Forum Game: Redesign that zone!

Just a fun little idea, or creative exercise, if you like. A little challenge to think about the zones that aren’t among our usual topics, and how you’d like to see them to be updated, now that the story they had before is done.

This is not to invoke discussion, just to see and maybe have some fun ideas.

Can zone requests be repeated?
Sure, why not.

What if two players replied to the same request?
Just keep it going and reply to one of them. It’s not that relevant to have an unbroken line, it’s just for fun.

I don’t like this game, or the ideas presented here, whom do I complain to?
I don’t know, just please don’t do it here.

Okay, then to start it of…

Now how would you redesign Winterspring?

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-New Assets for Everlook
-New Assets for the elven ruins
-more details about the Highborne that lived there
-More focus on the Elven ghosts and the Gobin City, less focus on the wildlife
-Maybe implement a Hypothermia-mechanic to make the cold more than aesthetics and influence gameplay
-Questing should be focussed on Elven Ghosts
clashing with Goblin-Exploration, interwoven and hopefully more coherent than the current Questing in Winterspring

Now how would you redesign the Northern Barrens


Northern Barrens eh? Tough but fine.

First and foremost Ratchet would have much more Horde influence then before Since Gazlowe new position. Strategic small city that serves as trading and Horde resupply point towards EK. Horde has much more presence in the land, outposts established and Crossroads significantly bigger due to its good strategic positioning.

Quests revolving around sniffing out any Night Elven aggression, Quilboar threat from South and culling down and making the overgrown jungle of barrens more habitable and usable for resources for horde. Work with grunts and druids to tackle the problem.

Basically I would see N Barrens as Horde expansion busy and aesthetically heavier with Hordish buildings - massive trading road stretching from ratchet to crossroads and joining the bridge, full off orcish blazers on the way!

How would you redesign Felwood?


I would probably keep the zone mostly neutral, focused on questing together with Cenarion Circle and Illidari demon hunters trying to remove the last remnants of Burning Legion from the zone. Quests would mostly be about satyrs/demons and restoration of the land by druids.

While doing so i would keep the northern part focused on Timbermaw furbolgs and have Alliance worgen from Talonbranch Glade and Horde goblins from Irontree Clearing trying to gain favour with them. Worgen would try to recruit them to join Alliance. Goblins would try to secure a safe passage towards Everlook. In order for the zone to remain neutral both parties would sabotage the other ones attempts and Timbermaw would remain neutral, deciding to not pick a side.

The zone would start almost the same as it is now but during questing parts of it would start to heal and instead start to resemble a sort of mix bettween Hyjal and Darkshore. I would also make Timbermaw Hold much bigger with more tunnels and take inspiration from Grizzlemaw in Northrend. As for the other settlements they would remain mostly the same.

How would you redesign Burning Steppes?


Questing: A history lesson (with “time travel quests”) of the death of Anduin Lothar at Doomhamer’s hands, and the Alliance attack on the Spire. Followed by clearing the final remnants of Blackrock Clan from the zone; maybe even with a finale of renaming the mountain itself in order to clear its unfortunate namesake.
Then following up by first attempts to reclaim the land, probably spearheaded by the now Alliance Dark Iron dwarves.

And of course, new Black Dragonflight quests, with Wrathion continuing to dismantle Deathwing’s legacy and return his flight to what it originally stood for. Say, how’d it go if Sabellian returned from Blade’s Edge? That’s the one sibling that Wrathion does not know about.

The zone itself would show signs of recovery and life returning to it.

And of course, the formerly mentioned Alliance attack on Blackrock Spire could alternatively be done as a series of tall tales in the manner of “The Day that Deathwing Came” and “Deadliest Cache”.

How would you redesign Storm Peaks?


This looks fun!

If I recount a little, the sudden appearance of the Titan/Ulduar lore was a bit sudden. As was the patch that raised the awesome raid that followed it. So…


The history and relevancy of the influence of the Titans and the Old Gods, included with the Vrykul and their culture control the majority of its plot from start to finish. From Dalaran, perhaps from the Explorer’s League at the time, you are offered an opportunity to partake in an expedition to the inhospitable region itself. From there, you are led on an almost pseudo-historical journey that allows you to fully explore some of the colossal Titan facilities they have designed there and not really used for anything. (Check: Some of the disused vaults and even the Giant Well at the center of the mountainous plateau).

Afterwards, you are shown recognition to a more intricately designed exploration of the Titan Watchers and the ‘hidden influence’ that has, in full actuality because of a certain corrupted Watcher, been already released all this time. You are given practically a bigger, better questing map to explore the temples, see their relevancies, fight off further corrupt influences - watcher and even fellow adventurer/titan technology itself.

