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Patch 4.0.3a and the Cataclysm Cataclysm introduced new travel challenges for players. The portal hubs in Dalaran and Shattrath are gone, great fissures in the earth now impede overland travel between certain zones, many zone levels have changed, and players are now required to discover the new high-level instances before they are allowed to queue for them in the dungeon finder. A firm grasp of the geography of the world and an understanding of the available means for moving from one place to another will help you meet these challenges.

This guide presents the fundamentals of post-Cataclysm travel between the three continents of Azeroth (Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, and Northrend) and provides details regarding the many methods of travel available. Also included is information about travel between these continents and Outland.

With the release of Mists of Pandaria, most of this guide has become obsolete, as the Vale of Eternal Blossoms once again provides portal hubs for each faction (the Alliance Shrine of Seven Stars and Horde Shrine of Two Moons contain portals to all faction capitals, as well as Dalaran and Shattrath). It is kept for historical purposes.

Contents

How travel has changed

The Cataclysm brought a new concept for world travel. In the TBC Burning Crusade and WotLK Wrath of the Lich King expansions, a portal hub in a single remote city provided access to the major cities in the Old World.

By contrast, in the post-Cataclysm world, new and improved travel facilities have turned the two faction capitals, Stormwind and Orgrimmar, into worldwide travel centers. Located in the heartlands of Azeroth's two original continents, these cities have also become centers for all types of training, daily quests, auctioning, and other activities.

Although the old portal hubs are gone, improved mass transit and taxi services, greatly expanded solo flight, and new portal hubs allow players to move freely and reasonably quickly throughout the world. Shorter cycle times for ships and zeppelins and the addition of many new flight paths have made travel over land and sea much easier and faster than before, even for low level characters.

Cataclysm Things get even better as you level up. Characters who have reached level 60 can now fly freely around almost all of Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms. Characters level 80 and above can make use of new portal hubs in the capital cities. Located in Stormwind and Orgrimmar, these hubs provide rapid access to the new level 81-85 zones. [1]

Also, judicious use of new and existing Quest Portals and Item Portals can help speed your travel times.

Patch 4.1

Patch 4.1 has reinstated the portals in Shattrath and Dalaran which give access to Stormwind and Orgrimmar, portals which were removed in the Shattering prior to the Cataclysm. The return of these portals results in a substantial expansion of your travel and hearthstone options.

For example, even lower-level characters who do not have access to portal items and quest portals can set their hearthstone to Dalaran, giving them access to the facilities in Dalaran as well as its portal to the Caverns of Time in Tanaris, while also still having rapid access to their faction capital via the portal in Dalaran. Players who choose to set their hearthstone to Shattrath may also make use of the portal from Shattrath to the Isle of Quel'Danas. This is particularly useful for Horde characters, since it provides rapid access to Silvermoon and the Undercity.

Also, note that some of the quest portals and portal items outlined on this page can require expenditure of considerable time and/or gold to acquire. With the new rapid access to both Dalaran (or Shattrath) and your faction capital, you may find that your reasons for acquiring some of these quest and item portals are much less compelling than before.

  1. ^ You must complete quests for access to these portals, and the portals to Tol Barad require level 85. See Portals below for more information.

Setting your hearthstone

The variety of travel methods now available have an impact on where you choose to set your hearthstone. As you level up, you need to travel more, but fortunately more means of travel open up as well. Here are some suggestions about where to set your hearthstone to make best use of the methods available at your current level.

Level 10

At about level 7 to 10, when you have emerged from your race's starting zone, setting your hearthstone to a city near where you are questing provides convenient access to trainers and auction houses. New flight paths get you quickly to your questing area.

Level 20

Sometime after you get your first mount at level 20, you will begin to roam the wider world. You'll be spending time on ships and maybe zeppelins, meeting new flight masters and buying taxi flights, and riding the roads to new zones.

You may find it advantageous to set your hearthstone to an inn in your faction's capital city. The Alliance and Horde faction capitals, Stormwind and Orgrimmar, now have class, profession, riding[1], and flight trainers, as well as cooking and fishing daily quests that all characters level 10 and up can complete.

Mass transit and taxis provide ready access for all levels from these cities to most parts of the Old World.

Level 56

Starting at level 56, you can use any of your faction's major cities as your home base. A quick sequence of portals[2] will get you rapidly to your faction's capital. Other portals or a short flight connect you to your faction's other cities. A hearthstone in the right city will give you access to any of your faction's cities in one to three minutes.

For example, if you are Horde, you can set your hearthstone in Silvermoon and have quick access to the Undercity via the Orb of Translocation and to Orgrimmar via the Dark Portal sequence.[2] Thunder Bluff is a short flight from Orgrimmar.

Alliance toons in Darnassus have similar portal access[2] to the Exodar and Stormwind, while Ironforge is a short flight from Stormwind.

Level 63

TBC Since there are now class and profession trainers and auction houses in Shattrath, when you are questing in Outland you may find you have little need to travel back to the Old World.

