Sapphire Skyblazer and the 10.0

Hello, this is a self translation of a topic I wrote saturday night there

Did you notice the new Shop mount?

It’s not quite certain why Sapphire Skyblazers flocked to Azeroth, but what’s known for sure is that they burn brighter (and hotter!) than any avian to ever soar across the skies. Fast as lightning and armored to the beak, this is a perfect mount to accompany you in your daring adventures.

You may be accustomed to promotional mounts for 6-months subscribers. Nothing new there, but since it’s the Lore part of the forum I’d like to push an investigation a bit.
(And let’s be honest, I already lost interest in any Retail and SL lore, so I looked for anything else interesting to analyse.)

First of all, “It’s not quite certain why”. Well, one could just leave it here, “nothing to see, move along”, it’s just a lame commercial mount for the sole purpose of milking consoomers :cow2:
And this is what I would have replied first for those Shop mounts, all the more these last years - with the golden buffalo, winged pig and rat recently, and so on (mounts which one could connect to Pandaria lore with a big piece of faith and some jelly…)

Nothing to see here then? Well, not exactly.

Some years ago I noticed that there is a schedule, a schema in the apprearance of many Shop mounts (if you remove the “IRL Chinese calendar-themed” mounts I just spoke of).

First there was the Enchanted Fey Dragon during MoP (5.3), that was meant to be linked to the Emerald Dream and the Nigh Elf culture like the Fey we know in Kalimdor, but WoD went live and this mount was (tacitly retconned and) officially stated to be bred by Draenei and native from “Draenor II”.
I’m sure that time, it was merely done to reuse the mount model as an asset for the WoD expansion to gain time, without any deep lore reasoning in the background. (Or it was scheduled and the design was very bad, but nevermind.)

But since then, Blizzard used those mounts as “teasers” sort of, to tease the next expansion or accompany the official announcement of the expansion. Even when it is clueless regarding logic - the Iron Skyreaver, sold to promote WoD, went live months before the prepatch and the Dark Portal opening to Draenor II… :exploding_head:

Then it was the case of the Mystic Runesaber in 6.1 to tease the future WoW:Legion (7.0) where it is the mount of the Shal’dorei.

Then we saw the Vulpine Familiar in 8.1 to tease … the future Shadowlands (9.0), well, it doesn’t work perfectly for this one regarding the color, but sure the Vulpine Familiar model is also a creature of Bastion, Shadowlands.

Then there’s the Sylverian Dreamer in 8.2 that teases SL too, since it was found later to be a creature of Ardenweald, Shadowlands.

(Same cursed logic with the WoD deluxe edition Dread Raven Mount that was live before the Dark Portal. For BFA the setting was more relevant, since Zandalar already “existed” in Azeroth in the background, to justify the “avant-premiere” Gilded Ravasaur mount. Lastly, the Ensorcelled Everwyrm is a native construct from Oribos.)

You may guess where I am going:

What is the Sapphire Skyblaze teasing?

Seemingly the flavor text label is poor in Lore as usual for such products. What can we learn yet?

  • Flying creature
  • Generates heat, and if you check the name, it is meant to be a kind of blue-colored firebird.
  • Mysteriously arrived on Azeroth, so, it came from outer world or dimension.

Regarding the art direction, the visual aesthetics:

  • Way more elegant than most late mounts (the Ardenweald dragon was sort of fine I guess)

  • Way more consistent and immersive in the Warcraft world, imo. (so it’s leaning to a positive way of development like the Wandering Ancient which is a well grounded night elf mount)

  • So we have a gray and blue bird, with a design very near to the already existing pandaren phoenixes, armored with wrought silver and sapphyre gem … in a rather “elven” style (as in wide popculture but as Warcraft highborne/high elf style too).

First hypothesis

is perhaps yours at first sight, this mount may tease a new Shadowland Realm - a realm that would look like Bastion.
If so, the fact we ignore why this bird appear on Azeroth would be the same like the reason of the Vulpine Familiar. Simply arrived when the Veil broke.

It seems to be the most likely solution I admit… it’s the simplest, and the most trivial (the “lamest” somehow).

And I don’t believe in it much, because I have a better one, and also I hardly see why a mount would tease a patch of the very same expansion to begin with…

For me, like the Vulpine or the Dreamer, it is teasing the future expansion - 10.0.

My bet

is we are witnessing a species of Phoenix.

The model is similar to the ones from Pandaria, but the fact it’s “blazing”, flaming the sky and producing heat, is almost a proof in my opinion.

So will it be a Firehawk? the future expansion about a return to the Firelands? Ragnaros as raid boss for the third time? No let’s be serious :smiley:
I don’t think it’s a Pandaren Phoenix either, because this one is not native of the world.

Beware, I bet on old school Phoenix, a one like A’lar!
These phoenixes have already had some work for WIII Reforged… with touches of blue!
In the end we never learnt their origin, even if evidence suggested the Fire Plan, I don’t think the next expac would focus solely on Elements.

Then here are the evidence and tendancies I keep:

  • next expansion
  • with phoenixes
  • a global need for returning to the ground on Azeroth, after SL brought us too far from home…
  • develop regions and very popular races that recieved not enough love for long…

So yes I am once again pleading for the expansion, (hand-made codename) “Quel’Thalas Renaissance” (or any name the marketting office will find)

I was wrong for expecting this at the 8.0, and at the 9.0, so maybe the 10.0 will be the good one, won’t it? :joy:

Indeed, 15 years and Silvermoon and Quel’Thalas have hardly been polished and updated. Except from 2 or 3 minor details such as retconning the map to hife the Tor’Watha Doors, The Reliquary (Cataclysm), retconning the Dath’Remar memorial text, few secondary questlines in MoP (pandarian artifact added in town) and Legion (short visit of Alleria and welcoming Nightborne tourists)…

We have now two playable races - Blood Elves and Void Elves - from these regions, that can involve the two factions of the game.

