Warcraft 3 was the gateway game for World of Warcraft. The players that loved the popular RTS game of the 1990s, and there were many, weren’t just enjoying their gaming time. They were also following a compelling story that had seen the rise of Thrall as Warchief, the undeath of Sylvanas Windrunner, the emergence of the Forsaken as a race, and the fall of Prince Arthas Menethil.
Part of the attraction was being able to personally visit the geography of the famous locations that had been settings for these famous campaigns. Some of them were named in Warcraft 3 as the locations of important battles or other events that unfolded in the Scourge campaign as Arthas marched north. There are several landmarks and locations in the Northrend of the World of Warcraft MMORPG that were also featured in the vintage RTS game.
6 The Forgotten Shore
There are several different campaigns in The Frozen Throne, and before Arthas goes to Northrend the players have to get through the Sentinal and Alliance chapters. Finally, however, King Arthas arrives in Northrend, and his ships land on the Forgotten Shore.
The Forgotten Shore is a region of Dragonblight in the southeastern part of the zone and is close to the border with Grizzly Hills. Arthas has to finish two quests in this area that included driving back the Blood Elves and destroying their stronghold before moving towards the pass that leads west to Azjol-Nerub.
5 The Wasteland of Dragonblight
Arthas landed near the eastern part of the zone and had to travel to the northwestern side of it, where the zone of Icecrown and the Frozen Throne awaited him. The fastest way across the zone was through the middle of Dragonblight, a ruined wasteland filled with little more than snow, ice, and frozen rocks.
This is the portion of the game that includes an optional quest to slay the dragon Sapphiron, steal his hoard, and resurrect him as a frost-wyrm. Sapphiron was cursed to guard Kel’Thuzad in undeath, which is why the player has fought him already as the second-last boss in the floating citadel of Naxxramus. This dramatic scene, and the march of the Scourge army from the Forgotten Shore to Azjol-Nerub, were featured as part of the promotional material for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
Once the Classic: WoW expansion is live, Azjol-Nerub can be accessed via two 5-players dungeons, Azjol-Nerub and Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom. Unlike the journey Arthas takes, however, it’s not possible for players to use these dungeons as a route between Dragonblight and Icecrown. According to lore, these extensive passages also stretch east into the zone of Zul’Drak.
In the W3 expansion, Arthas is accompanied by the king of the Nerubians, Anub’arak, as he moves through the extensive caverns under Northrend that make up the Nerubian civilization. There are several chapters in the campaigns that include both the Upper and Lower Kingdom of the Nerubians.
3 Icecrown Glacier
After Arthas successfully passed north through the caverns of the ancient Nerubians, he and his forces emerged to face the Icecrown Glacier. Icecrown is designed to accommodate characters in the 77-80 range, the only other being Storm Peaks to the east. The glacier and the Lich King’s extensive forces, in the air and on the ground, prevent anyone without a flying mount from even entering the zone.
This location includes several landmarks that players from the modern game will recognize, such as Mord’rethar: The Death Gate, the Court of Bones, and the imposing visage of the Icecrown Citadel.
2 Icecrown Citadel
The location of the Frozen Throne, the court of the Lich King, and the eternal resting place of Ner’zhul, Icecrown Citadel has no less than 12 bosses, and in the modern game, this is an impressive raid for level 80 players. The dark morsel on top of this icy cake is the opportunity to face one of the most awesome bosses in the Warcraft universe, the Lich King, formerly Arthas Menethil.
Arthas had to lead his own raid into Icecrown Citadel when he arrived. Modern players might find it a bit odd that his final battle is with a familiar face, Illidan Stormrage, the final boss of the Black Temple raid in Outland.
1 The Frozen Throne
Players don’t get to actually see the Frozen Throne until they enter the dungeon and defeat Arthas for the last time. It’s not a regular location that players can visit whenever they want, either. The whole of Icecrown Citadel is built around the throne and in Warcraft 3, Arthas had to fight Illidan Stormrage and his forces in order to reach it. When he did, he freed the trapped spirit of Ner’zhul and merged with it, becoming the new Lich King.
The story continues when the player ventures to this same cold wasteland as a part of the united force that makes up both the Alliance and Horde. The final assault on the Frozen Throne is either led by Jaina Proudmoore or Sylvanas Windrunner, depending on what faction the player has chosen, which is how the last part of the raid plays out.
World of Warcraft Classic is available on PC.