At about level 63, when you've moved on from Hellfire Peninsula to zones such as Terokkar Forest or Nagrand, which are more distant from the Stair of Destiny and its portal to your faction capital, you may want to set your hearthstone in Shattrath.

Level 68

WotLK At level 68 or so, when you start questing in Northrend, you'll probably want to move your hearthstone to Dalaran and keep it there while you quest. Just as in Shattrath, you'll find there are now class and profession trainers and auction houses in Dalaran, which minimizes the need to return to your faction capital.

Level 74

At level 74 you can pick up the quest B [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran. This provides you with a portal to Dalaran from your faction's ports in Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord. Don't turn the quest in! As long as you don't complete this quest you can use these portals.

This makes it practical to set your hearthstone to your faction capital or some other useful place, since you can quickly reach Dalaran via a quick ship or zeppelin ride and the quest portal. If you want to do dailies in both Dalaran and your faction capital, these portals will shave roughly four minutes off your commuting time each day.

Level 80+

Once you have more or less finished questing in Northrend and have begun spending most of your time in the Old World again, it makes sense to set your hearthstone to your faction capital.

At this point the Dark Portal sequence[2] becomes quite useful, giving you rapid access to your faction capital from all of your faction's major cities. (See Level 56, above, for suggestions about where to set your hearthstone to make maximum use of this access.)

Cataclysm In addition, you can make use of the new portal hubs[3] in the capital cities to access the new level 81-85 zones. This gives you fast access to (and in some cases return from) more parts of the major continents. For example, Horde can quickly get to central Eastern Kingdoms (and back) via the portal to Twilight Highlands. Alliance can reach northern Kalimdor via the portal to Hyjal, while both factions can get to southern Kalimdor in seconds via the portal to Uldum.

  1. ^ The riding trainers in the capitals do not require the character to be exalted with the city's faction, although the racial mount vendors do.
  2. ^ a b c d At level 56, you will be able to use the portals in any of your faction's major cities to the Blasted Lands, go through the Dark Portal, and take the portal at the Stair of Destiny to your faction capital. See the Dark Portal sequence in the Outland section for more information.
  3. ^ The portals at the new portal hubs have quest completion and minimum level requirements. See the Portals section for details.

Shattrath Alternative

As an unorthodox alternative, Shattrath City should be seriously considered as a hearthstone location even after reaching level 85, as it offers numerous advantages.

  • All things considered, Shattrath is probably the single most central city in the game, particularly for Horde players. With a flight to the Dark Portal, you can go straight through the portal to Orgrimmar, and you can likewise get to the Undercity by going through the Shattrath portal to Quel'Danas, taking the flight path back to Silvermoon, and using Orb of Translocation to port to Undercity. Alliance players still have the Stair of Destiny portal to Stormwind nearby, as well.
  • While it has an Auction House, a full set of trainers, and Trade chat, Shattrath is usually almost completely empty, which basically means you get to have your cake and eat it. You've got all of the facilities of a major faction capital, with none of the lag that very often goes with them.
  • Farming Outland can often still be reasonably lucrative even at level 85, particularly considering that on the auction house, you usually don't have much competition for Outland materials, and people often want to buy them in order to level up the Outland portions of their professions, without having to actually travel to Outland themselves. Hellfire Peninsula is rich in Fel Iron, and a comparatively short flight from Shattrath for mining.
  • There are three guild items with separate cooldowns that allow for 8 hr, 4 hr, and 2 hr CD's on a teleport to Stormwind/Orgrimmar, as well as the  [Baradin's Wardens Tabard] offering a teleport to Tol Barad (a portal away from Stormwind/Orgrimmar) - allowing for teleportation to your faction capital city on an average cooldown of less than an hour. The item  [Signet of the Kirin Tor] allows for teleportation to Dalaran every half hour. By contrast, no such item exists for teleportation to Shattrath, aside from Mage Portals.

However, despite all of the above advantages, raiders will often prefer setting their hearth to Stormwind/Orgrimmar.

Flight enhancements

Flight paths

Patch 4.0.3a added many new flight paths (also known as "taxis") to both Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, especially in the lower level zones.

Flight paths in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms are now shown on the in-game map. After you have discovered an area, any flight masters in that area will show up on your map as a winged foot: blue for Alliance, red for Horde, and green for neutral.

You'll need to talk to the flight masters[1] to pick up the flight paths, but once you do they will make travel for low level characters much easier than it was prior to patch 4.0.3a.

Flying solo

Cataclysm Characters level 60 or above can learn Expert riding and purchase a [Flight Master's License] from a flying trainer near the flight masters in Stormwind, Orgrimmar, Hellfire Peninsula, Borean Tundra, or Dalaran. This license allows the character to fly almost[2] anywhere in the Old World.

All characters level 68 or above[3] can now purchase WotLK [Cold Weather Flying] from a flying trainer. This permits flying in all of Northrend.

