More lessons from the old world

I'm getting closer and closer to becoming The Seeker now; less than a hundred quests to go. Polishing off all the Horde starter zones and their low-level neighbours was an interesting experience.

For example I wasn't surprised to only find two quests left in Silverpine that I hadn't done yet, since I distinctly remember levelling my priest through that area back in 2007 (and repeatedly getting my butt kicked by the free-roaming Sons of Arugal). However, I was rather bewildered by the discovery that I had already done a couple of quests in the Ghostlands as well. Judging by the fact that the quest givers in question were all located relatively close to Zul'Aman, I can only guess that I decided to waste some time with them back in BC while waiting for a raid to form, but I don't know for sure. It feels strange not to remember!

Another thing that struck me as interesting about the blood elf starting zone was that the biggest difference compared to the other Horde starting areas didn't seem to be anything inherently different in the way the quests were designed, but that there were simply a lot more of them. I checked on Wowhead to see whether this impression was based on facts or just a delusion, but Eversong Forest does indeed contain nearly twice as many quests as Durotar, Mulgore and Tirisfal Glades. Maybe that's the real secret to "better" quest design, simply making more of them? After all, running to the other end of the map feels a lot more justified if you're doing it for the sake of three different quest givers instead of just one.

In Ashenvale I found myself suddenly convinced that the developers definitely favour the Alliance over the Horde. Why? This quest. Not only does my preferred faction get a second Green Hills-type quest, but in this version, pages of the same type don't even stack (the Stranglethorn pages at least stack to ten if you get extras). I mailed any copies off to my bank alt whenever I got anywhere near a mailbox (which, in Ashenvale, was not a lot, unfortunately), and didn't even try to sort them out until I was done with everything else in the zone. Even then I was still missing several pages and had to buy them from the auction house for several gold a piece. For comparison purposes, the actual quest reward at level eighty is twenty-two silver and a green item that you can vendor for another twelve. Questing in the old world is strange in terms of effort and reward sometimes.

And on a final note for this post, I was also reminded of just how much I loathe all barrow den-type caves. Through what I can only think of as a streak of bad luck, I ended up having to go through something like three of them in a row, and god, I hated it. Caves are something that you learn to fear early on as a newbie, as the high mob density often spells death for a hapless low-level, and it's easy to lose track of where the exit is. Once you've accumulated a bit of experience you learn that most caves are based on only a handful of different models and not as confusing as they might seem at first. But those barrow dens? Argh.

I remember spending what felt like hours in the one in Teldrassil on my night elf back in the day, and even now I still manage to get lost in the damn things. All those criss-crossing tunnels and bridges in tight spaces make it really hard at times to figure out which level you're supposed to be on. In my opinion the Wailing Caverns feel like a walk in the park in comparison. I hope Deathwing makes them all cave in.

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