Posted Thu, Jan 30, 2014 by Mem
Recently, while (rather impatiently) waiting for the release of Warlords of Draenor, I've taken some of my own advice and decided to start some alternate characters. I haven't started any from scratch in a very long time and now seems as good a time as any to take on the challenge. Taking on a few new classes and visiting some starting zones I haven't seen in awhile should be a fun experience.
At least that is what I told myself. However, after trying out nearly every race, I came to realize that all starting zones are not created equal. In fact, some are downright awful.
The Draenei starting zone is, in this writer's humble opinion, one of the worst out there. Neglected since it was first released, there have been virtually no updates to anything here and it is clearly evident from the time you begin, to the time you leave this place. The quests are yawn worthy and lack any type of direction. In fact, by the end of my experience I didn't feel any connection to my Draenei at all.
I often found myself lost and waiting
for a quest line to expand that never did, while others, that I
expected to be quickies, lead me on a wild goose chase. Things are
spread out, hard to find, and rather unenjoyable here. The Draenei
starting zone is a disjointed experience that left me desperate to
get out. After playing through it I am still wondering what the point
of the story was, why it is still valid in World of Warcraft today,
why Draenei squeak when they take a hit, and how freshly crashed
Draenei know what a Blood Elf is.
Probably the only starting zone to rival the awfulness of the Draenei is the Blood Elf starting zones. They are, to say the least, mind numbingly dull. The quest line here leaves much to be desired and seems to take, quite literally, forever to work through. To make things worse, Blood Elf quest hubs are spread out so far that you spend a huge chunk of time just walking from place to place.
Forget any real action, new Blood Elves get to hone their skills by walking and then walking some more. You can, of course, mix it up by jumping while you walk, but this only helps to slightly curb the monotony found here. At least the Blood Elves have a cool capital city.
I love the Horde and I love the idea of the Orcs, which is why it is with a heavy heart that I add their starting zone to the list. The beginning Orc experience is lackluster. The quests are mediocre at best and I really found myself just not wanting to do them. To add insult to injury, Durotar is...terrible. The entire zone is one swath of red nothingness. It is unpleasant to look at and after spending your formative years here, getting out is your main priority. The Trolls also spend a lot of their time here, but they at least have the reprieve of starting out on the Echo Isles, a far more interesting (and less red) experience.
The Human starting zones are beautiful, peaceful, and ultimately, utterly boring. In the beginning players are presented with NPCs decked out in regalia that rivals the greatest heroes of Warcraft. However, these NPCs can't seem to even fight off simple wolves. Instead they look to you, the newbie in rags, to take on the task. Things don't get better once you get outside of Northshire. Oh no. In fact, it may be worse. This area hasn’t been updated at all, except for Hogger of course, and it is the same old stuff as it used to be. Players could literally sleep through this starting zone and probably not miss anything.
Let me get one thing straight. I love Goblins. I love their quirky personalities, their love of gold, and their need to blow up things. With all that being said, the starting zone is killer and not in a good way. I hate driving around the hot rod and I hate all the Goblin “friends” I have to hang out with there. The music is more than a little painful on the ears and the entire zone is one big Goblin fiasco.
The worst part? Goblins are totally stuck completing this zone. Unlike vanilla races, Kezan is an instanced zone and there is no way out unless you complete the quest line. This also means Goblin players have little to no contact with the outside world. No battlegrounds, no moving to a new starting zone, no speaking to other players not currently on Kezan. I know that by the end of this starting zone I was desperate to leave and more than a little pleased that the entire place was utterly destroyed.
That wraps up our list of the worst WoW starting zones. Now remember, it isn't all bad in character starting zones. Some of them are interesting, engaging, and fun to play. The unfortunates mentioned above are simply in desperate need of an overhaul. What World of Warcraft starting zones are your least favorites? Why? Share your thoughts on terrible starting zones with us by using the comment section below!