This will all conclude of course to the discovery of Ulduar, and what little things you can do and further explore before the raid itself fully announces the big baddie later down the line. Even a message to tell you to go back and focus on the Scourge would be enough.

The Zone:

Over time, the questing experiences will slowly show a moment of discord or even structural placements. More of the League of Explorers, more conflicts with corrupt Titans and such. For the sake of consistency, perhaps all this culminates into a whole all-out-war in several regions of the Storm Peaks in some shape or form. To be eventually silenced of course after a period of time!

And now…
How would you redesign Nazjatar?

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Well, I know the devs didn’t want another Suramar, but I found Nazjatar distinctly lacking in grandiose design. In terms of layout it would be a vast city with the towering eternal palace at its heart, brimming with temples to Azshara, and teeming with naga and their associated friends. There would be a magic quarter, where the naga investigate all the artifacts they have plundered from around Azeroth, a beast quarter where they spawn and train their snapdragons and coatls, a military quarter and a residential quarter. Outside the city proper certain elements remain, the coral forest would be where slaves cultivate food for the naga for example, and the ruins of Zin-Azshari would contain some nelf lore.

In terms of the story, I would do away with he factions we join, instead we are rescued by makrura and taken to Mak’aru. This forms our base and is the catalyst that forces Jaina and Lor’themar to work together. The makrura city was tolerated as a sort of puppet state as the naga would use them as slaves, however now the makrura see an opportunity to finally gain freedom through enlisting the help of the Horde and Alliance. We work to free slaves, and enlist the help of sea giants and other creatures to secure Mak’aru. This culminates in the Horde recruiting Gral and the Alliance Arkkoran (the sea giants demigod from Azshara) to fully secure Mak’aru and mount an offensive into Nazjatar and open the way to the eternal palace.

Other quest chains would have us discover the naga were capturing artifacts from around Azeroth not only to sate their magic addiction, but also try to power the titan device to free N’zoth. At this point we don’t know Azshara planned to try and kill N’zoth, so the quest chain involves destroying their caches of artifacts and stopping a dangerous naga void cult. This then flows into the raid and us inadvertantly powering it ourselves with the heart of Azeroth.

There is probably a lot more I could add, but it is late so all I will say is - Tyrande and Malfurion would arrive in Nazjatar once they learn of the plot to unleash the old God - always felt it was a shame they never got one last stand off with their ancient enemy.

How would you redesign… The Eastern Plaguelands?


Uuuuh! That’s a good one!

First of all, I would imagine that the landscape is starting to look better. Aside for a general texture overhaul to fit with the standard and style of the newest expansions (like we saw in Darkshore and Arathi). I imagine that the landscape has become much greener, the areas of scourge corruption being reduced to pockets (Almost opposite of what the zone looks like now with the Argent towers) as the combined efforts of the priests, paladins and druids we saw working in the western plague-lands back in cataclysm have moved further east by now, especially with Light’s Hope becoming the paladin order hall and Archerous flying away (Despite them being on the good side, I imagine some scourge influence would still linger with that thing.)
The places where undeath still lingers will however be clutching on even more tightly in their (un)death-throes. (Possibly reinforced by the influence of the jailer or some other shadowlands stuff seeping through).

When we arrive, we are imediately called to the gates of Stratholme, and in the first chapter of the questline, we lead an uneasy alliance of Forsaken and Silver Hand in finally retaking the long lost city. With Stratholme as the base of operations we set out on different tasks across the zone, establishing trade through the old road northward to Quel’Thalas with Fiona and her caravan, rooting out the remaining areas of scourge corruption, with old friends like Maxwell Tyrosus and Zen-Kiki (who might finally be getting the hang of his powers)
and retaking the old Quel’Lithien lodge, making it a new home for the disenfranchised dark rangers we saw at the end of the last expansion.
Each time we return to Stratholme, we will see the rebuilding effort having moved a little further along, lead by Calia who is poetically rebuilding what her brother tore down. Along the way we get to see glimpses of her reminiscing as she walks the streets of her past, getting some insight into her character.
I imagine that the questline should end on a final climactic battle, as the last scourge forces rally for a counterattack, right as the tensions between the forsaken and the Silver Hand come to their peak, and we must keep the alliance together and present a unified front, to avoid seeing all we just built fall back to dust, only just succeeding in the nick of time.

And now I would really enjoy hearing how you would redesign The Hinterlands.


Oh man i love The Hinterlands, really beatiful zone.

