In this expansion Deathwing have returned to Azaroth from the elemental plane where he was hiding. His return destroyed and reshaped parts of Azaroth, mostly to allow flying mounts. The Cataclysm created rifts to the elemental plane and some of them starts attacks on Azaroth. So let's save the world's again by killing things in dungeons and raids.
Temple cities are the home of troll tribes and there are two to visit in this expansion. Both dungeons is in the eastern kingdoms and they are updated versions from past expansions.
Zul'Gurub is found in Stranglethorn Vale and was a raid instance in World of Warcraft. It was a bit hard to visit as i played on a PvP server in those days. In Gankerthorne Vale there where the sound of the jungle and players leaving stealth to kill you. Easy to visit now with flying mounts. The events in this dungeon contine the story from the Temple of Atal'Hakkar and the classic raid instance of this dungeon. The jungle trolls of the Gurubashi tribe once again try to restore the glory of the old troll empire with dark magic. This time by draining the power of the Hakkar, the Blood God. It does not end well, it never does.
This is what a stealth critical fail roll looks like in D&D
In northern Lordaeron the forest trolls of the Amani tribe control the temple city of Zul'Aman. They to like the idea of trolls that rule Azaroth. The get an edge over it's enemies they have bound the animal gods they worship into selected champions of the tribe. Lot's of animal forms to kill inside Zul'Aman. I'm not sure Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals approve.
A calm and relaxing place, i'm sure we can get some tea and talk us out of it
The Twilight Hammers
The Twilight's Hammer cult serves and worship the old gods. They are into the whole end of the world idea and are happy to help Deathwing return to power. Like any self respecting death cult they choose to hide in dungeons with lava.
There is enough space in Blackrock mountain for any number of dungeons. If only they add some guards so one can ask for direction to the right portal. It's awkward to stumble into Nefarian throne room when you where looking for Emperor Dagran. The caverns are used to turn the most devout followers into Drakanoids and to create weapons for war. It is part of a subterranean network used to transport the fire elementals from Mount hyjal to where they are needed for the war.
Workplace saftey does not matter when your work is to end the world
The entrance to Grim Batol was there when World of Warcraft was first released. Teasing you to find a way inside but it is first in Cataclysm we get a chance to visit. Built as stronghold by the Wildhammer dwarves it is now used by the Twilight hammer. It's a good looking destroyed dwarf city in the style of Ironforge but i'm sligtly disappointed. I expected more behind the mystical door.
Lava and an anvil, yep this is dwarven country
Uldum is a desert located on the sothern coast of Kalimdor. It have been hidden by magic for thousands of years until the cataclysm opened the way to it.
Halls of Origination
A titan forged complex inside a large pyramid. Not sure about the story here and how it makes sense. Seems like a replay of the events in the Ulduar from Wrath of the Lich King. All these dungeons start to blend in my mind. Doomsday device that sounds like it will reset to whole planet, like a giant clean install button. Anyway, Bronzebeard and i stopped it, all is well in the land.
Lost City of the Tol'vir
The Tol'vir is a race of feline humanoids. They where titan-forged of stone but the curse of flesh turned them to squishy meat form. The Neferset tribe did not like the flesh life and now they made a deal with Deathwing to return to stone form. Instead of using it to prank people as statues they return to the capital city and go dark side. Now they strike out against others in Uldum and King Phaoris of the Ramkahen tribe do not approve.
Get in, kill all the stoned cats and get the catnip back
The Elemental Planes
The elemental plane is the home of the elementals. The classic earth, wind, water and fire that is the law of fantasy. Each one have a boss called an Elemental lord and the lords of air and fire allied themselv with Deathwing. Each have it's own world based on it's element and rifts now makes it possible to cross into them from Azaroth.
The Vortex Pinnacle
Floating in the sky in southern Kalimdor is a way into Skywall, the elemental plane of air. Fight air elementals and travel between parts of the city using tornadoes.
The call of the void sings to me
Throne of the Tides
The dungeon related to water does not take place in water. Why! To get in you have to swim from Vashj'ir, a zone of water, into the Abyssal Maw that sucks you down into the deep ocean. Then when you finally arrive at the plane that should be water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink you walk around in dry tunnels. Crimes against fantasy. I want to ride into the fight on my seahorse with a narwhal lance.
I like the style of all the elemental plane dungeons
Deepholm is the earth region of the elemental plane. Inside it is the Stonecore, the dungeon where deathwing rested and was healed by members of the Twilight's Hammer. Things are a bit destroyed from when he left for Azaroth and now the shamans of the Earthen Ring try to repair it. Still some twilight cultists left so i do what heroes do, kill everything in sight.
This is not a solid foundation for the planet
Caverns of Time
Time travel is the deus ex machina of science fiction and the MCU. It also works well in WOW when you have Chromie. To solve the mess that is Deathwing we need a artifact known as the Dragon Soul. It was destroyed in the first war against the burning legion. To travel back and get it we first need to travel forward to the end of the world
Travel back in time is blocked by the mysterious dragon Murozond. So in this dungeon we travel forward in time into a future where deathwing have won. That gives us a chance to find and kill Murozond and unlock the timeways back to the dragon soul. Set in a ruined version of Dragonblight we get to fight corrupt echos of heroes from Azaroths past and then fight Murozond. Each fight is set in a destroyed version of the dragonshrines. Some we seen before in Wrath of the Lich King and some new ones.
A hourglass with a wizard hat
Well of Eternity
Time to go back to the war with the burning legion and steal the dragon soul when no one is looking. To blend in we dress up as a night elf, like we visit a elf convention. The whole instance is filled with notable characters from Azaroths history. Bit sad really. You follow the leaders of your factions a few millenniums back time and find out it is the same people they have been struggling with all the time. I think it is time we accept we need a change in leadership.
These elf ears go up to eleven
Hour of Twilight
This is an escort mission to get thrall with the dragon soul across Dragonblight to Wyrmrest temple. A relaxing trip if you ignore the ice elementals, twilight hammers and servants of the old gods that try to kill you. It works well even if it is a area everyone has spent lots of time in. I think it is the chill escort mission style that make it work. Outdoor dungeons in existing zones where they try to do to much don't work that well.