The map of Azeroth is running out of space and we have so many beautiful locations that already exist. In keeping with the intention expressed at Blizzcon of making the game evergreen, a big priority IMO should be to make the world of Azeroth evergreen.
We know that with Midnight there is a high chance of Quel’Thalas finally being revamped which is great for the Blood Elves and the Horde, but I would hate to see the rest of the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor still left to their old state of existence . At the end of Shadowlands we see the beginning of the restoration of Lordaeron by the Forsaken, so this leads me to believe that Blizzard wants to keep following this path of restoring old locations. I know it would take a lot of resources, but the dev team has grown significantly in size and IMO it would only make sense to put some work towards making all old areas feel more contemporary. I’m not even necessarily talking about redoing all graphics for EK and Kalimdor, but at least cleaning up some of the mess left behind by past events.
We already have Chromie who can take us back to previous versions of the same areas, so what I would love to see is a whole world in a “finished-questline” state. Especially with free flying being extended outside of the Dragon Isles, it would be great to visit old zones without seeing NPCs locked in 20 year old battles or devastated towns and villages that still have never recovered since Vanilla.
Are all of the Plaguelands still completely destroyed by the Scourge? It’s a huge area that surely would have been repopulated over time. Is the Twilight Hammer still attacking the Twilight Highlands? Are the Gnomes and Night Elves still homeless? Is lava still flowing all over Mount Hyjal and Ashenvale? Is Gilneas still completely empty even if mostly intact?
Not all areas can be fully revamped, but a neutral-state version of certain areas to show them when they’re not actively under threat wouldn’t be THAT difficult to accomplish. Simply phasing out NPCs involved in battles and swapping with filler citizen NPCs, some vendors where appropriate and perhaps sprinkling in world quests and dailies that can be done at any level or in any expansion. This would create an evergreen world that is always fully available to the player and makes more sense than different areas stuck in different points in time. The feeling of “open world” starts to fade when you realise it’s just a collection of maps that are abandoned with every new expansion.
I’d love to see an expansion where I’m sent all over Azeroth with my free flying mount completing world quests and re-exploring old areas rather than once again having to discover yet another uncharted island popping out of nowhere. It’s time to use this big world we have available to us rather than locking ourselves away in whatever new location there is and forgetting about the 99% of the actual open world around us.