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PostSubject: New zones in Cata   Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:13 am

Unlike in the previous two expansions, The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, there is no new continent/world for additional content; instead, Cataclysm returns players primarily to Azeroth itself, with six new high-level (80-85) zones. Each of the five leveling zones features its own unique breadcrumb (introductory) quest and cutscene; afterwards, each is accessible quickly through portals in Stormwind City and Orgrimmar. Tol Barad is also available at level 85 via these portals.
New level 80-85 zonesEdit href= Edit

* Neutral Mount Hyjal: Level 80-82 zone in northern Kalimdor. Originally planned for the first release of the game, then later utilized as a Caverns of Time raid instance, Mount Hyjal focuses on the druids' defense of the world tree from the Twilight's Hammer and Ragnaros's forces.
* Neutral Vashj'ir: Level 80-82 underwater zone off the western coast of the Eastern Kingdoms. This zone is further split into three major subzones: the Kelp'thar Forest, the Shimmering Expanse, and the Abyssal Depths. Shipwrecked by tendrils of an Old God, adventurers must fight for survival against the naga forces out to enslave Neptulon.
* Neutral Deepholm: Level 82-83 zone within the elemental plane of earth. Access to Deepholm has been opened by Deathwing's return to the world through the Maelstrom. The Earthen Ring scramble to recover the World Pillar fragments stolen by the Twilight's Hammer, initially opposed but later assisted by Therazane's forces.
* Neutral Uldum: Level 83-84 zone in southern Kalimdor. A Titan refuge hidden by ancient technology for millenia, this vast desert, filled with archaeological treasures, is now fought over by the invading elemental forces of Al'Akir and Uldum's native residents, the Ramkahen.
* Neutral The Twilight Highlands: Level 84-85 zone in Khaz Modan of the Eastern Kingdoms, disputed by Alliance and Horde settlers (the Wildhammer clan and Dragonmaw clan, respectively) and disrupted by Twilight's Hammer operatives.
* Neutral Tol Barad: Level 85 end-game zone off the coast of Lordaeron in the Eastern Kingdoms. It separated into two subzones: an Outdoor PvP zone in the style of Wintergrasp, and the Tol Barad Peninsula, a daily quest hub akin to the Isle of Quel'Danas. The two zones are instanced, and thus accessed via portals or the battleground queuing system and not via the open world.

Also included as a new zone, albeit unpopulated, is Neutral Ahn'Qiraj: The Fallen Kingdom, the site of the above-ground level 60 raid dungeons Temple of Ahn'Qiraj and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj. There has been no word as yet if this will continue questlines from Silithus, or simply marks flyover territory for flying mounts venturing into the area. In addition, the Maelstrom appears as a region on player maps; Deepholm, Kezan and the Lost Isles appear as individual zones on the Maelstrom region map.
New starting zonesEdit href= Edit

* Alliance Gilneas: Level 1-12 starting zone for the worgen. Players start in the Gilneas City subzone (1-5), eventually making their way to the larger zone (5-12) to complete the leveling process; they are then redirected to Darkshore to continue. Unlike the Horde counterpart starter zones, Gilneas is available (in the form of the "Ruins of Gilneas") as a general, albeit unpopulated, world zone used only for a couple of phased Undead quests from Silverpine Forest.
* Horde The Isle of Kezan: Level 1-5 starting zone for the Bilgewater Cartel goblins, a seedy, freewheeling port town in the shadow of Mount Kajaro. Kezan is available to Goblins from the start; players are unable to return as the isle is instanced.
* Horde The Lost Isles: Level 5-12 zone for the goblins, a lush tropical island enclave off the eastern coast of Kalimdor. The goblin storyline continues here directly from completing the Kezan starter area, and progresses to Azshara. Like Kezan, the Lost Isles are instanced and players will be unable to return following their departure.
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