The Expert riding skill, a [Flight Master's License], and [Cold Weather Flying] combine to allow a player to fly almost anywhere in the world, except within certain instances and a few zones not yet revised for flight.[2]

  1. ^ Many of the new flight masters have only a single connection to another flight master in the same zone. This is in contrast to the pre-Cata flight masters, who are connected to the network of flight masters in other zones. The single-connection flight masters will not be able to provide you a flight to anywhere until you have also talked to the appropriate network-connected flight master in that zone.
  2. ^ a b Solo flight is still not possible in the TBC zones connected to the Old World, including the Exodar, Azuremyst Isle, Bloodmyst Isle, Silvermoon, Eversong Woods, Ghostlands, and associated islands.
  3. ^ Prior to Cataclysm, minimum level for [Cold Weather Flying] was 77, or level 68 with a  [Tome of Cold Weather Flight].

Mass transit

Ships, zeppelins, and trams

A network of ships, zeppelins, and a tram connects the major cities and ports on all three continents of Azeroth. [1] These methods of transport are known as "mass transit." Running on a regular schedule, mass transit is free, and it's fast, safe, and easy for all levels of characters.

Mass transit is the most practical way to get between continents, particularly for lower level characters. Mass transit can also be used to travel between certain major cities on the same continent, or between the northern region of a continent and the southern region. Even the highest level characters (other than mages) are likely to find this method of transport useful.

This section contains, for each faction, a table of ports by continent and region, and each port's connections. A quick glance at your faction's table should give you a good idea of how to get where you want to go.

Also included are tables of the mass transit routes available to each faction, accompanied by maps providing graphical representation of these routes and ports.

These maps and tables are intended to help you form a mental picture of the world, and the regions accessible by mass transit. They are also a quick reference for those times when you can't quite remember how to get where you want to go.

Ports

Ships and zeppelins connect the continents of Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, and Northrend. Below are tables of the ports where they dock, and the ports to which they are connected via mass transit. (See the next section for tables and maps of mass transit routes.)

You can sort these tables by clicking on a column heading.

Alliance ports
Continent/Region City Faction Type Connections Via
Kalimdor North Darnassus Alliance Major city Stormwind, Exodar ship, portal
Kalimdor North Exodar Alliance Major city Darnassus ship, portal
Kalimdor Central Ratchet Neutral Port Booty Bay ship
Kalimdor Central Theramore Alliance Port Menethil ship
Eastern Kingdoms Central Menethil Alliance Port Theramore, Valgarde ship
Eastern Kingdoms Central Ironforge Alliance Major city Stormwind tram
Eastern Kingdoms South Stormwind Alliance Capital Darnassus, Ironforge, Valiance Keep ship, tram
Eastern Kingdoms South Booty Bay Neutral Port Ratchet ship
Northrend West Valiance Keep Alliance Port Stormwind ship
Northrend East Valgarde Alliance Port Menethil ship
Horde ports
Continent/Region City Faction Type Connections Via
Kalimdor Central Orgrimmar Horde Capital Thunder Bluff, Undercity, Grom'Gol, Warsong Hold zeppelin
Kalimdor Central Thunder Bluff Horde Major city Orgrimmar zeppelin
Kalimdor Central Ratchet Neutral Port Booty Bay ship
Eastern Kingdoms North Silvermoon Horde Major city Undercity portal
Eastern Kingdoms North Undercity Horde Major city Orgrimmar, Silvermoon, Grom'Gol, Vengeance Landing zeppelin, portal
Eastern Kingdoms South Grom'Gol Horde Port Orgrimmar, Undercity zeppelin
Eastern Kingdoms South Booty Bay Neutral Port Ratchet ship
Northrend West Warsong Hold Horde Port Orgrimmar zeppelin
Northrend East Vengeance Landing Horde Port Undercity zeppelin

Note that the intracontinental neutral Northrend ports of Unu'pe, Moa'ki Harbor, and Kamagua have been omitted from these tables. See Boats for more information on the routes between these ports.

Routes

If you already know where the ports are located on each continent, the following tables may provide a more convenient reference.

Note that the Nauticus[2] add-on learns the schedule for ship and zeppelin arrivals and departures on your realm and displays the next scheduled times for any route you choose. Nauticus allows you to set an alarm to let you know when the next voyage is due.

The mass transit routes below are all bidirectional.

Alliance Ports & Routes
Alliance Mass Transit
Between And Type Note
Stormwind Darnassus ship
Stormwind Ironforge tram
Stormwind Borean Tundra ship
Menethil Theramore ship
Menethil Howling Fjord ship
Darnassus The Exodar ship or portal
Ratchet Booty Bay ship Neutral

The ships between Darnassus and Stormwind, and Darnassus and the Exodar dock at Rut'theran Village, at the base of the enormous tree known as Teldrassil. You can get between Darnassus and Rut'theran Village via portals located next to their respective flight masters.

Note that once you pick up the flight path in the Exodar, you can now take the taxi between there and Rut'theran or Darnassus. You can also fly from the Exodar or Darnassus to locations in Kalimdor where you have flight paths.

There is also a portal in the Temple of the Moon in Darnassus which goes to the Exodar. This portal is on the first floor, next to the portal to the Blasted Lands, and has no level requirement.

