
When asked whether she had enjoyed the vast underwater zone Vashj’ir, released with Cataclysm in 2010, Teqheala abruptly ends the interview and strolls past Prophet Velen, commander of the Vindicaar and leader of the draenei. His very person crackles with an energy that the game can only try to emulate; the sheer amount of lore in the official Warcraft canon that this actual legend partakes in speaks magnitudes to his universal significance. Teqheala walks past him to sell some junk to a vendor.
To the vendor, she sells some leftover Stabilized Titan Essence, the literal fiber of the incalculable power and momentous consequence of a titan—for 10 gold pieces.