Ashenvale
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At least now, months later, we learned the actual reason for the underwater dark portal in Azshara. Thanks to John Staats' WoW Diary, we learned that they just had no idea where to put the actual Dark Portal from lore. They initially put it on Teldrassil, but weren't happy with the location. So, they put it in Azshara for a short while, thinking it would be a cool location for it. They ultimately decided to put it in the Blasted Lands because there was nothing interesting there.

I was shocked when I first read that, since the Dark Portal had an explicit location in lore: the Black Morass of the Swamp of Sorrows. They were just lucky and placed it just close enough that they could retcon the location in a believable way.

So yeah, the underwater Azshara location? It wasn't an unused instance portal. It was a temporary spot for the actual Dark Portal. People weren't that far off with that guess, though. Old instance portals used the Dark Portal as a placeholder, which caused the confusion.

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Pretty sick detective work there Minorou!

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Minorou wrote:
6 months ago
At least now, months later, we learned the actual reason for the underwater dark portal in Azshara. Thanks to John Staats' WoW Diary, we learned that they just had no idea where to put the actual Dark Portal from lore. They initially put it on Teldrassil, but weren't happy with the location. So, they put it in Azshara for a short while, thinking it would be a cool location for it. They ultimately decided to put it in the Blasted Lands because there was nothing interesting there.

I was shocked when I first read that, since the Dark Portal had an explicit location in lore: the Black Morass of the Swamp of Sorrows. They were just lucky and placed it just close enough that they could retcon the location in a believable way.

So yeah, the underwater Azshara location? It wasn't an unused instance portal. It was a temporary spot for the actual Dark Portal. People weren't that far off with that guess, though. Old instance portals used the Dark Portal as a placeholder, which caused the confusion.
But isnt it like that swamp of sorrows was far bigger zone. Im pretty sure that i read that "hellfire leaked through the dark portal into the azeroth and changed the land around portal itself".

So Im of that opinion that Swamps were in the Blasted land (also that's why it's called Blasted lands) and creation of portal changed that zone.

   Minorou
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Ashenvale
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s1atan wrote:
6 months ago
But isnt it like that swamp of sorrows was far bigger zone. Im pretty sure that i read that "hellfire leaked through the dark portal into the azeroth and changed the land around portal itself".

So Im of that opinion that Swamps were in the Blasted land (also that's why it's called Blasted lands) and creation of portal changed that zone.
The instruction booklet for Warcraft 1 described that the presence of the Dark Portal made the land around it more sick and swamp-like. We don't exactly see that in the Blasted Lands. Quite the opposite, in fact. Swamps are full of plant and insect life; the Blasted Lands are void of it.

Remember the Opening of the Dark Portal instance in the Caverns of Time? It was using the Swamp of Sorrows terrain and tileset. You're right that the area was a swamp already beforehand. That was the Black Morass. It's just that they retroactively changed the lore to fit the Dark Portal's incidental placement during WoW's creation.

Edit: Still, Blasted Lands is an acceptable location, it's pretty dang close to where it's supposed to be. I was far more concerned that they were considering Teldrassil and Azshara at first... places that didn't exist yet in the lore during the RTS games. That would have needed a far bigger retcon. It would be like after playing Warcraft 3, we learn in WoW that Arthas found Frostmourne in Pandaria instead. Heck, not even that. We knew Pandaria existed in Warcraft 3...

   s1atan
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I think I read it in novel, but memory might be tricky. :) good clarification!

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Minorou wrote:
6 months ago
At least now, months later, we learned the actual reason for the underwater dark portal in Azshara. Thanks to John Staats' WoW Diary, we learned that they just had no idea where to put the actual Dark Portal from lore. They initially put it on Teldrassil, but weren't happy with the location. So, they put it in Azshara for a short while, thinking it would be a cool location for it. They ultimately decided to put it in the Blasted Lands because there was nothing interesting there.

I was shocked when I first read that, since the Dark Portal had an explicit location in lore: the Black Morass of the Swamp of Sorrows. They were just lucky and placed it just close enough that they could retcon the location in a believable way.

So yeah, the underwater Azshara location? It wasn't an unused instance portal. It was a temporary spot for the actual Dark Portal. People weren't that far off with that guess, though. Old instance portals used the Dark Portal as a placeholder, which caused the confusion.
That was a really surprising detail he included.

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Here's something I uncovered during a Q&A on Reddit with some of the original developers.

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   teebling
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Nymis wrote:
5 months ago
Here's something I uncovered during a Q&A on Reddit with some of the original developers.

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This is something I am really hoping to do in classic. In Fact I would put this on the same level as downing KT

   Selexin
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