Zones you'd have handled differently

Story Forum
This is a fun thread that Handclaw started on SoL, I thought I'd bring it over.

We all have zones that we're disappointed in, or at least think could have been better. Post what you'd have changed about them here. Here's my ideas for a goblin-less Azshara:

The beginning of the zone is pretty much the same, with the Horde beginning lumber operations and the night elves fighting them.

When you get up to Lake Mennar, a naga is ordering around some murlocs. The naga drops a note from his superiors with cryptic messages about water elementals and Neptulon, foreshadowing the plan in Vashj'ir. An orc at the Orgrimmar gates sends you against the naga in Azshara's southeastern corner, near the Ravencrest Monument and surrounding areas.

You run into Duke Hydraxis battling a naga commander, and the naga overpower and kidnap him. Hydraxis begs you to find help.

One of the nagas' murloc slaves appears when you return to Orgrimmar's gates, having run away from them, and explains that the naga are testing out mind controlling powerful elementals, though he does not know why (again, foreshadowing Neptulon). He recommends you go find Arkkoroc to help save Hydraxis.

The Temple of Arkkoran has been destroyed by the Cataclysm, and Arkkoroc and his sea giant sons are fighting the naga which are also trying to kidnap him for their mind control tests. After fighting off the naga, Arkkoroc agrees to help you.

Arkkoroc, his sons, and the Hydraxian Waterlords assault the Ruins of Eldarath while you sneak in with the murloc who helped you earlier and spark a rebellion within the murloc slaves, pinning the naga between three enemies. Duke Hydraxis is freed before a Merciless One can be placed on his head, but the naga summon a giant faceless one. Arkkoroc and Hydraxis help you in the climax of the zone.

For the Kalecgos chain there wouldn't necessarily be any changes except where you first meet up with Kalec.

There'd also be some involvement at Bear's Head with the Timbermaw fighting fire elementals that have come down from Hyjal. Hamuul could appear on his way up to meet Malfurion.

I don't see any reason to change the night elf stuff leading into Ashenvale either.
Uldum. All the way.
Why does every second Alliance poster want to get rid of Goblins from Azshara...

Did you forget how boring and slow it was before we got to it?
Why does every second Alliance poster want to get rid of Goblins from Azshara...

Did you forget how boring and slow it was before we got to it?


Those 2 elves and a tent were VERY IMPORTANT to us Alliance.
Those 2 elves and a tent were VERY IMPORTANT to us Alliance.


OH NO NOT THE 2 ELVES AND THEIR TENT! WHATEVER SHALL THEY DO!

Besides pack up and move one zone over to Ashenvale...

Face it Azshara is one of the best leveling zones for the Horde now thanks to good old Goblin Engineering!

I still go and ride the rocketway when I'm bored >.>
I don't deny Azshara is fun now, it's usually the zone I go to for 1-10. That doesn't mean I like how the zone's visual and mystical appeal were completely ruined.
That doesn't mean I like how the zone's visual and mystical appeal were completely ruined.


Ruined?

OR IMPROVED!

Azshara was dead weight until it got an actual, interesting story and atmosphere with Goblins.
Now instead of 'ancient mystical boring land' we have 'ancient mystical boring land colonized by industrial refugee's and that land is now fighting back against progress!'
I think I would've used Ashenvale as a way to showcase a lot of what makes the night elves, night elves.

Maestra’s Post could showcase the Wardens. You’d help them track a powerful escaped prisoner released during the Shattering. You’d follow his tracks, defeat what leaves in his wake, and eventually hunt him down within Zoram’Gar that he had hoped to manipulate to his own ends, and overgrow the place with some druidic magic seeds to take out the Horde at the same time.

Astranaar could showcase the more standard parts of the Sentinel army, Ancients, Priestesses, Hyppogryph riders, soldiers, things like that. You could help out Tyrande lay some ambushes, go on a few bombing/shooting runs, poison some supplies, use some moon magic to purify the corrupted furbolgs and water elementals, eventually defeating Silverwind Refuge and Hellscream’s Watch.

Raynewood Tower could showcase the Cenarius part of the NEs. You’d help Ordanus fight the fire elementals, help him protect whatever the hell he has going with his daughters, plant some treants, purify some land, turn some animals against his enemies, and so on.

Forest Song would be a Dreanei fortification, led by Maraad and manned by Vindicators. I’d probably make the place the Feathermoon Stronghold of the Dreanei, by which I mean a giant, heavily defend military base. You could fight alongside Maraad and crush some orc skulls in the lumber camp. Nothing to do with Night Elves, but Dreanei need something.

The Barrow Den could showcase the druids. You’d have bears, stags, crows, moonkin, cats, etc. Haven’t really thought what they could do beyond purifying the Forest Heart.

Zone could culminate in an attack on Splintertree (which in my mind, is the Horde’s strongest base of operations within Ashenvale). A warden could assist you in taking out some key leaders, you could turn the plants within the base against the Horde, you could do a fly over with some stormcrows/hyppogryphs, shooting the place, and eventually you could lead an Ancient on a rampage within, much like in Shatterspear Vale. Tyrande would fight alongside you.

