Iron Man Challenge: Tanaris Edition

I think Tanaris gets an unfair rep as being “ugly”. I’m going to disagree, and I hope my screenshots support my argument.

Tanaris isn’t ugly. It’s actually quite a stunning landscape, made even more so by the events of the Cataclysm. A lot of people think of Tanaris and they think of this:


Endless sand, without definition or interest, stretching forever beneath an unremarkable sky.

When I took Iarann to Tanaris to quest it wasn’t because I thought it would be visually stunning. Mostly I just wanted to quest out another level or two in relative safety, as I outlevel the zone by quite a bit. But when I got there I decided that a bunch of screenshots of sand would be boring. I decided to try to find the beauty in the zone, to find those rare little spots that people miss when they’re blazing through the quests at the speed of light.

Our journey started in Gadgetzan, which is its self a sort of chaotic and cacophonous place to begin.


There were goblins aplenty, gnomes galore, and a grumpy Horde flightmaster that I was very keen not to accidentally click. In the center of it all was the Thunderdome, which is sort of like a low level Ring of Blood. I decided to avoid it despite outleveling its bosses, principally due to my fear of dying. To come this far only to die in a cage match just didn’t suit me. We pressed on.

Tanaris presented its self a beautiful and glimmering world of sand and sea, gold and blue. The beaches are where it really shines. If Tanaris was a real place, I would vacation there. Its beaches are a pure, crystalline turquoise blue like the finest resorts in Fiji and the Bahamas. If Iarann had a beach towel and an umbrella in her bags we would have set up camp with a coconut full of Malibu and never left.

This gnome did just that.

This gnome did just that.


Tanaris might be a giant sandbox to some people, but to me it’s a lot more than that. It’s a land of harsh sun and blazing winds and gorgeous coastlines forever changed by a devastating flood.


It’s monstrous skeletons lying half-buried in centuries of sand.


It’s pirate fortresses under siege by cannon and fire.


It’s enigmatic caverns where time twists and bends and adventurers can relive the past.


It’s twisting spires of enormous cacti reaching spiny fingers to the sky.


And it’s ancient troll empires sinking slowly beneath the weight of the sands.


There’s nothing quite like Tanaris. It’s an old world that time forgot. It’s the seat of the mysteries of Uldum, if you’re brave enough to go digging for them.



And a gateway to another world entirely for those who dare tread its path.


Uldum its self lies beyond these towering stone walls, but I was too afraid to go any further south for fear of meeting my death. Someday our adventure will lead us to Uldum, but not this day. This day we filled our adventures with plenty of sandy Tanaris hijinks.

We slaughtered pirates and set their bunk houses on fire, then settled in for a little well-earned luxury.

Aaah...this is the life.

Aaah…this is the life.

We helped a number of our vertically-challenged friends in their war against the Silithid, too. It’s safe to say we didn’t know what we were getting in to until a gnome mind controlled a silithid, strapped a couple of pounds of explosives to its back, and asked us to pilot it to its doom!



And this should have been enough for us, but we next found ourselves being blasted half way across the damn zone with a rocket attached to our ass. Does that sound Iron-Man Challenge friendly to you?



I’m done playing with goblins and gnomes. They can fix their own damn problems!

We ended our adventure on the very southernmost shores of Tanaris on a long-forgotten beach, toes (hooves?) in the sand, watching the distant shoreline of Uldum shimmer like a mirage on the horizon.


If we live that long, we’ll find our way there. And we hope you’ll come along for the ride.


About Sylvestris

Gamer, nerd, book worm, baker.

Posted on June 12, 2014, in Iron Man Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great screenshots of the area and yes, it has it’s own hidden beauty if you take the time to see it. Great fishing too. 😀

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