Cataclysm -> Last expansion for World of Warcraft?

Over the weekend, Blizzard posted information about their latest expansion, Cataclysm. This expansion looks wonderful. As usual, the expansion is going to include new playable classes (goblin=horde) and worgen=alliance), 2 new starting areas and new raid content. IMHO, it's about time for the Alliance to have a beast race and the horde to have a short character race!!

The most exciting new content comes in the trailer. It looks like Blizzard is looking to expand the use of "phased content" into the Old World. Like going through the Icecrown quest line, where you slowly see permanent changes to the terrain, users will likely see changes to the old world based on what they have done. I love this idea, for a couple of reasons:

  1. Revive the old world areas. Traveling across the Barrens is tiring (even with only 3 alts), traveling across a destroyed Barrens, that once was pristine could be interesting.
  2. Take load off Dalaran. On peek load times, doing anything in Dalaran is tiresome. On my wireless network at home, I sometimes see 3 frames per second. Ouch!
  3. Flying mounts! - Finally! Based on the lore, I've never understood why I could fly in Outlands and Northren, but not Kalimador.

My one question - Does destroying the old world, mean end of game for Warcraft? Sort of like a movie where they kill off all the main characters at the end of the 3rd movie (The Matrix series comes to mind), what happens when the old world is destroyed and in ruins? Will the phased content slowly rebuild it? Or will all need to take the space ships to the Dranei home world to get home? (hopefully not totally mucking up the Dranei lore).


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