Stranglethorn Vale. Loved by some, hated by many. Me? I fall into the “love” category. Of course, that could be partly because the first few times that I traversed this wide expanse of jungle I got to cheat. Aspect of the Cheetah and Travel Form make the long runs back and forth along the coastline here fairly tolerable. Of course, now a days all the of whipersnappers have mounts…they do not know they pain of running up and down the Vale, barefoot, both ways! Of course, being on a carebare server, I don’t have any of the war stories that some of my PvP counterparts may have to share. If you ask nicely, I’ll bet some of them might even show you their scars!
One of the things that I always loved about this zone was the immersion into the jungle. Everything is so green and lush and, well, exotic. The first quests that you are directed to in the zone, for both factions, take you on a Safari, of sorts, with Hemit Nessingwary. I always loved the “hunting” aspect of that quest chain. Now, I will freely admit that I think I have only completely “The Green Hills of Stranglethorn” on a total of two characters. And on my second time through, I bought all those damn pages!
There is some absolutely wonderful troll lore to be found in this zone, and the architecture that you see everywhere reminds you that there are most definitely things that go bump in the night. I love the detail that was put into the zone, from the flowers, to the story lines that you encounter. And maybe I’m a bit of an oddball, but I almost always hit up STV while questing. It’s a good 15 levels of jungle fun if you start the zone as soon as those Nessingwary quests become available to you. Even with all the the running back and forth, there is always something delicious to catch your eye and enjoy.
There are a few quests that stick well in my mind in this zone. The first one being tracking King Bangalash and gathering his head. Sure…it may seem easy now! But when that sucker was elite, he was HARD!!! I remember the first time I ever pulled him, and I thought I was kicking ass…and then the adds came and ate my face. Ouch! I remember thinking to myself “I’m going to tame that sucker” and sure enough, I went back and acquired the great white tiger as my companion. As a matter of fact, he is still in my stable.
The second quest that really plays on my memory is the one that you have to go into that damn ogre cave and get, is it Dizzy’s eye? I don’t think I have completed that quest without wiping at least one time. And those ogres out there are mean! Of course, my opinion has nothing to do with agroing them as I searched for Bagthera. Nope, not at all!
Or how about those damn blue pearls! What do a bunch of goblins and gnomes need with blue pearls anyhow! Don’t they know how dangerous that coral reef is?!
Of course, you can’t have a coastal environment without having pirates and buried treasure! I can’t recall how many times that little goblin protecting Booty Bay saved my bacon when a deal with the pirates went sour. We also won’t talk about how many times I may have had to run back to a certain set of pirate ships after agroing 3/4 of the ship! Oh, and don’t forget to find the map for Cortello’s riddle on the boat. What an amazing quest line. There aren’t quite enough riddles in WoW anymore.
Of course, no good pirate is any good without his Snuff and Rum! Yo-ho Yo-ho! *ahem* Sorry…got a bit carried away there.
All in all, I really enjoy Stranglethorn Vale. Even if you are in the zone for many, many levels, I have always enjoyed the time that I spent there. I am curious to see what changes Cataclysm brings to this coastal area.
So, how about you? Do you love or hate Stranglethorn Vale? What memories do you have of the zone?