Azeroth, Revisited: Stratholme in Cataclysm
Once again, we're going to dive into the beta and take a look at one of my personal favorite dungeons from classic—
Now if you don't remember anything about
, here's a quick rundown: Stratholme was originally one of the largest human cities in the world. During the events in Warcraft 3 (as we witnessed in
), Prince Arthas finds out the plague has spread to the city and orders it purged. Later on the Undead took control of Stratholme and Kel'Thuzad established it as his capital and built the floating fortress
Overall the dungeon has not changed much physically, but there is now a new wall splitting it literally into two instances. They have changed the level range for each side, levels 42-52 for the Main Gate and 46-56 for the Service Entrance.
OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING: DON'T READ THIS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Stratholme - Main Gate
Regularly regarded as
side of Stratholme, the Main Gate side has received a massive overhaul—while it may look the same, a lot of changes have been made. As you step through the main gates, you'll notice that they aren't actually closed anymore when you zone in—and all the quest givers have been moved and put at the start of the instance.
will be the Argent Crusade member you'll notice; he has the quests
. The first has you kill the evil Dreadlord
at the end of the instance, and the second has you collect
later on inside the Scarlet Bastion.
Next you'll see a familiar face,
who has the quest
where you will kill a
on your way through the instance. Hiding behind the Pack Mule you will also find
with the quest
, which will have you visit several mailboxes throughout the instance to gain the final quest item.
Now that we have all the quest-givers out of the way, the instance proceeds on as normal—you fight your way through legions of undead and head towards the Scarlet Bastion. But lo and behold, once you reach it the Scarlet Crusade are no more! They've been replaced by undead minions, presumably raised by Balnazzar to protect him from those pesky adventurers intent on slaying him. Progressing further in and splitting off to
where all the weaponry is stashed, you will eventually discover the
that will allow you to summon the Risen Hammersmith for the quest
. Finally, when you reach the end, everyone's favorite Cannon Master
has been brought back as an undead! Backtracking and heading to the Hall of the High Command will finally take you to your ultimate goal of Dreadlord
. On your way you'll be able to find the
just before you reach him. As you finally arrive, you'll notice Balnazzar no longer hides behind a human form—you see him in all his demonic glory.
After slaying Balnazzar, you will be happy to know that the Argent Crusade moves in to back you up and throughout the instance is fighting any leftover mobs you may have skipped. You'll also be pleased to see that quest NPCs from the start of the instance have also returned, and are waiting for you to turn in any quests you may have completed during your adventure.
Stratholme - Service Gate
As you make your way in through the service entrance of the "undead" side of Stratholme, you will first notice you no longer need
to make your way through the instance. You'll once again be met by
with the quest
, which has you collect a
from the supply crates throughout the instance. As you open the gate,
does his thing and books it towards the second gate and disappears. Moving further in you will find the Alonsus Chapel, which will have all your quests for this part of the dungeon. Starting from the left we have
with the quest
, which has you collect essences from banshees throughout the instance. Next up is
who will give you the quest
, that has you kill
. In the middle is
, which requires you to kill the new end-boss:
. Finally on the right you have
, who gives you
that has you kill a
Now that you have the quests out of the way, the instance is pretty much unchanged. You still have to go visit all the ziggurats, and kill the bosses and
's ziggurat will be the
that will summon a
for the quest
. As you continue to proceed through the instance you will meet up with
. After slaying him, you can finally make it to the final boss of the instance,
! Once his death is assured the Argent Crusade will once again move in and clean up any mobs that you may have leftover. As with the Main Gate side of Stratholme, all the quest NPCs make a return at the end allowing you to turn in all the quests you completed before high-tailing it out of there.
Well that's all the changes for
What do you think?
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