Turn Aerie Peak and Jintha´alor into actual cities however keep the eagle statue as it is (Aerie Peak) and pyramid design (Jintha´alor). Also i would make Revantusk village bigger and add in a small harbor. The western side of the zone should be Alliance side and eastern Horde side. Remove the forsaken camp and Stonefeather outpost. Make Seradane a place for green dragonflight similiar to how Vermillion Redoubt is for red.

I would keep Alliance and Horde questing separate. Alliance questing is focused on Wildhammer dwarfs (Kurdran) and High elves of Queldanil lodge failing to fend off attacks made by Vilebranch trolls, which results in siege of Aerie Peak (now a proper city) heavily outnumbered. When everything seems lost Stromgarde forces (Danath) arrive as reinforcements. Very similiar to Helms Deep battle in Lord of the Rings. It would have a lot of WC2 references with Kurdran, Danath and all of original Alliance races: humans, dwarfs and high elves.

The Horde questing timeline wise happens right after the Alliance one. Revantusk tribe sends out a call to the Horde for aid in battle. Players would arrive in Revantusk village by boat (the new harbor) to find that the tribe is preparing to conquer Jintha´alor since Vilebranch tribe suffered a devastating defeat at Aerie Peak. You would start by conquering the city layer after layer and once it is completely conquered it would turn into a proper Horde city. At the end Revantusk tribe thanks the Horde for their aid and sends ambassadors into Orgrimmar (this would result in unlocking a new customisation option for trolls with proper green skin, unique tattoes and so on).

How would you redesign Ghostlands?


First off, redesign to facilitate flying. I don’t care there will be invisible walls and we’ll always have to use some sort of porting device to get in and out, simply update the zone as being protected by some dome where nobody can fly in or out.
Then also remove all the signs of the invasion of the Scourge. Heal the lands. Heal the scar. Replace the old story with new activities that work toward healing the Ghostlands.
Have the Farstriders host hawk strider races as a minigame all throughout the zone with useless rewards. Make a full city of Tranquillien. Take down Windrunner Spire with the blessing of Alleria and Vereesa, this could be a short queststory.
And as a finale, hold a reallife contest where players can come up with a new name for the zone.

Now what would you do to Feralas, home of Dire Maul?

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Let’s pop this thread back up.

Feralas could serve as more of faction opposition place. Since the events of WoT and humiliating defeat of Ogres by players, Night Elves decide it would be timely assault on their ancient kingdom to take the empire back, securing choking access to Silithus. Spearheaded by Shandris herself.

While Ogres of Dire maul spread thin they will find shelter in Horde - Rohkan leading Horde will offer assistance against Night Elven forces in return to have Ogres serving the Horde and gain access to Dire Maul.

It would be a almost impossible but since we are just speculating I’ll say that Dire Maul is presented in game, massive Palace in ruins having Night Elven and Ogre forces in clash with each other. This zone will be PvP flagged, sort of like Arathi warrant but 24/7 with temporary victor determined by the resources capped (also something great brought back from TBC) allowing to access the PvP vendor.

Rest of the zone will have more presence of both factions establishing in the area. Night Elves once again trying to regain their allies - Stone Mountains, while Horde will bolster their forces with dire maul Ogres.

Next up Stranglethorn Vale (Any or both)


Firstly I would bring back Yojamba Isle and the Zandalari we didn’t kill sins Rise of the Zandalari (we had to fight a view of them).

I would use newer assets and remake some Troll locations. Next I would give every tribe a real hub and not only ruins. I would make Zul’Kunda into a proper city (still for the player to quest… sure) with temples, living places, a market and everything a city needs. Keep their pools in some way.
I would also love Zandalari speakers placed in Zul’Gurub and one for each the Bloodscalp and Skullsplitter tribes. Show us diplomatic efforts from Talanji and the Zandalari to bring the tribes back together and sway them to join the Horde.

I would rebuild some of the ruins and go more into detail with the 4 spirit animals of the area, giving them some shrines and such. I would also place a lot more of Troll dodads around Zul’Gurub and the Troll ruins.

I would also make something akin to a raptor bestiary and program a Troll ritual that will happen every day at the temple in Bambala at a specific time. Let’s say 9 in the evening.
Of course new trees and such. I would perhaps even move the Alliance camp all the way up to the north towards the last bridge. It would make more sense and serve as a Stormwind outpost and they could receive help easier from there. I don’t know how Alliance players would react to this though (so put that one under maybe).

Rebuild the rebel camp in to something that seems like it was build with local materials and not only old broken Elvin buildings. Further more you could let them become sane again after what happened in the past, which could allow contact with the Alliance and not lead to kill quests for them.
Then I would go further, let the Alliance defend them against the local Trolls that want to have the humans out (obviously) and the Horde help the Trolls go gain their support.
Only small quests like we had in the pasts.

