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



Julian: This concept piece for Azsuna you are looking up here was actually one of the very first concept pieces that was done for the Broken Isles as a whole; and this early phase we tried to capture the look of the massive ancient devastation that was caused by the Sundering, that had this dramatic effect on the Broken Isles as a whole; but for Azsuna specificly we tried to capture this element (for the interior at least) that has this serene island paradise; but the reality is once you start exploring the ruins of Azsuna, it is now a cursed and haunted land.



This is a look at the game map for Azsuna. It is all the way under in the southwestern point. It’s not Australia.



Julian: Much of the devastation of Azsuna actually occurred prior to the Sundering. The elven civilization here was annihilated by Queen Azshara herself in a single colossal display of power. This is the mystery of the zone of Azsuna. Why did she killed and cursed thousands of her own people.



Gary: Before you move on, can you move a slide back? I’m sorry. Just one more, real quick. This is fast, but it’s worth it. Okay, this screenshot is awesome. You didn’t do anything special with this screenshot. You were just in-game, I imagine. So a screenshot like this, this would have been impossible months ago. In this expansion, you can see up to three times as far than you could have before. It’s awesome.



(Audience applauses)

Gary: This adds a whole new level to working on the game. So I am super sorry, but it is pretty significant. That was a pretty cool tech theme that really make this expansion one of the best we have ever done. I’m sorry.

Julian: No, no. Awesome point.The new rendering tech for alpha clip and LAD stuff is awesome. Opens up a ton of new macro compositional abilities that we never had access to before. It’s really good stuff. Good point.

So in Azsuna we are also going to be meeting up with a small dying remnants of the Blue dragonflight; and Azsuna is rich in arcane energies, and the Blue flight has found a refuge here, among some of the raw white energies that pool and pocket certain parts of Azsuna.



Azsuna is also home to a large independent land mass known as the Warden’s Isle; and the Warden’s Isle is also home to the Vault of the Wardens that Eric briefly mentioned being a part of the Demon Hunter intro experience.



As I mentioned, the land and its people to this day still suffer under a terrible curse; and as you explore the vast elven ruins that litter the landscape of Azsuna, and so you are going to run into some of these guys. This is a creature we refer to as the Specter; and if you have explored these elven ruins throughout Azeroth in particularly Kalimdor, you have no doubt ran into a banshee or two in your time. This is actually the male counterpart of the banshee. Sometimes internally we refer to them as the man-shee; but it’s a specter, but everyone calls them a man-shee.



(audience laughs)

In the present time, Queen Azshara has an elite naga force here to recover a very important relic, and the concept you see onscreen here is for a new naga brood. These guys and girls are huge hulking monstruosities many times larger than the naga you may be familiar with.



Those same naga have all received all-new high-res models. New skins, new weapons, new armor, the whole build. They look awesome in-game.



Azshara has also allied herself with a local sea giant kingdom, and the sea giants in Azsuna are huge in greater numbers found nowhere else in Azeroth.



Here is a look at just a couple of in-game models, and you can see the guy on the left there has a bulk of a galleon as a shoulder piece. That gives you some idea of the scale of these guys. They are pretty damn big.



Now this pretty lady is a creature we refer to as the Wrath of Azshara, and that image doesn’t really do a scale justice with any context here, but she is gigantic. She is truly massive.



And last, but not least, here is some concept work for the warden warriors, and their owl companions; and you are going to find them throughout the Warden’s Isle, and scattered throughout the Broken Isles in a few small enclaves and holdouts.



Creating the World: Azsuna

Gary: Like all of the zones, Azsuna is one of my favorites. So I have to tell you, we went through a lot of iteration when we decided to work on Azsuna.



It wasn’t until we came up with a new theme. It was a greek isle theme. That’s when we created this concept. Again, this is another foundation piece. With this we had our stylized olive trees, and our nice cypress with a blue sky and big white clouds that we could put along the horizon.



With a piece like this we can start to build the zone, and start to make iterations like the POIs. Like this haunted forest. You can see below the warm and cool variants of the zone.



But the biggest iteration that happened had to be with an ancient night elf architecture. Now we have seen some of these columns, and platforms before in the game, but never really more than that. So we really had to expand this kit.



So we started to add these rave-y art new bold lines and latice patterns to domes and bigger shapes. We really love this concept.



And from here, we created this piece, and now this isn’t really a concept. This is a style guide. Lots of people in the team can use this. This gives us a guide for creating anything that the ancient night elves had made; and if you think about it we have over 80 artists, and over 60 designers. A piece like this, is super important to keep everything looking as though one guy did it.



Alright, so let’s take a quick look at the video of the latest version of Azsuna.


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