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Best Zones In Wow

author
Ava Flores
• Friday, 25 December, 2020
• 8 min read

Sadly, though, many players will have killed Thorazine’s daughter Princess Threads earlier in the game, but luckily the elemental lord of stone is pretty cool about her family being murdered. It is a common place to level characters, and I spent untold hours of The Burning Crusade doing quests and trying not to be killed by high-level players in this zone sandwiched between the mountains and ocean.

horde wow eastern kingdoms map zone levels warcraft azeroth level kingdom wowhead leveling maps cataclysm progression ranges through stackexchange gaming
(Source: psynister.wordpress.com)

Contents

It is a war zone in both the game’s fiction and its actual play, and beyond normal questing, a player can always experience the Horde leader Thrall’s escape from Brunhilde Keep in the Caverns of Time. The fjord leans into the Northern European flavor of the continent of North rend, and the main antagonists here are giants (whose home you need to run through to properly smash them).

Also, apparently, the Forsaken (the undead faction in WoW) are hanging out here cooking up a great new plague to attack the Rich King with. It is also lush and green, and it was once a super dangerous place to go questing due to how many players would be running around trying to do the same thing you were.

Even now the crater is teeming with strangeness that isn’t anywhere else in the base WoW experience, and doing certain quest lines reveals some powerful creatures behind the veil of Zeroth. Like all locations in the game, there’s a complex ecological system that ties together the physical space, the enemies you encounter, and the characters you meet, and in the Valley of the Four Winds that is all centered on the creation of massive pumpkins, tasty treats, and beer.

In fact, most of the time that a given player will spend here is consumed by saving vegetation and/or beer from various kinds of baddies. There’s a wonderful visual tone to the very large zone, and it is interspersed with night elf fortresses, demon spawning grounds, and a nice coastal area.

This is the core of a WoW experience; this entire zone is a strange collapse of systems, ideas, and aesthetics that somehow coheres into something truly amazing. This staging point, the garrison, contains a huge amount of the content of Warlords, and I spent way more time than I would have thought going out into Frost fire Ridge and skinning, mining, or just attacking enemies to see what was going on in the massive fort that dominates the landscape.

class halls warcraft legion hall warrior valhalla early looking warriors mmo champion
(Source: www.kotaku.com.au)

It was a bad life, to be sure, because it was a zone that acted as a bottleneck for Horde players who wanted to proceed in levels. You could be stuck in the Barrens for days doing grind quests, killing quill boars, and waiting for Wailing Caverns groups to form around you.

Blizzard reincarnated World of Warcraft as it was in 2006 with World of Warcraft Classic, bringing both teary-eyed veterans and clueless teenagers back to the original envisioning of WoW with all its frustrating quests, misfit quirks, and fascinatingly obtuse features. As someone who spent far too much time exploring these vast swathes of fantasy land in my younger years, I looked back at each of the Vanilla zones and rank them from worst to best, based on their original states before Warcraft's Cataclysm expansion changed them forever.

You have clear end-game areas like the Plague lands and Burning Steppes, which are all equipped with tons of dungeons and grindable elites. Today Blizzard ships an expansion with six or so tightly-wound, scalable zones that all dovetail into each other super neatly.

Headwind Pass got a lot cooler during the Burning Crusade and the introduction of Marathon, one of World of Warcraft's most beloved raids ever. In Vanilla, though, Headwind Pass was merely a gloomy placeholder zone with no quests and a faint promise of things to come.

Given that it hosted one of Vanilla's most antisocial dungeons that required little teamwork to defeat, there just wasn't a lot about this place that made anyone wants to stick around. The dense foliage made my frame rate chug back in 2004, and it felt like you ran out of quests after about 30 minutes.

wow plaguelands western mining vanilla map feralas maps guide leveling professions
(Source: www.wow-professions.com)

Dust wallow always felt a little unfinished, which is strange, considering freaking Jain Broadmoor lives here. A fine, workmanlike leveling zone with Horde and Alliance, which is probably most interesting for hosting the ruins of Rather (for any lore-hunters out there).

You can tell nobody cares about Marathi Highlands because Blizzard had no problem cannibalizing the assets for its first War front in Battle For Zeroth and basically sweeping the old zone under a rug. Silver pine would get a lot more interesting after Cataclysm, when Blizzard gave it some of the most substantial, plot-moving lore they've ever implemented into a leveling zone.

The Blasted Lands was essentially a placeholder zone where Blizzard could put the Dark Portal. It did that job perfectly, and held its own until The Burning Crusade, when it became a focal point for any enterprising young mercenary looking to reach level 70 in Outland.

Blizzard would evoke the Dun Borough spirit so much better years later, when they took us to North rend in the Wrath of the Rich King expansion. Another zone that got fully reworked with a genuinely fascinating storyline after Cataclysm, but was just sorta there in vanilla.

That changed about halfway through Vanilla's lifecycle with the introduction of AHN'Iraq and its corresponding quest lines, which fleshed out some fascinating story beats about the Iraqi and the Old Gods while sending players on World of Warcraft's most epic quest ever. So I'm leaving it here, halfway through the list, because it was one of my favorite zones for about half of Vanilla's life cycle.

wow zones
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Once you’ve decided on a new main for the coming expansion, or possibly alts you’d like to have around, a second question arises. Before there were some questions along the way, as Burning Crusade and Wrath shared a bracket as did Cataclysm and Mists of Mandarin, but you still largely had your path decided by the release order.

