other expansions before it, Cataclysm will rend the world we
know so well apart, then piece it back together again to create an
Azeroth that is largely unrecognizable from the one we hold so dear. To
really drive the point home Blizzard has been releasing new information
and screenshots almost weekly giving us a taste of the impending
changes. As this information has been released it’s easy to
see that Cataclysm will truly be an expansion pack unlike any other.
With every expansion pack, players always tend to look back and reminisce about the supposed good old days. Wishing, hoping, and dreaming that things had never changed. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else, dredging up fond memories, revisiting places that once held importance, and lamenting that things will never be quite the same. However the changes made in the past will look like mere child’s play compared to what Cataclysm has in store for us.
Already I find myself mourning the loss of places I hold near and dear to my WoW infused heart. I have made memories all over Azeroth, and as such the list of locations I will miss could go on infinitely. I have managed to cut that list down to a more reasonable level, and as such I present to you the top four places I (and probably many other WoW players), will miss in Cataclysm.
OrgrimmarOrgrimmar won’t be rent off the face of Azeroth in a fiery explosion, or engulfed in a gaping chasm like many other locations, and in fact will remain mostly intact. However, big changes are coming for the home city of the Orcs. Garrosh Hellscream has taken over as Warchief and under his rule some drastic changes have come to Orgrimmar including new construction that gives the city a much needed visual update.
However under Garrosh more sinister changes will be taking place in the home city of the Orcs. All non-Orc NPCs have been expelled from the center of the city, leaving us to wonder if in the future players of other races will even be admitted entrance.. Further proof of Garrosh’s radical policies can be seen in the reception of the newest members of the Horde; the Goblins. Instead of welcoming them into the city with open arms as Thrall would have done, Garrosh has instead isolated them to the Valley of Spirits which has been reverted into a slum.
So while Orgrimmar will still reign as the capital city of the Orcs, Garrosh’s changes leave the city irrevocably changed. Once a peaceful, and beautiful (by Horde standards anyway) city that welcomed all Horde races, the city is now tarnished almost beyond recognition by Garrosh’s policies. Not to mention the more dire consequences that could result from this change, as it seems these changes spell the end of the alliance of the Horde races, and may result in war. Only time will tell how things pan out for the Horde under Garrosh’s rule, but these changes to Orgrimmar will leave me wishing for the Orgrimmar of old.
The BarrensAh the Barrens, home of the infamous Barrens chat, the final resting place of Mankrik’s wife, and the zone whose name is synonymous with annoyance for most players. You may be wondering why this zone even made the list of places we’ll miss in Cataclysm, but take a second to look back, and dredge up those Barrens memories you may have long forgotten and you will have your answer.
The Barrens is the zone that everyone loves to hate, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever met a single person who has said “Gee, I love the Barrens!”. However this zone being the cesspool of irritation that it is, is exactly what makes it great. Looking back most Horde and Alliance players will find they have some story compliments of the Barrens that will likely make those around them groan. And while your experiences in the Barrens may have been less than complimentary, where would we be without them? I know my leveling experience wouldn’t have been near as interesting without getting ganked along the road by the Alliance patrol, or /facepalming in real life thanks to some random comment in General Chat.
The changes to this zone are huge, with the land being literally rent in two to create two new zones, the Alliance takeover of Camp Taurajo, and the lush new growth thanks to the druid Naralex. These changes and more will serve to destroy the enigma that is the Barrens. While most people will say good riddance, I can’t help but be saddened that new players will never again have the Barrens experience.
SouthshoreClimate changes resulting from the Cataclysm that will rock the world of Azeroth will cause the city of Southshore to be wiped off the face of the earth by devastating tidal waves and I’m more than a little sorry to see it go. This seemingly unremarkable town nestled in Hillsbrad Foothills is the last Alliance stronghold located in the zone, and is steeped in lore and history, all of which will be lost to the waters.
With the removal of the Alliance presence from the zone, Hillsbrad will be a far less interesting place. No more will random charges by low level Horde being lead into the town to complete Helcular’s Revenge, nor will unsuspecting new Horde to the zone accidentally stumble into the town unawares. The destruction of Southshore may also spell the end of the quaint farms across the lands as Southshore provides their main defense they will most likely be overrun by their enemies. Where the Allaince refugees will go is anyone’s guess.
The Shimmering Flats….will be…a…LAKE?! Nooooooo! While this zone is annoying to get to, it’s probably one of my favorite places in Azeroth (minus the vultures and carcasses of course) and the zone that I will miss the most. I love the easy to complete quests, and the general feel of the zone. Not to mention it has its very own racetrack complete with Goblin and Gnome racers who continue to compete at high speeds despite all the racing wreckage around them. Seriously, who doesn’t like this place? The Shimmering Flats despite it’s desolate state gives some life and humor to the world and Azeroth will be a darker place indeed without it.
What locations will you miss in Cataclysm? Does my list match up with your own? Join us on our forums and share your thoughts!