Just writing this article on it and dipping my toes in again almost made me resub. I ain't kidding. It's super alluring. As a dad of three who are all about to start school again . . . JUST SAY NO!
While you can play the first 20 levels of World of Warcraft free, any characters you previously had that were above level 20 will be locked and unplayable. This severely limited my ability to visit some of the zones I had jotted down from my memories of 2005-2006. But lucky me . . . I had THIS!
Well, at least that helped me get a few missing screenshots . . . and the Internet will provide the rest!
Onward, to my first ten memorable locations in WoW!
- Zul'Gurub (ZG), or as I first jotted it down before the real research began: "Troll dungeon place"
Apparently also home to really funny looking hydras.
We had a raid alliance with several smaller guilds and this was one of our favorite places to hit for general "gearing up." I got a couple great pieces from this place including this wicked awesome shield.
LOOK AT THAT THING!
I SAID LOOK AT IT!!!!!
(Wait, what are you looking at? Oh yeah, that glowy green cleaver thing from ZG was pretty hot too . . .)
You know what I didn't get from this dungeon? (Like most people) The uber exclusive and super amazing raptor mount. Sure, if you were Horde and a Troll, this was no big deal, but if you were Alliance (like we were), this thing was pretty much the rarest mount in the game at the time.
And it dropped for us in a dungeon, and I rolled a 97 out of 100!!!!!
(and as you can see . . . another dude rolled a 99 . . . I don't want to say I'm still burnt about losing that roll, but I'm still burnt about losing that roll.)
- Stormwind, the Human town of humanness and humanatude! NORMAL HUMANS!
I made a new version of my female human paladin, Reverencia, yesterday and flew in to Stormwind. I was happy to see that Stormwind's bank was still the popular nerdfest I remembered it was. Good times! Nerd fest! PARTY AT THE BANK!! There was even a guy selling gold for USD!
- Blackrock Depths. So, there's nothing quite as cool as running down a length of chain, right?
That picture was graciously borrowed from a wonderful blog called Wolfe's Den. You should read his extremely well written blog post where he pines for the WoW of the past (and decries the broken promises) . . . and it's also where this great screenshot above comes from.
now . . . I honestly don't know if this is a headnod or not, but it sure reminds me of something I've seen before in another game . . .
- The Barrens.
You know, I don't know what it was about this place . . . oh yeah I do . . . Barrens chat, as the WoWWiki so nicely puts it: "Barrens chat is like a stupidity centrifuge, distilling the unexpurgated banal thoughts of a thousand morons into a hardened impenetrable lump of smacktardery, spilling endlessly across the bottom of your screen."
I didn't see any of that yesterday when I logged in, but I did get to punch a zebra unicorn a few times!
- Un'Goro Crater . . . or as I first wrote it down in my notes "Dinoworld."
This picture was also graciously borrowed from a blog entitled Shattered Beginnings. This particular post from 2010 was about the author's journey through Un'Goro Crater for the first time with a new character. It's a great read, and I'm very grateful for the picture above.
Personally, I always thought of this nugget of fun when entering Un"Goro Crater:
Yeah, I watched this show religiously as a kid. It was definitely one of my favorites, and this zone sparked that from my childhood every time I stepped foot in it. Especially since there's a safe zone here called Marshal's Refuge (yup, they went there). How could I ever forget it. In fact, if there was one zone in World of Warcraft that I would want to see again . . . as strange as it may seem, this is the one. Wanting to visit here almost got me to resub. (You're a father of three, you're a father of three, just say no, just say no. breathe.)
- Stranglethorn Vale. Um, I did some reading up on this. So, it's probably pretty apparent I haven't stepped foot in WoW since a week after the launch of Burning Crusade, but after the cataclysm, apparently this place got split in two. The "fishing tournament" I so fondly remembered is now found in a location known as "Northern Stranglethorn." *shrug*
What I did have on my CD of screenshots, was a picture of my old Hunter, Stingite, flying through the Stranglethorn Vale.
It appears I most liked the "jungle'y" zones in WoW, but what really made me think of this zone was the fishing tournament that happened here every Sunday . . . or rather the frustration of always losing the fishing tournament that I remembered most.
Scary water island place? So, I actually don't know where this place is and therefore I can't provide you with a screenshot for this memory location. What I do know is that Naga lived there in vanilla WoW. Looking at this gamepedia page, none of the vanilla WoW zones listed there seem to fit my memory . . . so, either I'm remembering this place wrong, it doesn't exist, or some other third thing amounting to, oh well I forgot the name of the place.
It was super cool and the naga were terrifying. The particular area in my mind had a path leading up a hill and view down on to some beautiful ruins surrounded by naga. It was bright and full of sunshine. If you think you know the place, leave me a comment and I'll get this section of the blog post in ship-shape ASAP.
- Undercity -- home town of the Forsaken.
I had an undead priest that I used to play around with that I think I ended up getting to perhaps 30th level? Not sure . . . but what I do remember is this amazing underground den for the undead. It was probably my favorite city Horde-side.
And just like Stormwind . . . it was awesome to see the nerdfest happening around the bank. PARTY AT THE BANK! (although I do believe Orgrimmar would be more packed if I remember right)
- The Stockade . . . or as I fondly first remembered it "stupid dungeon in Stormwind!"
My paladin couldn't solo much, but she could rain down holy terror in about five minutes upon this lower level dungeon, and I had a blast farming it for gold waaaaay back when . . . and leaving bodies strewn about in interesting patterns.
- Pandaria. What?! Pandaria?! How would I remember that?!
Well, I'll tell you how . . . Leala, Beau, #JuliafromKI, and myself actually ran through the starter zone one day a number of months ago. I ain't kidding . . . we all rolled up pandas and played right to the point where you decide if you're going Horde or Alliance. We all went Horde . . . and then never played WoW together again. End of story.
I made a new panda to get the screenshot . . . I like his name. I may have to play him a bit more just because of that.
And THOSE . . . (which I'm sure many players of WoW would be absolutely dumbfounded by my astoundingly dumb list) are the first zones that came to my mind when I reflected on my time spent in WoW. LOL!
I sincerely apologize to the WoW players out there. I do. I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane regardless. It was pretty fun to take a look back through all my saved screenshots and to log in and play with my new characters. Thanks for the memories, Blizzard!
(grumble . . . 97 out of 100 and I still got beat . . . grumble . . . trolled by a troll mount . . . grumble.)