As with all the Caverns of Time instances, the basic plot revolves around the Infinite Dragonflight attempting to mess up time in order to wreck great destruction. In this case, and unusually for the Infinite Dragonflight, the goal appears to be to stop the massacre of the gnomes in Gnomeregan. The Bronze Dragonflight ask the players to intervene.
Why should the Horde help?
Because the most likely end-goal of the Infinite Dragonflight would seem to be the destruction of the Horde. In the early days of the Horde/Alliance conflict, the scales were very finely balanced, and the addition of twice as many gnomes into the Alliance with all of their war technology intact (rather than abandoned in Gnomeregan) would be devastating for the Horde. Plus, it’s a chance to kill gnomes.
Why should the Alliance help?
Because they’re mucking around with the history of one of their own races. The Infinite Dragonflight are not to be trusted, and if they’re mucking around with Gnomeregan, it can’t be good. Also, Alliance players have wanted to see what Gnomeregan looked like before its destruction for ages.
What’s the true story?
The Infinite Dragonflight aren’t trying to stop the slaughter at Gnomeregan. They’re trying to stop the evacuation. If they’re successful, the entire gnomish race will perish in Gnomeregan, stopping them from joining the Alliance. Without their aid, the Horde will have a much greater chance of to attack the Alliance successfully – In the end, raising the death total on both sides.
The map for Gnomeregan will look mostly just like the map for the original Gnomeregan Instance (which will save the development team some time and money in creating it) but with two major expansions. The first is the trogg caves to the north. These will need to be massively expanded to allow for war and chaos to occur in there. We’ll also add in a balcony to the Hall of Gears overlooking it and this will be our entry point for the adventurers – The very first thing they should see is the battlefront.
The other major change will be the addition of a hidden tunnel between the Tinker’s Court and the Loading Bay. This will be the scene of the final leg of the journey, as the heroes escort a group of refugees out of the city.
(Next up: Encounters! I promise, encounters!)