Why Should I Level There? – Eastern Kingdoms

This guide is aimed at anyone levelling. It’s a quick “why there?” guide to all the regions of Azeroth and Outland and what the quick pros and cons are for each region.

There’s an alliance bias (written by myself), and a horde bias (written by my good friend Zalduun).

I hope people can find this useful!

Key:

Blue Text: Alliance viewpoint, Elsen writing

Red Text: Horde viewpoint, Zalduun writing

Green Text: Neutral area, Elsen writing

Eastern Kingdoms: Alliance dominated. Contains Stormwind and Ironforge (homes of the humans, dwarves and gnomes). Contains Undercity and Silvermoon City (homes of the Blood elves and Forsaken).

Elwynn Forest: This is the human starting zone. Lots of easy to understand and find quests. Not too big an area, and only one of those irritating “mountain ranges” that stop you from running straight across the place. Contains the human city, Stormwind, where you can train for everything  – class wise and professions. Cons; avoid the murlocs. Goldshire is often full of level 80s showing off their FANTASTIC gear. These people are to be avoided.

Eversong Woods: The Blood Elf starting zone. This zone is one every new Belf will go through. Only Blood elves can complete the quests that are available at the very start, unlike the other starting zones. The later quests can be picked up. It’s a laid back, easy zone with hidden areas, changing scenery and some fun quests. This zone is home to the Horde capital Silvermoon City.

Dun Morogh: Dwarf and Gnome starting zone. Snowy and therefore pretty. Full of easily squishable troggs and nice “discovery” quests. Also close to Ironforge, the dwarven city and currently home of the exiled gnomes. Great for hunters, loads of different tameable beasts, including the attractive snow leopard. Problems include lots of mountains making finding the way anywhere slightly harder, especially for new players who haven’t “discovered” the full area.

Tirisfal Glades: The gloomy Undead starting zone. All Horde can level here, although it’s an acquired taste. Many of the tasks revolve around driving out the scarlet crusade, and beating back the mindless undead. This zone is home to the Horde Capital Undercity.

Ghostlands: This is the Blood elf equivalent to the Barrens. After the starting zone, Belfs can level here. It is a dark zone with plenty of demons and undead, corrupted by the scar that runs through it. There is a Horde only faction here in Tranquillen, which has no Alli equivalent. Some nice blue rewards after doing the chains and few difficult mobs.

Loch Modan: One of the regions for alliance levelling from 10-20. A nice, green, lush zone. Contains a massive “loch” in the middle of the zone, and there are some great quests including what may be your first introduction to an escort quest (helping someone escape from somewhere/something). Quite a few trogg/spider/bear/boar killing quests, which may also introduce you to the bane of low drop rates!

Silverpine Forest: Home to the Worgen and the lost Dalaran wizards. Dalaran wizards will be hostile to the Horde, although killing them will not affect your Kirin tor rep in the xpac. A fairly miserable zone, it nonetheless holds some fun quests, a nice island, and a fun instance that is Shadowfang Keep. In the Cataclysm xpac, it will be home to the alliance race Worgen and massively overhauled.

Westfall: Sand. Sand and stone and more sand. Westfall may introduce you to your first instance, in the Deadmines, which is a massive  maze of mine shafts leading to a cavern containing a pirate ship. All very epic. The quests are also very nice for human lore. Refugees from Moonbrook, scattered homesteads and reclaming land from the evil Devias Brotherhood. Although the landscape is dull, the quest lines are great.

Redridge Mountains: I personally would avoid here if possible. Lots of “hard” quests for the level range including travelling very long distances to hard to reach places and killing mobs that are often surrounded. The one “town” isn’t particularly nice although it is a quest hub – almost everything you pick up will be picked up and dropped off in that one area.

Duskwood: If you’re pining for the horde, level here. Zombies to kill, skeletons to squish, more zombies, some ghosts…lots of darkness! If you’re like me and like to play with your camera zoomed out a lot levelling here is hard – trees get right in the way. Couple of quest hubs and a couple of very nice, satisfying to complete chains.

Hillsbrad Foothills: Tarren mill is the main base here, an undead run town with plenty of variety quests. Many of the quests here link into the nearby Arathi highlands, and Alterac mountains. It also contains Southshore, and a few quests require you to venture near there (not reccomended.) Avoid Tarren Mill! Southshore is our alliance base here, and you don’t interact with the horde too often. Do try and keep out of their way if you can do, however. Quite a few quests lead up into the Alterac Mountains area which is quite dark and depressing, with a ghost town and ogres. Satisfying chains as well, if you can find them. Some hard to quest areas in that a lot of the naga and murlocs and close together and come in packs.

Wetlands: Another alliance only base, and the location of one of the harbours that takes you across continent. Not one of the most exciting areas in game – lots of swamps, crocolisks and bog lurkers. However quite flat and easy to get to, and most of the quests here are totally soloable. There’s a nice lore-link to the iron dwarves and a little “front line” north near Dun Modr where you can pick up quests that ship you across to Arathi.

Alterac Mountains: Quests from Hillsbrad link up here. Home to Alterac Valley entrance for both the Horde and the Alliance.

