Hi everyone, it’s the Red Shirt Guy here with some screenshots of the new areas added in patch 6.2.’s first PTR build. We’ll be looking at Tanaan Jungle, and a change to the Alliance garrison.

Pictures after the jump…

Tanaan Intro quest:

WoWScrnShot_041315_221602 Read More

Today, one of the latest zone that wasn’t presented to us by Blizzard yet has been revealed : Nagrand.

For the nostalgic of Outland, most of the zone could look the same but this time, without the floating islands here and there.  But changes was needed and the Highmaul Palace’s addition and Garadar’s disappearance are one of many changes that give this Nagrand his own atmosphere, a slight different from the one from Outland.


Our latest zone preview takes us into the expansive hills and rocky outcroppings of Nagrand, a verdant land located west of Talador and south of Frostfire Ridge. Here, great beasts cause the ground to quake beneath their feet, and the wolf riders of the Warsong—the legendary orc clan led by Grommash Hellscream himself—are always on the prowl. But they’re not the only ones who make this verdant land their home. We sat down with Senior Game Designer Eric Maloof and Associate Game Designer Kurt Sparkuhl to learn more.

(Check back later for music: Coming soon!)


Q. How is the Nagrand of Draenor different from the Nagrand people know from Outland? What’s the story in this zone?
Eric Maloof: I think players will find that the Nagrand of Draenor isn’t really all that different in spirit from the Nagrand of Outland. There are some obvious physical differences—for example, the floating islands aren’t there anymore—but you’ll easily be able to see where those floating islands came from. We very much wanted to respect what people really enjoyed about their experience in Nagrand in The Burning Crusade and capture that, while still providing a twist to what you’ll experience there.


You’ll be led to Nagrand by a quest you’ll receive in your Garrison that involves sending new supplies to the front. The Alliance and the Horde—not working together, of course—are trying to establish a toehold in the zone in order to take on the Warsong clan. The Warsong clan has had problems with the ogres in the past, but they’re really the top power here.

The Alliance will be working alongside characters such as Vindicator Yrel and Rangari D’kaan, Thaelin, and Hansel as they progress through the storyline. The Horde will be working alongside Thrall, Durotan, Draka, and Drek’thar—even Aggra will show up and surprise Thrall.

Kurt Sparkuhl: Players will also have the opportunity to return to the Throne of Elements. Without spoiling too much, the elemental balance has been disrupted, and the elementals upon the plateau have become unstable. It will be up to players to unravel the mystery behind the disturbance before it’s too late.

The zone is just filled to the brim with story.

One of the things that sets Nagrand apart from any other zone is the amount of character-focused stories you’ll encounter. The zone is just filled to the brim with story. There’s the main story and what’s going on in the Throne of Elements, but we’ve added in a lot of additional Easter eggs and tons of cameos and backstory on old favorites, so keep an eye out as you go through the zone. You’ll also meet a new faction here.


Q. How would you describe the zone’s ambience? What’s it like?
Kurt Sparkuhl: It feels like old Nagrand. Out of all the zones, it’s the one that’s supposed to feel the most familiar. When Draenor became Outland, Nagrand was probably the area affected least by the world breaking apart. Now you’ll see all these big canyons and rocky outcroppings all over the zone, implying that after the big explosion happened and Draenor turned into Outland, those floating islands were kind of what was left of those big ridges. There was a conscious effort to make it feel familiar to some extent, while still creating something new.

Eric Maloof: You’ll encounter a lot of new points of interest in this version of Nagrand. There are some things that are no longer there, too—Halaa and Garadar, for example, don’t exist. These were created after Outland became what it did. Highmaul takes up a large portion of the zone, and it houses a Raid instance as well. It’s massive.


Q. Which locations would you say are some of your favorites, and why?
Eric Maloof: This one’s tough. There are so many good places to choose from. I’m definitely partial to Lok-Rath. It’s located outside the main Warsong base and is the Warsong clan’s main presence in the zone. I like the story of what’s happening there and the dynamic change in the questing once you get there. Plus, it’s a beautiful Warsong location.

