Westfall vs. Darkshore, and griping about breadcrumbs

As a followup to yesterday’s post, I wanted to write a bit about a topic that came up while we were raiding on Sunday.

Sunday night, Blizzard was doing some hotfixes (yay!), which happened during our H Hagara attempts.  This would result in us losing connectivity during, for instance, the Lightning phase.  As I said, yay!  We had three wipes due to that crap.

Anyway, when my girlfriend tried to log back in one of the times, she got an error message saying that the instance was full (or something to that effect).  It eventually allowed her to log in, but it zoned her in to Westfall, for whatever reason.  We were eventually able to summon her into the Eye of Eternity, but it was still bizarre.

For a couple of minutes after that, the /raid conversation steered in the direction of leveling zones, and whether old Westfall was better than new Westfall, and things like that.  We soon dropped the discussion in order to concentrate on more attempts.  However, after the raid, I got to discussing zones again with my friend, Ela.  And the conversation reminded me about something that I wanted to write about.

My new mage is a night elf.  He’s the third night elf that I’m leveling this expansion.  With the first, Droignon, I attempted to defy my usual inclination – which is to level mostly in Eastern Kingdoms, starting with Westfall – and level instead in Kalimdor.  I made it through parts of Darkshore and Ashenvale before giving up in Stonetalon.  It just wasn’t fun.  I did go back and try the Barrens later on with him, but that wasn’t really fun, either.  But I’ve never really liked that zone anyway.

When I leveled Avacrusa, I ended up going with my instincts and hitting up Westfall, Redridge, Duskwood, and so on.  It was exponentially more fun, as I had remembered with past toons.

With this elf, I decided again to stay in Darkshore.  This time, I almost finished it before I went to Ashenvale (kudos to me!), and managed to pick up Withers for the first time ever.  But shortly after I got to Astranaar, I gave up on Kalimdor and went to Duskwood.

Ashenvale sucks.  Darkshore kind of sucks too.

So, Westfall vs. Darkshore?  Westfall all the way.

In Darkshore, other than Withers, there really isn’t much of a compelling reason to play there.  Since 4.0.1, I have simply never enjoyed it, and the same goes for Ashenvale and Stonetalon.  Sure, they’re supposed to be great after the redesign – particularly Stonetalon – and perhaps they are for Horde players, but for the Alliance, the Westfall / Redridge / Duskwood trifecta is miles ahead of its Kalimdor equivalent.  And I would even argue that Loch Modan is more fun than Darkshore too.  The night elf story just blows.  Not that it’s a bad story, but it’s just not fun to play.

One side note: it doesn’t help that Darkshore is shaped like California, so the travel times while questing are absolutely horrible.  I used to love Darkshore before The Shattering, in part because, as a skinner, I could skin bears and cats along the way to anywhere I needed to go.  But this doesn’t really matter anymore, particularly on this new toon.  Actually, I forgot – I also did parts of Darkshore on my worgen hunter when I was leveling him, and he’s a skinner, but I eventually shipped myself over to Stormwind and never looked back on that toon, as well.

As a consequence of this aversion to the 10-to-mid-20s (and more) questing experience on Kalimdor, I’ve missed out on one zone that I’ve been dying to try out, and that’s Feralas.  As such, on this toon, I am making a concerted effort not to forget about it, like I have so many other times in this expansion.

Of course, it would help if Blizz didn’t segregate the Heroes Call breadcrumb quests by city.  I always take the one to go to WPL and then EPL from Stormwind, and then it’s too late to do Feralas meaningfully.  But that’s just one of my gripes about things in the newer version of WoW that I don’t understand.  (If it’s the faction head’s board, why is he offering different quests in different cities?  It just annoys me.)

Anyway, so yeah.  In my opinion, Westfall and the following zones are great.  Darkshore, et al, exactly the opposite.  And that’s my post.

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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc.  Comments are welcome!

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4 Comments on “Westfall vs. Darkshore, and griping about breadcrumbs”

  1. Saya says:

    I have to agree with this assessment. I’ve tried levelling and coming to terms with the destruction of Auberdine but the general atmosphere in Darkshore and Ashenvale is doom and gloom. It’s really sad since my druid was my first toon and I have so many emotional ties to those places before the Shattering. =(

    The way my alts are sitting around, it feels like once I make it past Darkshore, Ashenvale, Stonetalon and the Barrens….so many good people are killed off in those quests that my characters are ready to check into therapy. >.<

    • Mushan says:

      My druid and first hunter – my first two toons that I leveled through there – definitely have those emotional ties, as you say. I can totally relate!

  2. Erinys says:

    I’m the opposite. I found post Cataclysm Westfall rather annoying on multiple levels. On the other hand, Darkshore really pulled me into the storyline and I tend to always head there at lv 12 ish. That said, I’ve always been drawn to sad stories.

    • Mushan says:

      I do find Westfall annoying on piddly levels… like, why, if I’m killing WOLVES to make MUD PIES, am I not culling MEAT from the wolves to make real food? That sort of thing… lol

      But generally, given that there is really no zone that doesn’t annoy me in some way, I find Westfall to flow nicely and I like the story. I think there’s also something to the fact that I really like night elves, but they’re given the shaft so many times… they’re victims through a good deal of the 1-60 leveling process, to a great extent. It makes me sad… and I end up sort of willfully ignoring the fact that the night elves have been given the shaft when I think about my character, whom I love, because it’s like we (as a race) weren’t given anything awesome – story-wise – in the expansion… I don’t know, maybe I’m looking at it too much through dark glasses, but it sure doesn’t make one feel hopeful playing through that content.

      Westfall is a bad situation, too, but the human story just seems different. And I was surprised, the first time I played it, how good the Redridge story was, too (particularly since it’s followed up so well in Burning Steppes).

      Like I said, though, that’s just my opinion. :)


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