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Azeroth before...


Azeroth after

The list of world changes in Patch 4.0.3a, "The Shattering", is extensive — the old world has changed drastically as a result of the Cataclysm.

Documented changes[]

Main article: Patch 4.0.3a

Azeroth Shattered[]

  • Deathwing's return has had an immeasurable impact throughout the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. Players will notice drastically altered terrain, thousands of new quests from levels 1-55, and updated level ranges for some zones to improve the questing flow.


Main article: Patch 4.0.3a (undocumented changes)
  • Most unimplemented terrain between zones has been filled for a seamless flying experience, with new mountains, lakes inaccessible by foot, and other filler terrain introduced. Rough jarring shifts in textures in areas not supposed to be accessible by foot have been smoothed over.
  • Hero's Call Boards and Warchief's Command Boards have appeared in capital cities.
  • Mailboxes have been added to starting areas, allowing newly created characters to easily access heirloom items.

Flight Paths[]

See also: Flight path

Alliance Alliance[]

Note: You can now fly directly to the Azuremyst Isle and Bloodmyst Isle. You don't need to use a ship anymore (assuming you already know the fligth paths there).

New flight paths[]

Eastern Kingdoms:


Removed flight paths[]

Eastern Kingdoms:


Starting flight paths[]

Horde Horde[]

New flight paths[]

Eastern Kingdoms:


Removed flight paths[]

Eastern Kingdoms:

Starting flight paths[]

Neutral Neutral[]

New flight paths[]

Eastern Kingdoms:


Removed flight paths[]

Eastern Kingdoms:








  • The old, inaccessible Mount Hyjal zone has been replaced with the new level 80-82 zone (unreachable until the Cataclysm expansion). As such, the Mail gmicon [No Man's Land] debuff has been lifted.

Ahn'Qiraj: The Fallen Kingdom[]

  • Unimplemented terrain south of Ahn'Qiraj has been removed, and the new coast goes directly around the cliffs surrounding Ahn'Qiraj. The coastal cave still remains.



Azuremyst Isle[]





  • A new expanse of grassland and forest, the Cenarion Wildlands, has come to life in the middle of the zone.


Dustwallow Marsh[]

  • A new road has been built connecting Theramore Keep directly to the Southern Barrens.

The Exodar[]

  • The flight path has been moved to inside the city, next to the ramp across from the bank.
  • Flight paths from the draenei starting areas are now connected to the rest of Kalimdor instead of being restricted to a path between Exodar and Blood Watch.
  • Now has a Hero's Call Board located between the bank and the auction house.
  • There is now a portal to Darnassus located next to the portal to Blasted Lands.



Northern Barrens[]



Southern Barrens[]

Stonetalon Mountains[]



  • The old Rut'theran Village has been ripped away from the mainland and is now an island. It now has 3 docks.
  • Dolanaar now has a flight path.
  • Mage trainers have been added to Dolanaar and Shadowglen.
  • Tree models have been updated with higher quality ones.

Thousand Needles[]

  • Most of the zone (with the exception of the mesas and Highperch) has been flooded, with the former elevations now sticking as islands amid the new sea.
  • The Twilight Hammer has set foot on the zone, creating the Twilight Aerie, the Twilight Withering and the Twilight Bulwark
  • A huge ship is now located in the zone, serving as a quest hub for both alliance and horde


Eastern Kingdoms[]

VZ-Eastern Kingdoms-old2


VZ-Eastern Kingdoms-old3



  • The inaccessible land west of Burning Steppes has been replaced by water. Intentionally or not, it means that it now matches the Deeprun Tram, which passes underwater between Stormwind and Ironforge. The split continues further west as a rift in the crust between Dun Morogh and Searing Gorge, and then between Badlands and Loch Modan.
  • The inaccessible land east of Burning Steppes has similarly been replaced by water.
  • The Ruins of Gilneas zone has been added to the main world.

Alterac Mountains[]

Arathi Highlands[]


  • The passage to Loch Modan has been blocked by the new rift running the length of the Eastern Kingdoms
  • A new goblin port, Fuselight-by-the-Sea, has been built on the east coast
  • A new goblin town, Fuselight, has been built inland of Fuselight-by-the Sea
  • Deathwing has formed the Scar of the Worldbreaker, obliterating much of the central portion of the zone
  • Kargath has been destroyed; New Kargath built to replace it
  • A new Alliance foothold, Dragon's Mouth built between New Kargath and the Scar of the Worldbreaker
  • Titan ruins uncovered south of Uldaman, with a new Horde camp, Bloodwatcher Point at the ruins' southern end

Blasted Lands[]

Burning Steppes[]

  • The zone has been (partially) updated with new high-resolution textures.

The Cape of Stranglethorn[]

Dun Morogh[]

  • The north path leading to Gnomeregan has been buried by an avalanche.
  • The Ironforge Airfield now shows its subzone name when flying over it.
  • Charred mountains have extended farther into the sea just south of Newman's Landing.
  • The inaccessible valley west of the Gnomeregan gate has been fleshed out and filled with trees. It still has no gameplay purpose.