Horde Ports & Routes
Horde Mass Transit
Between And Type Note
Orgrimmar Undercity zeppelin
Orgrimmar Thunder Bluff zeppelin
Orgrimmar Grom'Gol, STV zeppelin
Orgrimmar Borean Tundra zeppelin
Undercity Silvermoon City portal Orb of Translocation
Undercity Grom'Gol, STV zeppelin
Undercity Howling Fjord zeppelin
Ratchet Booty Bay ship Neutral

Note that the zeppelin routes between Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff and between the Undercity and Grom'Gol Base Camp in Northern Stranglethorn are to points on the same continent, rather than intercontinental as with other zeppelin (and ship) voyages. The zeppelin between the Undercity and Grom'Gol makes travel between the northern and southern parts of Eastern Kingdoms easy even if you have not yet picked up the key Horde flight path at New Kargath in the Badlands.

Shorter waits at the dock

The time it takes to travel using mass transit has been significantly reduced. Before Patch 4.0.3a, players often had to wait four or five minutes for a ship or zeppelin to arrive at their point of departure. Now the time between departures is typically closer to two minutes.

Also, characters with the ability to fly in the departure zone can land on a ship or zeppelin which has already departed, provided it has not gained too much speed. This allows you to catch a voyage you might otherwise have missed. Characters with flight ability in the destination zone can fly off the ship or zeppelin before it has reached the dock, saving a little more time.

The newly reduced departure cycle time is key to efficient travel in the post-Cataclysm world. Although the ports look far away on the map, in practical terms they are actually only two or three minutes apart - much less time than it takes to fly across a continent.

Thus, the actual travel time between, for example, Stormwind and Darnassus, is less than a minute longer than the travel time between Stormwind and Ironforge. The same is true for travel between Orgrimmar and Undercity.

You can use the Nauticus[2] add-on to see the departure and arrival times for upcoming voyages. Nauticus also allows you to set an alarm to let you know when the next voyage is due.

Cross-faction mass transit

Warning! There are exceptions to Blizzard's "passive crew" policy.[3]

Blizzard's blog post, One if by Zeppelin: Two if by Boat, states that the crew on the opposing faction's mass transit will never attack a player[3]. So if you're an Alliance player, and you can avoid the guards on the zeppelin docks, you can use zeppelins for travel. Likewise, if you're Horde, you can use Alliance ships.

If you can fly, avoiding the guards will be much easier. Fly onto the rear platform of a zeppelin, or the stern of a ship, and fly off before it reaches its destination port.

Keep in mind, however, that airborne guards patrol the major cities. If you take a zeppelin to Orgrimmar, for example, it's likely that the guards will start shooting at you before you are able to depart the city limits.

Also, watch for players of the opposing faction, who may not share the crew's scruples about attacking you. Ships and zeppelins which do not enter a city (which automatically flags you for PvP) are likely to be safer[4][5].

Note that the dockmasters and zeppelin masters (on the zeppelin docks) have the vessel's destination in their title, so you can mouse over them to make sure the transport is headed where you want to go.

Mass transit vs mage portals

To put travel times into perspective, remember that the loading screen part of a mass transit trip takes the same amount of time as that of a hearthstone - or a portal. The only time penalty for taking a ship or zeppelin is the wait time at the dock, and that is now almost always less than two minutes.

Keep this in mind the next time you are tempted to advertise in the trade chat for a mage to sell you a portal to another city. By the time you find a mage and he or she gets to you, takes your gold, and pops you a portal, you could have already been aboard mass transit and on your way.

Also, many ships and zeppelins land near a flight master, whereas a mage portal will often deposit you somewhere deep in the bowels of your destination city.

For most city to city trips, when you consider the total time of the trip, typically mass transit will get you to your destination as fast as or faster than a mage portal.

And mass transit is free.

Exceptions

The main exception is Dalaran, because the taxi flight between Dalaran and the ports in Borean Tundra is almost five minutes. Master flying (310%) knocks this down to just over four minutes, but added to the ship or zeppelin ride, the total travel time between a port in the Old World and Dalaran could be six to eight minutes. If you can find a mage quickly a portal might be a little faster.

However, if you can fly in Azeroth and Northrend there are at least three ways to travel between Dalaran and your faction capital in about five to seven minutes (depending on your riding skill level) using NPC portals. See The Dalaran Commute.

Certain items or questgivers also can teleport you to Dalaran or other convenient locations. See Item Portals and Quest Portals.

But unless you are questing in Northrend, why do you need to go to Dalaran at all? The faction capital cities, Stormwind and Orgrimmar, are now the travel hubs, and have trainers and daily quests as well. And while you are questing in Northrend, the class trainers and auctioneers who arrived in Dalaran with 4.0.3a pretty much eliminate the need to go to any other cities.

Another exception might be Stormwind to Theramore; Alliance characters below level 60 wanting to get from their travel hub to central Kalimdor will need to fly (or take the tram) to Menethil to catch a ship to Theramore, or fly to Booty Bay and take a ship to Ratchet. The necessary taxi flights[6] are close to four minutes, so a mage portal to Theramore may save lower level characters a little time.

