I've Been Everywhere: Kalimdor

I was totin’ my pack along the long dusty Winnemucca road,
When along came a semi with a high an’ canvas-covered load.
“If you’re goin’ to Winnemucca, Mack, with me you can ride.”
And so I climbed into the cab and then I settled down inside.
He asked me if I’d seen a road with so much dust and sand.
And I said, “Listen, I’ve traveled every road in this here land!”

I’m starting a little miniseries that will go over the course of a few days in which I talk about zones in the game and what I think of them. Mostly because I’ve sort of been wanting to write something like this for a while, and because it sounds fun. It’s not really huntery per se, but ya know what, that’s okay! =P

Teldrassil: A looooooong time ago I installed a little thing called “The World of Warcraft Free Trial”. I rolled up a Night Elf named Tawyn– why yes, my very first character is still my main– and soon found myself in this crazy world of purple trees and boars that I was supposed to kill.

Because of all this, I have one word to describe Teldrassil: Nostalgia. It may not be one of my favorite zones, but I can’t travel there without smelling the innocence in the air and remembering how floored I was the first time I wandered into Darnassus and was met with swelling music and giant tree guardians and tons of funny-looking buildings.

I secretly really like Darnassus. Don’t tell anyone.

Azuremyst Isles: Decent starting area but not my favorite, a fact which generally causes people to spaz out, but hey, I’m weird. In fact, Bloodmyst Isle is pretty much the one area in the game I’ve yet to fully explore because the only draenei I’ve played past level 10 opted to go directly to Westfall without collecting $200. In a way, I kind of like having an area of the game I’ve never seen before, to the point that I… keep sort of deliberately putting off exploring it, if that makes sense.

I never go into the Exodar unless my Hearthstone is firmly not-on-cooldown. That place is a black hole. /shudder

Darkshore: I like it. Has some quests I really enjoy. I sorta like the overall mood. It’s by the sea, but it’s a stormy sea. It reminds me of the Pacific Northwest coast where I spent my earliest childhood years. From an RP standpoint I sort of want to say this is where my druid grew up but I’m always wary about saying things like that because Kalimdor lore confuses me sometimes and you never know what was here five years ago and what wasn’t. >.>

Moonglade: The first time I went to Moonglade it was with a level 55ish Tawyn who wondered just what was in the little sideroute in the Timbermaw’s tunnel. I was surprised to find this whole zone I hadn’t known existed. That’s really about all I’ve got to say about this, other than my druids all teleport here ASAP upon dinging a new level. Can ya blame me? The trainer is right there!

Winterspring: Looooooooveeeeee this zone. I go here with all my characters and I’m never tired of it. I love exploring that crazy scary area at the bottom of the zone too; that unused instance portal with all the pretty Hyjal trees and greenery on the other side. Makes me really wish I could go through there. /whine

Felwood: There are aspects of this zone that I like a lot and others that I don’t like quite so much. In the end the scales tip towards “like” although I don’t go there on all my characters.

Azshara: Bestest most craziest zone ever. I love this place. I’d move here. Random NPCs with no purpose, elementals yelling at you, this airstrip on an island in the middle of nowhere where you get to call a dwarf down on an airplane, a crazy mage living in a tower, and unused battleground entrances for both Horde and Alliance? Sign me up! The only thing I don’t like about it is navigating, it does that whole thing where one second you’re on a huge cliff and the next thing you know you’re pretty much below sea level and there’s like, one place where you can get back up and I can never find it. Other than that, love this zone.

Ashenvale: Been here enough that I’m kiiiinda sick of it. Tend to avoid it. Though I have fond memories of doing the Astranaar quests the first time around, but I’ve never been able to get myself to do them again. The best part of this zone is the area by Blackfathom Deeps with all the naga, though I’m not a particularly big fan of BFD itself.

Stonetalon Mountains: Love! I don’t even know why I love this zone, I just do. It’s fun. I’m crazy. I know.

The Barrens: I’m fond of this place in some way that I can’t quite pin down. It really sort of makes you feel like a Hordie. You’re aren’t really Horde unless you’ve been through the baptism of fire that is the Barrens, almost.

My favorite quests in the zone are the ones down south of Camp Taurajo, though the travel is a pain (not so much anymore with mounts at 20… but the travel used to be a pain. Of course, that’s what paying the quillboar blood shards for a temporary speed boost was for!)

