Why Should I Level There? – Kalimdor!

Welcome to the second part of our guide on levelling through the regions of Warcraft, this one based on Kalimdor.

Azuremyst Idle: Draenei starting zone. Now to be honest I hated the place. All elves, and spaceships, evil flowers…but if you’ve started a draenei likelihood your first few levels will be in here. On the upside, everything is clustered together until you cross over to the next island so that makes levelling a little easier.

Teldrassil: Ah, the night elf starting zone and my true spiritual home. I remember first starting off here and loving the lore, loving the archdruids and loving my very first entrance into Darnassus, the night elf city. The quests are simple, similar to those of the other starting zones, and involve lots of nightsabers and other elf like things. Great fun though, I still love the zone.

Durotar: The happy dusty orange Orc + Troll starting zone. Plenty of fun little quests and orc peons that complain when you poke them. Home to the main and most popular horde capital of Orgrimmar. Also inside orgrimmar is the lowest level instance ingame, Ragefire chasm, for 12-18s.

Mulgore: The rolling grassy plains that are home to the Tauren starting zone and capital – Thunderbluff. The main enemies here are quillboars and harpies, and the Tauren starting quests are actually by comparison quite tough and annoying. Expect to die a reasonable amount. This zone links to the Barrens in the south, and a secret link to Desolace on the western side.

Bloodmyst Isle: Second Draenei isle and equally as horrible if not MORE so – full of red red red backgrounds and more crashed spaceships. Also home to the MOST irritating city in the world, The Exodar. Finding your way round there is awful. I really would just grab your Elekk and get the hell out of there as soon as possible.

Darkshore: The follow on area from teldrassil and a main harbour for the alliance in Kalimdor. Great for levelling in that the main quest hub is in one place – Auberdine, but on the other hand irritating in that the place is very long and thing, therefore there will be lots and lots of running up and down long stretches of relatively boring coastline. As a nelf this may be your first – but undoubtedly not your last – murloc encounter!

The Barrens: One of the most memorable horde zones. It houses the much attacked Crossroads (or XR) and Camp Taurajo, both giving plenty of quests for the fresh Horde out of his starting zone. Every race except Blood elves will be leveling through here, and the shared experiences and inane general chat are the thing of horde legend. Plus the approximate location of Mankrik’s wife.

Stonetalon Mountains: annoyingly the alliance base here (stonetalon peak) is mile and miles away from anything actually useful, and as zalduun says (read below), the Charred Vale is one of the most densely packed places in wow. Be ready to die, a LOT! A rocky, nasty zone. Full of the Venture Co, spiders, Rogue taurens (not Tauren Rogues, that would be awesome) and more annoying collection quests. I would reccomend avoiding. Also my least favourite sub zone is there, the Charred vale – packed full of harpies, basilisks, random trees and chimeras and fire elementals, each with nasty heals roots and stuns.

Ashenvale Forest: Horde presence here is as strong as the alliance. Splintertree post gives the Horde most of the quests as they come out of the Barrens, and the night elf forest gives a welcome change of scene. A lot of horde work is in the cmap on the beach, Zoram’gar outpost, where you help the orcs contain the local wildlife and quest into the Blackfathom Depths instance. Another lovely elf area. Lots of quests here in Astranaar and it gives you a deeper understanding of night elf lore as you battle for the first time AGAINST the horde, coming up against them and their guards for possibly the first time. Pretty much a solidly good area to quest in, and if you can avoid Splintertree you will probably not die that much at all.

Thousand Needles: A zone raised up on stilts, Thousand needles is no doubt a parody of some famous valleys somewhere. It has a lot of bad factioned Tauren and centaurs, and a high risk of falling through dying. Some memorable quests, and the gate to the shimmering flats subzone and Tanaris beyond it. The neutral goblin base in Shimmering Flats is an interest insight into goblin lifestyle and their racing! It’s fun sometimes to watch the little races go round, and some of the quests are nice simple xp as the beasts are spread out enough to need some grinding to get everything you need but you cna still avoid pulling packs and packs of things at once.

Desolace: Desolace is what you’d call one of life’s losers. Miserable, flat, poor quest design, naga…everything that’s wrong with the world (of warcraft) essentially. You can’t even get past 11999/12000 with the centaur faction of your choice so if possible I really would avoid it completely. Coupled with the fact the alliance base is RIGHT at the most northern point up a really hard to find path…it’s just not worth it! A miserable zone, in a myriad of greys and whites. This zone is more dead than some of the undead places, scattered as it is with bones and vultures and cultists. The quests are dull, and not rewarded well. It contains an early example of Scryer/Aldor, Oracle/Frenzyheart side choosing in the two centaur factions, however the rewards aren’t even great for the level and really not worth bothering with.