I also really like the Spirit Woods. In Outland, you had the Spirit Fields. In Warlords of Draenor, the Spirit Woods are what surround Oshu’gun. You get to learn more about the forces that dwell there and what they’re doing—we explain that a bit as you’re taking care of business.

…we get to see more of the backstory of the Burning Blade clan…

Kurt Sparkuhl: I think the two I like the most are Hallvalor and the Ring of Trials. Hallvalor—which became the ogre-inhabited Burning Blade Ruins in Outland—is super cool; we get to see more of the backstory of the Burning Blade clan, which we haven’t gotten to show before. We get to see how their clan operates and some of their traditions. There are some familiar faces—at least one in particular— that you’re going to get a lot of backstory on.

The great thing about the Ring of Trials is that players get to see it a bit earlier on in its existence and learn more about why it’s there and what its purpose is. It’s been built up as a sort of neutral hub, and players will be able to interact with all sorts of NPCs from all over Azeroth and Draenor—it’s pretty cool, but I don’t want to spoil too much.


Q. What outposts will players be able to build in Nagrand, and how do they impact the Garrison?
Eric Maloof: The Alliance and the Horde get the choice of two different buildings. You’ll get access to this decision early on, though your blueprints are waylaid by the Warsong at the start, so you’re going to need to recover those first. You’ll be able to build either a Corral or a Tankworks for your Garrison.

For the Corral, you’ll get either a Talbuk on the Alliance or Frostwolf on the Horde, which you can ride all the time while you’re in Nagrand—this is where mounted combat comes into play. If you build the Tankworks, the Alliance gets a Siege Engine and the Horde gets a Demolisher.


There’s plenty to see and explore in Nagrand—though we wouldn’t recommend idling too long on the road when the Warsong Outriders are making their rounds.

Ashran has been opened up for testing in the latest beta build for Warlords of Draenor. This includes the two new capital cities, Stormshield (alliance) and Warspear (horde). The island and the cities are very unfinished with terrain bugs, missing npcs and a lack of general polish. So instead of going in-depth on obviously unfinished content, here’s a brief photo-tour of the two capitals. This will specifically deal with their pvp section (the capitals are split into pvp and pve areas) as the pve areas are devoid of npcs.

Read More

After a preview a few weeks ago of Shadowmoon Valley, Nethaera gives us today another preview but this time for the starting area of the Horde, the Frostfire Ridgz.


In Warlords of Draenor, Frostfire Ridge serves as the starting zone for Horde players once they’ve endured the initial rigors of Tanaan Jungle and survived their first encounter with the Iron Horde. To take you on a journey through Frostfire’s snow-covered wastes and towering volcanoes, we cornered* Associate Game Designer/self-appointed Grand Cheese Taster Zachariah Owens and Game Designer/ Champion of Sarcasm Ryan Shwayder and “convinced” them to divulge some of the zone’s secrets.

Zone Music Piece: Magnificent Desolation


What’s the story in Frostfire Ridge?

Zachariah Owens: In a nutshell? Survive.

After a daring escape from the clutches of the Iron Horde in Tanaan Jungle, you, Thrall, and a handful of survivors run ashore on the southern banks of Frostfire Ridge.

This landing is well-timed. Soon after the crash, you are met by Durotan, youngest son of Garrad and acting chieftain of the Frostwolf clan. Unlike the other clans, the Frostwolves chose to defy the Iron Horde and refused to join their ranks. This has put them in a dangerous position, with the ogre slavers of Bladespire Fortress on one side and the beastmasters of the Thunderlord clan on the other. The Thunderlord are eager to prove themselves to the Iron Horde and will stop at nothing to eradicate the Frostwolf clan from existence.

Outnumbered and surrounded by enemies, Durotan and his Frostwolves will need all the help they can get to survive. It falls to you to quickly establish a Garrison and raise an army using whatever means necessary to aid the Frostwolves and secure a foothold in Draenor.

Oh, and of course, what Durotan doesn’t know is that Thrall is his son, not yet born in this timeline. Thrall also has a personal stake in the plight of the Frostwolves. This is a chance to meet his parents and his clan when they were in their prime: Powerful heroes bound by honor and loyalty. For Horde players, this is a chance to ride alongside some of the greatest and most iconic heroes of the Horde.