Also, travel from the faction capitals to the TBC cities of Exodar and Silvermoon involve runs between ports and portals, and some trips, such as Silvermoon to Thunder Bluff or Exodar to Ironforge, require multiple voyages if your hearthstone is not set to your faction capital. In cases like these, a mage might save you a few minutes.

  1. ^ In two cases, portals are also available for travel between two cities. Although these are not strictly mass transit, they are included in the tables above because they complete the city-to-city travel picture.
  2. ^ a b Nauticus - An add-on which learns and displays ship and zeppelin arrival and departure times on your realm, with optional alarm.
  3. ^ a b Warning! There is at least one exception to the reassuring statement in the Blizzard blog regarding the passivity of mass transit crews. Alliance players attempting to board a zeppelin at Warsong Hold in Borean Tundra are attacked by the zeppelin's crew. (Horde players can, however, safely board the Alliance ship from Valiance Keep in Borean Tundra to Stormwind.)
  4. ^ An example of a safer route is the zeppelin between Tirisfal Glades and Grom'Gol, which provides Alliance toons quick transit between northern and southern Eastern Kingdoms. Just don't fly east over Lordaeron when you are in the vicinity of the Tirisfal Glades zeppelin towers, or you'll be flagged for PvP.
  5. ^ Horde players can fairly safely use the Alliance ship between Theramore and Menethil to travel between central Kalimdor and central Eastern Kingdoms.
  6. ^ Cataclysm Characters with a [Flight Master's License] can fly from Stormwind to Menethil or Booty Bay in two minutes or less, and characters who have appropriate access at the portal hubs in Stormwind can take a portal to either Hyjal or Uldum to quickly reach Kalimdor.

Portals

Several portals allow rapid travel between continents, or to distant areas of the same continent. Some of these portals can be used by either faction.

In some cases, portals can be used as stages in a trip designed for rapid travel from one part of the Old World to another. For example, a level 56+ character in Silvermoon can quickly reach Orgrimmar by taking the portal to the Blasted Lands, running through the Dark Portal, and then taking the small portal beside the Stair of Destiny to Orgrimmar. See The Dalaran Commute for more multi-portal routes.

Portals in Northrend are also included here. For portals between Outland and the Old World, see the Outland section below.

Also, see [Teleport] for a list of non-mage teleportation spells that require a certain class, profession, and/or item to use.

World Travel Portals & Portal Hubs

Some portals listed below can be used by characters of any level, while others require a minimum level or completion of certain quests before they can be used.

Alliance Portals
Zone/City Location Direction Zone/City Location Faction Level Notes
Exodar Vault of Lights Both Darnassus Temple of the Moon Alliance 1
Darnassus The Temple Gardens Both Teldrassil shore Rut'theran Village Alliance 1
Shattrath Terrace of Light One way Stormwind Mage Quarter Alliance 1
Shattrath Terrace of Light One way Isle of Quel'danas Sun's Reach Sanctum Neutral 70 Quests required
Sholazar Basin Waygate Both Un'Goro Crater Shaper's Terrace Neutral 77 Waygate activation required
Dalaran The Silver Enclave One way Stormwind Mage Quarter Alliance 1
Dalaran The Violet Citadel One way Tanaris Caverns of Time Neutral 1
Dalaran Violet Gate Both Crystalsong Forest Violet Stand Neutral 1 Violet Stand Crystal must be used first
Stormwind Eastern Earthshrine Both Hyjal Nordrassil Alliance 80 Cataclysm Hero's Call quest required
Stormwind Eastern Earthshrine One way Vash'jir Seafarer's Tomb Alliance 80 Cataclysm Hero's Call quest required
Stormwind Eastern Earthshrine Both Deepholm Temple of Earth Alliance 82 Cataclysm Hero's Call quest required
Stormwind Eastern Earthshrine One way Uldum Ramkahen Alliance 83 Cataclysm Uldum quest required
Stormwind Eastern Earthshrine Both Twilight Highlands Highbank Alliance 84 Cataclysm Portal quest required
Stormwind Eastern Earthshrine Both Tol Barad Baradin Base Camp Alliance 85 Cataclysm

The Cataclysm Alliance portal hub, The Eastern Earthshrine, is located on a small island in a lake northwest of Stormwind Keep. It is accessible on foot through the Dwarven District gate.


