Blizzard Announces Mount Hyjal: In Defense of Nordrassil
Among the Cataclysm related news Blizzard’s been trickling out has come the next big zone announcement for the expansion, Mount Hyjal:
For years, Mount Hyjal and the wounded World Tree, Nordrassil, have remained cut off from the rest of Azeroth. Sealed away within a protective field of dense foliage by Malfurion Stormrage, Nordrassil has been slowly recovering from the devastation of the Third War, when Malfurion called upon the tree’s power to destroy the archdemon Archimonde and repel the forces of the Burning Legion and Scourge. Now, with the impending cataclysm, the World Tree’s well-being is threatened once more. From the Firelands within the Elemental Plane, Ragnaros and his minions prepare to burst into Hyjal and set Nordrassil ablaze — and the conflagration would endanger all life on Azeroth.
In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, players will have the opportunity to explore the newly reopened Mount Hyjal as Azeroth’s heroes, with the help of Ysera, Malfurion Stormrage and Hamuul Runetotem, are called upon to push back the armies of the Firelord, banish Ragnaros to the Elemental Plane and lay waste to the twilight dragon stronghold in nearby Darkwhisper Gorge. This all-new level 78-82 zone will feature multiple quest hubs, phased terrain and quest lines, portals to micro-zones within the Firelands, an all-new raid dungeon, and much more.
Hear that, kiddies? Mount Hyjal will be a zone in Cataclysm, and not only will you be able to finally get in there, but you’ll have a job to do and some pretty serious allies to do it with. We’ll see Ysera herself, along with Malfurion and Hamuul (and possibly Malorne!) ready to stand against the elementals that will likely be raging through the area once Deathwing breaks through the Elemental plane.
Now the other amazing thing is that not only with Hyjal be an open zone, but the world tree itself, Nordrassil, previously thought completely destroyed after the Third War, will be present in the zone and will require our protection.
There are some amazing other tidbits here, like a insinuation that the Night Elf leadership will be somehow “fractured,” implying that we’ll finally see the tension between Tyrande Whisperwind and Fandral Staghelm coming to a head, and the two of them likely engaged in some kind of battle (likely not physically) for resources, allegiances, and the right to rule – something which is probably distracting the Night Elves from the task at hand: protecting Azeroth.
This is huge news, and only the second piece of zone information we’ve seen since Blizzard gave us a preview of the Abyssal Maw!