There have been some changes to Durotar. The most notable are the relocation of the zeppelins of Undercity and Stranglethorn Vale, and that of Borean Tundra. These are now within Orgrimmar on the upper levels in the back of the Valley of Strength.
The Horde’s Kor’kron Deathbringers are now fighting the Burning Blade Fanatics outside the entrance to the Skull Rock cave. The goblins built a port at Bladefist Bay, just east of the Skull Rock cave; and a massive Goblin ship is seen there.
Important to note, that all the exterior of Orgrimmar is filled with tents and machinery. Lots of laborers, overseers, and archers. Furthermore, all these NPCs are tagged as Dranosh’ar archers, Dranosh’ar Laborers, and so on.
The Cataclysm didn’t leave Durotar unscathed. The Tirigarde Keep was hit by a tsunami. You can see the northern shore near Tirigarde has deep marks on the sand as a memory of a massive wave that hit the coast and reached deep into the in-land. All the Kul’Tiras fleet is now wrecked ships laying ashore on the beach and in-land. That Tsunami is probably how the Thunder Ridge and the now Southfury Watershed got submerged underwater.
The Northwatch Expeditionary Force have taken Tirigarde Keep. You can see Kul’Tiras Marine corpses still on the ground. Occassionally, the Northwatch Marines will kneel and sob before a corpse. Lieutenant Palliter is now at the Keep, instead of Lieutenant Benedict who used to have the key to the chest that contained Admiral Proudmoore’s letter…
Most of the western coast of Durotar is partially underwater. The Razormane still inhabit the area, nevertheless. This area, west of Razor Hill is now known as the Southfury Watershed.
Remember Misha Tor’kren at the farmstead northwest of Razor Hill? The quest was titled Lost but Not Forgotten. Her house is partially destroyed, and her farmstead is underwater. She’s not anywhere to be seen. She’s replaced by Grandmatron Tekla.
The Thunder Ridge made its debut in Warcraft III: Frozen Throne with the orc map campaign featuring Rexxar and Chen Stormstout sent there to retrieve reagents. They got a bit toasted by local Thunder Lizards in the attempt. In World of Warcraft, we used to go here to kill that dreadful level 12 goblin warlock Fizzle Darkclaw and his burning blade acolytes, of course, after facing some of these electrifying Thunder Lizards.
After the Cataclysm, Thunder Ridge is now completely underwater. Now all you see in the depths is several Drowned Thunder Lizards; and golden stonefish swimming back and forth. Curiously, the corpse of Fizzle Darkclaw is still there, and he still has his hand. The mission was to get his claw.
Some of the low level quests may have changed drastically, not just due to the physical repercussions of the Cataclysm, and the tsunami that submerged half of Durotar, but because simply continuity dictates that some things are no more. After thwarting the plans of the Kolkar centaur, near the Valley of Trials, they no longer reside in the area. Now the Northwatch Expedition Force is where the centaur tents used to be, and have a small post by the beach.
In other areas, continuity didn’t affect much other enemy races. The Razormane still inhabit Durotar, and surprisingly the Harpies continue to live in the Drygulch Ravine and Razorwind Canyon — so close to Orgrimmar and Razor Hill.
It will be interesting to play Durotar to find out how much the low level quests have been changed. Personally, I like the Echo Isles, and the changes to Orgrimmar. The city looks so different, and its valleys are completely redesigned with so much detail. There is a back alley at the Valley of Honor that leads straight into Azshara into a goblin area. More as I continue exploring.
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