…in this case, is going to be very useful.

The Official Warcraft Magazine is now shipping, and although I do not yet have a copy in my hands the information within it is beginning to leak out. Most notable so far, and featured via World of Raids, is the continent redesign to cover the Worgen and Goblin starting areas. This is coupled with improvements to the levelling experience in Kalimdor. For anyone who’s been around since Vanilla, this will be a major revelation. Let’s take a look at the Worgen map first:

As we can see, the Worgen will be put pretty much head-to-head with the Forsaken from Day 1, which fits in with the associated events that come to bring the population of Gilneas to side with the Alliance. By far the most surprising changes come in the Hinterlands and the Plaguelands, which recieve a fairly hefty reduction in level range: whereas before you would enter WPL at 45-50 you’ll be set to leave EPL at that point, which makes me wonder for one if we’ll see a similar reduction in entry level on both Original Stratholme and Scholomance. More significant still however is the addition of a new Neutral Port between the Hinterlands and EPL, in an area that’s been begging for some attention for as long as I can remember.

There’s no map available currently for the Goblins, but considering their placement I’d say it’s a fair bet we’ll see them in direct competition with the Night Elves in Ashenvale and Darkshore, moving south to the Barrens:

This area has seen a major change with Thousand Needles moving up in level from the late 20’s/30’s to 40-45, and Tanaris also increasing in difficulty. The Southern Barrens area will take up the 30-35 slack. We already know that a lot of the 1000 Needles area will be flooded, which may mean the loss of one of my favourite areas of the Game, the Mirage Raceway (a great place for any prospecive skinner to level) Considering the proximity of Goblin to Gnome, I wonder if there wouldn’t be an international incident if they were allowed to co-exist…

I’m really looking forward to seeing the magazine, hopefully the bad weather means I won’t be waiting too long to actually digest my copy…

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