the release of the first round of beta keys for World of
Warcraft‘s newest expansion, the first players outside of
Blizzard’s immediate circle have finally set foot and laid
eyes upon post-Cataclysm Azeroth, and what a sight it is. Azeroth has
been torn asunder, rearranged and reshaped leaving a large portion of
the world unrecognizable to even the most veteran players.


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A thriving Goblin harbor now
stands in Azshara's sea inlet.

When first entering Azshara, it may
seem that this zone has remained relatively untouched and in some ways
this is true. Most of the wild life found in Azshara is still the same,
the land has not been torn apart leaving the landscape looking mostly
the same, and even the overall ambiance of the zone remains unchanged.
Do not let this first sense of familiarity fool you though, Azshara is
not the uncivilized wilderness of the past any longer.

With the opening of the tunnel from Orgrimmar, Azshara has been
infiltrated and taken over by the Goblins. Goblin labs, houses, and
other buildings dot the landscape, including a Goblin run rocket
roadway called the Rocketway Exchange that will blast a player to
almost anywhere in Azshara. The biggest change to the zone however has
to be that Azshara is now a low level area, suitable only for players
under level 20, making the Rocketway Exchange even more valuable
allowing players without mounts to move quickly throughout the zone.

The waters outside Azshara have not been left untouched; a sea port has
been erected, along with a small fleet of ships, to defend the harbor
against enemies and giving the Goblins a firm hold on the land. Trade
Prince Gallywix himself has even taken up residence here, erecting his
very own “Pleasure Palace” near the middle of

The Naga still remain here in Azshara, most predominantly in the Ruins
of Eldarath, however they are now braced for war. The Goblins are
determined to wipe the Naga from the face of Azshara and have launched
a beach front attack on them. The Naga in turn have enlisted giants to
fight for their cause, and erected a shell spike defense along the
shore. Who will win this battle is still undetermined,
it’s quite likely the Goblins will get impatient and simply
blow the Naga (and in turn themselves) up.

The Barrens

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The Great Divide now separates
the Barrens into two zones.

The Barrens is without a doubt where
players can venture to see the
destruction Deathwing has wrought on the world in full force. No where
else on Azeroth is it as evident (at least in my opinion) of the
changes and utter destruction that Cataclysm has wrought on this world
we hold so dear.

The Barrens has been ripped in two, so that instead of a single zone,
players are now faced with two; Northern and Southern Barrens. The
Northern Barrens mostly remains the same, such as the Crossroads; home to old
school world PvP still stands. Overall the zone feels like the
Barrens of the past, even Barrens chat remains firmly in place. Heading
South West from the Crossroads towards the Wailing Caverns players will
stumble across the first sign that something is amiss.

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R.I.P Camp T.

Here a great rift filled with lava has been torn in the earth, scarring
the land and forever separating the Barrens. Across this divide lies
the Southern Barrens which, thanks to the efforts of the druids, has
begun to spring to life. Traveling south through the Southern Barrens
however, you will once again find mass destruction.

Both Horde and Alliance have laid
down roots in the mountain area of
the Southern Barrens, and war has erupted. Camp Tauranjo is just one
sad casualty of the war, as it has been set afire by the Alliance
forces seeking to push forward into the Northern Barrens and beyond. A
huge battle scar mars the landscape as well, spanning the center of the
Southern Barrens from north to south.

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The war between Alliance and
Horde rages in the Southern Barrens.

War machines litter the scar and
warriors from both factions walk the edges, awaiting the next

With the Alliance pushing ever northward, and with the extinction of
Camp Tauranjo, the Taurens of Mulgore have taken precautionary measures
and erected a huge gate, intended to stop the flow of Alliance forces
into Mulgore. However, the Alliance have already moved their siege
engines into place, leaving us to wonder how long this last line of
defense can stand.

Western Plaguelands

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Cataclysm has brought the
Western Plaguelands back to life.

With just a quick glance at the map, Western Plaguelands looks
unchanged by the events put in motion
by Deathwing. Upon
further inspection players are in for a surprise; the Western
Plaguelands are coming back to life. The grass is no longer plagued and
dead, and even the perpetual fog of the zone seems to be dissipating. Flowers
are in bloom, and animals without diseases have made their homes in the
Western Plaguelands once again.

With the renewal of the land, Western Plaguelands has not surprisingly
been repopulated. Most of the farms have been cleared of Scourge, and
the fields are once again producing crops. Hearthglen has been tamed
and is now a haven for all who support the Argent Crusade. Andorhal has
also come to life, Alliance buildings have sprung up on the western
edge of the city, while the Forsaken have taken over and built their
own town on the eastern boarders of Andorhal.

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Andorhal is being rid of it's
Scourge population by both Horde and Alliance.

The center of Andorhal however is still occupied by Scourge, and Araj
the Summoner still remains, however both Forsaken and Alliance are
engaged in a battle to win back the city in its entirety,
both wanting to gain a bigger foothold in this now resource rich land.
Scholomance, however, remains untouched by the changes to the main
portion of Western Plaguelands. Perhaps this isle is doomed to be
cursed forevermore.


Darkshore, much like the Barrens, has been the victim of what
appears to have been a massive tidal wave, most likely set into motion
by the cataclysmic events throughout the world. Trees have been torn
from the ground, and those that
survived the destruction near the shore
remain in a permanent lean, a constant reminder of the tragedy that
befell this land.

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Malfurion Stormrage commands a
whirling vortex filled with debris in the center of Darkshore.

The landscape is now cut through with waterways, looking much like a
jagged jigsaw puzzle that was never properly put together. Auberdine
has been almost completely destroyed by the rising waters. The only
inhabitants of this once proud sea side city are air elementals. The
Night Elves have rebuilt in the far north of the zone, once again along
the coast, in a town called Lor’danel.

To top all of this off a raging whirlpool now lies in the north of the
zone and is the final destination for all the newly cut rivers. A
whirling vortex of energy mars the middle of the zone, and at
its center is Malfurion Stromrage who claims that it is the
only thing keeping Darkshore from being torn apart. Small
volcanic eruptions also dot the landscape, to complete the reminder
that Darkshore is now one of the most unstable zones in Azeroth.


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Did a meteor cause the massive
destruction in Badlands?

Something bad has happened in the Badlands. While the zone has always
been desolate and inhospitable, Cataclysm has made it even more so.
Many of the large mountains and pillars in the zone have had their tops
sheered off in some kind of epic destruction. The rock is still visibly
molten and unstable from whatever might have caused the damage. The
most striking change to the zone is a massive crater that
stretches across a good porton of the zone, leading us to wonder if a
meteor did the damage.

A massive landslide has defaced the edges of the zone, wiping out
anything in its wake; including the Horde city of Kargath.
The Horde did not take long to rebuild, as a new thriving Horde city
has been built just to the north of where Kargath used to be. A great
chasm has opened near the northern edge of the Badlands, making travel
to Loch Modan near impossible. Upon further inspection players will
learn that this chasm spans the entire continent of the Eastern

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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.