And so we dive into my final entry in this little miniseries of mine: my personal thoughts on Outland and Northrend. Unlike the other two entries in which the zones were sorted North to South geographically, I’m going to go roughly by level on this one; I think it’ll read smoother.
So here we go~!
Hellfire Peninsula: I’m not even gonna beat around the bush on this one: my main goal with this zone is to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Yeah, I’m not a fan. I just don’t like it. Don’t like the scenery, don’t like the quests… and when on a PvP server, don’t like the fact that it is filled with Death Knights who out-gear you in every way imaginable and love to remind you of this fact. Hellfire Peninsula does have one (major) thing going for it though, namely that walking through the Dark Portal and being faced with this huge war between level ?? demons going on is one of the most epic things in the game, period.
And I gotta admit, I do like Ramps. Classic Outlands instance, really.
Other than that, it’s get to Zangarmarsh as fast as possible because this is a zone that is hard to skip– you’ve pretty much gotta spend at least some time here unless you’ve maxed out your leveling as much as you can in Old World.
Zangarmarsh: Easily my favorite zone in Outlands. There’s really no contest. It’s so serene and relaxing, the glowy sporebats and fireflies contrasting against the blue landscape, and I really like the quests, all 54 or so of them– yeah, there’s not many, and I’ve maxed ’em out on basically every toon I’ve leveled. Plus I love each and every one of the Coilfang Reservoir instances– Underbog is my favorite. I love it so much that I’ve farmed that place to death for Sanguine Hibiscus and Sporeggar rep on two characters now and I’m still not sick of it.
Also, a hunter in there tamed a druid. Awesome, no?
Terokkar Forest: Sort of an overlooked zone that I think tends to be skipped over by people who are able to do a couple quests here and then bounce right on to Nagrand. Even I’m guilty of that; I’ve probably spent less time here than any other Outlands zone with the possible exception of Shadowmoon Valley. There are some really unique and interesting quests in Terokkar though, and I think I’ve probably done most of them across the spread of my three characters who have gone through here.
The Auchindoun instances I’m iffy about. I like Shadow Labs. Who can forget “TIME FOR FUN”? or, ya know… this:
The others… eeeehhh… I can never remember which is which anyway. Sethekk is okay I guess.
Nagrand: It’s pretty. It’s relaxing to kill millions of Clefthoof/Talbuk/etc. in an odd sort of way. The Kurenai rub me the wrong way for some reason that I can’t put my finger on so I much prefer this zone on my Horde characters, because the Mag’har > all.
I’ve gone through random Halaa obsession periods and I’ll be the first to admit it. Hey, when you can get snazzy arrows and bullets in there, you’ll do crazy things for them.
Killed more ogres than I care to count in the name of a pretty Talbuk on my Hordie (my poor Allies will never get one, as I mentioned earlier… weird distaste for the Kurenai so I sorta don’t want to grind rep for them.)
All in all though, I never understood the massive “omg BEST ZONE EVARRRRR RLLRLLRLLRMRGLRMRGL” stuff, I think I’d place it… third or fourth or so in my list of Favorite Outlands Zones. It’s a nice zone, I just think it’s overrated. Don’t kill me. x_x
Blade’s Edge Mountains: Pretty much the most underraed zone ever. I love this place. Yeah it’s a pain to navigate, that’s why you save the more annoying bits for 70 (oh hey, you can get flyers at 60 now. No more excuses, guys! Quest here!) I found the quests to be fun and interesting and the scenery is just oddball-ish and thus lovely. Also, there’s a gnome town called Toshley’s Station.
A gnome town called Toshley’s Station. And that whole place is nothing but sci-fi references.
Shadowmoon Valley: I never really liked this place. Like, I went here to get my flying mount, to go mote farming (because that stupid Elemental Plateau in Nagrand was always being camped even at 4-freakin-AM) and occasionally to go Scryer rep farming by killing the blood elves that wandered around. That was it. I attempted to do some quests here a couple times but I didn’t really like them. …am I nuts?
Netherstorm: Ah, Netherstorm, clearly the superior level 67-70 zone. Crazy purple landscape? Check. Goblins? Check. Biodomes (Pauly Shore not included)? Check. I am proud to say that Tawyn and Lunapike both http://artsandhealth.ie/xenical/ dinged 70 here. Tamaryn dinged 70 doing the Karazhan key questline, which was an acceptable substitute. *nods*
Also: Awesome memories of doing Heroic Mech in the name of the Sun Eater for our tank. POSITIVE STAND BY THE BOXES, NEGATIVE ON THE OTHER SIDE, GUYS.