Ryan Shwayder: Beneath all of the strife and survival is an undertone of family. Thrall meeting his parents, the interaction between Durotan and Draka, and brothers who have fallen out of touch. There’s a certain humanity—orc-manity?—about the Frostwolves and others within Frostfire Ridge that really resonates throughout the story.


What is the zone like?

Zachariah Owens: Cold, merciless, and beautiful. The snow-covered landscape is broken by violent volcanoes and lakes of ice—not to mention the mountains made of spires of volcanic rock warped by years of wind and cold. Looking closely, one can see echoes of what would eventually become the Blade’s Edge Mountains in Outland.

Here we get to see what two orc clans were like before they joined the Horde. Both were shaped by this hard land, and you can see that reflected in their tactics, clothing, lifestyles, and demeanor. But you also get to see just how different two clans of orcs can be from each other despite having a shared background.

In the west stand the proud orcs of the Frostwolf clan. Led by their young chieftain, Durotan, these orcs have chosen to defy the Iron Horde and keep to their ancestral homeland. Threatened on all sides by enemies and the environment, they hold true to their bonds of clan and family.

This is also the home of the Thunderlord clan. Greatest of hunters and known for their mastery of beasts, this clan uses numbers and tactics to conquer animals of all types, from the flying rylaks to the defiant gronn. Their homes are the bones of the great colossi, ancient giants lost to the ravages of time. It’s even rumored that the mysterious Iron Wolf, Warlord of the Thunderlord, seems to have a very personal vendetta against the Frostwolves. . . .

The zone likes death,

bloodshed, and long walks

off short cliffs.

We also get a chance to meet the ogres when they were still organized and holding on to the last vestiges of their once-great empire.

In the west, the ogres of Bladespire Fortress have long sought to enslave and subjugate any orcs that dare defy them. Meanwhile, in the north, the ogres of Bloodmaul have begun to enter into negotiations with the Iron Horde, exchanging slaves and services to some dark end.

And of course, we can’t have Draenor without the infamous gronn. They and their magnaron masters control the eastern part of the zone. Part of an ancient breed, the magnaron practice dark, primal magics, and act according to an agenda they have never shared with anyone. Some claim that if the magnaron win, all of Draenor will be cast into a frozen wasteland like Frostfire Ridge.

Ryan Shwayder: The zone likes death, bloodshed, and long walks off short cliffs. It’s interested in zones with a harsh climate—a land that isn’t afraid to be itself. Its brutally honesty, or perhaps just brutal. Actually, I might have misheard the question. . . .


What are three of your favorite locations players should check out on their journey through the zone?

Zachariah Owens: Thunder’s Fall and Colossal’s Fall. These two cities are home to the Thunderlord clan and are formed in the bones of dead colossi. We wanted to show the Thunderlord as legendary hunters, and these are the places we really got to go all out with depicting that fantasy. Here you get to see them raising rylaks for air support; wrangling clefthoof for pack animals; and taming boars, birds, and even gronn—all being hunted, shackled, subjugated under the will of the Thunderlord beastmasters.

As far as other favorite locations, I have to say Bladespire Citadel is a place not to miss. This citadel is a massive structure that dominates the landscape and is one of the last remnants of the sort of power the ogre empire once wielded. This was a chance for us to really show some of the cultural differences between the ogres of the past and the lumbering oafs we know today. Everything from their fighting style to their architecture is reminiscent of their dying culture. Early in the questing experience you will get to lay siege to this fortress with an army of elite Frostwolves at your back and Thrall at your side.

This was a chance for us to

really show some of the cultural differences between the

ogres of the past and the lumbering oafs we know


But hands down one of my favorite locations is the Crackling Plains in the east. This great frozen lake is bordered by giants and beasts of every sort, often venturing their way onto the ice in search of food or worse. Here, gronn can be seen marching across the ice, hunting clefthoof or frost wolves, in turn being hunted by Thunderlord giant stalkers. Great magnaron stride out into the open slaying anything in sight, their loyal goren scavengers not far behind them to eat up what remains. Meanwhile, in many places cracks in the ice begin to form as things that were birthed in the dark deeps begin to scuttle to the surface on many, many legs. This is the place that is sure to remind you of the savagery of Draenor and the many types of giants that can be found there.


