Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Last night I managed to finally get Gryphonheart to level 74, the level at which you are presented with a quest that grants you a free teleport to the floating city of Dalaran. Up until now, I've managed to avoid spoiling most of the city by a combination of not paying attention to it in beta (I saw it briefly when I created a pre-made character in the Wrath of the Lich King beta, but portaled out before I managed to get a good feel for the city) and not taking any Dalaran portals in live (Shattrath City remained my [Hearthstone]'s home location until last night).

I must say, it was definitely worth the wait. The city looks amazing, and you can really feel all the work that Blizzard put into creating and polishing the place. Of course, it doesn't hurt that this past October I attended BlizzCon '08, which included a World of Warcraft Art panel at which several Blizzard folks showed various aspects about designing the artistic elements of World of Warcraft, including a presentation which showcased each stage of the city's development.

It was mind-blowing seeing how much thought went into even the most minor details (including the various flavor objects you see in the shops. For example, the potions displayed in The Agronomical Apothecary (above) are designed after the various different potion icons found throughout the game, as are the shards, essences, and dust found in Simply Enchanting (below).

Some objects were created specifically to enhance the city's aesthetic character, such as the variety of sweets which can be found on and around Aimee's Pie, Pastry & Cakes cart outside The Bank of Dalaran. Also, if you do visit Aimee's cart, keep an eye out for the different kinds of gingerbread cookies :)

Oh, and yes, they did show panel attendees what Dalaran looked like before it picked itself up and floated off to Northrend. Sadly, I don't think it was a sneak preview of an upcoming Dalaran-centric Caverns of Time instance, as some have speculated.

PS: In case you're wondering, the image at the top of this blog post is my favorite part of Dalaran. :P

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