Pro tip: Turn off General chat.

Durotar: Nice enough zone if you can succeed in not being blinded by orange. Things I dislike: the cave in the orc/troll starter zone (I get lost every. friggin’. time), and the fact that there seem to be too many quests to do before you hit level ten. Of all the newbie zones, I only feel that way with this zone, really. It’s like, they kick you out of the starting zone and then you’ve got a troll town and then you’ve got Razor Hill and then you’ve got these goblins and it’s just like “aaaaaaaaaaaaaah quests.” But yeah, I don’t really mind the zone as a whole.

Desolace: Another zone that I like for some reason. I especially like the coastal area because it’s so… different from the rest of the zone but still seems to fit. It’s kind of relaxing to hang out at the Desolace coast.

I can never decide if I like Maraudon or not. Leaning towards liking it cause it’s pretty but it’s like Wailing Caverns-times-500 in the maze department so I don’t go without My-Boy-The-Wonder-Navigator.

Mulgore: Looooove it. Helps that it sorta looks like Mulgore where I live IRL. <3 Dustwallow Marsh: I really like Theramore a lot. I have memories of that huge giant Alliance questline culminating in this showdown where Jaina showed up and it was just epic. But the rest… eh… there are things I like and things I don’t but all and all I tend not to spend a lot of time here.

Feralas: Another zone that I really like. I think it’s more fun on Horde than on Alliance. Alliance kind of tosses you at these weird islands and stuff whereas Horde just has you wondering around home base at Camp Mojache, making nice ‘n easy experience by shooting gnolls and ogres. Plus, I have bad memories of waiting for the boat for what felt like 15 minutes at Feathermoon Stronghold.

I like Dire Maul in a “I’m going to get lost, but I like the aesthetics” kind of way, sort of like Maraudon, really. Best thing that ever happened there was jumping down a floor without dismissing my pet, followed by said pet pulling the entire instance onto the group’s face. It was funny afterwards…

Thousand Needles: Easily one of my favorite zones in the game and contains pretty much one of the best questlines ever. Seriously, you get to jump off a cliff and then you get whisked away when you are about five inches from the ground. TELL ME THAT’S NOT AWESOME.

Silithus: And this is the part where I’m stuffed into a straitjacket: I like Silithus. Because it’s absolutely nuts. Giant bugs. C’mon. It’s crazy, and awesome. The only downfall is that the quests suck, for the most part. I put up with them because it’s such a weird ethereal zone filled with floating obelisks and I just sorta like the overall atmosphere.

When I was a noobling I went down to southern Silithus where AQ was and I had no idea what those crazy buildings were for but I thought it was the coolest thing ever. The end.

Un’goro Crater: I’ve had a couple characters spend a lot of time here farming Mountain Silversage to fund epic mounts back when they were expensive. So I sort of feel like I’ve spent more time here than I should have, and in that way, I’m in no big hurry to spend much more time there in the future.

On the other hand, dinosaurs. Plus, millions of little nooks and crannies all along the edges, if you look, and I’ve found some weird stuff in said nooks and crannies. So all and all it makes up for it. *nods*

Tanaris: I still remember the first time I took my first character and wandered south of the Shimmering Flats right into Tanaris and Gadgetzan. Pretty much instantly I went running to Mr. Pike, “OH MY GOSH I FOUND TATOOINE!!” I was really excited. I fell in love with it almost instantly and ya know what, I still like Tanaris. It has that weird alien-esque quality to it that Silithus has that makes me love it. The coast is gorgeous and has quests that involve pirates and giant turtles. And Zul’Farrak is one of the greatest instances of all time, and this shall not be debated. If there was an instance hall of fame and only five or ten instances in all of WoW could go in there, ZF would be a shoo-in. So yeah. Win-win situation.

Next time: Eastern Kingdoms, and we see if Pike continues her streak of liking everyone’s least-favorite zones and vice-versa! Stay tuned!

18 thoughts on “I've Been Everywhere: Kalimdor”

  1. You forgot the one thing that delivers the coup de gras to anyone who thinks Tanaris is not awesome.

    Nogginfogger Elixir.

    First time I had a sip, I was on my Draenei Hunter hanging out with my Draenei Shaman friend. We wasted a good 20 minutes running around as tiny skeletons with my carrion bird “chasing” us. Afterwards, I bought 2 stacks and made sure I was always tiny before getting on my Elekk.

