Whiteboarding: Capital City Refreshes

Train of Thought:

  • Step 1: Stormwind and Orgrimmar are pretty cool, but Suramar is the best city design ever.
  • Step 2: Suramar has World Quests, and World Quests are pretty dope.
  • Step 3: Suramar, like SW/ORG, has an instance nestled inside it.
  • Step 4: So what if we took faction capitals and expanded them to have level-scale-able World Quests and an instance?
  • Step 5: What if this was the catalyst for reworking the draenei and blood elf starting zones/capital cities to be flyable?
  • Step 6: Hey weekly event cycling is a cool way to keep content fresher longer, why not do that for these instances?


New Area: The Rafters. This is a new area situated above the current Tinker Town quarter, containing more of the gnomes’ workshop and mechanized production. Also includes the tunnel to the Ironforge Airfield. World quests would include assisting in gnomish experiments, and literally putting out fires because sometimes gnome stuff blows up.

New Area/Instance: Steelcut Granaries. Entered via the Wetlands entrance to Ironforge. Connected to the city via tunnels (which are collapsed b/c the Shattering, so there are gnome-maintained teleporters to access it from the city).

  • The open-world Steelcut Granaries area is a prelude to the 5-player instance. World quests include aiding in beer-brewing, breadmaking, repairing the trams that ferry in supplies from the mountainside farms overlooking the Wetlands, and countering the recruiting/sabotage efforts of the Fel Iron cult.
  • The instance dungeon version would involve the party rescuing the granaries from a large-scale invasion by the Fel Iron cult, including fights against a crew of fel-corrupted defense golems, a Felbrew Alemental, and the leader of the cult himself, renegade brewmaster Barfus Groghammer. (Abilities include Corrupted Keg Smash, Breath of Foul Fire, and Ramhorn Palm.)

The Exodar

The ship has been repaired and floats above the Azuremyst Isles, preparing for departure to join the Army of the Light and the front lines of the war against the Legion. A refugee camp has grown in the shadow of the ship, and the mountainside where the ship previously rested has become a quarry.

New Area: Refugee Camp Endurance. This is the camp situated in the shadow of the Exodar, where refugees from all over Azeroth have gathered in search of the Prophet Velen’s guidance. The draenei have taken it on themselves to aid the refugees in building fortifications to defend themselves, in addition to helping them learn trades to help them survive. World quests, consequently, center on the theme of teaching cooking and fishing (among other professions) to the refugees, as well as rendering first aid. In addition, draenei archaeologists are investigating more of the night elf artifacts and ruins that pepper the islands (because really what is THIS night elf boondoggle?)

New Area/Instance: The Arcatraz. Because the Exodar requires some hard-to-find parts in order to regain the ability to travel through dimensions, the Sha’tar have agreed to park the Arcatraz on Azeroth in order to facilitate transferring those parts to the Exodar. The Arcatraz floats off the coast of Azuremyst Isle, a short flight from where the Exodar hovers.

  • During non-active weeks, the Arcatraz is a small questing area, containing world quests centered on escorting newly-arrived prisoners, moving equipment for transfer to the Exodar, and dealing with minor prisoner disturbances.
  • During active weeks, the Arcatraz comes under attack from a Legion strike team attempting to break out the prisoners en masse in order to wreak havoc. The party faces off against both the rioting prisoners and the Legion strike commander in order to bring the prison back under control.


New Area: The Green Reaches. To better facilitate traffic with Alliance airships, the night elves have begun growing new structures on the outer boughs of Teldrassil as a kind of sky harbor. This has also become a proving ground for rookie druids attempting to earn their wings, a centralized location for hippogryph rookeries, and an attempt by the Gilneans to create a new home for themselves outside of the Howling Oak. World quests would center on adapting Gilnean recipes for kaldorei tastes, carp-fishing in the waters around Teldrassil, and rendering first aid to participants in underground worgen fight clubs.

New Area/Instance: The Heartwood. An extensive network of barrows that grant access to the Heart of Teldrassil has become a center of activity as the night elves and their worgen neighbors combat lingering elements of the Emerald Nightmare’s corruption within the world tree.

  • The open-world Heartwood area, accessed from an entrance near the Banethil Barrow Den, acts a prelude to the Heartwood instance. World quests include tending to sleeping druids, sniffing out camouflaged satyr infiltrators (literally, they turn you into a Gilnean Mastiff to do this), and transporting “fertilizer” to the surface (lol it’s a poop quest, crow so funny).
  • During active weeks, the instanced Heartwood becomes a battleground between night elf and worgen druids and a large-scale invasion by satyrs led by Saturnicus Gloomhoof. Enemy forces leveraged by Gloomhoof include a pack of fel-corrupted furbolg (the Felfur?) and a Nightmare-infused fragment of the Heart of Teldrassil itself, named Xyloss the Jaded Heart.

Horde cities later, hands are tired.





5 thoughts on “Whiteboarding: Capital City Refreshes

  1. This is actually fantastic. Spread out population to other lesser used cities, and it’s a clever way of exploring the functions of said areas, like with Ironforge’s brewery–that’s really neat. Only thing I would say is that maybe they should add a more comprehensive portal system in all participating cities, or at least when events are up. I think I was talking with someone about this two days ago, but not to this extent.

    Oh, put like a shooting WQ in the tram. A flying race through Ironforge on something that would make sense–that ring shape is so perfect, it could have checkpoints that dip into the channels or in the passages at the ceiling. AHH OTHER THINGS HAVE TO GO TO WORK.

    • I feel like the couple times they’ve done races in the game, they’ve been either super buggy (Netherwing drake races) or kinda easy to cheese (cloud serpent races). I wouldn’t be against giving it another try, but I say that without knowing the actual technical hurdles involved.

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