Remaking a World: Continuity in Warlords of Draenor

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in Novels, Story-Forum, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Recently, Community Manager Bashiok made a post on the official story forums, a place normally devoid of blue posts. He responded a thread called “Big Continuity Issue:Zangarmarsh,Blade’s Edge”(sic), where a poster named Gartherix brought up how Draenor as it is set to appear in Warlords of Draenor differs significantly from how it was presented it past lore, such as World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden. Bashiok clarified many of these discrepancies, and explained how they will be addressed. As it’s a rather long set of posts, I’ll leave the information from the thread in that link if you wish to peruse it.

This got me thinking, why not go through everything we know about Draenor as it will appear, and compare it with Outland today. Let’s see how the continuity between Draenor and Outland has been maintained so far.

The two zones that have the most details known are of course Shadowmoon Valley and Frostfire Ridge. While Frostfire merged with Gorgrond to form the Blade’s Edge mountains, its mostly unknown territory in Outland, so we’ll save that for when more details on Gorgrond have come about.

Here is Shadowmoon as it is set to appear in Warlords of Draenor:
WorldMap-Shadowmoon_Valley_(Warlords_of_Draenor)

And here is Shadowmoon Valley today in Outland:
WorldMap-ShadowmoonValley

Aside from the obvious fel corruption and being a floating chunk in the Twisting Nether, there are several noticeable differences. In Outland’s Shadowmoon Valley, there are the following draenei settlements and/or ruins:
-Karabor/The Black Temple
-Coilksar Point
-Eclipse Point
-Baa’ri
-Altar of the Sha’tar
-Illidari Point

And the following orc settlements and/or ruins:
-Legion Hold
-Dragonmaw Fortress
-Warden’s Cage
-Shadowmoon Village

In Draenor Shadowmoon we have for Draenei settlements:
-Karabor
-Teluuna Observatory
-Unnamed really big town in the south
-Possibly several small camps based on the flight path icons, but too little is known about them to make any judgment for this article

And the orc settlements are:
-Grommar
-Gar’mak Quarry
-Shaz’gul
-Shadowmoon Overlook

So as you can see, the settlements really don’t match up. However, there is an explanation for many of them, though some require a little bit of conjecture and educated guessing though.

Wildhammer Stronghold in Shadowmoon Valley was built atop the remains of an unnamed orc settlement, this would line up perfectly with Shaz’gul. Likewise, Coilskar Point and Altar of the Sha’tar are located right where Grommar and their war-path to Karabor are now. Grommar and Gok’mar Quarry are clearly creations of the Iron Horde, so their absence in the original timeline is no issue. Thus we can draw that in the alternate timeline, Coilskar and Sha’tar have been destroyed by the Iron Horde.

Legion Hold is in roughly the same spot as Shadowmoon Overlook, which would clear them up. Shadowmoon Village in Outland does not use Mag’har architecture, so we can assume it was made by the modern Horde expedition from Azeroth. Likewise, Eclipse Point matches up just fine with the currently unnamed draenei town on the Shadowmoon map. Warden’s Cage and Dragonmaw Fortress use the same architectural style of Hellfire Citadel, which suggests they were built after the original Horde formed, after the time Garrosh arrives on Draenor.

Baa’ri is located right in the middle of that Iron Horde warpath seen on the Draenor Shadowmoon map, so it is almost certainly destroyed, and Teluuna Observatory lies atop the mountain which in the main timeline was turned into a volcano by Gul’dan. Teluuna’s fate is quite obvious given that context.

So, with a closer look, it seems everything is accounted for, except oddly enough, Illidari Point. On Draenor’s version of Shadowmoon Valley, there is nothing but mountains there. However this is only a zone map of Shadowmoon, one that isn’t even finished at that. Smaller details do tend to get overlooked on these maps, so perhaps there is a draenei settlement of some sort there, or perhaps the Shadowmoon Clan has destroyed it in this timeline. We’ll have to wait for the beta to know for certain.

All in all, the continuity between Draenor and Outland does not seem to be as bad as Gartherix and others have feared. Once more information on Draenor’s zones becomes available expect some follow up posts comparing them to Outland as well.

Ian Bates

WoW lore fan, aspiring writer, video game player, fish keeper, maybe employee of Blizzard one day I hope?

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