Today’s make a memory is a little bit different from the others that I have tackled thus far. To date, I have generally covered zones that I really enjoyed and have fond memories of myself and hope that there are little changes to those areas. However, today I thought I’d change that up a bit and cover one of my least favorite zones, and one that I am excited to see change (and from the preview data we’ve been fed, there is a lot of change that is going to happen here!). Today, I am going to cover The Barrens.
I actually disliked this zone so much that the only character I ever did it with was Beru. Anyone after that found ways to quest outside of the Barrens. I would go to zones that were a bit high for me just to avoid having to do the Barrens. The zone was extremely large, the camps hugely spread out, and you never had a mount for the duration of the zone. Stranglethorn has got nothing on the Barrens! On top of that, the zone was so…brown. And well, Barren. I never minded running up and down some of the other zones because they were absolutely beautiful to look at while you trekked across them, but the Barrens was largely just brown grass.
One positive thing that I will say about the Barrens is that there is a lot of Horde pride here in this zone. It was “our” zone. Granted, chat was horrible and I had to turn off the city defense channel because the non-stop “The Barrens is under attack” messages. But back in the day, Horde flocked to this little starting zone and defended it. It was a mecca of World PvP before BGs came, and it was the bane to every poor little horde trying to complete quests. Some of my best memories of the zone were from Crossroads PvP.
In looking back on it now, there really are some pretty vistas that can be seen in the zone. But they tended to lose their allure after 20+ levels in the zone. Oh, and see that little green deer…yes my druid friends, you know what that is for! And let me just say to my NE brethren, if you thought you had it bad in Darkshore, try having to heal your sickly fawns in a world PvP zone…or in a zone that people spent 20+ levels in! Not fun.
Like all starter zones, there are Harpies in the Barrens. Only I think we got extra evil harpies out here. It must be from the heat and sun that shines down on them! And they have a particularly nasty leader of the pack. Oh…and unless I’m quite mistaken, if I recall my questing out here there was a total of two graveyards for the massive area. If you died northish you got to run back from The Crossroads, and if you died southish, you got to run back from Camp Tarajo. Did I mention how extra evil the harpies out here were? Maybe it’s just my poor ghost feet misremembering!
Now, even Savannah’s have their touches of green oasis’ (oasi?). And these little spots of green in the Barrens were aptly filled with lush greenery and lakes…and centaur. But we won’t talk about those! I did however spend an inordinately large amount of time in these oasi, so much that it came to be a bit of a joke within the guild. You see, in Vanilla WoW, I didn’t have tree form to hide my terrible tauren casting, so I required many thousands of deviate fish in order to raid. (yes…required!). I would spend literally hours in these little pockets of green fishing. It was this zone that fetched my “1 Ring”. I will probably always relate the Barrens to their delicious deviate delights :)
One of the things that I like about the Barrens, despite all of the things that I disliked is that it was a zone, much like Durotar that said “I am horde”. Everything about the zone had a certain…well, hordeness about it. It was a zone for survivors. A zone that was cultivated by those pushed from everywhere else, and built a culture that thrived regardless. The Barrens is most definitely a zone that to this day I feel more “horde” as I pass through it, and honestly is a zone that I think defines all Horde. Even though I never came back and quested this zone out after Beru, I am glad that I had the experience with Beru. Because really, it helped identify who I am.
I think this is one of the zones that I am most looking forward to the changes. To life, and growth, being brought into the zone. I have already long decided that my goblin will be making a pass through the Barrens as she levels, because I want to see how the changes affect the zone, and how they effect the feel of the zone. While I am very much looking forward to the savannah seeing a bit of growth, I do truly hope that it doesn’t cause the zone to lose its feeling and identity. Because of all things, this is a zone that said “FOR THE HORDE!”, and no matter how much I complain, I definitely do not want to lose that.
How about you? What are your memories of The Barrens? Did you enjoy it? Are you looking forward to the changes?