Geography in WoW

Hey All,

Here’s a post that would have been helpful earlier on, but it’s something I’ve been taking for granted as a part of the game that is almost too simple to cover – until now.  This post is about navigation and geography in WoW, and how one traverses Azeroth.

Finding your way around Azeroth isn’t just a wandering game. There are paths and sign posts that help you find your way while questing or travelling from city to city. There are also AI characters whose sole function is to point you in the right direction.

Location is an integral part of WoW. Knowing where objects of interest are distinguishes n00bs from elite players. Also, knowing how to decipher the map can help a player complete quests much faster than without. Every player has access to an interactive map that displays your location, objects of interest, and quest objects. An example of a quest object could be an area of murlocs that needs to be exterminated.

This image (left) is a screenshot of greater Azeroth.  Kalimdor, the land mass furthest to the left, is the region of the Horde. If you look closely you can see my location (see where it says “Commarts”). The region called the “Eastern Kingdoms” is where the Alliance resides. Northrend, the northern most land mass, is home of the Scourge – spider creatures and frozen undead. Not a place I’d even want to play WoW in. I have not yet figured out how to travel across continents, but I’m sure I am restricted because of my low level. I’d most likely get pwned if I crossed any border outside of Kalimdor.

This image (right) is a screenshot of Kalimdor. When we zoom in from greater Azeroth, we can see the different regions of Kalimdor and my specific location. Travelling across Kalimdor is made quite simple. Instead of jogging across the deserts and swamps of Kalimdor, the Horde has established a system of transportation – bats (below):

Riding a bat saves tons of time when travelling from place to place.

Finally, there is the most precise view of the map: the immediate location of your avatar. This form has much more detail than the zoomed out views of the continents.

Depicted here (lower right) is what I like to call the precision map. It allows you to see your current location, objects of interest, quest objects, and quest objectives. This can be VERY handy when questing far away from a city or outpost because it not only keeps you from getting lost, but it reminds you of other quests in your area. This prevents you from missing any quest objectives in far off regions, thus helping you save time for other important quests and further addiction.

With the help of roads, sign posts, guides, and the map, any player can successfully navigate Azeroth. The emphasis on navigation shows how important geography and location are in WoW. Like we have been discussing, the places on the internet are just as real as the places in our real world, and the explicit usage of geography in WoW demonstrates this.

Thanks for reading!

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