Orgrimmar, the capital city of the Orc race, which is located in
northern Durotar and founded by Thrall, has been stronghold of the Orcs
since the end of the Third War. As a major hub for the Horde most WoW
players are at least somewhat familiar with the city, and if they are
like me, have grown rather fond of it over the years. Despite the
obvious passing of time, Orgrimmar, like most of Azeroth’s
landscape, has remained relatively unchanged since the release of World
of Warcraft back in  2004.

Like most other things though, Cataclysm promises to change all that.
Not only will the Horde be gaining a new Warcheif in Thrall’s
place, but Orgrimmar itself will also be getting a facelift of sorts
along with the new management.  The changes are startling,
leaving Orgrimmar almost unrecognizable from the Orgrimmar of the past.

Under Thrall Orgrimmar was a quiet place, a haven for all Horde races,
and a place of peace. However under the rule of Garrosh Hellscream in
Cataclysm Orgrimmar has become a far darker place, a city ready for
war, and far from welcoming to other races, even those that are part of
the Horde.  

The changes to the city can be observed from the second you walk up to
Orgrimmar’s main entrance.

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As you can see Garrosh has been a very busy Orc. Construction is
ongoing expanding the walls and making the front of Orgrimmar look far
more menacing than anything we have seen in the past. As you break out
of the tunnel entrance, even bigger changes await you.

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As you can see all the buildings in the Valley of Strength have been
refortified and look distinctly more Orcish. It’s clear from
this view that Orgrimmar is a city preparing for war. You may have also
noticed that in the place of the bank there now stands a very large and
intimidating building.. As you may have guessed, this building is not
the bank, but is instead the headquarters of Garrosh and his most
trusted advisors.

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Don’t worry though, Orgrimmar still has a bank,
it’s just been relocated slightly off to the side of the
Valley of Strength. However the bank is now overseen by Goblins. The
Auction House also remains in it’s normal location with only
some visual changes. It too is now occupied by Goblins.

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Moving beyond Garrosh’s stronghold players will be surprised
to see that the shops that could be found here pre-Cataclysm are now
gone. Instead the ground has been reworked, and a new tunnel leading to
the Valley of Spirits and the Cleft of Shadow has been opened, and an
imposing new ramp has been put in place, along with several new

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Venturing to the top of any of the watchtowers with operational
elevators inside will give you access to the upper reaches of
Orgrimmar, new home to the Flight Master, Wind Rider Keeper, and
Zeppelin Towers.

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The Cleft of Shadow remains relatively unchanged. Looking much like it
did in the days before Cataclysm. Perhaps not even Garrosh dared to
interfere with this sinister place of dark magic. It should be noted
that you cannot use your flying mounts inside the Cleft of Shadow.

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The Drag is also unchanged despite being a tad bit on the lighter side
due to some ceiling renovations to allow flying mounts. There does
appear to be some new construction going on in what could be places for
new businesses. Some very imposing and Garroshesqu gates have also been
added to either end of the Drag. One can only wonder what they may be

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Reaching the end of the drag you will come to find that despite
Garrosh’s abandonment of it, the Valley of Wisdom is far from
empty. The valley has seemingly been handed over to the Tauren who
choose to make their home in Orgrimmar. As such the Valley of Wisdom
now has a very Thunderbluff feel, complete with Tauren tents, and
totems. A water fixture complete with waterfall has also appeared,
along with very Barrens looking trees. Thankfully Barrens chat seems to
have remained safely in the Barrens.

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As you can see the Trolls are still the primary race residing in the
Valley of Spirits. Much expansion has occurred, with many new buildings
popping up to accommodate the increased Troll presence. An inn has been
established, and Troll Druid trainers have taken up residence here. The
expansion in the Valley of Spirits cannot however prepare you for the
squallier that lies just beyond.

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The Goblins forced out of their homes due to an unfortunate accident
have taken up temporary residence in Orgrimmar with Thrall’s
blessing. However Garrosh has been less than accommodating. The Goblin
refugees have been swept into a corner and have been basically
forgotten. Living out of makeshift tents, the Goblins were at least
granted a small lake, which they promptly (in typical Goblin fashion)
turned into an oil lake instead. The Goblin Slums also has it very own
Auctioneer, for those who don’t care to visit the main
Auction House.

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While the Valley of Honor may look like it remained unscathed despite
the obvious visual changes to the buildings, the changes here are
larger than they first appear. An inn and a bank have been added to the
area and what looks like could be a second Auction House in the works.
The Hall of the Brave is now larger and contains not only Warrior
trainers but also a collection of Training Dummies.

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The Ring of Valor is currently under heavy construction and no
admittance is allowed. Never fear though, as the Arena Battlemaster has
been moved just outside the door so players can still get their PvP fix.

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Riding Trainers and wolves have been given a new home just outside a
shiny new stable like building is occupied by the Hunter Trainer,
Stable Master,  and Pet Trainer.

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But perhaps the most interesting change is the reason for all these
changes. The Valley of Honor has been expanded, with new construction
and engines of war dotting the newly acquired land. However most
notable is the new exit at the end of the expansion that leads directly
into Azshara’s wilderness.

While there are many more changes that could be covered, these are the
most noticeable and will hopefully sate your thirst until you can view
them for yourself. I personally am unsure about how I feel about the
changes, however I am hoping that they will eventually grow on me. Love
or hate the changes, join us on our forums to share your thoughts.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Amunet, also fondly known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Amu has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet. When not gaming and writing, Amu is busy chasing after her three children in a perpetual loop of ongoing disaster.