President of Blizzard Mike Ybarra casually sinks hopes of a pirate themed WoW expansion with a two-word tweet

A very upset admiral from World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth bares a grimace.
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

There's been whispers on the high seas about where World of Warcraft's going after Dragonflight—with some theorists already loading up their cannons with hopes for a seafaring-themed expansion.

This was due to a few factors—several transmog sets seem to be hinting at an oceanic direction for WoW, such as the Waveborne Diplomat's Regalia and the more recent Seafarer Pack. If this sounds a touch crackpot, Blizzard did do something similar before the announcement of Dragonflight with its Dragon Pack, which was released December 2021 before the expansion's announcement in April 2022. 

There've also been some other in-game hints—the prevalence of pirate factions on the Forbidden Reach, as well as (courtesy of Youtube channel Taliesin & Evitel) an in-game book called "Pirate Proclamations" which contains a text called "Return of the Nightsquall". 

While it's probably just a fun lore tidbit, it sets a big enough plot thread that unravelling it would be grounds for a whole new expansion: "So whether ye be Irontide or Bloodsail, Defias or Freebooter, all are welcome to sail under the Nightsquall's flag. Follow him as your new admiral and no navy on Azeroth will have a prayer against us!"

A battle on the high seas against WoW's saltiest crew sounds like a good time—and with the store foreshadowing, some gamers had been genuinely getting excited. Rather than let the rumour mill spin, however, President of Blizzard Mike Ybarra appears to have shot those dreams dead with a reply to a post on Twitter/X, as spotted by WoWHead.

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Just…. 'No pirates'. Well, that's the dream dead. Put your cutlasses and eyepatches away. The two-word reply has set off a swell of dejected yarrs from the community.

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The post Ybarra replied to however, which gathered over 1,000 likes, shows signs of a strong anti-pirate contingent within the fanbase. User daveatano wrote: "People want to RETURN to OLD PLACES on AZEROTH. Mainly to rediscover the two places that they all fell in love with the game on. They don't want pirates. They want the World of Warcraft." Presumably, these anti-pirates are very relieved they won't be having to listen to shanties for the next two years or so.

I do feel like pointing out that the last time we returned to the old places of Azeroth (during Cataclysm) it wasn't received super well. Then again, Dragonflight has proven that a lowering of stakes from the cosmic 500-IQ Jailer mind games is popular, so maybe a nostalgia trip is next in line. There's also the chance that this is some kind of trolling zig-zag, and that the Nightsquall's new cult will fly the black flag under some other name, but Mike Ybarra's the president of Blizzard—he's not exactly known for social media mischief.

Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.