For the Alliance!

I'm surprised it took me this long to start playing an Alliance character, considering my long history of playing both factions... but last week I finally caved and logged into the night elf hunter whose name I had reserved on the RP server Hydraxian Waterlords before launch.

The most immediate culture shock was that HW seemed positively deserted compared to Pyrewood Village. It's actually classified as being at medium capacity, and I'm sure it's busier in places like Ironforge and the higher level zones, but I could still hardly believe my eyes when I only met a single person during my entire time in the immediate starting area.

The thing is: It actually felt really nice, too. Big populations have their advantages when it comes to finding groups, but at the same time I have to admit that when it comes to simply enjoying the feeling of being in a mystical forest, hiking across snowy mountains or crossing a vast desert, jostling elbows with five other players every other step is detrimental to the experience more than anything. It's more magical to have the wilderness mostly to yourself, with the passage of other players actually being something noteworthy instead of so much background noise.

I was a bit worried that I'd feel tired of Teldrassil, considering that it's a zone I've done on private servers twice in recent years, but the questing didn't feel repetitive to me just yet. Of course it helps that to me, Teldrassil just feels way too much like home. I get that the night elf aesthetic isn't everyone's cup of tea and would agree that the quest flow is far from the best, but I still love it anyway.

It's also been an interesting reminder of the funny way in which memories work. For example I had completely forgotten that there is an actual group quest to kill an elite called Oakenscowl, even though after getting it, the memory of doing it on the private server came back to me... but I think on my first trip through the area as a genuine noob elf, I must have done it when I was already way over-levelled, or maybe I even abandoned it going: "Screw this, I'm not going back to that lake again!" Either way I have no memory of doing it back in the day, and it seems that because of this, its existence still surprises me every time.

The barrow with the Relics of Wakening quest in it on the other hand I always recall being a pain, so I always make sure to save it until I'm almost done with the zone and somewhat over-levelled for it.

Trying to make my nelf a bit different from my tauren hunter, I made her a leatherworker and tamed a cat. For a brief while I was actually pondering whether I should make some sort of death run again to get a skin that's rare among lowbie Alliance players, but then I kind of fell in love with the spotty saber I had to tame for my level 10 quest and simply got another one of those once I was able to tame my permanent pet. The most cliché of cliché nelf hunter pets: the saber right out of the starter zone. Then again, with how keen everyone in Classic seems to be on having rare pets, my common choice might well end up being unusual in its own way. Or I might just get a different cat when I'm higher level. We'll see.


  1. I've noticed that newly created toons will quickly abandon the Night Elf zones in favor of the Human and Dwarf lands. That might be where most of the new toons are found.

    1. That thought did occur to me, and I guess I'll find out once I go to Westfall to do the Deadmines intro.

  2. asdfz said:

    The Alliance side is thriving compared to the Horde. We (poor Hordies) have only 450-570 people online during prime time. The Alliance online is at least three times higher.

    Sorry asdfz, I think I accidentally deleted your comment somehow while trying to remove a duplicate! Anyway, that's interesting to know and matches my experience on PV.

  3. I've played for a bit on Hydraxian Waterlords as the obligatory night elf hunter, when WoW Classic launched, and Teldrassil was definitely crowded back then. I've since stopped playing, but I've heard from friends that still play that quite a lot of people stopped playing, even the higher level zones are relatively calm now.

    Personally I would actually like this better, I never liked crowded servers. But I've since gone back to playing my night elf hunter on retail, on a server that feels even more dead, so I'm not so sure anymore ;)

  4. I've been thinking about your comments about the emptier leveling zones. I've come to enjoy a more solitary leveling experience. Maybe it's me being older and crankier, but I don't enjoy having people getting in the way when I'm trying to level or when I'm trying to enjoy a little in-game interaction. It really pulls me out of the mood of what the game is trying to do.

    My favorite leveling situation is currently Secret World Legends. Yes, you'll see a few other folks, but as agents you shouldn't be seeing a train station full of them. In the main cities or hubs, sure, but leveling is a much more solitary situation.

    I will say it is funny to see all the hunters going for the rare pets. Rare is the new normal. I think going for the 'common' pet has quite a lot to say for itself in Classic. :)