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6-03-2009 @ 4:44PM
I think perhaps Adam has missed the obvious answer to this question. The name "Into the Maelstrom" is simply one that's been bandied about. It's not as if Blizzard has announced such a name or that play would even be entirely focused around such. Even so, such a name would likely describe the expansions end-game content. Clearly, a "Maelstrom" expansion would be focused around the numerous isles and perhaps even continental areas of the South Seas. We know there are troll kingdoms there, though I believe anything major was destroyed in the Sundering. The goblin capital is in the south seas, and following their faction-neutral history, Undermine would like be the "Sanctuary" of the expansion. Pirate factions could also play a large and interesting role.And coming to the Maelstrom itself. Queen Azshara is one of the very few remaining arch-enemies, corrupted by Sargeras, dwelling in the underwater Naga capital of Nazjatar. While there are hints in WoW that some people think Azshara is dead, Blizzard would have absolutely no issues overcoming any lore to explain why Azshara is alive and planning her assault on the surface world (or why Blood Elves can be paladins, or why Draenei are annoyed at Arthas, etc). The south seas/maelstrom have a massive amount of lore centered around them. Far more so than even the Emerald Dream. It is very likely the next expansion will be focused in this area, but don't worry - it won't mean you're swimming everywhere, with perhaps the exception of entrance to end-game content, in a manner similar to Serpentshrine Cavern.
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