Ryan Shwayder: Let’s be honest, my co-conspirator took at a minimum four favorite locations, which leaves me only capable of listing two locations to balance things out. I saw what you did there, Zachariah!

First is Icescar Boneyard in the northwestern reaches of Frostfire Ridge. Demonic summoning circles, bones, and necromantic orcs really get the nostalgia going and highlight a cool multi-zone story arc in Warlords of Draenor.

I also really like Wor’gol because I’ve always wanted to get to know where the Frostwolves came from better. It does a great job of showing their Spartan existence in a territory harsh even by Draenor standards. I like wandering the area through the eyes of Thrall, seeing the home of his ancestors as he would.

I’m stealing back a third location. More than anything ever, I love the crap out of Ogre Hut 01 in Grimfrost Hill for its welcoming atmosphere—not unlike that of a quaint bed-and-breakfast—save for the lack of beds, breakfasts, and any real comforts of survivable living.


Tell us more about the Horde Garrison.

Zachariah Owens: In addition to providing a lot of resources for crafting or portals to capitals, the Garrison you establish at Frostwall serves as a hangout for the many followers and visitors you find in your journey. There are many nooks and crannies to explore, some of which might have a treasure or two stashed away from some unscrupulous members of your Garrison.

As you level up you get a chance to choose different buildings that best suit your needs. Each choice has weight to it, as what you decide to build will augment your abilities within the Garrison and without, altering which quest lines might be available as well as what resources you have access to in certain zones. For Frostfire, you get a Barracks that will allow you to conduct patrol missions with your Followers. On top of that, you also get the zone ability Call to Arms, which allows you to call in reinforcements from your Garrison every so often to help you take down a particularly rough group of enemies or an elite monster.

As you continue your journey through Draenor, more and more of your discoveries will find their way back to your Garrison. Rescue someone from a cage during your adventuring, and they may appear later in your Garrison expressing their gratitude in the form of unique vendor items. In some cases, they’ll offer to become a Follower. We want the Garrison to feel alive, and it’s the staging point for many of your experiences throughout the expansion. Don’t be surprised if special quest-givers or vendors appear based on activities you’ve done in the world.

Of course, not everyone who comes to your Garrison is friendly. It’s important to remember that you are building an army, one capable of rivaling the Iron Horde. As you continue to foil their plans or lead attacks against certain factions, expect retaliation. Be prepared to defend your Garrison against invasions from foes of all sorts, calling upon your Followers or reinforcements that you’ve summoned in from Azeroth. This is your Garrison, and you are the commander.
Next, our perilous journey through Draenor will take us to the treacherous jungles and unforgiving canyons of Gorgrond, where opposing primeval forces are locked in an eternal battle. Stay tuned for more!

*No designers were harmed during the making of this interview.


Blizzard just published a new preview for one of the new zone of Warlords of Draenor, the Tanaan Jungle. This region will be the fist that player discover after they went through the Dark Portal for a short time before coming back at level 100.


Warlords of Draenor sets you on a path into a brave and savage new world. It’s a chance to take hold of your heroes’ destiny and shape the Draenor of the past – and it all starts in a very dangerous place. Long before the planet was ripped apart and became Outland, Draenor was home to brutish clans of orcs who went to war across a treacherous landscape.

In primordial Tanaan, even the plants have teeth. Darkling fronds stab out at unlucky wanderers, or conceal canyons that plunge miles deep beneath the canopy – and these are far from the jungle’s worst dangers. Each day, warlords fell even wider stretches of Tanaan’s wilderness, striving to finally rend the gates of space and time for conquest unending.

Your first steps into Draenor will be within the wilds of Tanaan Jungle, where the Iron Horde has staged their assault on Azeroth. With these new attacks, you’ll be charged with leading the greatest heroes of this age in the counterstrike. This is an invasion that can’t be ignored and the Horde and the Alliance are both set on taking the offensive before it’s too late.