For many players, this is a good excuse to revisit content from the past that used to be out leveled quickly and hard to actually experience in any meaningful way. Burning Crusade, Wrath, and Cataclysm should generally be avoided unless you have a specific quest or activity you hope to complete along the way.

For the average player, this sort of play isn’t exactly desirable, and estimates extrapolated from applying a raw multiplier to what PTR speed runs aren’t accurate. Some zones are improved far more by using these speed run strategies than others, so it’s best to keep the rankings in mind and focus on minimizing your downtime more than quibbling overestimates; the time you spend worrying your choice might not have been perfect is probably enough to cover the difference between them.

It’s hard to keep a dense experience down, and despite several nerfs The Iron Horde campaign from Warlords is still the quickest expansion. It’s important while you’re in Drano to take advantage of grabbing any treasures you see and never miss bonus objectives near your path.

Going far out of your way for one that doesn’t have any quests associated may not be worth it, but missing bonus objectives that are on your path is a good way to really lower the yield in Drano. Picking up just a few that are close to your path quickly adds up to a quest’s worth of experience and even counting the time to get to them, this will probably take only a minute or two.

class wow classic mage pvp gear leveling guide aoe pve target single pros pick should
(Source: www.wowisclassic.com)

This is another reason why preexisting knowledge really helps Drano’s speed, knowing the path to get to the harder treasures can add multiple full quests of experience for very little work. Puzzling them out for the first time or even finding someone else’s solution likely takes long enough to make them no longer worthwhile after the nerf.

The zones are suited well to leveling through and leaving, as well, with stories that are mostly self-contained as you search for items important to the main plot of the expansion. The biggest downside is that there are a number of quests that may slow your class hall campaign or professions if you choose to use them as they require dungeon completions.

One of the best changes World of Warcraft: Shadow lands brings to the MMO is a completely revised leveling experience for characters from 1-50. At level one, brand-new WoW players are sent by default to Exile's Reach, the excellent new-player starting experience on a self-contained island.

At level 10, both experienced players and new ones are given the starting quests for the latest Battle for Zeroth expansion. If you choose to follow them, they'll lead you to the islands of KUL Tires and Kandahar, where you'll see the most recent chapter of WoW's history.

These more modern quest lines are ideal for new players, as transitioning from them to Shadow lands zones for levels 50-60 will be relatively seamless. You pick up the epic riding skill at 20 and flying at 30 (with no special attunements required for any expansion's zones).

zones wow visits warcraft ten boring tries quests aesthetics lack depressing whether everyone some things
(Source: kotaku.com)

Or try the underrated Mists of Mandarin, which has a sedate leveling style and easygoing quest progression reminiscent of the Andean race it introduced. The Burning Crusade and Cataclysm both involve tons of running, disjointed story lines and antiquated mechanics, so unless you're nostalgic for those zones experience from your first time around, it's best to avoid them now.

Based on personal experience, it takes about twice the amount of time to level through The Burning Crusade compared to Warlords. First, if your character doesn't have a tank or healing specialization, you'll want to find someone who does to group with as the queues for damage players can be lengthy.

Avoid Warlords of Drano, Legion and Battle for Zeroth, as they offer few or no quests in leveling dungeons. Some leveling items still work in the expansion where they were originally collected, but they are typically only good for secondary (alt) characters.

Draft of Ten Lands, for instance, works in Battle for Zeroth, but requires you to have a maximum-level main character to buy them. (Image credit: Blizzard)One of the best ways to maximize your leveling speed is to group up with other people, using the game's Party Sync feature to synchronize quests and run dungeons.

As long as you incorporate a new player periodically and sync with them, you'll all be able to repeat dungeons and re-do those quests for full experience. Party Sync can be buggy, so be sure to re-sync before inviting a new character to the group, while also checking everyone is out of instances, vehicles, flight paths and other scenarios that make them busy before re-syncing.

garrison warcraft guide wowwiki wikia
(Source: wowwiki.wikia.com)

Light forged Drained, for example, get extra experience points for killing demons, so The Burning Crusade and Legion are excellent options for them. Similarly, Andean get double the rested XP, and so being able to log out in a place where they can gain rest might be a concern, making expansions like Wrath of the Rich King and others with a fair amount of settlements a good option for them.

Will players leveling in Legion find the Artifact Weapon mechanics slowing them down? Speaking of things that are expansion-specific, if you haven’t earned flight via the Pathfinding achievements in Warlords or Legion, that may not be as influential a decision as it was in previous expansions.

However, Battle for Zeroth currently appears to be keeping its Pathfinder requirement, which could make it a frustrating expansion to level through. For myself, looking at the expansions and remembering how much I enjoyed certain ones as leveling experiences, I think the strongest contenders are Legion, Warlords of Drano, Wrath of the Rich King, and Mists of Mandarin.

I think if I had to rate them, it would depend on if I were playing a Light forged Drained or not, but for pure ease of getting XP from quests, for having the most varied dungeons to run, and for the least amount of travel time problems between quest hubs, I’d make the following call. Legion is similar, but I think for a lot of players Wrath of the Rich King combines decent quest flow with nostalgia that will keep them playing, and that’s worth considering.

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