Hellscream’s Vision: Exploring the ruins of Stormwind City


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.

ruins of stormwind cityWhile 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.

impaled siege of orgrimmar

ruins of stormwind docksThe 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.

stormwind ruins stairs
No wonder Stormwind fell with defenses like these!

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.

ruins of stormwind harbor
“Which one of these goes to Northrend?”

siege of orgrimmar westfallBecause 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.

stormwind harbor ruinsStormwind shipwreckAs 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.

park district ruinsContinuing 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.

instanced westfall bridgeUpon 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.

instanced goldshire
Possibly the only screenshot of Goldshire in existence not filled with ERPers.

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.

instanced stormwind gatesTurning 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.

stormwind bridge

Without water, the Stormwind bridge is revealed to be much taller than it appears.

stormwind mailbox
“Dear Postmaster, I am extremely lost. Please send help.”

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.


stormwind auction house
Going once? Going twice? Anyone?

instanced stormwind canalsMuch 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.

stormwind stockadesinstanced deeprun tramThe 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.

instanced stormwind stairwell
The stairwell to nowhere.

park district ruinsThere 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.

ruins of stormwind

Previous articleInside Naxxramas: The hidden zone
Next articleDeathwing’s Victory: The Echoes of a Sundered Azeroth
Ever since I started playing World of Warcraft back in 2009, I've loved hunting for hidden items, secret areas, and unanswered mysteries in the game. The goal of Hidden Azeroth is to combine all the things I've found into one place so that other players can learn about and explore them as well. I hope you enjoy!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here