I note that my previous post has sparked some academic debate in certain circles relating to the validity of my research techniques and data. Therefore before we embark into a new area of discussion, I must address some of the comments addressed to my previous data. Specifically these relate to two areas: (1) is Azeroth, the World of Warcraft, spherical or flat? And (2) if itâ€™s spherical, how can we accurately gauge how large a sphere it is?
To address point (2) first: there are two existing illustrations of Azeroth as a sphere: the globes that can be seen at various locations in the World of Warcraft, including in Dire Maul and Moonglade:
and the view of a planet assumed to be Azeroth that can be seen from Shadowmoon Valley in Outland:
Both give an equivalent view of Azeroth-as-sphere: the known continents occupy a roughly 180-degree arc of the surface, with the remaining area (in the Moonglade globe) filled with ocean and occasional small islands. That is the premise that underlay my initial observations and measurements.
But all this is moot. Other empirical evidence demonstrates clearly that the world of Azeroth is flat, the maps and globes are wrong, and the view from Shadowmoon Valley is an optical illusion. To illustrate this, here is a picture of a troll standing on a thin pathway that divides the Great Sea from the edge of the world. If the existing maps of the World of Warcraft are to be believed, this should be somewhere off the eastern coast of Dustswallow Marsh, between Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, and well south of the Maelstrom.
Since no sphere can have an edge with an apparently bottomless drop, this means the World of Warcraft is fucking flat, all right?
The pathway at the edge of the world shown above does not run around the entire perimeter of the world or even around Kalimdor, or we could have used the walking-measure described in part 1 to work out the size of the rectangle around the continent. But from visual observation, we have to report that Azeroth seems to exist on the end of a very tall pillar; possibly two or even three very tall pillars, one for each continent. In other words, please disregard pretty much everything I wrote in Part 1 because it’s balls.
We can make no firm statements about the length or breadth of the World of Warcraft, or its density, which leaves too many variables unknown to calculate the height of these pillars. We are not sure why the sea doesnâ€™t fall through the side of the pillar, since it does not seem to be solid. We are also not sure what the bottom of the pillar is resting on, but it may well be a turtle. This is all so improbable that you should ignore the last three sentences of this paragraph, including this one.
However, we still have to accept that Azeroth (a) is flat, (b) is quite small, and (c) does not rotate relative to the stars around it. Point (d) is that its sun and moon behave in a manner that makes no gravitational sense. Azeroth has a single sun that rises in the north-west and sets some hours later, also in the north-west. Shadows cast by it point persistently south-east, though this does not seem to affect vegetation that grows in this perpetual shade. Azeroth also has a single moon, which also rises in the north-west and sets in the north-west. If it has phases and eclipses then none have been reported.
It is hard to explain this movement of Azerothâ€™s celestial bodies unless we assume that they are acting under the influence of gravity itselfâ€”rising above the horizon, reaching a zenith, and falling back below the horizon, where something reverses their momentum and propels them back upwards, once every day. Our personal theory is that beneath the level of the horizon is a very large giant juggling very slowly, but we have no hard evidence to support this.
(The cosmic physicist Doctor Myles Corcoran suggests that Azeroth could be an Alderson Disk, a large or infinite plane with holes of sufficient size through which the sun and moon oscillate back and forth endlessly. This implies two things: that at some point the plane of Azeroth, if such it is, loses its atmosphere and becomes frictionless vacuum; and the deity, intelligent designer(s), Old Gods, Titans or whatever other beings may have been involved in the creation of Azeroth are massive SF geeks. Frankly we prefer our theory with the giant.)
Despite the comparatively low surface gravity, it is clear that the atmosphere of Azeroth is much thicker than Earth’s. Without this density of gas the various giant insects and spiders would not be able to breathe, and the dragons, wyverns, hippogriffs, other large flying creatures and surprisingly small zeppelins would never get airborne, let alone carry large passengers. The ratio of gases in the atmosphere is unclear: the same flame that can set a massive stone creature or water elemental ablaze in an instant is unable to make the slightest impact on a tree, wooden building or field of dry grass. Ordinary fires will also burn underwater, which implies something very interesting but Iâ€™m not sure what.
The apparent density of the atmosphere also explains one of Azeroth’s more puzzling features: the fact that it is difficult to see clearly for more than a few hundred metres in any direction. While visibility over short distances is clear, large objects such as buildings and geographical features are either indistinct or completely invisible at distances of more than a few hundred metres. At closer range objects, mostly other living beings, come into sharper relief as the viewer approaches in a manner that suggests that either every inhabitant of Azeroth is strongly myopic, or there is something in the air that causes this effect. I will return to this subject in the third part of this paper, on the ecology of Azeroth.
Meanwhile my esteemed colleague Professor Sulka Haro of the University of Habbo has observed that the majority of the zones of Azeroth have no wind. In fact only one zone experiences wind, the desert region Tanaris, and that only sporadically, which may be due to factors other than climate. This must indicate, he hypothesises, that there is absolute thermic entropy in Azeroth. This is supported by the fact the lava one sees coming out of the volcanoes is so that characters can could safely walk on it (though this may be an artefact of the frictionless pads on their feetâ€”see above). It may also go some way to explain how zones of intense volcanic activity can sit a few hundred metres from zones of perpetual snow without the former turning the latter to slush.
(Prof. Haro expands his thesis to cover insect lifeâ€”â€I haven’t seen any pollinators around, yet people are able to farm. The Azerothians crop must hence all be self-pollinating. But how is this, with no wind? Most bafflingâ€â€”and the small animal lifeâ€”â€œI’ve also come to the conclusion that the Azerothian rabbits are either herbivores that reproduce by seeds, or are parasitesâ€ but here we begin to impinge on the subject of the third part of this paper, the ecology of Azeroth, and we should hold back to let your minds digest the meat of this instalment, in much the way that the stomachs of WoW’s wildlife donâ€™t.)
I am disappointed at the small number of essays I have received so far. More application and less fieldwork, class!