Since the announcement of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King at Blizzard Entertainment’s Game Convention dubbed BlizzCon 2007—at Anaheim Convention Center, it’s come to attention the introduction of its new World Map which has added new islands and landmasses.
The new landmass or peninsula is wrongly perceived to be part of Stormwind. Taking a closer look, this will be one of the placeholder regions, the one west of Burning Steppes. The place is an enigma as there is no records in Warcraft lore or early Warcraft II maps describing this region.
Among the isles seen in the new World Map are Tel Abim (east of Theramore), Isle of Kezan (the biggest isle in the South Seas mostly known for its Undermine City, land of the Goblins, located south of the Maelstrom), Plunder Isle (the smallest isle, west of Stranglethorn Vale) and Zandalar Isle (home of the Zandalar trolls who give quests for Zul’Gurub, the isle is located to the southwest of Westfall)—as shown below.
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With the appearance of these isles in the World Map, the questions are … will the South Seas ship in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King? Will the South Seas be added to Wrath of the Lich King as downloadable major content patches? Or will the South Seas be a future standalone expansion pack?
This is not yet clear. And Blizzard has given no official word or announcement on the topic.
Blizzard introduced new isles to the world map with World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade on November 2006. These new isles became the Draenei level 1-20 starting location: Azuremyst and Bloodmyst—just south of Teldrassil.
Both isles are pretty big even for a level 70 player on an epic mount. Took me about an hour or longer to travel and explore both Isles to make sure the map would show all locations as fully explored.
By looking at the new World Map in Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack: Tel Abim Isle, Zandalar Isle and Plunder Isle look barely smaller than Bloodmyst alone. So, it wouldn’t take much work to add these in the second expansion. After all the Burning Crusade expansion added Outland, Bloodmyst Isle, Azuremyst Isle and Quel’Thalas altogether at game launch, and leaving Black Temple and Zul’Aman off game launch as major content patches.
Even the Northrend demo shown at Blizzcon 2007, is not all the content of the second expansion. It is obvious, the expansion is still in development and Blizzard didn’t have everything ready to show it all at Blizzcon. As you may see on the screenshot below, Blizzard only showcased the Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills and the Howling Fjord.
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The screenshot above shows gray-marked unexplored regions north of these yellow marked regions mentioned above. The missing locations not revealed at Blizzcon 2007 panels are: Sholazar Basin, Lake Wintergrasp, Storm Peaks, Azjol-Nerub, Crystalsong Forest, Zul’Drak and the stronghold of the Lich King … Icecrown Glacier and its Frozen Throne.
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Back on 2005, the first Blizzcon only revealed Outland and the new race: Blood Elves along with their homeland Quel’Thalas as their level 1-20 starting location. The second new race was kept secret and not shown at Blizzcon 2005. The Draenei and their starting location: Azuremyst and Bloodmyst Isles were revealed around May 2006 by an Italian magazine which leaked the Draenei as the new race.
Will Blizzard surprise fans with the announcement of South Seas as part of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion? We will have to wait and see.