Ironforge Airfield

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Ironforge Airfield

The Ironforge Airfield,[1] formerly known as the Airstrip[2] or the Dun Morogh airfield,[3] among other (unofficial) things, is an airfield located in a high mountain valley northeast of the dwarven capital city of Ironforge. It has two landing strips, and several gnome pilots are there standing next to their planes or tinkering with them. Around the airfield, there are a series of dwarven buildings and structures. Mountaineers from Ironforge patrol the area, and some members of the Stormpike Guard can be found here too. North of the airfield there is a gryphon roost, but it only connects to Gol'Bolar Quarry via a flying machine. Further north, near the Wetlands, there is a crashed gnome plane along with some bones.

Background

World of Warcraft

Dwarven guards fighting against some Frostmane trolls.

Before patch 4.0.3a updated the world, this area was inaccessible except by careful mountain climbing and—while the WoW Atlas labelled it "Airstrip"—there was no in-game subzone name, leading to speculations about its purpose.

Ahn'Qiraj War Effort

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The Airfield is mentioned in all the repeatable Alliance quests (The Alliance Needs More ...) from the Ahn'Qiraj War Effort event. The quest objectives all state "Bring 20 Materials to NPC at the airfield in Dun Morogh."

However, all those NPCs can in fact be found in Ironforge and not at the airfield, and there is no mention of the airfield in the non-repeatable quests.

It can be supposed that the Ahn'Qiraj War Effort quests were originally planned to be at the airfield (Flying the goods over would make sense) but have been moved to Ironforge for unknown reasons.

I Got What Yule Need

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The goblin Krizz revealed and foiled a plan of Dark Iron dwarves at the airfield. Krizz traveled there with Fala Fizzlesprocket atop Metzen the Reindeer, defeated the dwarves and rescued gnome prisoners who had been forced to create a gigantic robot resembling Greatfather Winter.

Cataclysm

Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

Thanks to Ambassador Slaghammer, the Dark Iron dwarves were able to attack the airfield through their mole machines, ambush the local guards and put the dwarven bombers to the torch. Led by General Grimaxe, the dwarves under the Twilight's Hammer will stop at nothing to see the land burn in the name of the Old Gods.

Legion

Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

During the Burning Legion's invasion, Ironforge Airfield falls under the Legion's control. Its residents and, presumably, the flying machines have been killed or destroyed. The last defenders are led by Mountaineer Falmor.

NPCs

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Geography

Dark Iron invaders
Fighting the Dark Iron

South of the airfield there is a small area with three tanks. Some Gnomeregan Evacuees have found a way out of their irradiated city, a lone pet trainer offers her service to hunters, and some gnomes and dwarves are dancing in the snow. Here is a big tower with a sealed entrance to a tunnel which is similar to the tunnel in North Gate Pass. The tunnel continues back the same distance as the others located around Dun Morogh, at an upward incline. When it reaches its peak, it drops off into midair. If enough distance from this jump point can be gained then it is possible to land in the Deeprun Tram of Ironforge. However, no other player-characters have been observed via this method, although NPCs are present. In addition, the portal between the Tram and Tinkertown does not function when reached via this method, and instead players pass straight through without pause.

In the same valley there exists a frozen lake to the south of the airstrip. Since the Cataclysm, the entire lake is the site of an ongoing battle between Ironforge dwarves and Dark Iron forces led by General Grimaxe.

Before the Cataclysm the southern end of the lake had a cave of Frostmane trolls that skirmished with Ironforge dwarves on the lake itself. The cave itself—and apparently the trolls—was destroyed.

There is also a black bear mother watching over her offspring northwest of the gryphon roost just by a waterfall. By walking around the mountain over Ironforge, a camp with two members of the Seasoned Coldmine Explorers (members of the Stormpike Guard), a cave occupied by Frostmane Trolls, and an empty dwarven camp can be reached.

Getting there

Airfield region, with hiking route in red, and flight points in yellow.

The most direct way is a flying mount. Alliance characters without one, can use a special flight route between the Airfield and Gol'Bolar Quarry using Mathel's Flying Machine. Any Alliance character can ride the machine down from the airport, to ride up to the airport, the player must first accept the quest A [10] Get to the Airfield. This quest becomes available after completing the quests A [10] Entombed in Ice, A [10] Dealing with the Surge, and A [10] Dark Iron Scheming.

Horde characters without flying mounts can still get to the Airfield by walking a difficult unmarked path that begins at the North Gate Pass end of Loch Modan. This route—which is climbable, albeit with some careful jumping—has existed since the game's launch.

Reasons for existence

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This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.
  • One theory was that the area was to be a starting place for gnomes rather than having them start at Coldridge Valley. It has all the workings of a starting area such as gnomes littering the landscape and areas of a couple of houses where the first quest givers could be. Buildings set into the mountainside exist but are mostly blocked off due to the mountain having no openings where the building are. One of them leads to a tunnel that leads inside the planet, should the player find a way past the blockage. Should a player jump and have slow fall, they will land behind the instance portal to the Deeprun tram in Ironforge. There is also room for level 1's and 2's to roam around, such as the lake in the south. However, if this was the purpose, it was abandoned when the troll and gnome starting areas were merged with those of the orcs and dwarves. Given the work put into creating the area, it was likely left for the scenery.
  • Another theory was that the airport was merely designed to be a decorative piece of landscape to liven up flight paths over the area. Many other flight paths feature similar decoration, from simple camps or ruins to larger pieces such as the popular Shatterspear Vale. This seems plausible given that the airport contains a number of features not normally seen in an area that is readily accessible: the once perpetual fight between the Trolls and Dwarves, the hunter pet trainer applauding the dancing guard and the Dwarven pilot crying over his airplane. The Frostmane troll and dwarven mountaineer battles may have also been used by devs as a real-time battle simulator for statistics tweaking. At one point in the past, players caught in the area interfering with the mobs were insta-killed by GMs.
  • A third theory was that the airfield was originally meant to be a part of a completed Ironforge, with all of its 8 levels, which would explain why there is an inactive flight path as well as some level of detail in the scenery. This would be consistent with the tunnel which leads inside Ironforge Mountain, as it used provide a passageway directly into Old Ironforge. The theory continues to say that because of time constraints, or simply because Ironforge would have been too big and therefore a lot of it would be unused, Blizzard cut Ironforge down to two floors (Ironforge and The Hall of Thanes) and left the airfield.
  • The airstrip, along with the Wetlands farm nearby, may have been on the road to Ironforge at some point. The Collectors Edition DVD shows a road going that way.[1]

See also

Patch changes

  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Now displays "Ironforge Airfield" as the subzone name. Flight route added. The Airfield has caught fire and killed many dwarves.

References

  1. ^ Patch 4.0.3a
  2. ^ World of Warcraft: Atlas (September 2005) BradyGames
  3. ^ Warcraft: Legends: Volume 3 (March 2009) TokyoPop