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The New Country – Northrend
While I saw a lot of the country through screen shots from the beta from both Blizzard and friends who were lucky enough to get into the beta for WoTLK, I've always been pretty impressed with World of Warcraft's graphics and their countries. Northrend doesn't disappoint here either. This new country offers so much for players from level 70 up to 80, such as tons of new dungeons, new neutral cities, and awesomely difficult new zones and quests for those who are brave enough to test the frozen wastes.
But the new continent offers even more territory than the Burning Crusade expansion, and Northrend is much bigger than the Outland is. There are so many different areas to discover here on this new continent, and I suggest that you try to cover as many areas as you possibly can, as each new discovery will net over 1200XP for your toon. Let me take you through all of the main areas on the new continent and tell you a bit about each one and what you'll find there.
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Let's start with the Howling Fjord. This area is one of the first that you'll encounter as you land in Northrend, set on the easternmost shores of the new continent, where it offers battles with the vrykul, which is an ancient race of giant warriors that roam throughout this area. The Dwarves also have some long lost relatives here, as there is a new race of Dwarves that dwell in this area, their skin completely covered with runes. One of the main cities that you'll find here is Valgarde, which is not far from Utgarde Keep (one of the new dungeons), where you can find some of the higher profession trainers that will allow you to level your skills to 400 now. You will also find a port that will take you between this area and the Borean Tundra, where you can ride monster turtles back and forth between both of these beginning zones. This zone is from levels 68 to 72, and players who have not yet reached 70 will want to head here around level 67-68.
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This next area of the new continent is another lower zone where players can head from 68 on up. Here, you'll find the Tuskarr, another new race in the expansion, as well as the Drakkari trolls. You'll fight nerubians as well as dragons, and you will find that the quests here will have you grinding out some good xp kills as well. While this area isn't quite as important in the story line of the expansion, there are several races here that make their homes in the frozen wastes, and several towns for both factions to use and enjoy. One of the fun things about this area is that after you do the D.E.H.T.A. Quest line, you'll actually open up one murloc faction that you can interact with, repair your equipment, and more. So for once, you won't have to fight them – you can listen to them talk in peace.
In the next part of this series, we'll go through the Dragonblight, Zul'Drak, and the Grizzly Hills to let you know what to expect. For those wanting maps of these areas, you'll find great maps on the WoWWiki.