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For the zone prior to the Cataclysm, see Thousand Needles (Classic).
NeutralThousand Needles
Level: 15 - 50
Battle Pet Level: 13 - 14
Thousand Needles Cataclysm Trailer
Races TaurenTaurenGrimtotemGrimtotem Tauren
CentaurCentaur Centaur
QuilboarQuilboar Quilboar
Harpy Harpy[1]
Night elfNight elf Night elf
HumanHuman Human
GnomeGnome Gnome
GoblinGoblin Goblin
TrollTroll Troll
OrcOrc Orc
DwarfDwarf Dwarf
UndeadUndead Undead
Ruler(s) Neutral IconSmall CentaurKhan Khan Ablinh
Neutral IconSmall CentaurKhan Khan Blizh
Neutral IconSmall Troll Male Tony Two-Tusk
Neutral IconSmall Magatha Magatha Grimtotem
Alliance IconSmall Gnome Male Fizzle Brassbolts
Horde IconSmall Goblin Male Pozzik
Former ruler(s) Mob IconSmall Grimtotem Male Arnak Grimtotem †
Major settlements Neutral Razorfen Downs
Neutral Darkcloud Pinnacle
Neutral Splithoof Heights
Neutral Fizzle and Pozzik's Speedbarge
Neutral Southsea Holdfast
Neutral Twilight Bulwark
Neutral Twilight Withering
Minor settlements Horde Westreach Summit
Neutral Freewind Post
Neutral Tirth's Haunt
Neutral Twilight Aerie
Affiliation Grimtotem tribe, Galak tribe, Southsea Freebooters, Tauren tribes, Horde, Alliance, Twilight's Hammer
Location Northeastern Southern Kalimdor
PvP status Contested territory

Thousand Needles is a huge flooded canyon in Southern Kalimdor, filled with towering mesas. In the east, the canyon opens up to what was once the Shimmering Flats, where Fizzle and Pozzik's Speedbarge is located. Prior to the Cataclysm, the area was fairly peaceful for a contested territory and was considered to have its own harsh beauty. However, the entire zone was flooded in the Shattering and is now in turmoil.

Many residents, such as the centaur clans, have been wiped out entirely. The iconic Great Lift has been destroyed, while the Alliance outpost of Thalanaar on the Feralas border has been flooded and its residents moved to higher ground. Meanwhile the Southsea Pirates have gained a foothold in Southsea Holdfast, and the Twilight's Hammer cult controls several areas formerly of little interest or inaccessible altogether. The Horde forces of Freewind Post and the new Westreach Summit are now in a struggle for survival.

Even after the Shattering, most of the towering spires have camps, sometimes even entire towns built on them.[2] The twisting rock tower needles were cut and sharpened over centuries by water.[3]


Thousand Needles current

Thousand Needles flooded.

Exploring Azeroth - Thousand Needles

From Exploring Azeroth: Kalimdor.

The druid Quentin has speculated that the drastic difference in climate between the arid Thousand Needles and the neighboring Feralas jungle is the result of strange magic.[4]

World of Warcraft[]

WoW Icon update This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

The high mesas of the Thousand Needles are home to a large number of tauren. With the help of the Horde, the tauren of Freewind Post fought back against local centaur and the Grimtotem tribe. The Shimmering Flats in the southeast part of the region were the home of the world-famous Mirage Racetrack, where gnomes and goblins raced their respective rocket cars in order to settle the question of which race had better engineering—at least until the next race.

During the Ahn'Qiraj War, the area was invaded by the armies of C'Thun.


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

Upon Deathwing's return, the Cataclysm flooded this zone, turning the Shimmering Flats into a lake called the Shimmering Deep. Wreckage of the speedway can be found scattered throughout the area. Fizzle Brassbolts and Pozzik, a gnome and a Bilgewater Cartel goblin respectively, built Fizzle and Pozzik's Speedbarge in the middle of the Shimmering Deep. Although they did work together to create this mishmash island, the passive hostility between the Horde and the Alliance at the Speedbarge causes frequent bar fights.


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

During the Burning Legion's third invasion, the demons attacked the Needles, especially the home of the Grimtotem tribe, forcing Magatha Grimtotem ask the Earthen Ring for help.

Exploring Azeroth[]

WoW-novel-logo-16x62 This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

After the Fourth War, Southsea Pirates and the Grimtotem tauren continue to attack, and it is a struggle for the Horde to keep its footing in the area.[3] When Rexxar and Zekhan were visiting the area, they had to be careful not to be spotted by Grimtotem scouts. While there, Zekhan gathered liferoot and stranglekelp, and encountered wild wyverns.[5]

Getting there[]

ThousandNeedles 070910 013926 - Great Lift - Kirkburn 12319

The Great Lift is no longer an option when traveling to or from Thousand Needles.

Thousand Needles flooded

The results of the Cataclysm dominate the landscape.

Thousand Needles is accessible on foot from Feralas in the west, Tanaris in the south, and Southern Barrens in the north. Most players wishing to quest in this area will be sent here through bread crumb quests and be given a free flight from Feralas or Dustwallow Marsh to Darkcloud Pinnacle.