  • Raven Hill is now a worgen settlement with a flight master and Gilnean tents.

Eastern Plaguelands[]

  • The plague has partially regressed, roughly to the level of pre-Cataclysm Western Plaguelands. Water has appeared again in formerly dried basins.
  • The patch of land around Light's Hope Chapel is now green and plague-free, and has been reinforced with walls.
  • Argent Crusade banners are seen prominently through the zone, including the four PvP towers and the new Light's Hope Chapel.

Elwynn Forest[]

Hillsbrad Foothills[]



Loch Modan[]

Northern Stranglethorn[]

  • Tree models have been updated.
  • A whirlpool now separates this zone from The Cape of Stranglethorn.
  • Zul'Gurub has been removed as a raid instance. It is now a non-instanced quest hub.

Redridge Mountains[]

Searing Gorge[]

Silverpine Forest[]

  • The zone has been updated with new high-resolution textures.
  • Pyrewood Village and the Greymane Wall have been updated to use Gilnean architecture. Pyrewood Village is now connected by a bridge to the shattered gate of the Greymane Wall.
  • The Forsaken buildings have been updated to the new Northrend-style Forsaken architecture.

Stormwind City[]

  • The entire city has received a graphic update with new high-resolution textures. Areas formerly clipped have been implemented with the advent of flying in Azeroth.
  • The Park has been destroyed.
  • A new park-like green area around the new Stormwind Lake, along with a cemetery, has opened behind the Cathedral of Light. There is now a statue of Uther the Lightbringer in front of the Cathedral.
  • Fountains in the city now actually contain water.
  • The Command Center and SI:7 no longer have narrow corridors leading to them, and are now located on a green meadow outside the Old Town. Oddly enough, the locations of the two buildings have been swapped. The Command Center now also has hunter trainers and Justice/Valor Point vendors inside it; Master Wood has been moved outside.
  • The entrance to Stormwind Keep has been revamped, and now features a statue of Varian Wrynn and overlooking balconies.
  • Dragon claw marks are visible on the two towers at the end of the Valley of Heroes. Danath Trollbane's statue has been damaged by Deathwing's attack; its upper portion has been pulled out of the water and is now lying on the dock, surrounded by construction workers.
  • The boat that previously connected Stormwind Harbor to Auberdine now goes to Rut'theran Village.
  • Genn Greymane now stands next to Varian Wrynn in the throne room.
  • The old empty tavern in the Dwarven District has been replaced with water. There is now a new functional inn with an innkeeper and a sign saying The Golden Keg. There is also a new auction house here, and the formerly empty stone building with columns has been turned into a new bank.
  • The back of the Dwarven District now leads into a new outdoors farm area, the Stormwind City Outskirts.
  • The left portion of the Cathedral of Light interior, which formerly contained paladin trainers, has been removed.
  • The Mage Quarter has a straighter path through it.
  • The original bank and auction house in the Trade District have been revamped.
  • There is now a riding trainer next to Dungar Longdrink, the flight master.
  • The Eastern Earthshrine, a new small island with portals surrounded by a lake, has been added to the north of Stormwind Keep. It functions as the portal hub for the Cataclysm zones.

Swamp of Sorrows[]

  • A new goblin town with a dock, with no subzone name, has been added to northern Misty Reed Strand.
  • A new pirate camp has appeared south along the coast.
  • A new human settlement without a subzone name has been added to the north of the Temple of Atal'Hakkar.
  • The lake surrounding the Temple of Atal'Hakkar has turned into a sea gulf.
  • The Harborage has been reinforced with draenei fortifications, and now has a flight master.
  • A new road now connects the zone to Redridge Mountains.

Tirisfal Glades[]

  • The inaccessible valley west of Deathknell has been replaced with a lake and trees, although the zone map displays that area as mountains.
  • The Ruins of Lordaeron have been redesigned with the advent of flying mounts in Azeroth.
  • Brill has been updated for the new, Northrend-style Forsaken architecture.
  • The Bulwark gate has been reinforced, and also uses the new Forsaken architecture.


Western Plaguelands[]

  • Parts of the zone have been reclaimed from the plague, and are now blooming with green again.
  • Andorhal has been partially rebuilt, but split into two sections, a human one and a Forsaken one.
  • Hearthglen has been claimed by the Argent Crusade.



Shattrath City[]

  • Portals to old-world capitals have been removed and replaced with new class trainers.



  • Portals to the major cities have been removed and replaced with new class trainers.

Artifacts of the old world[]

  • Before you enter the Deeprun Tram from Stormwind, a short ramp was added. When you enter the actual Tram though and look back through the instance portal you just came through, you can see the old entrance from Stormwind instead of the newly-added ramp.
  • In the trade district, between the Cheese shop and the run to the Gryphon Master there are trees seemingly growing from the rooftops, with no space for the trunks.

See also[]