Your journey’s beginning in Tanaan Jungle is sure to present challenges – many of which have very sharp teeth – but it’s also where you’ll be introduced to some of the greatest orc warlords and heroes of all time. Unfortunately, the orc leaders of storied clans such as Grommash Hellscream of Warsong clan, Kilrogg Deadeye of Bleeding Hollow clan,  and Kargath Bladefist of the Shattered Hand clan aren’t going to be happy to see you. They won’t welcome you with anything other than unbridled savagery. You really shouldn’t expect anything to be on your side in this jungle.

Shutting down the Dark Portal is your first priority, but the mission may quickly go awry. Even if you do manage to seal the portal, your party will still be trapped in the middle of a hostile army. Your only option is to fight your way out! You might even be forced to accept the help of the infamous Gul’dan. Fortunately, you’ll also have luminaries such as ThrallKhadgar, and Vindicator Maraad by your side. You’ll also meet some new heroes who will take up arms for you: the brutal Frostwolf warrior Ga’nar, and a promising young draenei acolyte named Yrel.

For those newly boosted to level 90 in Warlords of Draenor your experience in Tanaan Jungle will gradually introduce you to your new class abilities and mechanics. You’ll still be able to join your friends in this new adventure while becoming acquainted with your new hero and taking on greater challenges and gaining greater rewards.

Your initial time in Tanaan Jungle will  have an impact on your journey further into Draenor, and your first foray into its depths will be the jumpstart to your many adventures to come. While your time surviving the travails of this first adventure will be fast and a bit furious, never fear, this won’t be the last you’ll see of this terribly savage place.

Blood and thunder await you!


Today, Nethaera gives us a sneak preview of the starting zone of the Alliance in Warlords of Draenor : The Shadowmoon Valley.


Hidden under a shroud of perpetual night broken only by bright starlight, the lush idyllic forests of Shadowmoon Valley are home to a majestic draenei tomb and sanctuary: Karabor. While many of Shadowmoon’s denizens study prophecy among Karabor’s ancient stone circles, plotters with darker ambitions lurk in the valley’s vast underground cave network, gazing greedily at the sacred temple.

Zone Music Piece: Eternal Night

In Warlords of Draenor, Shadowmoon Valley serves as the starting zone for Alliance players once they’ve endured the initial rigors of Tanaan Jungle and survived their first encounter with the Iron Horde. To take you on a journey through Shadowmoon’s forests, temples, and secrets, we’ve tapped one of the creative minds behind the zone, Senior Designer Helen Cheng.


What’s the story in Shadowmoon Valley?

Helen Cheng: After a daring escape from the Iron Horde in Tanaan Jungle, Alliance players crash land on the northern shores of Shadowmoon Valley.

The valley is tranquil and serene. Rolling green hills give way to lush, violet forests. Draenei temples stand proudly beneath a star-studded sky. Here, the draenei have built wonders of their civilization—the town of Elodor with its majestic Altar of Sha’tar serves as the proud home of the great Exarchs, while the shining Temple of Karabor acts as the font of all holy learning. Under Prophet Velen and Exarch Akama’s watch, all is well.

But times are changing. The Iron Horde have called the native orc clans to join their ranks. The Shadowmoon Clan, led by Warlord Ner’zhul, yearns to prove itself worthy to Grommash Hellscream. Beneath the valley’s bright moon, a dark star hangs in the sky. For centuries, the Shadowmoon have been forbidden to tap its void-touched energy . . . until now. Will Warlord Ner’zhul succeed in harnessing the star’s power to destroy the draenei and the Temple of Karabor? Or will Prophet Velen, aided by his disciple Yrel—and a few fearless heroes—be able to stop him?


Meanwhile, trouble brews amongst the Exarchs, the most powerful and influential draenei heroes. Even as they debate the future of the draenei on their adopted homeworld, there is growing evidence of a traitor among their ranks. Who can be trusted?

The night elf Wardens sense a demonic presence in the northern woods of Shadowmoon Valley. As they hunt for the source of the fel energy, a sinister truth is revealed: Gul’dan, the Destroyer of Dreams, has returned.

Most importantly, as a proven champion of the Alliance, you are charged with establishing the Alliance foothold on Draenor. The land is harsh and unforgiving, and the Iron Horde has amassed an enormous army without equal. Before you can hope to defeat them, you must build a stronghold—your Garrison—from the ground up and gather allies to face this indomitable foe.

