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.
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 Azshara.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
DarkshoreDarkshore, 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.
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.
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 Kingdoms.