Horde Portals
Zone/City Location Direction Zone/City Location Faction Level Notes
Silvermoon Sunfury Spire Both Undercity Ruins of Lordaeron Horde 1 Orbs of Translocation
Shattrath Terrace of Light One way Orgrimmar Cleft of Shadow Horde 1
Shattrath Terrace of Light One way Isle of Quel'danas Sun's Reach Sanctum Neutral 70 Quests required
Sholazar Basin Waygate Both Un'Goro Crater Shaper's Terrace Neutral 77 Waygate activation required
Dalaran Sunreaver's Sanctuary One way Orgrimmar Cleft of Shadow Horde 1
Dalaran The Violet Citadel One way Tanaris Caverns of Time Neutral 1
Dalaran Violet Gate Both Crystalsong Forest Violet Stand Neutral 1 Violet Stand Crystal must be used first
Orgrimmar Western Earthshrine Both Hyjal Nordrassil Horde 80 Cataclysm Warchief's Command quest required
Orgrimmar Western Earthshrine One way Vash'jir Kelp'thar Forest Horde 80 Cataclysm Warchief's Command quest required
Orgrimmar Western Earthshrine Both Deepholm Temple of Earth Horde 82 Cataclysm Warchief's Command quest required
Orgrimmar Western Earthshrine One way Uldum Ramkahen Horde 83 Cataclysm Uldum quest required
Orgrimmar Western Earthshrine Both Twilight Highlands Dragonmaw Port Horde 84 Cataclysm Portal quest required
Orgrimmar Western Earthshrine Both Tol Barad Hellscream's Grasp Horde 85 Cataclysm

The Cataclysm Horde portal hub, The Western Earthshrine, is on a cliff on the north side of the Valley of Wisdom in Orgrimmar, and can be reached via a footbridge from the zeppelin port plateau.

Quest Portals

Some questgivers offer portals which make it easier to complete their quests, usually because the completion requires travel to a remote or inaccessible location. However, if you don't turn in these quests, you can continue to use the portals for travel. Note that all these portals are one way.

Make sure you pick up these quests as soon as possible, because completing certain other quests may make these unavailable. To keep the portals available, do not complete the portal quests.

Alliance Quest Portals
Zone/City Location Questgiver Destination Quest
Silithus Cenarion Hold Nethergarde Mage Blasted Lands A [54] Nethergarde Needs You!
Isle of Quel'Danas Dawning Square Captain Theris Dawnhearth Hellfire Peninsula N [70] The Missing Magistrix
Borean Tundra Valiance Keep Magister Dath'omere Dalaran A [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Dragonblight Star's Rest Archmage Modera Dalaran A [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Dragonblight Wintergarde Vas the Unstable Dalaran A [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Zul'Drak The Argent Stand Magister Teronus III Dalaran A [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Grizzly Hills Amberpine Lodge Magistrix Haelenai Dalaran A [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Howling Fjord Valgarde Ulrik von Stromhearth Dalaran A [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Dalaran Krasus' Landing Archmage Pentarus Sholazar Basin N [76] Where in the World is Hemet Nesingwary?
Icecrown Argent Vanguard Highlord Tirion Fordring Moonglade N [80] The Keeper's Favor[1].


Horde Quest Portals
Zone/City Location Questgiver Destination Quest
Silithus Cenarion Hold Okril'lon Mage Blasted Lands H [54] Call of the Warmatron
Isle of Quel'Danas Dawning Square Captain Theris Dawnhearth Hellfire Peninsula N [70] The Missing Magistrix
Borean Tundra Warsong Hold Magistrix Kaelana Dalaran H [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Dragonblight Agmar's Hammer Archmage Aethas Sunreaver Dalaran H [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Dragonblight Wintergarde Vas the Unstable Dalaran H [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Zul'Drak The Argent Stand Magister Teronus III Dalaran H [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Grizzly Hills Conquest Hold Magistrix Phaelista Dalaran H [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Howling Fjord Vengeance Landing Magister Varenthas Dalaran H [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Dalaran Krasus' Landing Archmage Pentarus Sholazar Basin N [76] Where in the World is Hemet Nesingwary?
Icecrown Argent Vanguard Highlord Tirion Fordring Moonglade N [80] The Keeper's Favor[1]

The portals to the Blasted Lands are useful because it is a short flight from the portal destinations there to the Dark Portal, which leads to the Stair of Destiny and its portals to Orgrimmar and Stormwind.

The portal to Moonglade is particularly useful to Alliance because it is a short flight from there to Darnassus. Orgrimmar is a little farther.

The portal to from Isle of Quel'Danas to Hellfire Peninsula is particularly useful to Horde because it provides rapid transit from the Isle as well as Silvermoon and northern Eastern Kingdoms to Outland without triggering any cooldowns.

Note that there are a number of other quest portals, but they may not be as useful as the above for general travel. See [Teleport].

Quests you should never turn in

If you turn in any of the quests in this table, you will lose access to a portal that is useful for traveling around the world. So, resist the temptation to turn them in!