Dustwallow Marsh: Here you encounter Theramore, what feels like the last alliance stronghold in Kalimdor. The location of it – clinging to the coastline – makes it really feel like a last resort. Jaina Proudmoore (love triangle much? I know I’d all be about Varian or Arthas-pre-evil-bastard, I don’t like green skin – sorry Thrall) is the heroine you meet here. The quests are fun and make you ‘feel proud to be alliance’, what with you stopping deserters and thrwarting evil plans. The goblin quest hub is fun, you meet a ‘simple’ ogre and everything gives a bit of colour to an otherwise dull area. Plenty of people have remarked how much they hate this place, but it has a certain charm for me. The main horde base is run by Ogres, which are always amusing to interact with. The quests are fairly easy, as are the ones from the neutral goblin hubs. The wildlife is mostly typical swamp spiders and crocs, with some undead littering witch hill and pesky alliance patrols.

Feralas: two alliance bases and two equally obnoxiously difficult to find flight paths. Feathermoon Stronghold is, however, stacked with satisfying quests and there is lots to do and loads of places to explore. Dire Maul, as an instance, is also EPIC in both proportions and its ability to confuse. Another jungle zone, although with a heavier, darker feel than STV and much less purple than the nelf forests. The main threat here is ogres and other sentients, and the Horde bases are well stocked with good quests. This zone is very rewarding as a skinner, you will do some of the collection quests in half the time and make a profit out of all the animals that attack.

Tanaris: Neutral base time. One of the biggest neutral areas, totally goblin concentrated. If you see a horde flagged, DON’T ATTACK! The goblins will pwn you, seriously. The quests are fun, varied, invlude collecting pirate hats and saving slightly puzzled tortoises. Generally good fun overall, a great area with a neutral Auction House as well. Very sandy though. Neutral goblins are neutral. Any zone that looks like Tatooine is good in my books.

Azshara: A zone stuck in perpetual autumn with another great big hole in the middle. Nonetheless, a few quests on the horde hub, and a lot of collection ones that start in Undercity. Plenty of class quests run through here. Full of stunning (as in the bastards dismount you) Hippogrpyhs and random elite Giants. DON’T DO IT! DON’T DO IT! YOU’LL FALL DOWN AND NEVER GET OUT. Seriously, just don’t go down there, it isn’t worth it and you will never ever get out. Pitiful area overall really.

Felwood: A neutral base in the south, and possibly the first time you encounter GOOD furbolgs, with the timbermaw tribe whose rep you have to grind if you want to use their special tunnel. Again long and narrow but you should be mounted by this point so capable of getting about quicker. Some hard quests as the satyrs are quite closely grouped together and a mass pull is sometimes unavoidable. A good zone to quest through if you’re with someone. Like Feralas merged with Eastern Plaguelands. A forest gone undead, your main quests will be fighting back the burning legion’s hold, eradicating the undead, and wishing you could one shot furbolgs faster.

Un’Goro Crater: It’s like the high level STV. This is a great zone, all jungly and a bit like Jurassic Park. Collecting power crystals is fun, as is killing elementals. The actual base for alliance, Marshal’s refuge, is hard to get to, but there is an epic quest relating back to Zelda involving a young man called “Linken”. Great fun. It has Dinosaurs, it wins. Fun quests, awesome mobs, ninjasaurs that will gank you. What more can you ask?

Silithus: Home to the neutral Cenarion Circle, and the epic raid of AQ20/AQ40. Horrendous zone, dusty, full of bugs. If you decide to embark on the AQ questline, you start to learn some of the lore behind the area and it certainly is quite distressing, especially being a druid. You learn a lot about the heartache of the archdruid and it is a dark, dark place. You’ll also spend a LOT of time killing cultists. Bug infested desert. Not my favourite place. I can’t really comment here, I didn’t touch this zone much. A few ‘beat back the bugs and shadow council’ quests. Also home to the Ahn Quiraj raid and quests.

Winterspring: Another goblin base, everlook being the town of choice. The scenery is lovely and snowy and there are two grindable factions here, both the Wintersaber trainers and the timbermaw tribe.This is a lovely zone to finish off your 55-60 levelling in.

Here endeth part 2!

Check back soon for part 3 (outland) and part 4 (northrend)!

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