Fixing the 60-80 gap

So, if I'm understanding this correctly as to how to this gap stands, right now (or as of Cataclysm) the timeline of World of Warcraft goes

Outland > Northrend > 1-60 Azeroth > 80-85 Azeroth

From what I gathered, Blizzard devs were also looking at ways they wanted to fix this particular inconsistency. This storyline inconsistency might remove immersion for the player and seems to lose the focus of the overall story arc of Cataclysm. However, I had a suggestion in mind.

One easy, though somewhat cheap fix, would be to place two portals in the Caverns of Time. One for the Outlands and one for Northrend. When players hit level 58, a particular questgiver(for my example I'll call him Tom) in one of the main cities (in my example I'll use Orgrimmar and Stormwind) would ask the player to head to these portals to travel back in time to help subdue this new danger. Also, a portal to the Caverns of Time would be placed in both Orgrimmar and Stormwind for easy access to the two portals.

Apart from the quests that the player would take part in the Outlands, Blizzard can create one central storyline quest chain dealing with the overall problem that the player was asked to fix by Tom. Obviously this questline is optional, but it would give focus and reasoning as to why the player went back in time and would give a returning player something new to do while in the Outlands without having to recreate the whole zone. Maybe this questline can give some insight, or help deter the current cataclysm happening in the present. This way, the player doesn't feel like he's thrown out too far out of the picture of what's currently going on in the present time and helps keep a bit of immersion.

So, having said that, what happens to the Outlands and Northrend as they stand now? Well, for the time being, while Blizzard is either busy with current Azeroth or rebuilding Outlands/Northrend, they could block all passage to both zones. Maybe you could have the Shattering Sun Offensive or some other faction in Outlands decides to guard the portal to keep any possible Twilight cultists from spreading into the Outlands. This does include the player so they won't be able to enter. Northrend travel could be blocked off as a means of the Argent Crusade not needing any more troops for the time being in clearing off the Scourge in Northrend. Eventually, when Blizzard is ready, we can see these two areas in its' current timeline glory, possibly with an in-game event leading to our revisit.

So what happens to the quests that involve travel to the Outlands? Example being the quest chain involving Tirion trying to save that guy in Icecrown. Well, I'd suggest Blizzard tries to keep from creating quests that require the player to go there, but if necessary, they could phase it somehow and attempt to not make it too awkward looking. This would be most important in its' presentation.

Though I'm sure Blizz has already given thought to some of my ideas, maybe they'll find something of interest that they could implement that they may have passed over in the possible case that they do come across this topic.
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100 Dwarf Paladin
13395
Honestly I'd rather not see such an artificial means of making the timeline consistent. In my opinion it would feel just as, if not more, awkward then just leaving things as is for the time being.

When Blizzard does go through and redo Outland and Northrend I want them to do it right, with an all new quest experience and content that seamlessly tells a previously untold chapter of the Cataclysm story arc.
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85 Night Elf Druid
4000
What Falrinn said. And to add to that, in this scenario what happens when a new expansion hits and we finally take down the Infinite Dragonflight, thereby removing any reason to need to go back in time? Then we'd have a whole new continuity dilemma. No, Blizzard needs to take their time and have a chance to do Outland and Northrend right.
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Good points. I can see very mixed reactions were Blizzard to go through with something like this especially how it looks on paper. I think its' implementation would look better,however, and WoW players would adapt to the change over time. But I think the change would be within good reason, especially for newer players (which they are trying to attract) and their new focus on story flow. And who knows how long until we see an Outland/Northrend change given the scope of how big a change that would be, if at all, and whether or not the 10 levels in Outlands and Northrend each warrants a full change, especially when considering one of the main reasons Azeroth was changed for more reasons than Outlands and Northrend would be.

As far as the Infinite Dragonflight is concerned. Keep in mind taking them down would also mean not needing all those CoT instances and raids as well. Taking down the ID will create many changes anyway and by then maybe Blizzard will have had the time to recreate a new 60-80 experience.
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87 Human Warrior
8160
If Blizzard is going to address this issue, they're going to do it by revamping Outland and Northrend to post Shattering status. They aren't going to bother putting a continuity bandage for the sake of a little immersion.
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