Quests you should never turn in
Destination Quest Recipient Quest
Blasted Lands Quartermaster Lungertz A [54] Nethergarde Needs You![2]
Blasted Lands Quartermaster Lungertz A [55] Hero's Call: Blasted Lands![2]
Blasted Lands Okrilla H [54] Call of the Warmatron[2]
Blasted Lands Okrilla H [55] Warchief's Command: Blasted Lands![2]
Isle of Quel'Danas Magistrix Seyla N [70] The Missing Magistrix
Dalaran Archmage Celindra A [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Dalaran Archmage Celindra H [74] The Magical Kingdom of Dalaran
Dalaran Archmage Celindra N [74] Learning to Leave and Return: the Magical Way[3]
Sholazar Basin Monte Muzzleshot N [76] Where in the World is Hemet Nesingwary?
Moonglade Keeper Remulos N [80] The Keeper's Favor
  1. ^ a b You'll need to do a series of quests to get access to the portal to Moonglade. Go to the Argent Vanguard in Icecrown, see Highlord Tirion Fordring, and do N [78] Honor Above All Else. Quest in this area until you complete N [79] The Battle For Crusaders' Pinnacle, which will cause a phase change at Crusader's Pinnacle. Go there, see Highlord Tirion Fordring, and do N [80] A Tale of Valor. This begins a quest line that brings you to N [80] The Keeper's Favor, which provides you with a portal to Moonglade in northern Kalimdor. To keep the portal open, do not complete this quest. For a detailed map of the Icecrown quests, see the post from Whiterock in the Comments section at Honor Above All Else
  2. ^ a b c d If you turn in these quests, you will lose access to the portal from Cenarion Hold in Silithus to the Blasted Lands. Being able to travel quickly from southern Kalimdor to the portal hub in southern Eastern Kingdoms is, at times, extremely useful.
  3. ^ If you turn in this quest, you will lose access to all the Magical Kingdom of Dalaran quests - and their portals to Dalaran.

Item Portals

Certain items have the ability to teleport you to a key location at or near either Dalaran or your faction capital.

Item Portals
Item Destination Access to Faction Level Cost Cooldown
Shroud of Cooperation Stormwind or Orgrimmar Both 35 150g[1] 8 hours
Wrap of Unity Stormwind or Orgrimmar Both 35 300g[1] 4 hours
Cloak of Coordination Stormwind or Orgrimmar Both 35 500g[1] 2 hours
 [Ring of the Kirin Tor] Dalaran Neutral 80 6,800g to 8,500g[2] 30 minutes
 [Band of the Kirin Tor] Dalaran Neutral 80 6,800g to 8,500g[2] 30 minutes
 [Loop of the Kirin Tor] Dalaran Neutral 80 6,800g to 8,500g[2] 30 minutes
 [Signet of the Kirin Tor] Dalaran Neutral 80 6,800g to 8,500g[2] 30 minutes
 [Argent Crusader's Tabard] Argent Tournament Grounds Dalaran[3] Neutral 80 50 Champion's Seal[4] 30 minutes
 [Potion of Deepholm] Deepholm Stormwind or Orgrimmar [5] Neutral 82 Varies[6] 1 minute
 [Baradin's Wardens Tabard] Tol Barad Stormwind[5] Alliance 85 40 Tol Barad Commendation[7] 4 hours
 [Hellscream's Reach Tabard] Tol Barad Orgrimmar[5] Horde 85 40 Tol Barad Commendation[7] 4 hours

See the [Teleport] page for more teleport items, some of which are only available to certain races or classes.

  1. ^ a b c Also requires guild achievement and reputation.
  2. ^ a b c d Cost varies with Kirin Tor reputation.
  3. ^ The Argent Tournament Grounds is a one to two minute flight from Dalaran.
  4. ^ Also requires rank of <Crusader>.
  5. ^ a b c Since Tol Barad and Deepholm are connected to Stormwind and Orgrimmar by two-way portals, these items effectively get you to your faction capital city in seconds.
  6. ^  [Potion of Deepholm] is created by Alchemy. If you are not an Alchemist, see your Auction House.
  7. ^ a b Also requires Honored with Baradin's Wardens (Alliance) or Hellscream's Reach (Horde).

The Dalaran Commute

Characters levels 59 and below will generally find that ships and zeppelins are the most expedient means for getting back and forth between Dalaran and the Old World continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms.

However, if you are level 60 or above and need to commute between Dalaran and your faction capital (Stormwind or Orgrimmar) for daily quests, there are several routes which use a combination of portals and flight to get you to Dalaran or back home to your capital in roughly five minutes.

Note that once you have acquired one of the Item Portals above, you can use the item to get to Dalaran or your faction capital city very quickly. However, the routes below may still be useful if your hearthstone or other portal item is on cooldown when you need to travel.

Five Minutes to Dalaran

If you like to have your hearthstone in Stormwind or Orgrimmar and you are level 83 or above, you can use two portals to get to Dalaran:

This trip is slightly over five minutes if you have a [Flight Master's License] and Master Riding.[1] [2] Note that you must complete a quest to activate the Waygate before you can use this method. See the quest line beginning with N [77] An Issue of Trust.

Home in Five

If you prefer to have your hearthstone set to Dalaran or have not yet gained access to the portal to Uldum, you can get home from Dalaran to Stormwind or Orgrimmar by following this sequence:

With a [Flight Master's License] and Master Riding[1] this trip is under five minutes.

Home in Four

If you've reached level 80 there's an even quicker way home from Dalaran. However, you'll need to do a series of Argent Crusade quests[3].

Here's the sequence:

In Moonglade, Horde:

In Moonglade, Alliance:

With a [Flight Master's License] and Master Riding[1][2] this route can get you from Dalaran to Stormwind in less than three and a half minutes. From Dalaran to Orgrimmar takes about a minute longer.

