Tobold's Blog
Thursday, January 31, 2008

Recently, when my mage was level 48, I visited Azshara, a rarely visited zone situated north of Orgrimmar. The zone has one of the most profitable quests, especially if you are a mage. You just need to collect 4 tablets in some ruins, avoiding or fighting level 48 to 49 nagas. And then you need to deliver them to 4 different places and come back. Three of these places are Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff, and Undercity, while the fourth is in Azshara. With a mage's teleport, that is quickly done, and all the quests together give over 40k experience points.

But besides that quest series, there isn't much to do in Azshara. There is a group of shipwrecked people hidden in a canyon on the coast, which you need to protect from a nage attack, but the quest leads nowhere, and few people ever even find it. There is another quest to kill some blood elves, some quests involving the Molten Core faction, and some quests about finding the sceptre that opens Ahn'Qiraj. But as these quests require the effort of a whole guild, and AQ is open since a long time on nearly every server, nobody does that quest line any more. Not even sure if you could still start it.

Other than for quests Azshara is a good place for collecting herbs, from Sungrass to Dreamfoil. And there are some ruins populated by demons, which used to be a popular place to farm Felcloth. As neither level 60 herbs nor cloth are very interesting any more, Azshara is pretty much deserted right now.

And when you rid through the zone, you pretty much can't help the feeling that the devs had plans for that zone which were never realized. There are corners populated with various monsters to which no quests point. There are wide empty spaces that could be used for all sorts of things. There is Ursolan, an area full of timbermaw furbolgs with a gate to what appears to be a big furbolg city or dungeon, but the gate can't be opened. There is even a non-functional PvP battleground, a kind of hollow mountain with entrances clearly marked for Horde and Alliance, but no actual instance connected to it.

I wonder if Azshara will ever get the "Dustwallow Marsh treatment", adding a village or two, a few dozen new quests, and opening up Ursolan and the battleground. Problem is that this isn't very likely. WoW doesn't have a huge shortage of level 50 zones or quests. And patch 2.3 adding content to the old world was an exception, normally Blizzard adds content mostly to whatever the current level cap is, as it is there where most of the players are. Azshara exists in its half-finished state for three years now, and it might remain that way forever.
The Ahn'Qiraj questline can still be started. Organizing people for the Blackwing Lair speed run or for grinding 40k bugs in Silithus is going to be a challenge. And even if you manage to do all of it, you won't be getting a black bug mount, only the weapon.
Like most people (I presume) I no longer have my Chained Essence of Eranikus. I only found the questgiver in the cave in Swamp of Sorrow long after I had got rid of it. As for grinding 40000 bugs in Silithus, I can't think of a more boring grind.

One thing I did do in Azshara was level my fishing and cooking to 300. Near Hetaera's Clutch is the ideal fishing spot.
Other than that most characters you are likely to see there are gold farmers.
I once reported about 10 farming bots that I could see from one spot close to a lake. They were running round and round me as if they were trapped in a giant glass bowl.

I found the castaways that you mentioned,Tobold, but I never found a quest related to them.
One quest I do remember involved a lot of swimming backwards and forwards in the bay, as well as collecting Giants' turds up in the hills!
Mages can learn the "Polymorph: Pig" spell in Azshara from a short and easy (but nice) quest line - see for details. I think you'll need to be level 60 though for the spell, not sure. I'm sure you'll need to be 52 or higher to have a chance at the prequest - check it out anyway.
It makes me a little sad to see Azshara so empty all the time. It's such a beautiful zone and the few quests that are there are generally fun to do. I've always leveled my characters through there (at least a little bit), but I wonder if my next one will even need to go there after the 2.3 changes.
Did they move Azuregos (the epic 60 dragon) out of that zone? Pre-TBC at least that was his location, happily making his rounds.
Azuregos was still present as of September. We staged a drunken 3am raid comprised of surly night owls. Fun though. The raid leader couldn't give away the loot though. Some fair disenchanting, but that was about it.
The Blood Elves that Tobold mentions were a GREAT GREAT place to grind out experience and gold before TBC. I haven't checked them out post TBC, but they had very very low hit points so if you do a lot of damage you can take them out very quickly.
This is the most disappointing zone in the game and absolutely feels unfinished. That being said, I do think it will get a facelift and perhaps in the expansion. From a lore perspective, the zone is fairly important and Azshara herself is still out there in the sea. I think there is a good chance we'll see the content get updated as the Cenarion Circle sets up camp to get rid of those blasted naga and their dreaded evil queen. I'll also think this where Illidian first went in The Frozen Throne. I can see it as an entry point to the Maelstrom and as entry point to some Timbermaw instance. The door you mention appears to be connected to the door in the tunnel between Felwood and Winterspring. What evil is keeping our poor Timbermaws apart?
Azshara was fun to visit with my hunter; had some hunter-specific quests there, and I'd always wondered what was across that bridge north of Orgrimmar. I used to wander around a lot at the lower levels just to explore, and Azshara satisfied exactly because of its sparseness. It was nice to look at and there wasn't much going on; nice break.
Azshara may be pretty but its a frustrating zone to work with. Alot of the areas seem to be 'one-way' in and out and God forbid if you should fall off one of the ledges cuz it'll take you an hour to find the right way back up. Furthermore, with the latest patches, I was surprised to see so many elites still running around in southern Azshara as I thought all the non-instance elites were nerfed. Other than perhaps fishing or herbs, I hate Azshara and won't be going back until they improve it greatly.
Azshara is where i grinded for my gold for both my epic mount and a foror's book way back in the day. Killing untold numbers of satyrs for felcloth and mining everything in site. Made the gold for my mount in less then 2 weeks doing that. Unfortunately that wouldn't work anymore. :( Was always empty out there.
There are quite a few nice quests for alliance there, and of course there's the unfinished bg area for the battleground that never went in. Also, many level 50 class quests involve the area as well, but it would be nice to see it finished.
It's a beautiful zone and well deserving of a do over.

Great suggestion!
Somewhere (possibly one of the Collector's Edition DVDs) I saw a Blizzard dev talking about how the Azshara BG was meant to be another 40 vs 40 Alterac Valley style BG but after they realized how poorly AV worked and how much more popular WSG and AB were, they shelved it for good. Don't know why the rest of the zone is so dead.
For as much as Blizzard does right with WoW, it does a bit too much of "this". There are so many things and areas in WoW that just got forgotten, and should just be removed, finished or repurposed. If you are Ally, you know all too well the big gated instance portal in Stormwind. I miss Captain Placeholder, when they had the problems with the boats. It was an obvious nod that they were going to do something there, a fix or something, but i think they should do something similar with these areas. Like an injoke at least or something. All the time and effort to make the next in a series of little visited raid dungeons, but forgetting areas that could repopulate the old world.

Also, another AV style BG? Yes please. WSG and AB, and even EOTS feel the same to me, small capture flag/area type games, and AV used to be so much more, but has kind of gone into that as well, just bigger. Oh well.
Back when the game first started and most of us were hitting 60 Azshara was busy around the clock. There were way too many Thunderheads that died much too easily. You could just stack them up all over the place which you then skinned for Thick and Rugged leather. At the time thick and rugged leather were in very high demand on the AH. You could spend a day out in Azshara and make quite a bit of gold back in those days. World PvP would break out so one side or the other could gain "control" of the area at times and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Blizzard took the nerf bat to the Thunderheads and what was left was a boring area with very little to do. Maybe they thought it was busy there because of the content, but really all most of us were ever there for was the leather or the super easy teleportation quest.
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