    About the only way Elekk are fun is if you’re tiny. /nod

  2. Silithus is the place to be if you wanted to get Exalted with the Cenarion Circle. Have your toon farm boatloads of Encrypted Twilight Text and hand them over by some Tauren Druid near the Flight Master. 10 Texts for 500 rep? Exalted in no time /wink

    And by far my most favorite zone in Kalimdor would be Tanaris. Why Tanaris?

    Because you get elementals, dragons, trolls, silithids, nasty beasties and human thugs all in one place. And there be pirates, yarr! ‘Nuff said =)

  3. If you were on a PVP server you would see each of those zones A LOT differently :)) Some of them were a nightmare to quest in. And Zul’Farak summoning stone was a warzone.

  4. I’m with you on Thousand Needles and Mulgore. Those are easily two of the most gorgeous regions in the game.

    For some reason it’s hard not to smile when you’re wandering the rolling plains …

  5. Azshara is pretty in an autumn kind of way, and there are some gorgeous zones in the game indeed.

    I have to disagree with you on Silithus, but I admit that’s personal preference. I don’t set foot in Silithus unless I absolutely have to (Oh i despise that the world holidays make you go there…). It’s the bugs. Great big legs sticking up out of the ground….that *twitch*.

    If I find I have to go to Silithus, I make sure my sound is off. Twitching legs are bad enough. Twitching legs combined with the buzzing of insects exceeds my personal creep-out threshold…. /shudder

  6. I loved silithus and Desolace. I think the more remote the place was the more I liked it. And in Silithus you din’t get ganked as much(that was before even AQ opened), same with Desolace.

  7. @ Ionut – I have to admit, I’ve leveled more characters on a PvP server than on a normal server, and the only zone I’ve really had problems with in Kalimdor is Ashenvale. Which is probably yet another reason why I avoid it. I rarely run into Alliance in the other zones, though… they’re all on Eastern Kingdoms, it would appear =P

  8. Winterspring is, by FAR, my favorite zone and I go back there pretty often (it’s SO gorgeous) and some coolest cats hang out there (pun intended)!

  9. The Barrens: Pro tip: Turn off General chat.

    ROFL! You don’t like Barrens chat? It’s famous! Chuck Norris will be looking for you now. This was an awesome post, I agree with you about most of the areas and now I feel a need to go revisit some!

  10. Eventually Oilcan will retire to Winterspring and hunt the frost cats. It’s like the dwarf start area….but MORE SNOW! =D

  11. I’m gonna list my all-time hated zone first: Ganklethorn Vale. Granted, I play on PvE servers so the ganking is practically non-existent but I hate this zone. First, horde are screwed if they need to get back to a major city as the only the only way they can get to major city is to zepplin back to Org or UC from Grom’gol. Alliance: 3 minute flight to Stormwind.

    The size: Back before they changed the mount levels, STV was hell on foot. Not wide but extremely long from top to bottom. Getting from Hemet Nesingwary Jr. at the top back to Grom’gol or Booty Bay was an adventure in itself.

    Zul-Gurub: Venture too far east while leveling and you’re facing level 60 elites at the entrance. Whoops.

    And I’m ashamed to admit this as a predominate horde player but Teldrassil is probably one of my favorite zones. It’s small compared to Tirisfal Glades or Durotar so you don’t have to wander all over the damn place for quests, the scenery is beautiful and Darnassus is probably one of the most gorgeous cities in the game. The music is nice to boot.

  12. I love Azshara as well – just me – tons of gorgeous scenery and about four or five hunter-bots grinding blue dragonkin for hours and hours at a time….

    Beyond that – my favorite zone of all time is Stranglethorn Vale on a PvP server. All of my favorite memories of vanilla WOW came from there.

  13. Kalimdor has always been a nice break after spending too long in the Eastern Kingdoms. It’s always had a feeling of something more exotic, every zone is completely different from the classic vision of a fantasy world; it makes a good foil to the Eastern Kingdoms.

    Azshara also has to be one of my favorite zones, mostly because out of all the zones in WoW it honestly feels like a frontier. There’s no major towns, just a flight path. There aren’t any major quest hubs, though quests from outside the region sometimes bring you there. You can just ride around for hours, taking the sights in, and never encounter anyone else.

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