  1. ^ a b c Master Riding gives you 310% flying speed.
  2. ^ a b You'll also need [Cold Weather Flying] for the fastest possible time.
  3. ^ a b See Quest Portals for more information about the NPC mage portals from Cenarion Hold to the Blasted Lands and from Icecrown to Moonglade.

Rockets and boats

Horde characters may now use the Bilgewater Cartel Rocketway to travel quickly around Azshara.

Characters who complete the quest B [40] Circle the Wagons... er, Boats (Alliance) or the quest line beginning with H [40] To the Summit (Horde) get the  [River Boat] for travel in the flood waters of Thousand Needles.

Turtle boats ply the waters between the neutral Northrend ports of Unu'pe, Moa'ki Harbor, and Kamagua. See Boats for more information.

Outland

Outland is floating in outer space, physically unconnected to Azeroth. Unlike Northrend and the continents in the Old World, Outland has no mass transit ports.

However, each faction can quickly travel to and from Outland via portals located in their major cities and in Outland. Also, characters level 70 and above can take a portal from Shattrath to the Isle of Quel'danas, from which flight paths to locations in the Eastern Kingdoms are available.

At level 56, portals in the major cities take you to the Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands, which provides access to the Stair of Destiny in the Hellfire Peninsula zone of Outland. Portals at the Stair of Destiny return you to your faction's capital city.

Outland Portals

Alliance
Origin Location Destination Notes
Stormwind Mage Quarter Dark Portal In the Wizard's Sanctum
Ironforge The Mystic Ward Dark Portal
Darnassus Temple of the Moon Dark Portal Ground floor
Exodar Vault of Lights Dark Portal
Stair of Destiny South terrace Stormwind
Shattrath Terrace of Light Isle of Quel'danas Requires level 70, Quests
Horde
Origin Location Destination Notes
Orgrimmar Cleft of Shadow Dark Portal
Thunder Bluff Spirit Rise Dark Portal Lower level
Undercity Magic Quarter Dark Portal
Silvermoon Sunfury Spire Dark Portal Inside entrance, room on right
Stair of Destiny North terrace Orgrimmar
Shattrath Terrace of Light Isle of Quel'danas Requires level 70, Quests

Note that the portals from the major cities which provide access to Hellfire Peninsula take the player to the Blasted Lands in the vicinity of the Dark Portal. The player must then run or fly to the Dark Portal and go through it to enter the Hellfire Peninsula zone of Outland.

The portals in the major cities to the Blasted Lands can only be used by level 56 characters and above. The return portals, from the Stair of Destiny (on the Outland side of the Dark Portal) to the faction capitals of Stormwind and Orgrimmar, as well as the Dark Portal itself from the Outland side, can be used by any level.

The Dark Portal sequence

You don't need to be going to Outland to find the Outland portals useful. From any major city, follow this sequence to get to your faction capital:

This takes less time than you might expect, especially once you can fly in the Old World.

At level 56 this sequence opens up new possibilities for choosing where to set your hearthstone, and becomes key to rapid travel among your faction's major cities and throughout the Old World. See the hearthstone section for more information and examples.

Low level access

Although the portals in the cities to the Blasted Lands can only be used by characters level 56 and above, there is no level restriction on the use of the Dark Portal. It is possible - though challenging - to ride lower level[1] toons through Duskwood[2], Swamp of Sorrows[3], Deadwind Pass and the Blasted Lands to the Dark Portal in order to enter Outland.

Once you get to the Blasted Lands go through the Dark Portal. Horde characters turn right (north) and jump off the landing. You'll find a flight master who will fly you to Shattrath City even if you've never been there before.

Alliance characters turn left (south) and jump off the landing to find your flight master and fly to Shattrath.

To return to the Old World from Shattrath, see the flight master outside the Terrace of Light and take the taxi back to the Stair of Destiny. Each faction has a small portal beside the steps. The Alliance portal goes to Stormwind; the Horde's to Orgrimmar.

  1. ^ Level 20 or higher with a riding mount is recommended, since you will need to outrun a number of mobs who patrol on or near the roads in these higher-level zones. Study the maps before you go, and accept that you may be killed a few times along the way. En route, stick to the roads as much as you can, and keep moving!
  2. ^ Horde characters will need to skirt the Alliance guards in Darkshire.
  3. ^ Alliance toons beware of Horde guards patrolling the road in Swamp of Sorrows between Deadwind Pass and the Blasted Lands.

See also

  • Travel guide provides more information about traveling around the world.
  • Patch 4.0.3a (world changes) lists new, changed, and removed flight paths.
  • Flight path lists all known flight paths. See the small table at the right-hand side of the page labeled "Flight Paths by Continent."
  • How to find Cataclysm instance entrances has maps and videos which will help you find the new Cataclysm dungeon and raid entrances.
  • Maps has an interactive world map, maps of all zones, maps of flight paths for both factions, and assorted other useful maps.
  • Dalaran - See the Getting to Dalaran and Leaving Dalaran sections.
  • [Teleport] - See the section on non-mage teleportation skills. Also, read the mage section if you are considering rolling a mage yourself.