Azeroth: “The Size of Newcastle”


The excellent James Wallis has been doing some clever maths on his blog, and has used the raw power of infinite science to tell us some geographic and astrological facts about the World Of Warcraft.

Taken together, the two main continents have a combined area of approximately 113 square kilometres. In terrestrial terms that’s about the same size as the city of Newcastle, or the London Borough of Hillingdon. And if we assume that the world-maps produced by Blizzard Entertainment show approximately the entire surface area of Azeroth then we can wrap it around an imaginary sphere and calculate the diameter of the hypothetical ‘planetoid’ of Azeroth at 12 kilometres.

Of course, as Wallis explains, Azeroth is actually flat. More incredible revelations about the extreme density of things in Azeroth can be found here.

29 Comments

  1. cullnean says:

    how you play or what you do with an mmo is up to the individual, but i wouldnt think of doing this….ever

    i suppose its one of those things you think of but never see through. you know sat there playing and saying “hmmm i wonder how big azeroth is in realtion to the real world” most people would shrug and carry on playing, but not this guy and for this…

    I SALUTE THEE!

  2. The Hammer says:

    Wow, this is a nice article. Made me grin, and I can’t wait for part II.

  3. marmite says:

    It would be cool if that actually had made it a globe like Populous 3.

  4. Kast says:

    Intriguing stuff and I can’t fault his logic. Will definitely be following this.

  5. D says:

    I saw the video from a link in the Lego post earlier this week. link to russelldavies.typepad.com

  6. arqueturus says:

    Only with less knives and violence.

  7. Fede says:

    A pity he doesn’t really know well wow’s geography, as Azeroth is only the whole world’s name, not also the name of the land south of Arathi and the name of Stormwind’s land.

    Apart from the absolute lack of precision in the way he measures his base distance (the longest straight as he calls it, which I believe he sets to a wrong value, but unfortunately I cannot redo his math as I left wow last year), and the fact he forgot that we know the whole world is *not* depicted in Blizzard’s Azeroth map, he seems to have killed his free time well :P

  8. The Hammer says:

    Actually Fede, that’s what the Eastern Kingdoms used to be called – or at least the kingdom of Stormwind.

  9. sana says:

    The southern part of the Eastern Kingdoms is instead called Azeroth. In the middle lies dwarven Khaz Modan, and (most of) the north is the kingdom of Lordaeron.

  10. Meat Circus says:

    “The London Borough of Hillingdon of Warcraft”

    I’d play it.

  11. Tak says:

    The game does have at the least a distance unit system, but Blizz will probably never let on to what it is. I forget Unreal’s conversion rate (from Unreal Ed Units to meters), but surely someone over at the Red Orchestra mapping forums could tell you. You’d need either blizz telling you or access to the mapping tool to be able to know for sure, it’d be cool to see how close (or not) their math is.

    Funny read, cheers :)

  12. DraconianOne says:

    WoW blogger Tobold also calculated the area of Azeroth (albeit with less techincal language) about 18 months ago here. They get considerably different results.

  13. brog says:

    DraconianOne: The link you just gave gives an area of 41 square miles. 113 square kilometres is about 43.6 square miles. This is not so much “considerably different” as “surprisingly close”.

  14. Noc says:

    SCIENCE!

    I approve.

  15. PleasingFungus says:

    brog: Actually, the link he gave gives the size of Kalimdor as 41 square miles; they didn’t even try to measure the other continent. Which is a considerable difference. Their methodology is rather shakier, though; assume that everyone runs at 12 mph “because they’re heroes”?

    Mr. Wallis’s variant was certainly more amusing.

  16. brog says:

    PleasingFungus: Oops. I guess my fictional geography isn’t up to scratch.

  17. DraconianOne says:

    brog: tut tut. No geekPoints for you! ;)

  18. Sleepy says:

    *yawn*

    :|

  19. Fede says:

    @Hammer and sana
    Thanks. I checked and you’re right in fact; my mistake. Stormwind’s zome has been called Azeroth since Warcraft I.

  20. Chris R says:

    I was really disappointed with the scale of WoW when I first got to play it back on December 2004… In WC1, 2, and 3, the world just seemed so huge while doing the campaigns, especially in WC2 and WC3. The lore for the games (pre-WoW) made the world seem so large and mysterious with unexplored forests of Lordaeron, mountains of Khaz Modan, etc, etc… and then WoW came out and all the areas where pretty much set in a small valley.

    When I went to all the places that I had defended in WC2 and WC3, I found myself going, “wtf… it would have taken 5 min to just fall back to X location, regroup, and then counter-attack…” The scale was just so off.

    One of my gripes about WoW.

  21. dogbert says:

    Yep, that is awfully small for a “world”. Some of the larger UT2004 fan-made maps are a couple of square km (I estimated once by walking…) and they’re only designed for 32 players. Players with teleporters and personal high-speed attack hovercraft, admittedly.

  22. schmunkel98 says:

    To Chris R:

    The size of the world was very well done compared to the ghostland that was SWG. You could literally go for hours without seeing a single person in that game if you didn’t return to a city. I’m sure Blizzard considered this when designing the world. This is one area where gameplay needs to trump realism.

  23. Seb Potter says:

    Shame this guy just made stuff up and doesn’t seem to have thought about it for very long. WoW actually has a clearly-accessible distance unit which anyone with a ranged attack or spell can tell simply looking at their spells. Use two people to walk apart until the spell is out of range, then time running from that position to the target.

    Or you can use one of the many cartography add-ons that already use the game’s distance measures on the built in map, which include a way-point system and accurate journey times.

  24. Jody Macgregor says:

    Dear Seb Potter,

    I commend you on your truly legendary ability to miss the point.

  25. terry says:

    But does Azeroth have a Metro Centre?

  26. sinister agent says:

    “The London Borough of Hillingdon of Warcraft”

    I’d play it.

    Surplus of hope for humankind, have we?

    I once walked almost the length (north to south, so more miserable with every step) of Hillingdon in two hours. Trufax. It was more fun than playing WoW, too.

  27. The Hammer says:

    @terry: Newcastle doesn’t either! :P

  28. Zak Canard says:

    For the Geord!

  29. Sardomar says:

    Sadly SInister Agent – I think you fail to comprehend that while you may find your self-admittedly miserable walk through Hillingdon in two hours more enjoyable than WoW – I’m pretty sure you’re relatively alone in that. Wow may not be for you – but in WoW terms, you’re a troll. It’s a hobby, a pastime and isn’t meant to be anything more than that, if you don’t like it – go somewhere else and find another. More power to you. In any case – such opinions aren’t teh point of the article. The Author clearly enjoys the game and was curious enough to at least try to figure out the actual scale. Keep to the point.

    And yes – I accept that this response was somewhat trollish. One cannot joust with dragons… mia culpa mia culpa, mia maxima culpa…