The Shimmering Expanse is the second zone in the undersea region known as Vashj'ir. It is the stronghold of the naga empire within the area. Besides the wide variety of plant and marine life there are also many mysterious wonders such as Nespirah. This zone is home to the ancient Ruins of Vashj'ir. Players will learn about the ruins and what befell them, as well as interesting factoids about Queen Azshara and Lady Vashj's mother.


See history of Vashj'ir.


The Shimmering Expanse, unlike nearby Kelp'thar Forest, contains many deep trenches and high shelves, as well as a smattering of caves with natural air pockets. Four main areas take up the bulk of the Expanse: the Shimmering Grotto in the northwest contains an abundance of sea life as well as thick areas of kelp and seaweed; Nespirah lies southeast of this and is a giant sea creature that adventurers can enter and walk through, battling naga and others that would use it to their advantage; due south of this is Biel'aran Ridge which is littered with shipwrecks and toppled ruins; and to the southwest lies the Ruins of Vashj'ir, what remains of the mighty naga empire, stretching three vast layers almost to the surface of the ocean.


Getting ThereEdit


Players make their way to the Shimmering Expanse as part of the overall Vashj'ir quest progression that begins in Kelp'thar Forest. The quest Across the Great Divide has players swim across the Lightless Reaches into the cave opening that leads into the Shimmering Expanse. The cave mouth is located to the west of The Clutch in Kelp'thar Forest.

Besides picking up and utilizing the flight path located on the Sandy Beach, an alternative is to use a flying mount from Dun Morogh's northwestern-most point. Players should be able to reach the Expanse without dying from Fatigue, provided they have at least a 280% flier.

Flight Master locationsEdit

Alliance 15 Sandy Beach, Shimmering Expanse (north end)
Alliance 15 Voldrin's Hold, Shimmering Expanse
Horde 15 Sandy Beach, Shimmering Expanse (south)
Horde 15 Stygian Bounty, Shimmering Expanse

"Swim" Master locationsEdit

Mass transitEdit

Only during the quest Full Circle
Alliance 15 Pincer X2 at Voldrin's Hold
Horde 15 The Verne at the Stygian Bounty

Adjacent regionsEdit

Zone Name Level Range Direction
Kelp'thar Forest 80-82 North
Abyssal Depths 80-82 West




Classification Type
Beast Crabs
Puffer fish
Sea Snakes
Sea Turtles
Sting Rays
Whale Shark
Humanoid Deep Sea Murlocs
Naga Anomalys

Rare mobs CombatMobRare 32Edit

Name Type
RepFrame - Alliance Hostile RepFrame - Horde Hostile Combat 15 IconSmall Gnome Male Burgy Blackheart Loot
RepFrame - Alliance Friendly RepFrame - Horde Hostile Combat 15 IconSmall Human Male Captain Florence Loot; surface vessel
RepFrame - Alliance Hostile RepFrame - Horde Friendly Combat 15 IconSmall Undead Male Captain Foulwind Loot; surface vessel
RepFrame - Alliance Hostile RepFrame - Horde Hostile Combat 15 IconSmall Seahorse Poseidus Loot; marked with "X"


Trade mining
Trade herbalism
Inv misc pelt wolf 01
Trade fishing
Source Item Skill Level
Herbalism Inv misc herb azsharasveil [Azshara's Veil] 425
Inv misc herb stormvine [Stormvine] 425
from Obsidium Deposit
Source Item
Cloth (Drop) Inv misc emberweaveclothbolt 01 [Embersilk Cloth]
Skinning Item savageleather [Savage Leather]

Though there are no fishing pools, you can fish; 575 fishing is required to fish without catching junk.

Notable charactersEdit

Main article: Shimmering Expanse NPCs

In the Shimmering Expanse, players will encounter visions of the past, revealing necessary information about the great battle that took place at the Ruins of Vashj'ir. This includes information about the Queen of the Naga, Azshara, as well as Lady Vashj. Players also take control of a mysterious naga known as the Naz'jar Battlemaiden, in the service of Lady Naz'jar and Lady Sira'kess.

Players also encounter the Earthen Ring shaman, Erunak Stonespeaker, as well as the Earthen Ring shaman Earthmender Duarn whom they assist in freeing Nespirah from the naga.


Main article: Shimmering Expanse quests

While many of the quests have to do with repelling attacking naga and resupplying the players' respective factions, there are two main stories that take the bulk of the zone. The first is Nespirah, a deep sea demi-god that has fallen under the control of the naga. Players assist with helping her regain her will, driving the naga out while rescuing their own people in the process who have also been enslaved. The second main thrust of the zone has to do with stepping into the past and reliving some of the zone's most important battles from the viewpoint of the naga. Players assume the form and control of a Naz'jar Battlemaiden, undergoing three quest chains where they see the naga battle the kvaldir.

Areas of interestEdit

Inv misc idol 05

Points of interestEdit

Note: Coordinates are not exact. General locations shown. Locations also depend upon phase.



WoW Icon 16x16 In-game



  • Ruins upon Biel'aran Ridge
  • Glimmerdeep Gorge
  • Quel'Dormir Gardens
  • Nespirah
  • The Ruins of Vashj'ir


Cataclysm Shimmering Expanse Zone Review - TankSpot

Cataclysm Shimmering Expanse Zone Review - TankSpot

Patch changesEdit

External linksEdit

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