Top Fiver #1: Favorite Azerothian Zones
Posted on 25. Apr, 2007 by The Gimcracker in Gaming, Top Fivers
I spent so much time recently in Outlands with my level 70 paladin that I started getting pretty nostalgic about life back in good ol’ Azeroth. I created a few new characters, namely my tauren druid, and I’ve been loving the simple life of the 10s and 20s.
I recently got my night elf priest up to 20 and my dreanei warrior to 24, so I’ve been lvling like crazy the past couple of days. It got me thinking about my favorite places in Azeroth, and I decided to go ahead with the first installment of my soon-to-be-famous (er… maybe not famous) top fivers.
So, without further ado, here are my top 5 favorite zones in the World of Warcraft (not including the Outlands):
5. Tirisfal Glades
This was a tough one. It was a toss up between Duskwood and Tirisfal; both are dark, mysterious lands with intriguing histories, but I had to give it to the home of the Scarlet Monestary. I loved starting my warlock here, rising from the crypts to fight for what is left of the undead kingdom. So many good memories were made adventuring into the far northern reaches of the Eastern Kingdoms to do battle with Herrod and High Commander Mograine among other worthy foes. Brill has character and a strange charm as it sprawls out beneath the ominous zeppelin tower, and around the corner lies the Undercity in all it’s meloncholy glory. Stop and grab a brew at the Brill inn and you’re sure to meet some interesting townsfolk. This zone had to be in my top 5.
This is one of the most magical and ancient lands in all of Azeroth. Home of Blackfathom Depths and Warsong Gulch, its lore goes back many centuries. It’s also geographically in a very interesting place as it is a buffer between the magical elven lands of Darkshore and Felwood to the north and horde country to the south. It was the first zone I ever encountered with a town of both factions, making for lots of pvp action. I don’t think it’s possible to avoid crossing paths with a member of the opposing faction if you favor taking the main road, especially if you’re heading from Astranaar to Forest Song, which takes you closer to horde territory. I just can’t resist the flurry of feelings that the beautiful soundtrack evokes as I run along the dark paths under the thousand-year-old trees. Ashenvale will always have a place in my heart, even after I stop playing WoW (if I stop playing WoW).
3. Un’Goro Crater
There’s no inn, bank, or mailbox, the graveyard is in a terrible location, and it’s nowhere near a major city. How, you ask, did Un’Goro climb up into a top fiver? Dinosaurs! To be honest, the first time I heard of Un’Goro Crater I thought it was going to be a desolate, ugly place, especially since it’s nestled between three different kinds of desert: the dry sand dunes of Tanaris, the arid dirt plains of Silithis, and the scalding rock spires of Thousand Needles. But as soon as you step foot into the fertile crater, you realize that the steamy jungle around you hides treasures of all kinds. Crystals abound, herbs grow forth from the lush jungle floor, rich soil and plant seeds are yours to cultivate. But don’t get too comfortable, because you might just get your limbs ripped from your body by one of the two huge tyrannosaurs lurking in the distance. As soon as you hit lvl 48, go directly to Un’Goro Crater. There are hundreds of thousands of experience points floating in the form of punctuation over peoples’ heads in Marshall’s Refuge. Oh, don’t forget to relax in the hot springs after a long day of hacking through dinos.
2. The Barrens
Ah, the Barrens; they’re anything but barren. With almost as much general chat activity as Ironforge, it’s one of the few zones that caters to a range of 15 levels, meaning there’s tons to do here. When the lvl cap was 60 you could literally spend a quarter of your levels in the Barrens, especially with three different dungeons nestled in the savannah hills. From the Crossroads outpost to the pirate occupied Northwatch Hold to the southern tauren camps to the many green oases scattered about the grassy plains, you’ll feel like you’re in a whole new world within the world of Azeroth. Spend the hot summer days and the cool starry nights hunting lions, tracking boars, stalking exotic animals such as gazelles and giraffes, and preying on a myriad of other grassland animals and creatures, all while taking cover under the scattered savannah trees and amidst the tall shoots of grasses and shrubs. I felt like my time in the Barrens was spent playing a totally different game, one that I mastered and beat when I was ready to leave for other adventures in Azeroth. I’ve not played a horde character that has not entered the world of the Barrens, nor will I ever.
1. Stranglethorn Vale
And my favorite zone of all time is good ol’ STV. Growing up in Azeroth I would often hear tales of a distant jungle full of pirate adventures, tropical wildlife, ancient troll ruins, and misty rivers. When I was old enough to travel there at last I was not disappointed. Another 15-level zone, STV provides adventure after adventure, starting with the great expedition quests of the north, moving deeper into the jungle amidst countless hidden troll civiliations, and finally pushing further and further down an amazon-like river that winds along the southernmost tip of all the Eastern Kingdoms to the Cape of Stranglethorn and a notorious pirate city. Tread lightly here, as there are plenty of black market activities and hush-hush deals being made between the vilest of pirate scum. Zul’Gurub, an ancient troll civilization to the northeast, lies in ruins. The Vile Reef, a mythical underwater city off the coast to the west, beckons adventurous travelers. Somewhere between hearing the distant sounds of jungle gorillas, pushing through the exotic foliage, climbing across rickety old rope bridges, and spying on a goblin base camp on a lake deep in the wild, I couldn’t help but think to myself that this is my favorite place to be in all the World of Warcraft.
That’s it for my first edition of top fivers. Man, now I want to play WoW.