We must see they have one of the poorest lore in the game now, with very few developments since TBC:

  • anima golems since Isle of Thunder, MoP
  • adding a background about Thas’Alah, the mother(world?)tree destroyed by the Scourge to build Deatholme in Legion Artifact…facts.
  • gradual purification of the Fel by the renewed Sunwell, adding the golden eyes option, blue and purple option at last! (for high elf, or at least “neo-high elf” roleplaying)
  • plotlines encompassing Sin’dorei and Shal’dorei, romance between the Regent and the First Arcanist
  • put in the forefront of the Horde, by the end of BFA with the “elimination” one after another of the Orcs (Garrosh), Trolls (Vol’jin), Forsaken (Sylvanas), the Blood Elves as a pillar of the Horde in a promising duo with the Tauren, an other Sun-leaning race, as I noticed in some cutscenes (death of Vol’jin, Nazjatar, SL prepatch)

This being said, we still don’t know much of their culture apart from very rough features, because the only genuine zones for them are Eversong Woods and Quel’Danas (TBC only), where we have very few NPCs and fewer dialogues to encompass their lore. (And yeah I won’t take much EU into account because either too out-of-date - wink Sunwell Trilogy wink - either too superficial/romance)

There are huge possibilities to develop, more than what you may think of at first:

  • To being with, totally redo the zones of Eversong Woods, Silvermoon, Ghostlands, Quel’Danas, to update the landscape and update the quest lines in the present context, not as a starting zone for a Horde race but as a neutral kingdom (teased in MoP questlines) welcoming both factions in a certain measure.
  • Remake them in a new map-server, because Quel’Thalas from BC is on the map server of Outland. This work would be the same like making Draenor II (WoD) from scratch, apart from Outland, simply keeping the general geography in mind.
    And so the scale of the map will be finer, more “zoomed in”, like Kul Tiras map is. (KT is a tiny isle in theory, but it is represented as a continent in game, allowing awesome details like the flavor NPC neighbourhoods in Boralus)
  • Add new unexplored zones.
    • We already have the “Northweald” (I’m inventing this name as counterpart of Eastweald, former name of Plaguelands), aka Sources of the Thondroril, aka Northern Lordaeron (aka the fanlore “Northeron” name if Blizzard retcons it back from the Twilight Highlands location)
      This hidden zone from vanilla map-server did recieve a magical void vortex as a skybox in game (probably as racial zone for Void Elves before Telogrus was chosen) with no appearance in the story, but this proves the devs were thinking about it.
    • Zul’Aman, the raid just covers the city, a small part but not the whole countryside.
    • All the east coast of Quel’Thalas in general.
      To go further we know in the Classic universe (Classic Era map), warcraft rpg universe, and movie universe there may be a second landmass, as Quel’Thalas was divided in two peninsulas in old lore, like a fork picking Quel’Danas - yet we never saw the second branch that would be precisely at this secret East Coast. And this would not be the first time they add landmasses and reshape the coast to bring new zones (Uldum, Twilight Highlands, Frostfire somehow…)

Also, The Burning Crusade Classic is currently working in parallel of SL, bringing nostalgia and fantasy about this people and kingdom.
Timing would be perfect, when TBC classic will end…

Plus we already have a huge plot “anchor” in SL that can lead back to Quel’Thalas:

  • the Scourge remnants of the Dead Scar?
  • Kael’Thas himself returning in Revendreth

Don’t you think it’s likely? Did you have a better idea to interpret this new “phoenix”?


Would definitely like a redo and development of those areas :thinking:
More elf lore is good lore! Kael’thas’s return maybe?
More void elf love :grin:

A complete revamp of Azeroth, give Gnomergan back to the gnomes, Gilneas back to the wolves.

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Lordaeron back to the Forsaken. Hinterlands to the Revantusk. Rest half of Silvermoon rebuild.

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And of course Kalimdor for Night Elves and Tauren. All orcs/draenei/trolls ejected. And the druids of both races creating a glorious forest on the entire continent with meadows and glades for tauren.

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Trolls are natives. Won’t kick them out.

You mean Lordaeron back to the Alliance, restored to it’s former glory before it got stained by the horde…

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I will not comment on that.

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Lordaeron is going to be turned into a gorgeus undead citadel and Sylvanas will come back as their rightful queen.

Yes, I’ve been known to be delusional, from time to time :frowning:

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I think this bird is more like in Arcane colors, telling us about the Titans world as 10.0.
Or, that Armor, that Helm reminds me Night Elves Sentinels helms, so maybe next addon is about the Elunes world.

As I view this, with the modern scale of map, there’s way enough regions to develop for one subcontinent per expansion.

  • Quel’Thalas and isles
  • Lordaeron (northern Eastern Realms)
  • Azeroth subcontinent (southern E.R.)
  • Southeastern Kalimdor (Azshara to Silithus, horde-leaning deserts and steppes mainly)
  • Northwestern Kalimdor (Feralas to Winterspring, kaldorei-leaning forests mainly)

imagine, 10.0 to 14.0!
Pruning the stupid cartoonish Cataclysm quest design! developping deep lore and cultures of the classic regions! back to good old immersive and consistent world of Azeroth. Three or five expansions guarantee! … OK… Obviously I’m going too far and ActiBlizz will never be so dense. :pensive:

I am waiting for a Elune/Belore themed expansion for so long, it would be fine and it can definitely go with a Quel’Thalas Renaissance expac. (Elune dimension and stuff as patches for instance)


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