Edit: I almost forgot to mention the Goblin cartels. Of course I would also represent the changes to them in lore in game. The Goblin camps could become bigger and I would even show the trade between them and the Bloodscalp from the RPGs against crystals. This could even further a connection to the local tribes.

Booty Bay could also need a rework, but more so with newer assets. I quite like how it is. Some kind of pirate events could be cool.

Next up the Swamps of Sorrow.


A new narrative arc: The Goblins of the Steamwheedle cartel hired humans and orcs for an expedition to the atal’hakkar temple. But inside they were struck by a curse that robbed them of their will, and they ravaged the entire region. After a series of quest we learn that intruders have invaded the temple, followers of Mueh’zala seeking the knowledge of atal’ai to feed their master with souls.
The Alliance and Horde hubs are destroyed, leaving only the Gobeline port, surrounded by the cursed.
After killing all the slaves, the troll leader mistakenly invokes a simple echo of Mueh’zala, whom the player eliminates.

For the design, the area is ravaged. It shows the ruins of the bastions of both factions, even the Draenei camp is destroyed. The area is almost completely deforested, there are corpses everywhere. The Goblin port is bigger but the inhabitants are locked up.

Appearance of two Kaldorei Druid who asks the player to help them to heal the land, because the curse possesses the living but poisons the ground.

-> Gilneas


Would turn it primarly into an Alliance zone, but Horde could have some quests in the headlands near Greymane’s Wall. Zone intro would be a scenario of Alliance fleet coming in to finally reclaim Gilneas City, led by Genn Greymane, Halford Wyrmbane and Tandred Proudmoore. Completing it unlocks it as a capital for all characters on your account, though you will always have a choice to replay it with a new character if you wish so.

Story theme is simple, Anduin was “lost” in the Shadowlands - not dead, just out of story for now - and Turalyon continues on as the Supreme Commander of Alliance Forces and begins to reclaim holdings of the old Alliance he talks about when you click on him in Stormwind.

Main story deals with kicking out the squatting forsaken refugees who came there after Undercity fell, first from the city proper and then the other villages, Darius Crowley would appear here. Side stories involve walking with Genn as he remembers the past of Gilneas and helping Krennan Aranas (the alchemist guy from cata Gilneas) try to cure some of the more feral worgen who still prowl the woods.

Horde quests would probably deal with helping the retreating forsaken and slowing the Alliance as much as they can, while also waiting for the response from the cumbersome new horde council, since the Alliance attack was fast and unexpected.

Alliance flags rise not only in Gilneas, but also in human ancestral highlands of Arathor, where Stromic soldiers and their dwarven and gnomish allies from Khaz Modan prepare to push north under the command of Danath Trollbane himself, and in Hillsbrad, where Southshore was cleansed under a watchful eye of Raleigh the Devout, the flags of old Lordaeron fly once more together with the lion of Stormwind as Turalyon tries to inspire nationalism in various Lordaeronian refugees and their children who still serve the Alliance. With Kul Tiran fleet holding total dominance over the Baradin Bay and helping all these three resurgent Alliance strongholds, it seems like interesting times are ahead.

Ok I got a bit carried away there, next zone: Thousand Needles.


Damn ok, I’ll give it a go.

Besides the general update of fresh new assets to match the current game level, I would focus on Night Elves, Taurens and Goblins.

Some of the water has started receding, the land is mostly submerged still though.

To the East, the Goblins decided to build a waterdam. There’s got to be some kind of resource / business motive for them as they don’t just start helping the environment out of their own good will. Do forgive me but I don’t remember if these are neutral Cartel or Horde Goblins. Either way I can see a storyline that involves a dispute over whatever new resource or service / entertainment the Goblins are gaining by building said waterdam.

So the Night Elves are expanding from the west, Feralas specifically. A story which involves refugees, amongst them druids and priests, from Teldrassil trying to make a new life for themselves down there. They’re looking into how to help the land heal whilst coming into blows with the local Ogres. Generally, no hostilities between Tauren and Night Elves.

The Taurens in the middle have further expanded their bridge network whilst having to fend off Quilboars. The Twilight Cult followers along the south are all but defeated. I’m tempted to add a new story / threat from that side of the coast, Sand Trolls. With the pan-tribe relationship of the trolls shifting a bit after the Zandalari joined the Horde, some sand trolls from Zul’Farrak that have denounced blood magic feel like joining themselves. Of course this can’t be easy, as some usual fanatics are infiltrating and causing trouble, kidnaping peaceful trolls etc. The Taurens will be there to help out.

With no time whimey Draenor portals, and the Legion completely defeated, how would you redesign The Blasted Lands, home of the ever sinister Dark Portal.