The Guardian (UK) interviewed J. Allen Brack to discuss the two new playable races, Battleground Achievements, and the main features of the previous expansion that added strength to the game such as the LFG tool, cross-server dungeon groups, dual-spec, and other features, and what we should expect in Cataclysm and beyond improving on those features.

It took the developers a whole year to redesign Stormwind, and the new Orgrimmar took a year as well. Thus, we won’t see changes in other major cities any time soon considering how long it takes to redesign one.

There’s an idea floating around, but it’s not written on stone: Cross-server raids. Another topic of interest was Outland post-Cataclysm. The developers feel awkward with the continuity flow from a post-Cataclysm leveling experience from level 1-58 to suddenly enter in Outland and … Illidan is still alive. Most of the quests in the different zones of Outland reference Illidan and his allies: Lady Vashj and Kael’Thas.

It’s something the developers want to address in the future, which flames-on and fuel-feed the speculation-mode machine. Back at BlizzCon 2005 (?), Chris Metzen mentioned plans for those three existent portals in Outland: Death’s Door (Blade’s Edge Mountains), The Clearing (Zangarmarsh), and Twilight Ridge (Nagrand). And an additional four new portals would be added for a total of seven planets.

However, Cataclysm is the third expansion in the six years life of World of Warcraft with no further content for Outland or even a mention of worlds beyond those of Azeroth and Outland. There have been hints here and there such as:

  • Area 52 rocket: Where was it suppose to travel?
  • The scientist in Duskwood who talks about space travel?
  • More recently, fans might find in Azshara a goblin quest: “Raptor, Raptor Rocket“, about a raptor that served for an experiment and granted him unusual intelligence. The raptor packed his batch of raptor children into a rocket and departed Azeroth toward an unknown destination outside of the planet.
  • Ulduar: The Observatory room shows other planets presumably watched by Algalon the Observer.
  • Turalyon and Alleria are presumably lost in another world after entering one of the portals of Outland. They have been missing for over 20 years. Their son, Arator the Redeemed, is in search for his missing parents.
  • Revelation in Outland’s Tempest Keep: Arcatraz … Harbinger Skyriss: We span the universe, as countless as the stars!

Will we ever see these seven new planets as separate expansions? Maybe. World of Warcraft has lived on, strong, for six years; and with Cataclysm reshaping the entire world and adding new zones, graphic-enhancements, flight in all of Azeroth, exciting new quests, introduction of new storytelling tools, and a growing-community of over 12 million players — it’s obvious the MMO’s lifespan will be a very long one with many expansions yet to come.

Read the full interview with J. Allen Back.

Blizzard Quote:
Any plans for Outland and Northrend (zones created in the previous two expansions)?

Brack: We have started to talk about what we need to do because there’s currently no conguity between the story that we are telling in Cataclysm and the one in Outland. It feels a little weird to have the whole “Deathwing is back and has destroyed the world” and then you walk into Outland and you’re like “Hey! There’s this guy, Illidan”. We don’t exactly know how we’re going to tackle that yet, but we definitely want to find a solution.