During Mists of Pandaria, the Alliance and Horde united against the tyrannical Warchief Garrosh Hellscream; Driven mad by the heart of Y’Shaarj, he saw a future where Stormwind City lay in ruins at his feet.
While Hellscream’s dreams of conquest never came to fruition, raiders who faced him in the Siege of Orgrimmar on mythic difficulty were shown a glimpse of his dark future during the final phase of the fight, when he pulls the players into his vision of a ruined Stormwind.
The fight only takes place on a small portion of Sha-corrupted ground above the docks, but by using the grappling hook (detailed in the video above) Outlaw rogues are able to get past the barrier and explore the entirety of the ruined city.
Interestingly, almost all of the architecture in the immediate vicinity of the boss area is non-collision, meaning that players can pass through it. This includes the entire outer wall of Stormwind City and all stairwells going up into city, the battlements and steps leading to the docks, and the docks themselves.
Because all the staircases around the boss platform are non-collision, the only way to get into Stormwind City is via the sea. Either hop on a water strider mount, or be prepared for a long swim because you’ll need to head to Westfall.
As you pass the harbor, it’s worth noting that the developers took the time to sink the four ships usually found docked in the harbor. One of the ships even has a detailed interior. This is especially strange as none of the ships are visible from the boss platform.
Continuing towards Westfall, you’ll also pass the former ruins of the Park District as it appeared from Cataclysm through Warlords of Draenor. It is no longer visible in-game, as in Legion it was repaired and turned into a memorial for King Varian Wrynn.
Upon reaching the shores of Westfall, you’ll find that a section of beach and about one quarter of the zone has been rendered, ending at an invisible wall like the one we saw while exploring inside Naxxramas. Following the road leads us to the bridge into Elwynn Forest, which notably lacks water.
As you follow the path, you’ll come across the town of Goldshire, with the famous Goldshire Inn hovering dangerously over the void. While the Inn can be entered, players are unable to pass where the invisible wall crosses the back section of the building.
Turning north, head towards the front gate of Stormwind City. Entering the gates causes the default raid music to be temporarily overridden by the iconic Stormwind theme. Additionally, you join the trade and local defense chats as if entering an actual capital city.
Without water, the Stormwind bridge is revealed to be much taller than it appears.
Inside the city all NPCs, and some spawned objects like auctioneer podiums are missing.
However the mailboxes and guild banks are not only present, but still work as they do in the live version of Stormwind.
Much like in the rivers and lakes, there is no water in the canals. But that doesn’t stop the boats that normally float on the surface of the water from floating in mid air. This is because stationary boats are hard coded to stay at certain coordinates, and merely have the illusion of floating on the water.
The Stormwind Stockades and Deeprun Tram portals are present as they appear on live, but neither will teleport you to it’s respective instance, and both have invisible walls a few feet behind them.
There are a few other oddities scattered throughout the city like the stairwell to nowhere leading out of the Dwarven District caused by a terrain change, and pools of fish flying throughout the sky where the palace lake should be.
A fascinating glimpse into the dystopian future we prevented in Siege of Orgrimmar; the ruins of Stormwind City are worth a trip whether you’re an aspiring explorer, or just a Horde player fantasizing about defeating the Alliance.