I was going through my old World of Warcraft player manual the other day for kicks. It is very odd that this manual has not been updated. At all. Even when buying Warcraft now with the Burning Crusade, what do you get? The same thing that says that players lose xp when they spirit rez and that tauren don’t get mounts. This is the same manual that was shipped at release in 2004.
One of the more interesting things I noted when going through the manual was the maps. I noticed that these maps contained areas released well after 2004. Hey, there is Ahn’qiraj, patch 1.9. Zul’Aman, patch 2.3. You see my point. I am not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to Warcraft lore, but I do understand that many of these places held significance well before the genesis of WoW.
However, that doesn’t stop me from being impressed with the foresight and planning.
Let’s take a look at some maps, shall we?
I apologize in advance for the low quality of the scans.
Remember, these are from 2004!
- Obviously, none of the draenei areas (Bloodmyst Isle / Azuremyst Isle) were included. Blizzard’s foresight isn’t THAT good.
- Noteworthy is the very clear inclusion of Mount Hyjal as a zone. Hyjal is fully mapped in the game, and up until recently could be accessed by players who were good at jumping up walls. Sadly, now any player who manages to get in the zone gains the “buff” called “No Man’s Land” which immediately teleports them out. There is a cave in southern Winterspring (Darkwhisper Gorge) that leads to Hyjal, but it is gated off preventing access. It seems likely the gate may be opened up sometime in the future and Hyjal made accessible. Perhaps in Wrath of the Lich King Hyjal will be added in a patch?
- It seems most instances are labeled on the maps. Mauradon, a fairly large instance, is missing (though it wasn’t released until patch 1.2).
- Dire Maul wasn’t added until patch 1.3.
- Ahn Qiraj was added in patch 1.9.
- I would have suspected Caverns of Time to be listed on the map as it was in place well before TBC (and accessible to players who were crafty with wall jumping). Alas!
- I was disappointed to not see Uldum noted on the map. I was hoping that its presence on there would be indicative of future events involving it.
This is one of the more interesting maps. Click the map for a larger version if you want to see more of the details.
- The first thing that really jumps out at me on this map is the presence of Quel’Thalas, Silvermoon, Sunwell, and Zul’Aman in the upper-right corner. While each of these obviously have their own history predating World of Warcraft, it is interesting to see them included on the original maps released with the game in 2004. Given that they weren’t released until TBC (and after), it makes you wonder what else that we see on the map could be plans for future areas. Which leads me to…
- The second thing on the map that really stands out is how much is included in the lower left corner. We have the zone of Gilneas and the islands of Kul Tiras, Crestfall, Tol Barad, and Zul’Dare. None of these are in the game. We can see the Greymane Wall now in game, keeping us out of Gilneas … but there is no Gilneas. Mountains come up right around the wall, and beyond the mountains is just ocean where the zone should be. The world map in game shows land where Gilneas should be, however it does not show any of the islands.
- This map is pretty straightforward. What we see is what we have. It doesn’t show you what it east of Wetlands or Loch Modan (which isn’t anything but mountains at the moment).
- It is interesting how the layout of Uldaman is clearly noted on the map, but cities, such as Ironforge, are just a dot.
Southern Eastern Kingdoms
- Zul’Gurub is clearly marked; it was released in patch 1.7.
- Of course Karazhan and the Dark Portal are clearly noted on the map.
- The temple of Atal’Hakkar is appropriately titled “Sunken Temple” on the map.
Which things are chosen to be noted on these maps seems a bit arbitrary. Theramore has a dot, bit isn’t actually labeled. Only Stromgarde is labeled in Arathi Highlands. And so on…
Hopefully some of the areas found on these maps that are not yet in the game will be things we get to see at some point.