standing at the back in my sissy robe

July 25, 2009

on behalf of the Goblin Office of Safety and Health

Filed under: Diversions — Tamarind @ 6:43 pm

A couple of posts back, I was talking about the WoW obscenity swwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwad and quite a few of the comments mentioned the effectiveness of the lifts in Azeroth in inducing a welter of swwwwwading followed by dying.

So, since it’s frivolity Saturday, I decided to send a highly trained field-agent on a whistle-stop-tour of Azeroth in order to investigate the situation on the behalf of the Goblin Office of Safety and Health (GOSH). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a highly trained field expert so I had to use the Prettiest Elf instead. Having equipped himself with a diamond tipped walking cane, the marvellous madstone of immortality (which he only bought in the first place because he thought it was the marvellous madstone of immorality) and his cow bodyguard, our brave and terribly pretty elf set off on his deadly and vital mission.

We began in Shattrath.

The lift leading to the Scryer’s Terrace consists of a round platform that cunningly disguises itself as part of the ground, thus making it remarkably easy for the absent-minded, or visually impaired, traveller to miss it entirely. It is clearly operated by magic as it whizzes up and down to its own schedule. It is also silent which, though a vast improvement to all the headache inducing clanking and whirring of the Barrens lift technology, comes with dangers of its own:

La la la la

La la la la

However, despite having the lift land upon his head repeatedly (for science!) Cowfriend suffered no visible injury. The fact he was persuaded to stand beneath a falling platform several times in a row, however, may attest to some small brain damage not mitigated by his helmet. Agrimony asks me to remind all those not wearing a Serious Tanking Helmet not to try this under any circumstances, as it is terribly bad for the hair.

The lift itself is entirely open on one side. Although it does offer a lovely view of Shattrath, again, this is extremely perilous for the clumsy, large-hoofed or otherwise preoccupied lift-users.



Cowfriend suffered only minor wounds (one sprained fetlock, one bruised knee and a slightly crushed tail) from his unfortunate fall, indicating that a rapid, unintentional descent from the top of Scryer’s Terrace, unlike other locations around Azeroth, while not precisely recommended, is not deadly. So although the design of the lift itself is neither safe nor sane, it causes little harm to its passengers.

However, the Prettiest Elf was quick to spot the one thing the lift to Scryer’s Terrace has going for it:

So, how do you feel about customer service?

So, how do you feel about customer service?

In Summary:

Accessibility: Low – easily missed due to the fact the platform camouflages itself
Technology: Good – smooth, silent, magic action
Danger: Very low
Attendants: Can attend me any day, baby…
Likelihood of hefty settlement following legal action: Low, as injuries caused by lift are rarely significant

The Undercity

Where to begin! The lift system in the Undercity is, of course, the handiwork of the famous, Forsaken architect, Incapability Brown. And, ye Gods, does he have a lot to answer for. Our crack team immediately spotted several significant problems:

Slight logistical hiccough

Slight logistical hiccough

Just look at those dreadful attendants! Err, and, of course, the fact that the lift cannot accommodate a mounted cow in full battle armour.

The lifts themselves consist of a spike-ringed platform (why, Incapability Brown, why? Are enormous spikes of bone ever a sensible addition to a heavily used public facility?) that judders up and down a sealed column of stone with access doors at both the top and bottom. While in motion the lift is arguably slightly safer than the open air style adopted by both the Scryers and the cows, but there are serious ‘Mind the Gap’ issues at the point where the lift encounters the exit door. And by serious, we mean fatal:

This seems neither healthy nor safe

This seems neither healthy nor safe

It is all too easy for the impatient lift-user, in defiance of all the laws of physics, to fall through the invisible gap between platform and wall, plummet down the shaft and then re-encounter the lift in a most painful fashion. The result of which is to find oneself both impaled on the bone spikes and decapitated. And, it goes without saying, deceased.

