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WoW: Before and After - Orgrimmar Gets a Makeover

Posted Mon, Jul 19, 2010 by Mem

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.
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.
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.
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.
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 watchtowers.
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.
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.
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 for.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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