WoW Cataclysm - A Whole New World

With 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
With 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.


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 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

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.

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.

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 battle.

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

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.

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.

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.


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 Kingdoms.

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