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Patch 10.1 Location Datamining and Speculation
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Dragonflight alpha testing may have just started, but we're already getting an early look at potential Patch 10.1 content, thanks to a handful of interesting references found in the database! While it seems far too early to worry about what may come in future patches, this small glimpse could provide clues as to where the story of Dragonflight might go next.
Unfortunately, we can't see the actual map referenced in these strings, but the idea of a "Dragon Isles Underground" tells us just enough to start speculating!
The Black Dragonflight
The future of the black dragons is a major story beat in Dragonflight, one that began all the way back in Cataclysm with the cleansing of an
egg that would become Wrathion
and the defeat of the mad dragon aspect Deathwing. In many ways, that event set up the entirety of the Dragonflight expansion, as it was there that the aspects expended the last of their titanic powers to protect Azeroth, ushering in the so-called Age of Mortals, whereas Dragonflight is teased as
a new age of dragons
As he has grown older, Wrathion has made it his mission to restore the black dragonflight and makes his way to the Dragon Isles for that exact purpose, though it seems unlikely the story will be reach any conclusions within the opening act of the expansion. There are also other leaders, such as
, who may end up competing against Wrathion's claim, but more important than who leads them is who they will lead... there simply aren't that many black dragons left in the world free of Old God corruption.
Wrathion's main goal is to restore the black dragonflight, though his manipulations haven't always been particularly well received.
This is where the idea of the underground could present itself. Charged as the earth-warders, Black Dragons are rather well known for making their homes in underground caves and caverns, such as Onyxia's Lair in the Dustwallow Marsh, and Neltharion's Lair in Highmountain, where the earth aspect was transformed into Deathwing, and even Sinestra spawned the Twilight Dragonflight deep beneath the Bastion of Twilight in the Twilight Caverns. In fact, Nefarian is about the only black dragon who didn't make his lair completely underground, although Blackwing Lair and Blackwing Descent are both technically inside a mountain, so it still counts.
This gives us a strong thematic idea - what if there's another ancient black dragon lair hidden beneath the isles, rich with eggs which may not have been touched by Deathwing's madness? This would be an extremely important find for Wrathion, as well as others who wish to take on the role of leading the black dragonflight, so exploring that two sided conflict - both the struggle to restore the ancient protectors of the earth and the fight over who will take charge of it - could make for some very compelling patch content!
Wrathion may intend to rebuild an uncorrupted flight, but our encounters with black dragons have not historically ended well.
The titans left their mark on virtually every aspect of Azeroth (itself a budding titan world soul, in case anyone managed to forget the overarching plot of the last three expansions), not the least of which the dragons. The five flight aspects rose to prominence after rebelling against the proto-dragon Galakrond, empowered by the titans to continue to defend Azeroth against future threats, granting them their power over life, dreams, the earth, magic, and time.
Mere proto-drakes at the time, their fight against Galakrond would earn the respect of the Watcher Tyr, and the titan's power.
We've already seen evidence of their presence in the form of
Watcher Koranos and his brethren
, as well as the Beacon of Tyrhold, all of which are obvious titan creations, so we can safely assume more titan influence will make itself known as we continue to explore the isles, but the real question is how deep it goes and what purpose it serves. Most of the titan facilities we know about were either
, both generally related to the creation of new life and technology, which would seem to fit well with the idea of Dragonflight and the many previously unseen types of dragons which call it home. Other facilities are
, set up to isolate the world from its most dangerous inhabitants. Whatever the case, they are almost always located underground, and it seems almost unreasonable that isn't one hidden somewhere within the Dragon Isles.
Like Un'goro Crater and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, Sholazar Basin was originally a titan experimentation facility.
Of course, it's always possible this mysterious underground could be entirely unrelated or even just a minor piece of future Patch 10.1 content, rather than its major focal point. Blizzard often intersperses smaller pieces of content that aren't directly tied to the overarching storyline, and Dragonflight would appear to be home to far more than just dragons. From what we know so far, it could be anything - another entrance to Deepholm, another sect of Neltharion's one-time Drogbar slaves, or perhaps a glorious empire of Kobold and home of the great candle! Whatever the case may be, the fact that we're already seeing some vague hints at Patch 10.1 content is exciting and would seem to follow along with recent statements from Game Director Ion Hazzikostas that we may be seeing a
faster patch cycle in Dragonflight
Dragonflight is said to be a story of exploration and discovery, wherever it may take us.
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