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The Ironforge Airfield (formerly known as the Dun Morogh airfield, or the Airstrip among other things back when it had no name in World of Warcraft itself) 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 is inactive and does not offer a flight path. Further north, near the Wetlands, there is a crashed gnome plane along with some bones.
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. The southwestern tip of this lake has a cave from which Frostmane trolls skirmish with Ironforge dwarves on the lake itself. A few more trolls can be found by a cave northwest of the summit with the flag.
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.
The whole area has not been fully developed, and it is easily visible that it was not meant to be visited by players in its current state. The guards and mountaineers give you directions to locations in Kharanos or Ironforge, and the gnomish pilots have the texts of the Mirage Raceway where gnomes race against goblins. The buildings and tunnels have either closed doors or walls in front of them, and some graphic glitches can be found.
The Airfield and lake are immediately visible on the map of Dun Morogh for new players, leading many to wonder how to get there.
The Airfield was accessible by death knights when Wrath of the Lich King first came out. There was a server side patch that prevented death knights from accessing this area soon after it was released.
The Airfield is actually still accessible by anyone with Slow Fall, Levitate or a Parachute Cloak; high-level Engineers also have the option of Tinkering their cloak into possessing the parachute ability. Travelling up toward the graveyard and levitating/slow falling/parachuting along the sides of the cliff should provide height enough to actually climb the mountain to get to the Airfield.
There is also a way to get to the airfield by going to Loch Modan and going to the North Gate Pass but before going in, go behind the tree to the right of the gate and try to climb up the gap in the hills (make sure you are not using a mount get in this gap). It takes a while to get up but once you do you can start finding you way around. It is possible to do this from level 1 but it is not recommended as it will take a large amount of time
The easiest (lowest-level/Horde-friendly) method may not have been available until after the Cataclysm when New Tinkertown was built. Behind the Armory next to the town there is a gentle terraced slope heading toward Ironforge Mountain. Presuming the Gates of Ironforge are at 6 o'clock, the slope will intersect the mountain itself at around 7:30. Proceed clockwise; there are settlers and guards roaming the snowfields, and one group has a sled. Follow around to the 'back' of the mountain; there should be no need for any extraordinary access measures unless going in the wrong direction. After passing over the shoulder of the mountain, the decline comes out next to the small tent where the Flying Machine lands, at the end of the runway. A return to New Tinkertown or the Gates is just as easy.
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.
- Needs to be edited since there actually are quests up at the airfield- low level (around level 9-10).
Reasons for existenceEdit
- One theory is 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 have no functional gates or doorways. One structure leads to a tunnel that appears to go straight into Ironforge, but has been impassibly gated. Should a player ever manage to get inside, jump and have slow fall, they will land behind the instance portal to the Deeprun tram in Ironforge. There is also room for Level 1s and 2s 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 is that the airport is 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 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, although this practice seems to have stopped.
- A third theory exists 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.
Cataclysm EditThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Upon the release of Cataclysm, flying mounts will be usable in Azeroth. This means that players will be able to reach the airfield with ease. Starting with Patch 4.0.3, this area displays "Ironforge Airfield" when flying over it, confirming its official name.