website tracking
Lost Zones on Game and Player

Lost Zones

Heather Richtmyre  //  July 28, 2009

Anybody home?


o one levels in World of Warcraft's Eastern Plaguelands anymore. Or Shadowmoon Valley. Let alone Silithus, where the bugs are plentiful and the buzzing goes on forever.

Now, there are numerous valid reasons for this. These zones were intended for reaching the last few levels before the old cap of 60. As the starting areas for expansions The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King have been designed so that characters slightly below the prior cap can quest in them, there are limited reasons to use the old areas for those two or so levels — Zones intended for reaching the last few levels before a cap have been abandoned.especially given that the new starter zones tend to give better rewards and experience, thus speeding up the leveling process. The new and shiny feel also encourages players to move out of old content and into more recently introduced areas.

Overall, this is practical. With more levels being introduced, reducing the time spent in old content helps ensure that players will see the newest content rather than spending most of their game time plodding through the old.

However, these zones being abandoned are often the most highly polished, and most integral to the plot areas in the game. For example, several characters from the Eastern Plaguelands in original World of Warcraft are now involved in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, with Father Inigo Montoy providing the reason for the return of the Naxxramas raid. This zone also has some very well done quest chains, namely Darrowshire, the end of which is still one of my favorite experiences in game.

That's the way to Stratholme.
We don't go there anymore.
The quality of such zones is also evident in The Burning Crusade's Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley. The chains here culminated in raids of Tempest Keep: The Eye and Black Temple — with Shadowmoon Valley delving the most into established lore, showcasing Teron Gorefiend, one of the original Death Knights.

In Wrath, Blizzard has made the introduction to Northrend quite smooth and enjoyable. For the first zone of The Burning Crusade, I would not consider them to have done nearly as well, largely given the desolate atmosphere of Hellfire Peninsula and the potential crowding given that players were intended to go only through that spot at first.

While the abandoning of these areas is an understandable response to an expanding level cap, there are still sufficient rewards from lore-rich quests, along with a few achievements related to reputations or quests done, to encourage any players who have not played through these areas to do so. Of course, newer players are not necessarily apprised of these facts, with "You'll level faster" being the only factor given on which areas to choose.

Now, I do believe I'll stop myself from writing before I make a reference to Ravenholm.


Articles by Heather Richtmyre

February 22, 2011

February 10, 2011

G&P Latest

July 1, 2011

June 28, 2011

About  //  Editors  //  Contributors  //  Terms of Use