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How to Defend Against the Worst Area of World of Warcraft?

How to Defend Against the Worst Area of World of Warcraft?

Posted time: Sep 11,2018

Few games contain real watershed moments that you can share with other players, which sparks exciting and relevant anecdotes. It is obvious to defeat Ornstein and Snow in Dark Souls. But for me, there is nothing more than an era in gaming quite like the meandering, broken, oddly brilliant experience of The Barrens in vanilla World of Warcraft.

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If you never played WoW, it will be a nonsense. But for those who spend weeks and months in WoW’s Horde faction, this is a window to the past. Barren chat is a series of requests, insults and Chuck Norris's jokes - just like your YouTube comments, long before Pepe avatars or Logan Paul - it's a constant, reassuring presence during the lonely slog of levels 10-25. 

To understand why The Barrens, and by extension its chat window, elicits such nostalgia, we need to check the construction of the area. This is a huge, inevitable corridor through which most Horde players will relentlessly enter the funnel state. If you roll a troll, orc or tauren, The Barrens is where you come when you reach level 10. It represents the first step for a player to move toward a bigger world, as you move from the starting area to areas with high-level players and enemy Alliance combatants.

The grind

So the stabilizer falls off, you start to pedal furiously... and you will keep pedaling the next 15 levels. Because back in Vanilla World of Warcraft, nothing happened. This was a while before the Dungeon Finder, when you couldn't get XP from a career like Herbalism or Alchemy. Horde players trying to level up back in 2006 will have to find a team and spend three hours in the Wailing Caverns - instead of using the most effective time or honing and completing tasks inThe Barrens.

Gank squad

Maybe we were bound by adversity. Another trait in The Barrens’ design was that high-level Alliance players can easily take a boat trip to Ratchet, walk to The Crossroads and kill all flight masters and mission providers. The area was always under attack, and become a hot spot for the world's PvP, as the players of the high-level tribes come back to clean up those sly gnomes. Whether through design or accidents, continuous Alliance attacks make Horde players feel like a persecuted faction.

There are many ways in WoW that can be skipped by most players, giving the area the same atmosphere as an abandoned factory - the products that were once built here have been replaced and the staff is dead. But I am very happy that I can play it when I am doing it. Listening to music provokes memories of people slaughtering under the stars for a few months, talking freely with strangers, sitting next to a flashing digital bonfire. I envy those top players on the mount I can never afford. Although World of Warcraft Classic will give me the chance to go back, it’s madness to think it’ll be the same.

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