Alas, poor Agrimony

Alas, poor Agrimony

In Summary:

Convenience: Low – despite there being several of them, the lifts are notoriously difficult to locate and the doors have a tendency to close in your face just as you approach.
Accessibility: Terrible – do you know how long it took Cowfriend and the Prettiest Elf to extricate that kodo?
Technology: Frankly, I hate to speculate
Danger: EXTREME!
Attendants: For future reference, we should prefer our lift attendants to have their internal organs on the inside.
Likelihood of hefty settlement following legal action: Extremely low, not because you don’t have a case but because the Forsaken would just laugh in your face

To The Barrens

The lifts to Thunder Bluff and Thousand Needles have both clearly been designed by the same a stupid cow. They consist of two counterbalancing gazebos on a string. Although they are capacious in order to accommodate users of all sizes and offer gorgeous views (Cowfriend insists) of the Mulgore scenery, they are nevertheless seemingly constructed to cause the maximum frustration to users.

The platform is precisely of a length to ensure that, if you miss the ascending gazebo, no matter how fast and desperately you run you will also miss the descending gazebo on the other side. Naturally this means you’ll miss the previously-ascending-now-descending-gazebo, in a tragic cycle of lift missing that could conceivably last forever.

And, of course, it should by now be obvious saying that structures designed to transport a person a significant vertical distance should not consist of 5 doorways to death:

Goodnight my darlings, I'll see you tomorrow.

Goodnight my darlings, I'll see you tomorrow.

And although the lift attendants weren’t a patchwork of deadflesh and organs (for which everyone was thankful) they were far from the sterling guardians encountered in Shattrath, displaying absolutely no concern for their job.

Like ... whatevs ... dude

Like ... whatevs ... dude

We suspected this one was stoned. And on duty! Tsk tsk.

To give The Thousand Needles whatever small credit it is due, we can at least praise their efficiency. Although the ground at the bottom of the Great Lift was strewn with the bodies of the fallen dead, the graveyeard was extremely conveniently located, displaying a certain degree of foresight on the part of either the lift designer or the local undertakers.

I have no idea what it says about the world of Azeroth that 'proximity to graveyard' may be considered an advantage in a lift.

I have no idea what it says about the world of Azeroth that 'proximity to graveyard' may be considered an advantage in a lift.

In summary:

not so great actually

With that, the Prettiest Elf and Cowfriend, bruised, battered and partially dismembered, called it a day.

GOSH will be hearing about this. You mark my words.

Cowfriend then attempted to inspire the Prettiest Elf with the wonders of his home town, in particular The Randomly Wobbling Rock to which Azerothian tourists apparently flock:

*yawn* dear boy *yawn*

*yawn* dear boy *yawn*

The Prettiest Elf, however, had other ideas and ported straight back to Shattrath:

He learned from the best



  1. You are to be commended for your thorough research sir.

    Comment by Shayzani — July 25, 2009 @ 7:29 pm | Reply

    • Why thank you. It is usually for the best when acting on behalf of GOSH.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 26, 2009 @ 11:36 am | Reply

  2. I would very much like to rip that last image out of my monitor and pin it to my brain, so that i forever to giggle to it. You, dead sir, are balancing on the edge of genious and more genious.

    (But really, kids. Don’t use pick-up lines used by Kael’Thas. I mean, there’s a reason that poor flirting illiterate man ended up hanging out with a naga lady. Chances of getting laid? Squat.)

    Comment by Naïve — July 25, 2009 @ 10:24 pm | Reply

    • Hehe, thank you, glad to have amused. I was giggling when I was writing it.

      The other guy doesn’t look at all impressed by the Prettiest Elf’s Kael’thas-inspired charms…

      Comment by Tamarind — July 26, 2009 @ 11:38 am | Reply

  3. That was brilliant!

    Should you ever continue your research on Alliance side, I strongly recommend an examination of the Telredor lift in Zangarmarsh. It’s… special.

    Comment by Shintar — July 26, 2009 @ 1:23 am | Reply

    • I don’t really have a high enough level Alliance alt to run around checking out the lifts unfortunately but when I do I shall certainly reprise my role with GOSH.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 26, 2009 @ 11:39 am | Reply

  4. I would also like to recommend a trip to the awesomeness which is the Serpentshrine Cavern elevator. The most lethal thing in SSC.

