WoW: Are the designers secretly working on Azeroth 3.0?


What many WoW fans like about the online role-playing game is the (probably best described as) clunky charm of the game world. Azeroth is angular, edgy, misshapen, sometimes not sexy at all. But still, the comic book-esque style is a big feature of the game, and at the same time of the whole Warcraft series. If you want to indulge in the original charm of low polygon counts and flat textures, WoW Classic gives you ample opportunity to do so.

In modern WoW, on the other hand, the inclined player has to look a bit closer, because the upheavals of the Cataclysm did not leave many stones on top of each other. As such, WoW Classic offers players Azeroth v.1.0, while modern WoW lays Azeroth v2.0 at the feet of fans. But ... are the designers of World of Warcraft (buy now €14.99 ) actually secretly working on an Azeroth v.3.0?

In the works since Warlords of Draenor

WoW fan and gamer Brian "TheSmall" Packer (and other people, of course) has noticed a few details over the years, which he posted on the MMO Champion forums in response to another fan who misses the old look of Orgrimmar, Stormwind, and more.

Packer's theory: World of Warcraft designers have actually been "secretly" working on a way to rebuild Azeroth on the fly and in HD since Warlords of Draenor. The "secretly" is in quotes, by the way, because these hints of an HD rebuild can be seen by any observant player in Azeroth.

"They've been gradually finding "efficient" ways to quickly rebuild the entire old world with HD assets since Warlords of Draenor," Packer said. And then we'll leave it to him and his detailed as well as plausible post to prove it.

Azeroth 3.0? Plausible!

You'll find plenty of Night Elf assets in the Forest of Arden Source: buffed With the Kul Tiranians came a lot of newly designed human assets to the game Source: buffed

  • In Warlords of Draenor, the developers have begun the "HD-fication" of WoW, with assets for Humans, Orcs, Alliance, Horde, Draenei, and Ogres. In Gorgrond, you'll find many "life" assets. Packer finds that Frostfire Ridge and Talador, among others, looked quite sparsely equipped compared to the Garrisons and Shadowmoon Vale.
  • In the Tanaand Jungle and Legion, there are plenty of Fel assets, but also Elven and Naga assets in Suramar, Azsuna, and Val'Sharah. Tauren assets are plentiful in Hochberg. Assets for the Army of Light came with Argus, while the class halls gave designers the opportunity to work on various items. Helya and Odyn, Packers said, have already shown us Shadowlands assets at this point.
  • In Battle for Azeroth, there were many items for jungle, desert, pirate , naval, and desert settings in addition to troll assets. Drustvar offer many gothic looks, Mechagon and Giant Flea bring enough tinker material for goblins and gnomes for years to come. Arathi and Darkcoast have been beefed up, as have Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin - with HD, of course. There's plenty of titan architecture and, according to Packers, a strangely detailed Klingeneber area in Stormsang Valley, though that area wasn't really given any real story. Then there's minor updates to dwarves and blood elves since BfA (because of the Tradition armor), tons of twilight and void assets, and lots of miscellaneous items from island expeditions.

It's all there!

With Shadowlands, we now have a very extensive Undead kit in Maldraxxus and, some may have noticed, new skeletons for animals. There's Night Elf stuff for Aeons in Ardenwald, and it looks similar in Revendreth for Worgen. "And then there's the midwayer assets that I'm most interested in," Packer said. That's because, in his opinion, Arcane and Order, two of the six cosmological forces of WoW lore, are still the least represented in HD assets so far.

WoW: Official video preview of mega dungeon Tazavesh World of Warcraft from€14.99

The Shadowmoon Valley is dedicated to the Draenei Source: Blizzard

"So take all of this and all of the scattered model and creature upgrades since WoD, and you can see how great the effort is. I can't think of a zone in the Eastern Kingdoms or Kalimdor that couldn't be quickly reshaped with existing models, and with only as much new development as would be needed in a standard expansion set. "We also have sets for the six 'warring' cosmological powers that seem to desperately need access to a battlefield," Packer concludes. He goes even further and assumes that a new expansion could take place in the "old" world because of all these technological advances, without the need to add a new continent.

The cosmic powers could pour themselves neatly into Kalimdor and the Eastern Realms. "Instead, the cosmic powers will claim some territories for themselves while we get the biggest open-world sandbox an MMO can possibly offer, turning all of Azeroth into an adventure where everyone can fight for everyone else to balance the cosmic powers vying for the "alignment" of the nascent World Soul of Azeroth."

The Cataclysm Shock

Moving away from Packer's entirely plausible theory to the question, "Would the Blizzards do this?" Revamping Azeroth once again in terms of content would be quite conceivable, because with the continents the WoW makers keep committing the same mistake with every new expansion: they devalue the old content by not making it scalable. This has now changed a bit with the modified level phase in Shadowlands, it Tauren assets? You can find them in HD in Hochberg. Source: buffed

But the problem remains that players only get to old worlds and old continents when they level twinks or maybe collect a few herbs.

Old WoW content only has real relevance for collectors who are still looking for mounts, pets, transmog, or achievements. That being said, 90 percent of all content in the game disappears into irrelevance with the release of a new continent. Accordingly, the idea of having an expansion set in the "old" Azeroth would be quite interesting. But it's also just a drop in the bucket, a band-aid stuck on the stated problem.


real, sustainable relevance of old content can be found in MMOs like Guild Wars 2 or Final Fantasy 14.


A world can be as beautiful as it is, if the gameplay is bland, then even the most colorful paint job is useless


There's also the Cataclysm problem. Once before, the WoW makers tampered with the old world and didn't only gain acceptance from the fans.

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