Astronomical calculations on World of Warcraft

Using a series of ingenious measurement techniques and calculations, James Wallace has calculated the size, gravity, and density of Azeroth -- the World of Warcraft. Turns out that although Azeroth is tiny, it has a near-Earthlike gravity, suggesting that it is made of some substance 500 times more dense than the terra.
However, all this assumes that Azeroth is a standard astronomical body, and it isn’t. Despite the existence of in-world globes depicting its surface as a sphere, and that anyone standing at the Black Temple in Outland can see a small round planet in the sky that appears to be Azeroth, the world of Warcraft is in fact flat. There is no visible curvature of the world, which is unusual given its small size. Stars do not move across the night sky, indicating that Azeroth is static in relation to the rest of its universe. What’s more, dawn happens simultaneously wherever the observer is in the world, and sunset works the same way. Ergo it’s flat, albeit populated by a number of misguided “round-earthers”. Berks.

Conclusive proof on the matter comes from the research of the Canadian Dr T Paypayaso (I’m assuming from the quality of his research that he has a PhD, plus frankly they’re easier to get hold of than parking tickets these days), who has demonstrated by swimming to its edge and jumping around like a prat that Azeroth is (a) flat, (b) finite and (c) rectangular.

Link (via Oblomovka)



  1. This seems like a waste of brainpower. Furthermore, these morons are using conventional logic to determine their “ingenious measurements and calculations.” They seem to fail to realize that WoW is a DIGITAL (meaning the developers can rewrite any “law” that they want) world spread across a multiverse of servers and players computers. Calling it flat is simple minded. As a visual presence (what you see) it is most definitely flat (just ask the level designer), but the world is not a continuous plane.

    I’m not saying wow is too great (i hardly think WoW is anything near great) to be flat, I just think that anyone who takes the time to think about it like that is probably an idiot…

  2. Much of the estimation of distances in the report is unnecessary. Abilities such as blink and charge (and all projectile attacks) have explicit maximum ranges in yards.

    The Blink spell is especially useful, as it teleports the user exactly 20 meters forward. Replacing the walk from Westfall to Lakeshire with a series of blinks will give an absolute distance in yards. It would be interesting to see if the numbers match up.

  3. @Sweetcraspy:
    Good point, but wouldn’t you have to blink in a straight line? Lots of hills & bodies of water in Azeroth.

    Save it for Barrens Chat.

  4. @Strophe

    Yep. I think that’s taken care of by the route they chose:

    The longest straight, flat line that an adult human can walk in Azeroth without being interrupted by obstacles, mobs or the Horde stretches from the eastern end of the north parapet of the bridge into Westfall, across Elwynn Forest to the southernmost of the Three Corners in Lakeshire. An adult human walking at a steady pace will cover this distance in 18 minutes and 15 seconds. Humans walk at an average speed of 5.6 kilometres (3.5 miles) per hour, and therefore this route is roughly 1.7 kms (1.05 miles) long.

    If their path is valid for uninterrupted walking, then it should be good for blinking too. Now, it’s been a long time since I played WoW and I never played a mage, so I may be missing some finer details. I think it should work, though.

    One other oversimplification from the study is that games often allow the player to move much faster than a human can, because realistic walking/running speeds are too slow and no fun. Given the measuring stick of the blink spell, what is the actual walk/run speed in WoW?

  5. “Berks.”

    I’m so happy to see another Cager out there. Watch yer back mate, them knights’ll peel you in a second. And don’t piss of the Lady neither.

    -abs (Who wishes he didn’t have to make this an actual line because he loves signing of with “-abs”, but apparently it’s too long and is a sig and is thus forbidden. But really, isn’t this shorter and more friendly?)

  6. Apparently I haven’t learned the difference between “of” and “off” either.


    -abs, wishes that sometimes his fingers would confirm that he knows how to type instead of making him look like a moron.

  7. Ah, but there are multiple servers you can log into, right? So there are multiple Azeroths coexisting side-by-side. This is why it seems so dense. It’s like the time cube :)

  8. hmm.. given that you have access to only two of the continents in WoW, and the oceans aren’t measured and cannot be since travel between the continents is compressed to an instant, wouldn’t it be more likely that Azeroth is in fact very, very large (hence the lack of noticeable curvature), but mostly comprised of water (or at least surface area which is not on the two currently accessible continents)? The “world map” is after all not to scale and is missing at least one continent, probably more.

    If you were measuring the earth and had only the Phillipines to walk on, assuming similar static astronomical conditions, you’d get about the same results, no? Granted, if that were the case the nights should be significantly longer, but given that night is never truly dark, perhaps azeroth’s lack of orbit is due to being positioned at an equal distance between two or more suns, giving them multiple ‘day’ and ‘night’ periods without ever granting true darkness.

  9. A key point that seems to be missing from this argument is that the discussion relates to the KNOWN world of Azeroth. Humans, Orcs, Dwarves and Gnomes seem to have been totally unaware of the existence of the continent of Kalimdor prior to Warcraft 3 (four game-time years prior to WoW), so it is entirely possible that Azeroth is as large, or larger, than Earth. A larger, unexplored world would also explain the lack of curveture on the horizon.

    Why the High Elves, who knew about Kalimdor because they origianlly came from there, kept it a secret is unknown. Maybe the weed was better there.

  10. I use a coordinate plugin that gives distance to objectives. I’ve teleported a character to the far north of one continent while accidentally leaving a far-south waypoint active and found that it’s roughly 18000 yards (10 miles or so) from top to bottom.

    So there’s that.

  11. Should also note that the accessible continents being only a smaller part of the overall planet makes more sense if you consider the population issues. Azeroth only has 8 major cities and 5 minor cities, none of which are particularly large, even the largest has a population of less than 200. There are perhaps 100 places one might consider a settlement or town, most of which contain no more than a dozen inhabitants. If one discounts the player-adventurers and the hostile NPCs, there probably aren’t even enough people to maintain a viable gene pool… so clearly there must be people in other parts of the world which the player-adventurer cannot yet travel to.

    Theorycrafting this sort of nonsense is so much more fun than real work.

  12. @Narual

    That’s a fantastic point. The whole idea that the world must be a tiny sphere made of SuperLead, but is also somehow totally flat gets completely Occam’s Razored by the argument that it’s most likely that the map isn’t complete.

    That lets the (lack of) curvature make sense, makes the planet much less dense, and lets Blizzard keep on adding expansions.

  13. I think you guys are forgetting the obvious dillema of dense soils, and lack of friction in the world.

    And lets not forget the miners who spend day and night gathering ore but never seem to make any dent in the side of the mountains.

    How would you suggest the miners never get far if not for a super-dense geoid?

  14. @18
    It could be that there is a very evenly spread, significant, volcanic activity – just enough to press ore-rich lumps of rock out of the ground daily in an even spread around the world?

  15. No no #19, it’s that new bacteria in dem rocks that can also produce Texas tea.

  16. Hi, I thought you might enjoy ‘fun with the minimap’

    I used an ‘extracted’ minimap to establish a distance scale for Azeroth and used it to measure velocity, and, interestingly enough the acceleration due to gravity. Also, using g and the view of Azeroth from Shadowmoon Valley in Outland I performed some elementary calculations of the size of Azeroth (R = 10.25 km) and its density (4.43×10^6 kg / m^3)

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