The Exploration Museum 3.3.5

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About This File

Disclaimer: If you have the knowledge and experience with modelswapping on newer clients remember that it's always best to explore on the proper builds, this release is purely for convenience. Downporting is not a 1-to-1 thing, m2s render weirdly, some fogs are broken etc.

Welcome to the museum! This release is in part a culmination of several months of work on restoring the original Development Land, as well as a collection of developer/prototype/interesting/secret maps from MoP to BfA that I have accumulated. All necessary assets are downported to 3.3.5. He's a little preview of the exhibits made by Dovah.

Link to the museum on MEGA.


1. Development Land. A map that is beloved by the exploration community, considered by some to be one of the coolest maps to ever exist, with an interesting story behind it. Originally leaked in a Cata PTR in 2011 and then quickly deleted, only a handful of broken parts of it were gathered. The map was later revealed and released by MoD on Ownedcore. The map that we got was broken, some zones were missing terrain, _obj, _tex files or usually all 3 of them. Over the years people tried to get around this in a few ways, but the map was still broken. I recently had an idea of recreating terrain for it from the heightmap stored in the WDL file, with the help of schlumpf that was achieved. Thanks to him as well, textures were somewhat restored with an image to vertex tool using the cata minimap as a source. This is a custom fix, by no means it comes close to the original that we never got, it is still broken, but this is the best we have now.

2. Misc developer maps. LevelDesignLand-DevOnly - one of the WoD developer maps, around 50 early garrison variations, unreleased arenas, bgs, locations, wod intro prototypes, it has it all. Propland-DevOnly another WoD map, housing a copy of Shadowmoon Burial Grounds, with the way m2s render inside a wmo it's best explored in noggit or another renderer. Expansion5QAModelMap houses a big chunk of assets built for WoD, also early graybox wmos for the moving part of Grimrail Depot can be found here. 2168 - BfA level design map, houses 4 prototype parts of Kultiras.

3. Scenarios and Island prototypes. AkazamarakHatScenario - unreleased scenario, not very interesting on 3.3.5 since it's missing the npc and gameobjects, but fully functional on live (cred. Dovah). IllidansRock - a map where you were supposed to interact with Illidan while he was jailed in Legion. TheMawofNashal, AssassinsScenarioDRU, DKMountScenario, WarfrontsDarkshoreAlliance, GorgrondOrcs all early/unreleased versions of different scenarios, featuring placeholder or alpha models. 8BoostExperienceHorde - a prototype for a boost location, which is itself an early version of Seething Shore, in Shadowlands Blizzard decided to reuse the map and added an untextured Northrend with a blockout of ICC. Artifact-Warrior Fury Acquisition - a unreleased version of early Helheim. AcquisitionHavoc - this map has unreferenced tiles with what looks like pre-alpha parts of Suramar planing. unused - not much is known about this map. TanaanLegionTest - an early version of Tanaan Jungle. Warlockarea - a map that later became the warlock orderhall during Legion, this is its early prototype from MoP. Islands_7VR_Swamp_Prototype2, Islands888 Josh, Islands666 Katalina, Islands9 Sinkhole, Islands420 Wonderland, Islands803 Mesa, Islands805 Cursed are unreleased prototypes of island expeditions, they vary in the level of polish, but undoubtedly strong contenders for the coolest unreleased maps.