 What are some of your favorite places within the zone?

Helen Cheng: Shadowmoon Valley is one of the most beautiful places on Draenor, with a breathtaking variety of stunning areas. I would say that the two most striking aspects of Shadowmoon Valley are the draenei and Shadowmoon orc areas.

The draenei architecture in Shadowmoon is really impressive. You get everything from a merchant town in Embaari Village to the valorous training grounds of the Exarchs in the north to the crystalline dome that is Teluuna Observatory. The draenei are cultured and sophisticated. Theirs is the pinnacle of an advanced society, and their towns and cities reflect a perfect balance of beauty and function. I really love all of the draenei locations—and there are more in other zones—but the Temple of Karabor has to be one of my favorites. The sheer size and scale of the place is incredible, and it’s remarkable to see it in its glory before the events of The Burning Crusade, which turned it into the Black Temple under Illidan’s control.


The Shadowmoon clan structures are impressive as well. The Shadowmoon were once a wise people, with a deep respect for the elements and a natural curiosity about the stars. They are natural-born leaders with a strong affinity for magic. However, since they joined the Iron Horde, Ner’zhul has strayed from the ancient ways. You can see this gradual decay reflected in their way of life. The Burial Fields is a place where the Shadowmoon traditionally bury and honor their dead. That place has become defiled and corrupted with void magic. Their ancestors, whom they once revered, are now being brutally tormented. Ner’zhul’s stronghold, Anguish Fortress, is an open-air ziggurat with a sacrificial pit in its center. In a nearby dungeon, players will see that there are more dark secrets hidden beneath this compound.

Tell us more about the Alliance garrison!

Helen Cheng: Nestled near the northern shores and with a commanding view of the main road, the Alliance Garrison location is of immense strategic importance. Prophet Velen will give the land to players as a thank-you for their deeds in the jungles of Tanaan, the intro zone. But there isn’t much time to rest—as great as the Prophet is, he needs your help. Your Garrison is awfully close to Shadowmoon territory, so be prepared to defend it.

Your Garrison will start as little more than an outpost, and your laborers will quickly run into trouble as they discover that even the forests of Draenor can be their enemy. But before long, you should have a comfortable Town Hall to call home and a Barracks that you can use to train new recruits. One of the perks of having your home base here is the ability to sound a “call to arms” anywhere in Shadowmoon, and Alliance troops will rush to your aid.

Kick your feet up – after all, the Garrison is all yours.

Could you name three of your favorite locations players should check out on their journey through the zone?

Helen Cheng: Once you’ve settled in, you should take a quick jaunt over to the town of Elodor, home of the revered Altar of Sha’tar with its stunning view of Karabor and the surrounding ocean. There you can meet the five Exarchs who act as the hand of the Prophet, guiding draenei society, and you can witness their own internal conflicts as they argue about their place in this savage land. Don’t miss the nearby Rangari Enclave, where the elite scouts of the draenei train—you won’t see mushrooms that size for another 30 years!

If you’re the adventurous type, try spelunking in Bloodthorn Cave. Don’t mind the flesh-eating pale orcs—they only kill you when provoked. Also, don’t eat the local mushrooms. They can be rather . . . potent.


We’ve heard mixed reviews about Gloomshade Grove. Some folks rave about the pristine beaches, while others are just never heard from again. If you see anything that looks like a flower, makes a sound like “mawarwaawa,” and has very sharp teeth, run away! Though it’s probably too late for you, so oh well. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

You’re probably wondering if there are any creatures on Draenor that won’t bite your head off. Try heading over to the Shimmering Mor. This enchanted forest glade is home to wild faerie dragons. Awww, they’re just so cute! No, you can’t take one home . . . oh, who are we kidding? You’ll probably find an egg or some-such to raise eventually.

Finally, don’t forget to stop by Embaari Village. This draenei merchant town is known for its delicious food and exotic wares. No trip to Shadowmoon is complete without a tasty meal and a mug of honey mead.

As with all places on Draenor, Shadowmoon Valley is filled with sights to see, adventures to be had, and savage enemies to destroy. Enjoy your journey!


Next, our voyage will take us north into the Horde starting zone of Frostfire Ridge. Stay tuned for more!