    Comment by Erinys — July 26, 2009 @ 7:32 am | Reply

    • I’m amused … flattered … slightly worried by the eagerness with which people are sending my poor characters off to get smooshed and decapitated by heavy machinery.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 26, 2009 @ 11:40 am | Reply

  5. It was always fun in Shattrath persuading people that jumping off the Aldor rise was safe. We’d both take a running leap off, only for me to change to swift flight form halfway down, watching the poor sod splat on the ground below. Ah druids, how I love thee…

    Comment by Sierro — July 26, 2009 @ 10:27 am | Reply

    • Heheh. I can’t wait to have flight form. Although I think it’s probably a recipe for disaster in my inept hands.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 26, 2009 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  6. I definitely needed this bit of humor today.

    Ah yes, the menace known as “lifts”. More deadly than most raid bosses. You left out three of the worst, though:

    1) Serpentshrine Cavern: someone in my raidgroup died THREE TIMES IN A ROW on it before he reached the bottom; one of those deaths was due to a sympathetic healer trying to res him, but the lift dropped out from under his feet as he clicked accept. Of course, the raid was slightly delayed because everyone was laughing their asses off.
    2) Telredor: this being Alliance, I see why the Prettiest Elf avoided it, the guards might have mussed up his hair. But that thing is a pain! Extra deadliness points for the fact that it moves horizontally away from the platform before going up/down. So the mad dash to reach it before it leaves comes with an added long jumping competition.
    3) Aldor Rise: even now that Outlands is one great big ghost town, there are STILL always a bunch of skeletons and bodies at its bottom. That thing is evil, I tell you.

    For some reason I have no problems with the tauren lifts, but the Telredor and Aldor Rise lifts … ouch! I swear they must be possessed by demons of the Burning Legion to weaken the forces of their enemies.

    Comment by Feralan — July 26, 2009 @ 3:17 pm | Reply

    • I don’t think I ever died on the Serpentshrine elevator, but it was great fun timing my levitate so that I wouldn’t splat on the lift as it was coming back up — then right-click off the buff and keep falling, and then time my levitate so I wouldn’t splat on the bottom.

      Comment by Kiryn — July 26, 2009 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

      • Kiryn, that sounds like a lot of IFs to me =P I know if I tried that, I’d be asking for a SPLAT.

        Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 12:41 am

      • Oh, I know. There’s a reason people call it the Elevator Boss. There were certain people in our raid who died to it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. they tried using it.

        Comment by Kiryn — July 27, 2009 @ 2:38 am

    • I’m glad to have amused, I had a lot of fun messing around in WoW with Cowfriend and then writing it up, actually.

      I really must investigate Serpentshrine Cavern, I’ve heard too many stories of doom and hilarity now. The over-helpful healer is certainly a classic 🙂 Three times in a row, though, the poor guy.

      I’m definitely missing out with my ignorance of the Alliance side of things. There are humiliating deaths I simply haven’t had opportunity to experienced. I’m clearly missing out.

      We should have paid more attention to Aldor Rise when we were there but when we got to the terrace, Agrimony was so unimpressed by the lift attendent (a draeni with EXTREMELY unfortunate facial hair) that he port-ed straight the UC.

      Interesting, theory, by the way about the lifts and the Burning Legion. But I think you’re slightly out… after all, who is a yet more deadly enemy even than the Burning Legion. Yes! It is Arthas: Wrath of the Lift King!

      (oh my God, I can’t BELIEVE I wrote that, I’m so sorry).

      Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 12:40 am | Reply

      • Hee. 🙂

        Oh, and I tought Cowfriend was of the female persuasion? We need more female tauren! (I have a shaman but she’s mostly shelved.)

        Comment by Feralan — July 27, 2009 @ 8:55 am

      • Cowfriend is of the female persuasion, it’s just her cow isn’t.

