Located just south of The Barrens, Thousand Needles is a large canyon, punctuated by countless mesas that rise out of the canyon floor to dizzying heights. It was a level 25-35 zone at launch, but has since been retooled for players in their mid-40's. Previously, the only way into the canyon from the Barrens was to ride an elevator contraption named The Great Lift. If a player accidentally moved while riding, or encountered a lag spike while getting on or off, the results could be disastrous.
The canyon floor was overrun by hostile centaurs, who had driven the original Tauren residents to seek shelter on the elevated mesas. The Tauren constructed a network of rope bridges that link the mesas, so as not to risk trouble by travelling on the ground.
Eventually, the canyon mouth opened onto a large, desolate expanse called the Shimmering Flats, which had previously been a lakebed.
The wide open space provided the resident gnomes and goblins an opportunity to hold their high-speed rocket car races at the Mirage Raceway.
However, Deathwing's emergence from underground had some disastrous consequences for the residents of Thousand Needles. A large flood filled the canyon completely, and turned the Shimmering Flats into a large lake.
The Great Lift was destroyed, and the numerous Centaur clans were wiped out.
Never ones to give up on a chance for profit, the gnomes and goblins retooled their racing enterprise, and shifted the vehicles from rocket cars to speedboats. Some pirates have also entered the southeastern portion of the zone.