Have you ever wondered if Vanilla WoW was everything Blizzard planned for it to be? Apparently, there was so much more content that was planned for Vanilla but was completely cut out. Some of that content did end up being implemented at a later time, but other content has still never been seen. For this WoW Wednesday, we will go through a list of content cut from Vanilla WoW that didn’t make it in.
Karazhan is a massive lore piece in World of Warcraft. Home to Medivh, the Guardian of Tirisfal, once owner of the legendary staff Atiesh, which was an actual item you could obtain in Vanilla. Atiesh had an on use effect: “Creates a portal, teleporting group members that use it to Karazhan.” Players could obtain this legendary by doing different tasks in Vanilla raids, one of the tasks involved killing Kel’Thuzad, the last boss of the original Naxxramas raid. To emphasize how hard it was to get Atiesh, it is believed that only 1% of the player base in Vanilla ever killed Kel’Thuzad.
It never made sense to me as to why Atiesh had this on use effect, but now after finding out that Blizzard wanted Karazhan to be a raid in Vanilla, it makes a lot more sense.
Yes, the very same Hellfire Peninsula that is in the game today… well, kind of. Hellfire Peninsula was planned to be a part of Vanilla but as we all know, it didn’t show up until the Burning Crusade. The Hellfire Peninsula that was meant for Vanilla even had a different map layout that was built more like the Warcraft 3 Hellfire Peninsula than the one we have on live servers today.
Black Temple was also meant to be a raid in the original Vanilla game. It seems like Blizzard wanted to put everything that was in Warcraft 3 into Vanilla. Though it makes you wonder, what if Blizzard decided to put Hellfire Peninsula and Black Temple into Vanilla? We wouldn’t have gotten the six other zones that we received in the Burning Crusade. What would the storyline of Illidan have been like? Would we have only heard of Illidan in Hellfire Peninsula then gone off to kill him in the Black Temple?
Many players would have been furious if their favorite Warcraft character got a short story to only die shortly after. Thankfully Blizzard held off for the Burning Crusade, making what many call the best expansion in the history of the game.
Yes, even Mount Hyjal itself was supposed to be in Vanilla. I have always wondered why this zone was never released until Cataclysm. Back in Vanilla, Mount Hyjal was a fairly big zone. It was, of course, unfinished with some areas blocked off with “In construction” signs, but it looked close to being finished. Exploring this zone was made possible like most places in Vanilla with the invisible wall jumps, or by going onto a private server and just porting to the zone itself.
Mount Hyjal was the site of the final battle at the end of Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos where Archimonde was defeated. The Mount Hyjal that was meant for Vanilla even had the corpse of Archimonde still in the base of the tree where he was originally defeated. Players finally got to see this Mount Hyjal in raid form in the Burning Crusade where players got to reenact the Warcraft 3 battle. Sadly, the raid was absolutely horrible with wave-based fights that just didn’t work out too well.
Players got to see Mount Hyjal released once and for all in Cataclysm. Though the zone was called Mount Hyjal it wasn’t really the same, with the zone looking completely different and having a completely different story based on Ragnaros the Firelord.
The Emerald Dream is what Azeroth would be if intelligent beings had not altered it. The Emerald Dream was something that players had expected since Vanilla and it was a surprise that we didn't see it until recently in Legion. It’s interesting to hear and read that the Emerald Dream has been in multiple stages of development since Vanilla. With multiple differently styled maps and how often Blizzard stated how cool their internal testing of the Emerald Dream was, players always expected for it to be the next big expansion.
The idea of being able to explore Azeroth, before the sundering that completely reshaped the world, blasting the one massive continent into smaller continents that we now know today, sounds so interesting. Though Chris Metzen told an interviewer in 2013; “We talked about many times making it into a formal expansion, but it doesn’t really lend itself to multiple visions. It’s kind of like, okay, one more green zone.” Which is true, I’m not sure how many players would have been interested to have an all green foresty expansion without at least one zone being somewhat different.
I personally would still like to be able to explore a fully finished Emerald Dream but sadly, the most we will probably get is what we currently have in Legion with Val’sharah, the bits of the Emerald Nightmare, and the Druid Emerald Dreamway.
Much More Content
Blizzard had much, much more content planned for Vanilla, but these are the few that stood out the most to me personally. A few others I didn't manage to fit in are the Azshara Crater which was supposed to be a battleground in Vanilla, the Caverns of Time was going to be a dungeon, max level was meant to be 70 not 60, and even Northrend was intended to be released in Vanilla. Blizzard sure did try to cram everything into Vanilla but thankfully, they took a step back and waited.
If you enjoyed taking this look back in time exploring content cut from Vanilla World of Warcraft, let us know in the comments down below. If you’d like me to talk about the other content not mentioned here in more detail, or about other cut content from other expansions, let us know.