Borean Tundra & Howling Fjord: Doing these two together because I liked them both about the same. Howling Fjord was prettier and had the nice music, but Borean Tundra had the whole alienesque landscape going on that I have a huge soft spot for. Also some pretty nice quests.
I really don’t understand the Borean Tundra hate that gets flung around. I liked it. Yes, I even liked Coldarra. (Actually I liked Coldarra a lot.)
Dragonblight: Tied with Zul’drak for my favorite Northrend zone. I pretty much do every quest here, on every character. Wrathgate questline is obviously a must, but I like it all, really.
…what else is there to say? I just like it >.>
Grizzly Hills: I really like the scenery and the music but I have a hard time getting into the quests (Outhouse quest aside). The Drakuru questline that leads you into Drak’tharon Keep is epic, though, largely because it continues to amazing effect in…
Zul’Drak which IS THE MOST UNDERRATED AND AWESOME ZONE IN THE GAME, scratch what I said earlier about Blade’s Edge being the most underrated, Zul’Drak takes the cake. I just finished up spending a lot of time here with Lunapike and loved it even more the second time around than the first. Whole questline with the old Troll gods: awesome. Questline that has you wearing a Scourge disguise and uncovering the rest of Drakuru’s storyline: awesome. AWESOME AND WIN ALL AROUND. The only bad part is that the Gundrak instance brings back painful memories of either a.) Sunken Temple *eyetwitch*, or b.) this brief period of time where WoW crashed anytime the last boss turned into a Rhino. Fortunately that last problem has since resolved itself >.>
Number of Oracle eggs opened: None, because I’ve never finished the questline
Number of times I’ve circled this place, going herb-farming and idly keeping a lazy eye out for Loque: Far too many
Number of times I’ve declared Sholazar general chat the new Barrens Chat because everyone and their mom is also doing the above: Far too many
Making a sincere, honest attempt to get into the quests here anytime I have the appropriately leveled character, and then promptly running to Zul’drak 30 minutes later: Priceless
There are some things gold can’t buy, for everything else there’s ZUL’DRAK I’M SERIOUS YOU GUYS, YOU’RE MISSING OUT
Crystalsong Forest: It’s so prettyful, there needs to be more stuff here. *sage nod*
Storm Peaks: I fell madly in love with this zone the first time I did it, the whole questline where you get to turn into that blue chick was very memorable. Too bad it had to culminate in the most painful rep grind of all time (Yes, Sons of Hodir pre-Relics-of-Ulduar, I’m looking at you.)
Because of this, there was a time when I ranked this zone up there with Dragonblight and Zul’drak, unfortunately, the Sons of Hodir sort of soured it for me, I’m afraid. I still do like K3 (Much love for goblins and goblin towns), and I do still like that blue-chick-questline.
I got a Polar Bear mount on literally my second or third day of doing the Brunnhildar dailies. I feel kind of bad because I don’t use it nearly as often as I use my army of Mechanostriders… o_o
Icecrown: My initial thoughts were that it didn’t live up to Storm Peaks at all, however, it has sort of grown on me. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve never been one of those people who was into spooky-undead-stuff, but the Knights of the Ebon Blade alternate between making it pretty cool and really, well… cute in a bizarre sort of way (who wouldn’t love an abomination telling you you’re their favorite person in the world?) so I’ve come to appreciate the grotesque in a way I never really did pre-WoW, if that makes sense.
Also, I like the Argent Tournament, and jousting is awesome and fun and apparently I’m one of approximately three people in the world that think so, but hey.
WELP, that’ll do it. Sorry to crit you all with the giant wall of text. I hope you enjoyed Pike’s thoughts on the world… of… Warcraft… huh. That wasn’t even supposed to come out like that. It just did. Kudos Blizz on the name of your game being handy to use in a sentence? XD
Really though, as you can see, the number of zones I have liked or loved really outweighs the number of zones I have disliked, and of those few zones that I dislike they can usually be passed over in favor of a nicer zone, so perhaps that explains why I enjoy leveling so much and revisiting all those zones. It’s like meeting up with old friends.
<3 Azeroth. (And Outlands).