To celebrate Blizzard's 30th anniversary, the World of Warcraft development team published some exciting sketches by lore guru and WoW creator Chris Metzen on Twitter. With his drawings, he shows us the original version of Azeroth and its continents. There is also a screenshot from the primeval times of the Alpha phase of WoW to see. Be sure to check out Blizzard's "From the Vault" treasures!
Have you ever wondered what the map of Azeroth originally looked like, long before Blizzard was working on Warcraft 3 or even planning the Alpha phase of WoW? A few days ago, Blizzard published on the official Twitter channel the drawings of Chris Metzen, co-creator of the great Warcraft universe. The first image from the distant year 1999 shows the original version of the continents of Azeroth.
The maps of Azeroth from the Warcraft strategy games were very vague and the developers changed them several times over time. That's why a new map was needed for WoW. On the first draft of the map, we can see how small the world turned out to be in the beginning. Also, Azeroth was just a name for the southern part of the eastern continent. So the developers decided only later that the name fits better to the game world itself.
Chris Metzen's sketch, however, only served as the basis for a much larger concept. Azeroth simply needed more space so that players could discover as many new things as possible. It's also important to remember that many new land masses have been discovered around the two major continents in recent years. This was an important factor in the final version of the Azeroth map.
Another image shows one of the first concepts for the dwarves of WoW. The sketch was the basis for the dwarf hunter seen in the first trailer for World of Warcraft with his trusty bear. The developers scaled down Chris' first sketches significantly because details like the snowshoes were difficult to represent in the game at the time. The dwarf guardian, on the other hand, the graphics team was able to implement quite easily.
But there's also the cool drawing of two pandas by Samwise Didier, WoW's senior art director. The fluffy pandas started out as an April Fool's joke in 1999 and moulted into a playable race with Mists of Pandaria.
Finally, Blizzard shows us a screenshot of the interface from the pre-alpha phase of World of Warcraft. At the very beginning, the developers experimented with the game characters from Warcraft 3, but later they decided to use a new and unique graphic style.
How did you like this little trip back in time to the origins of World of Warcraft (buy now €14,99 )? What do you think of the map and Chris Metzen's sketches? Should Sam's Pandaren have been in the game earlier? Let us know what you think in the comments.