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Legion World Content : The Broken Isles

Julian: My name is Jules. I am one of the lead game designers on World of Warcraft. With me today is Gary, lead environment artist for WoW, and we are going to take you on a tour of the Broken Isles; and we’ve got an insane amount of stuff to get through today. So let’s go and dive into it.



So our quest to defeat the Burning Legion, you are going to see a scouring the continent of the Broken Isles in search of ancient Titan relics known as the Pillars of Creation. The Titans used these relics to shape Azeroth to its first form; and it is only with these relics that you demon hunter allies and the powerful items you require that we have got any kind of shot at closing down a massive demon portal deep within the Tomb of Sargeras.



Before we get into the zones, I want to show you a quick look back at some of the history of the Broken Isles. Around 10 thousand years ago, at the height of the ancient night elf empire, the lands of the Broken Isles was just this very tiny path of a vast region of Azeroth, that was once known as Suramar. With the planet shattering event of the Sundering the region of Suramar was utterly devastated, and what remains is just a tiny fraction of the once great elven empire that dominated these lands and so much more; and the Broken Isles as is today is a scarred and fractured land mass divided into six distinct areas: Val’Sharah, Stormheim, Azsuna, Highmountain, Suramar and Thal’Dranath.

Alright, let’s look at our first zone: Val’sharah. Some of our key concept pieces for the zone. Val’sharah is a beautiful densely forested druidic paradise.



There is also a darkness creeping into Val’sharah. The Emerald Nightmare is here, and it has begun to consume a massive part of the zone. Here is a look at the in-game map for the zone.



You can see it represents a significant portion of the west coast of the Broken Isles. Val’sharah has been the hidden and somewhat forgotten heart of druidism on Azeroth through many generations. It’s here that Malfurion first met the demi-god Cenarius, and was trained as a druid; and it’s here that we will help Malfurion detract the source of the Nightmare, as it begins to corrupt so much of this beautiful land.



Which leads me to Shaladrassil. Our once glorious World Tree (at the height of the forest) that served as the gateway to the Emerald Dream.

Shaladrassil has now become a twisted and tainted monstruous distortion of its former awesome grandeur.



Another important landmark in Val’sharah is the haunted ancient night elven fortress of Black Rook Hold; and if you know a little bit about the time period of the history of the War of the Ancients, you will know that Black Rook Hold played a pivotal role in the first war against the Legion.

black rook hold


Coming into Val’sharah, you are going to be meeting up with some of the most revered and ancient arch-druids of Azeroth. Now the giant onscreen you see here is the arch-druid [name]. He’s a grand-master treant druid, and one of the three key arch-druids that you adventure with within Val’sharah.

val'sharah arch druid


Now the Nightmare Lord Xavius has sent here several legions flooding into Val’sharah, and this is just a glimpse of two of the new satyr types that you will find within the zone.

legion val'sharah satyrs


This is some concept work for the Nightmare dragons. The Nightmare dragons were all once green dragons — guardians and protectors of the Emerald Dream. Now fully corrupted by the Nightmare.

nightmare dragons


Here is a look at some of the in-game models.

nightmare dragons


Val’sharah as a zone has a very druidish-centric theme. You are going to be running into a lot of night elf druids that live within Val’sharah. We have got all-new awesome skins and models for creatures like keepers of the grove, dryads, hyppogryphs, and of course, these guys.



(audience screams)

This makes some of the druids out there happier. The new moonkin models are really cool, they are so faithful to the old original conceived out there. They have got a ton of character detail, and really expressive; but I know of a druid form that is universal to all druids that has been in need of a little spicing up. Here is old and new sealion swim form.



Now I’ll hand it off to Gary, who is going to take you into a deeper look inside the world of Val’sharah.


Browse these pages:Backstory OverviewCinematic and StorytellingDemon Hunter IntroThe Broken Isles
SuramarEnd-Game SystemsDungeons & Raids