4. Dungeons, Raids, BGs, Arenas. AbyssalMaw - a well known unreleased dungeon from Cata, this particular version is raised above the deathline. Legion Dungeon - also a well known unreleased dungeon. DungeonBlockout - prototype Arcway, made of versatile "lego" m2 blocks. SnakeCave - one of the first versions of Temple of Sethraliss, though with a very different layout. PirateTownDungeon - early Freehold with an interesting top part added to it, the unreferenced tile to the top left is also of interest. DevMapG - the Motherlode, also has some unreferenced tiles. MechagnomeIsland - early Mechagon prototype. Argus 1 - early Argus, has several technical prototypes for the locations and the raid. Nagadungeon - the top unreferenced tile is an early Eye of Azshara. DefenseOfTheAleHouseBG - the unreleased Dota BG. WarcraftHeroes - another BG we didn't get to see. SmallBattlegroundA - a collection of prototype arenas from WoD. SilithusBG - Seething Strand, a version of the azerite bg but located in Silithus, never released. AzeriteBG1 - early Seething Shore BG. ValsharahArena - early versions of the arena housed in unreferenced tiles. TheGreatWall and EastTemple are early versions of Gate of the Setting Sun and Temple of the Jade Serpent which have some pre-alpha tiles from MOP development. Argus_Rifts and early version of invasions, most of these are now unreferenced in game files, what appears to be  a part of early Vol'dun can also be found here. ThePurgeOfGrommarScenario - a cut scenario from WoD. Artifact-PortalWorldAcqusition is an early version of the scenario by the same name, though the scenery in this one is drastically different due to some assets that were cut down the line. UnderrotDungeon - very early underrot, still with design and planning markings. AITestMap8 is a modified version of the Arathi Basin with ships as starting point, most points of interest on the map are swapped to small cave wmos. Firelands1 - it's hard to pinpoint a particular patch or time-frame for this, but this was acquired by combining partial 4.0.0 Firelands with incremental PTR patches, the result is an early mock-up version of the retail Firelands raid, massive thank you to Marlamin and RIdPEF for their archives. Abandonedmines appears to be an unreleased expedition set in a mining town. Robodrome - layout prototypes for the retail arena. 9devland2 houses one of six wmos that were spotted on that map during the 2019 design panel at Blizzcon. Nzoth - prototype Nazjatar that was shipped by mistake in 8.3.0, compared to the retail version there's an additional part of the zone present - Nzoth himself. GMdungeon2 is an unofficial name for a dev/gm wmo that houses a few testing areas. ExteriorTest - originally a developer map with some terrain work, the version here adds some of the unused WMOs and m2s from the gamefiles (raid/dungeon blockouts, greyboxes etc.).

5. Contintents. 0.5.3 Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor and some alpha wmos have been added. 2.0.0 Outland and 3.0.1 Northrend with their respective wmos are also now present, as well as full downports of 4.0.0 Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Deepholm and 6.0.1 Draenor.

6. Misc Early Maps. The earliest BGs: Kalidar and Plains of Snow were added to the museum, as well as a patch for Old Outland.

7. TBD: HearthstoneTavern. If anyone has the skills to downport a mid BFA wmo and wants to help - let me know.

Please take a look at the instructions file inside the museum. Every MPQ has coordinates and links to the maps on If you have any questions, problems you can message me on discord (implave#7038), if you want to post some screenshots, feel free to do that in the Exploration Discord.

Special thanks: a massive thank you to schlumpf for writing the wdl -> adt tool, modifying paintwow and helping me along the way, thank you to Dovah, Nyarly and others for helping me test/acquire files for this release, thank you to Reznik for providing a worldmap for the development, thank you to MoD for releasing the files for the development way back when, and thank you to the exploration community in general for inspiration.

Take it slow, enjoy, have fun and happy exploring!


What's New in Version 3.3.5   See changelog


UPD 08.10.21. Added some continents from the earliest builds, as of now there's Azeroth, Outland, Northrend, Azeroth & Deepholm as well as Draenor. I might add Pandaria, Broken Isles, Zandalar and Kul Tiras later.
Several miscellaneous early maps are now also present: Plains of Snow (0.6.0), Kalidar (0.7.0) and Old Outland (1.0.1).
Dungeons/Raids/Arenas/BGs bundle also was updated with alpha versions of Gate of the Setting Sun and Temple of the Jade Serpent. Added coordinates in the Islands/Scenarios bundle for Islands803 Mesa.
DBC files have also been updated, as well as some disclaimers.

UPD 11.10.21. Fixed most rendering issues for maps in Patch-S, Patch-E. Updated DBCs.
Added an extremely rare version of Firelands from Cata PTR incremental patches. Credit goes to Marlamin, Mjollna and Feangren for helping me identify and acquire the files. Also a version of Argus_Rifts is now present.

UPD 15.10.21. Added AITestMap8, ThePurgeOfGrommarScenario, Artifact-PortalWorldAcqusition and an early UnderrotDungeon to the Dungeons/Raids bundle. Updated DBCs. Merged most custom fixes like ported BG tiles in the Development MPQ.

UPD 01.11.21. Added Nzoth, Abandonedmines, Robodrome, a shadowlands version of the 8boostexperiencehorde and one of the Zandalar WMOs from 9devland2. Also generated WDLs for most maps in the museum and generally cleaned some things up. Updated DBCs. Added a beginner step-by-step setup guide.

UPD 17.11.21. Added a scuffed version of "Gmdungeon2" WMO. Restored collision to a few WMOs. Fixed some stuff with the Development MPQ. Cleaned up the MEGA folders. If a converter becomes available or I magically become not-shit I'll redo the post-filedataid WMOs.

UPD 22.11.21. Added some unused assets, mainly greyboxes/blockouts to ExteriorTest. If anyone wants to see more old m2s and WMOs I suggest checking out this patch by Reznik. 

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