Arathi Highlands: Another Horde base here, Hammerfall, home to a lot of collection quests and the Arathi Basin entrance for the Horde. The zone has a kind of grassy prairie feel, and has a lot of annoying mobs with knockbacks, roots and stuns. Quests in this area are fairly repetitive, and Faldir’s cove is a nightmare to get to. Refuge point is the Alliance base here. Not actually that many quests about but there are some nice ones that involve going into Stromgarde Keep and squishing some bad guys, putting up a resistance, etc etc. Couple of kill-the-big-bad-guy quests which are fun and possible to solo.

Stranglethorn Vale: One of the best areas of the game, you can pretty much get a full ten levels worth of questing done here. We have the rebel camp at the northern most point which is alliance only, and booty bay is at the southern tip, the first goblin town you will come across. These goblins are part of the Steamwheedle Cartel, and are not the same faction as the new horde race. They are neutral and can be bought off/traded with etc. Hemet Nesingwary – dwarf with gun – starts off his mad man quests here, which involve killing hundreds of tigers, panthers and raptors including a final “big bad guy”. Loads of xp from the grinding, loads of xp from the quests. Great place overall. Grom’gol base camp has many chain quests for the Horde, including much troll and animal slaughter for xp and greens. A colourful area, STV can keep you going for at least 10 levels. This is also the place where Nesingwary and his wholesale animal slaughter begins. Booty bay is also a strong Goblin presence with many good rewarding quests, if you can find a time when morons aren’t killing everything for the title.

Badlands: No alliance “hub” here but there are a couple of dwarven camps and a goblin or two who give some quests. not really a great area to level in, very sandy and quite dull, and everything is also VERY spread out. Does contain Uldaman, which is an “OK” instance design wise but quite dull. Kargath is the main base here. A dusty zone, similar to Barrens and Blasted lands in feel. A lot of the quests are killing the various scavengers in the zone. Has the instance Uldaman in it, with which a fair few quests tie in.

Swamp of Sorrows: A relatively small zone for questing. Two horde bases, Stonard (which Horde mages will learn to portal to) which has a decent few quests, and a small hub on the coast that rewards a lot for murdering murlocs. Has one of the most unpleasent and windy instances ever in there, Sunken Temple. Ignore Sunken Temple like the plague, it’s horrible. We have a tiny hub here related the the Draenei and the broken, and it may be the first introduction to this side of lore for some. Quite a depressing area, but some of the quests are nice and you get some good XP.

The Hinterlands: One of my favourite zones. Includes a couple of very long, drawn out quest lines and you cover a lot of ground. You get a lot of XP not just from completing quests but REACHING the completion – there are trolls everywhere who consistently get in the way! Lovely scenery, rolling hills, gryphons in the wild. Awesome. A troll village graces this zone, with a lot of gathering and killing quests being the main focus. This zone can be a massive pain to navigate for the Horde, as returning quests involves either running a massive way or Kamizaking off the huge cliff. The zone is bright and friendly, with the main concentration of Jungle trolls.

Searing Gorge: Thorium point is the main hub here, neutral all the way. This zone has a lot of rewarding quests, but suffers from having to navigate the massive gorge in the middle. It’s a pretty boring zone really, and just not that accessible for levelling for more than one or two levels.

Blasted Lands: I would avoid this zone at all costs. The small horde presence here is two blood elves who offer some of the nastiest collection quests I’ve ever come across, with crappy drop rates. You will be there hours for a pitiful amount of XP. Other than that, the first Horde quest to head to Outlands is here by the dark portal. We have a massive post here, Nethergarde Keep. The quests aren’t the most fun in the world, the land is quite depressing, but there are lots of “kill this number/collect these drops” so you get grinding xp from those. The two blood elves zal mentions offer quests also open to the alliance.

Searing Gorge: I really hate this obsession with lava lands. I’m bored of mountains and fire. More of the same here unfortunately, our “area” is Morgan’s Vigil. The only point in bothering with this is if you’re particularly interested in Blackrock Mountain and the Blackrock Spire instances, and there is a goblin that gives two vanity pet quests. Flame crest is the place here, with a number of long travelling quests, and a few ones that will send you into Blackrock mountain. Another firey blackened zone like Burning Gorge, with a lot of fire resisting mobs and dragonkin.

Western Plaguelands: The Bulwark, arguably in the eastern tip of Tirisfal glades, is the main Horde camp here. A fair few quests that involve a lot of back and forth work, nonetheless rewarding. Western plaguelands is kind of like STV after a nuclear missile strike. Chillwind Camp is the Alliance main camp here. This area starts to give the zombies and skeletons more lore and less of a “scary feature”, and some of the quests involving thwarting dangerous deeds and stopping invasions and whatnot, all very hero-worthy. It’s not the prettiest zone in the world and the drop rate on some of the kill quests is bloody terrible!

Eastern Plaguelands: The first time you encounter the Argent Dawn in large numbers is here. They have a neutral base and it allows you to start to understand the importance of the scourge, the importace of this neutral “sect” of crusaders. There’s loads of quests here including one which may allow you to experience a bit of world PvP. Again, not very pretty, but loads of good quests and some quite “dark” areas, including the ghost of a child in a ghost town and lots of hunting around in crypts! A very much undead heavy zone, with Horde NPC’s dotted around. The main quests are the neutral Light’s hope. The quests for this place are either highly unpleasent or disturbing, and I gladly give this zone a miss every time.

And here endeth part 1!

Hope this guide has been useful and stay tuned for part 2 (Kalimdor), part 3 (Outland) and part 4 (Northrend).

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