The path between Thousand Needles and the Barrens is currently overrun with quilboar, having been pushed to the brink of annihilation between the Alliance and Horde persecution and Mankrik's retribution. These mobs are relatively low level for the surrounding zones (in the 20s), so the path is not difficult to clear. Although the Great Lift has been ruined, there is plenty of water to cushion the fall for those interested in traveling by foot. Bear in mind, of course, the reduced mount speed in water will make travel annoyingly slow. It is best to follow the prescribed quests unless one has a flying mount.

Bread Crumb Quests[]



Thousand Needles contains one dungeon, Razorfen Downs.

Maps and subregions[]

VZ-Thousand Needles

Map of Thousand Needles.

VZ-Thousand Needles-old1

Map of Thousand Needles prior to Cataclysm.

Removed locations

Lore locations

Travel hubs[]

Freewind Post

Freewind Post.

There are only two flight paths in Thousand Needles, one is the Horde-aligned Westreach Summit and the other is the flight path on Fizzle and Pozzik's Speedbarge. However, Alliance travelers can use the nearby New Thalanaar flight path to the west to help them navigate the zone.

Horde Flight paths from Westreach Summit[]

Adjacent regions[]

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Southern Barrens HordeAlliance 25 - 60 North By foot or Horde flightpaths from Freewind Post to Desolation Hold or Hunter's Hill.
Feralas HordeAlliance 35 - 60 West By foot or Horde flightpath from Freewind Post to Camp Mojache.
Dustwallow Marsh HordeAlliance 35 - 60 Northeast By foot or flightpath.
Tanaris HordeAlliance 40 - 60 Southeast By foot or Horde flightpath from Freewind Post to Gadgetzan.

Notable characters[]

I'm still on a boat

The Speedbarge.

Main article: Thousand Needles NPCs

The Thousand Needles are home to several characters of note. At Freewind Post, Cliffwatcher Longhorn seeks aid in the battle against the evil Grimtotem Clan. At the Weathered Nook, Dorn Plainstalker attempts to teach members of the Horde about Faith, Endurance, and Strength. Where Kravel Koalbeard once sent bold adventurers around the world in search items that will give him personal gain in his bets at the gnome and goblin races at Mirage Raceway, Fizzle Brassbolts and Pozzik now have their boat.


Main article: Thousand Needles storyline
See also: Thousand Needles questing guide

All quests in the zone are level 40-45. There is a neutral quest hub on Fizzle and Pozzik's Speedbarge, but overall the Horde is favored much as it was pre-Cataclysm.


Shimmering Flats

The Shimmering Flats prior to the flooding.

Wild creatures[]

Highperch from above (Cataclysm)

Even Highperch, home to the wyverns, was not left untouched by the flooding.

Main article: :Category:Thousand Needles mobs

In the RPG[]

Icon-RPG This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Before the Great Sundering, the region of the Thousand Needles was a river canyon, the spires of sandstone shaped from years of rushing water. Water flowed to the sea from a large lake to the east, fed by an underground tributary. Then came the demons and the destruction that threw the entire world into upheaval. The canyon was thrust above the water table; the eastern lake dried up and became a vast salt flat and Thousand Needles became a sandy gorge. Thousand Needles rises south of Dustwallow Marsh and serves as a channel to Desolace to the west or the Tanaris Desert to the South.[6]

The long canyon stands as a natural divide between central and southern Kalimdor. The realm gets its name from the dozens of giant, cylindrical columns of sandstone that rise from the bottom of the canyon like a forest. Bridges have been constructed atop many of the spires, connecting pathways across the canyon from one side of the surrounding mountains to the other. To the east of Thousand Needles, the canyon opened into a large, dry lakebed known as the Shimmering Flats prior to the massive flooding. This dried-out salt flat was actually below sea level. At its center stood an alkaline lake with ten times the salt of any ocean. This sere region was so hot, dry and salty that few creatures ventured here. Lizards, scorpions, vultures, and birds of prey were not uncommon, nor were centaur war bands. A contingent of goblins mined for oil in the Scorched Basin. The spire bridges allowed travelers to traverse the canyon without running into the barbaric centaur who patrolled the canyon floor. Even then the bridges were not entirely safe, however, as birds of prey would attack the unwary. Larger birds were even known to sabotage the bridges from time to time. There was very little of interest in this land, unless someone had a passion for salt or sandstone... or oil.[6]

Notes and trivia[]

  • Dead Whale Sharks can be seen on the floor of the Shimmering Deep in the game. A living whale shark appeared in Traveler: The Spiral Path.
  • According to Nyse, the South Seas poured into the Thousand Needles, flooding it. Traveler: The Spiral Path says it was the Great Sea.
  • According to Makasa, traveling from the Feralas border to Gadgetzan along the coast of the Cataclysm-flooded Thousand Needles by foot would take approximately two weeks.[7]
  • Standing on what is now Thousand Needles lakefloor just before the flood would get the player moved to the nearest graveyard.
  • Thousand Needles once played an important if small part in all characters' progression, as the Shimmering Flats was the only place to obtain the Inv misc food 54 [Carrot on a Stick], which gave a slight mounted speed increase. This later evolved into the craftable Inv misc crop 02 [Riding Crop] before the mechanic was phased out of the game in Wrath of the Lich King.
  • This area was planned to be available in the Southern Barrens warfront.


For a gallery of pre-Shattering Thousand Needles, see Thousand Needles (Classic).

Fan art


Patch changes[]

  • Legion Patch 7.3.5 (2018-01-16): Level scaling implemented, previous zone level: 40 - 45.


External links[]

Thousand Needles Warfront