It's not much of a plot beyond "We're fighting back against the orcs", but neither is the current one, and the NEs haven't really had what made them unique be shown off in WoW yet.
True story: Azshara was supposed to be a battleground, back in the day. Then Blizzard went a different direction with BGs, and it just kinda sat there, almost entirely unused, for years. I used to love going there to chill. Now I can't stand the place.
For Duskwood, I think Raven Hill should have been completely rebuilt in the Gilnean architecture. A plotline of the Gilnean worgen trying to prove to Darkshire that they aren't feral monsters like the ones in the forest would be nice. The townspeople of Darkshire are blaming Raven Hill for things that we later learn are the fault of Abercrombie or Morbent Fel or someone.
Get Halford Ramsey involved to prove Raven Hill's innocence, you're the Wattson to his Holmes.

I'd also assimilate Deadwind Pass into Duskwood and add quests there dealing with Karazhan.
Alright..well.on topic..

I dont know if they did this since its been AGES since I went through it..

But Silithis needs to be updated. I would like to see the Might of Kalimdor forces still there start to fracture internally, issue after issue and eventually BAM! war. Cenarion Hold gets almost torn apart in the violence and abandoned by the survivors leaving the silithids to roam the land freely.

Then a handful of quests would be leading a caravan of survivors to point x (probably the border of un goro and Silithis) and are harried by both the survivors of the other faction and silithids as you try to escape the sands. You make it to the border and are met by reinforcements from your faction who have come to investigate.

The final arc would involve helping your faction secure an outpost and try to salvage anything useful from the ruins of the hold while keeping a nervous eye on AQ, the zone would end with the Silithids building up and roaming unchecked and the player sent back to their capitol city with reports as to what exactly happened and why the Cenarion Circle is royally pissed with the factions.

EDIT: Apparently it was not changed
For Darkshore, I'd expand the story of Ameth'Aran and Bashal'Aran. With Athrikus Narassin and Asterion as major zone characters, and maybe the Demon Hunter beneath the Maw of the Void could play a role too.
Well, I'd make Silithus actually relevant again somehow. Maybe have the Twilight's Hammer there trying to bring back C'thun (in Catalcysm).

I'd have Stromgarde play more of an important role in Arathi Highlands.

I wouldn't have gotten rid of Southshore. I liked the little war going on there. But I'm not too bothered by it. I know eventually one side has to win.

I also would have done more with Winterspring.
I'd replace that CSI:Miami Ripoff in Stormwind with a serious SI:7 Operative on the trail of some rumors, and Have Varian come in after the Vanessa Reveal to fight off the attack on Westfall, praise the PC for their work, then start ordering relief efforts for the homeless.
The Revamped EPL would have added a quest chain for the Ebon Blade involving turning the Scarlet Enclave into a Death Knight training area and town. Wouldn't have shown the land healing as much a little green around Lights Hope but that's it. Would have had a quest line involving Nathanos Blightcaller explaining why and how he left.
Uldum, they made it look so awesome with all the previews to it before Cata, and I enjoyed the Tol'vir story. But then Harrison Zones came and ruined it.

I'd also have actually updated Arathi, Dustwallow and Silithus.

With Arathi, start the Alliance Vs. Forsaken storyline there. And have that move throughout Hinterlands (including the Revantusk) and then back in WPL and Andorhol.

As for the zones, I don't really have much more to comment on, except for Vashj'ir. I would have finished that story.

Rest is how I would have written Deathwing.
I expected a lot more snow in Borean Tundra, oddly enough.
Uldum. All the way.


I'd keep ONE Indiana Jones reference. One.

It'd be about as long as the one in Grizzly Hills.

Y'know what would happen after the Tol'vir story ended? Air elementals would happen. They're invading Uldum. They called up their towers to launch attacks from. What, did they just give up after the Neferset didn't work out?

Creatures from the plane of air would happen, too. If Firelands has worms and dogs and spiders, and Deepholm has Lots of Various Things Made Of Rock, where are the Skywall natives who aren't just whirls of air? Stone Drakes get their lore. Why don't the wind drakes?

Al'Akir might've put in an appearance. And Brann Bronzebeard would be there. For all of it - not just for the tail end. Y'know - the significant, important character who isn't just a reference to an actor (well - apart from how all Dwarves are a little Sean Connery).

Instead, we get Harrison Jones constantly asking us, "So, did you see this movie? What about the other movie? Remember when THIS happened? And then THIS happened, oh, it was so cool! Oh, remember this part!? I loved this part!" And we also get a Goblin with a thick Country-That-Does-Not-Exist-In-WoW accent, yelling "Nine, nine, nine, nine, nine!"
I would rewrite the entire back half of Uldum for sure. Harrison Jones, gone. Pygmys, Gone. Goblin !@#$s, Gone. Budd & Co, Gone. I'd replace it with Explorer's League vs. Reliquary racing for Titan artifacts.

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