It appears likely that World of Warcraft’s story will move forward in time, following the events of the Shadowlands based on NPC dialogue in the upcoming Dragonflight expansion’s alpha build.
As documented by Wowhead, two conversations, one on behalf of the Horde and one on the side of the Alliance, point to “several years” passing between the end of Shadowlands and the beginning of Dragonflight, despite the “end” of the Shadowlands story, set the place a few months after the release of patch 9.2. . If you don’t want potential story spoilers, it’s best to turn back now.
In Stormwind, human leader Gen Greimen, Matthias Shaw and Turalion talk about the state of the alliance, mentioning the time skip with Shaw and the fact that Stormwind’s king, Anduin, has not yet returned after leaving at the end of the Shadowlands. . Turalion, it seems, is ruling the alliance instead.
On the Horde side, Blood Elf leader Lorthemar converses with Nightborn leader Thalisra, commenting on how many years have passed since the Horde’s forces returned from the Death Realm and the relative peace that has prevailed since then. It is then revealed that Lorthemar and Thalisra have married between the events of Shadowlands and Dragonflight, with the two feuding over who proposed to whom. Players in the game’s community are a bit salty about not being able to attend the wedding but are still excited for the two Horde leaders.
For what it’s worth, Time Skip isn’t “official” yet. Although NPC characters from both the Horde and Alliance in the Dragonflight Alpha refer to the fact that “several years” have passed since the heroes of Azeroth returned from the Shadowlands, the dialogue in the Alpha is subject to change and may not be live. version of the game.
Regardless, having a bigger gap in the game’s timeline than usual would be a nice change of pace. As any WoW player knows, having Azeroth (and sometimes all of reality) threatened by a new world-ending threat every two years when a new expansion rolls around makes the game’s story a little silly at times. Players have long theorized that spending time in the Shadowlands may have some time-dilation effect, but it is currently unclear whether the Shadowlands themselves are responsible for the time skip or whether Blizzard simply wanted more breathing room for the next chapter of the game’s ongoing story. .
With the Dragonflight alpha currently in full swing, Blizzard has taken a different, more focused approach to testing this time than in testing cycles for previous expansions. The expansion is currently scheduled to be released before the end of the year. To learn more about what’s new in Dragonflight, including the new Evoker class and dragonriding, read our hands-on Dragonflight Alpha impressions.
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