        We do need more female Tauren. I have a shaman too but I don’t play her enough. She’s really pretty though, I just wish Blizzard would design her some armour that didn’t look dreadful on her.

        Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 9:18 am

      • Hmph. That all depends on who’s doing the persuading.

        Comment by Claire — July 27, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

    • Hehehe. That’s just not a good way to go, is it? Taken out by the elevator before fight began.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  7. I would like the GOSH to test the safety of the drop in Azjol’Nerub. I know people claim it is impossible to die from that drop but they have not seen me do it yet then. Always. Always. Always. Once I spent a full hour there jumping, dying, running back, jumping, dying, running back, you get the picture, while the four warriors I was there with laughed their asses off at first. After a few tries they were not laughing anymore.

    That thing needs to be closed off and provided with a safe stairwell down with many landings to rest upon.

    Oh, and I would like to direct the Prettiest Elf’s attention to an excellent collection of good pick-up-lines I read not long ago, somewhere in the vicinity of this esteemed establishment 🙂

    Comment by Tessy — July 26, 2009 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

    • hmm I think I meant “on the premises of” and not “in the vicinity of”… *slinks back to using monosyllabic short words again*

      Comment by Tessy — July 26, 2009 @ 5:40 pm | Reply

      • As one can also say about mana bars: it’s not the size of the word that matters, it’s the way it’s deployed 🙂

        Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 12:26 am

    • I’ve only run AN once, finding it rather dull (a big hole in the ground, in fact, sadly lacking in dinosaurs) but I remember that drop. I managed, somehow, not to die but as soon as the Prettiest Elf is in any way capable of not getting mullered in Northrend, I shall send him along to investigate.

      Really what it needs is one of those stairlifts for the elderly and infirm…. although that would be less dramatic. Appreciated by us vulnerable clothies though.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 12:25 am | Reply

  8. Somewhat off the topic old chap, but what is that robe that Prettiest Elf is wearing?

    Comment by Hanford — July 26, 2009 @ 6:26 pm | Reply

    • What ho old bean! The DGC is currently in Westfall, by the way – lots of bally rotters makin’ life hard for the farmers there. What’s a decent chap to do?

      And the prettiest elf would surely celebrate such a change of topic. He’s terribly glad you noticed actually – I believe it’s a set of black velvet robes:

      Random world drop, I think, but you can usually pick up a set on the AH for around 10-20 gold.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 12:19 am | Reply

      • Much obliged old man. Took possession of a new pet today to assist in the hunting. Rather fine bear, what.

        Took the tram to Stormwind. Jolly busy place.

        Comment by Hanford — July 27, 2009 @ 2:32 am

      • A bear? Oh I say! Splendid. I have a new pig – chap named Boracchio, touch of the mange, but nothin some good huntin can’t cure.

        Sorry the Old Girl and I didn’t catch you in the Metrop – busy weekend, what what.

        Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 9:19 am

  9. Tam, after reading this (rather lengthy) post, it is now official: You have WAYYYYY to much time on your hands. 🙂

    Only slightly off-topic but still related to the falling-to-your-death subject, here’s one that is fun for Death Knights. Any time you have a long jump down to water (the exit from UK comes to mind, as well as the long drop in AN after the second boss), make sure you jump down ahead of your other group members, then immediately cast “Path of Frost” once you’ve landed safely. The group members behind you will all go splat on the ice!

    (Note: do not do this to your healer if you expect to receive any further heals from that person. But it’s a great practical joke to play on others.) 🙂

    Comment by Zaphind — July 27, 2009 @ 5:23 pm | Reply

    • It was Saturday morning, before lunch with somebody else’s parents, what else you gonna do except write verbose and silly posts about the lifts in World of Warcraft? And, admit, it was totally worth it. Where else are you going to find such a necessary disquisition on the subject?

      And to think I needed any further evidence that DKs are TROUBLE =P

      Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

    • The hole in Azjol Nerub is particularly good for this. I managed to kill myself and the healer that way!

      Comment by Sierro — July 27, 2009 @ 11:48 pm | Reply

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