Thanks to this week’s Blog Azeroth Shared Topic for giving me an excuse to share my love of Undercity.
I know it’s turning up on many folks’ worst lists but I have loved the Undercity since my first trip there as a very wee undead priest back in the day.
I love the overall Tim Burtonesque feel as I wander through the halls. I love that it’s on a circular grid, making it easier to get to where you are going than Orgrimmar for instance.
It’s a place that feels truly entrenched in the lore. Much like the Plage Lands. One of my favorite plague quests sends you back to talk to (squee for a shout out to one of my favorite bands ever), the census taker, to try to find a restless ghost’s next of kin, who turns out to be the poor sad cockroach vendor, Jeremiah.
Add to it the subbasement level headquarters of the Royal Apothecary Society, and you have a city that truly feels like a perfect home for my forsaken ladies.
A few things about the Undercity that you might not know, as noted in its WOWiki page:
- There are portions of the Undercity where effects from Warcraft III were deliberately inserted into the game as ambient sounds. These areas are the throne room, the hallway directly outside of it, and even the bell tower located just at its entrance. Near the bell, you will hear the churchbells ringing when Arthas returns to Lordaeron before he becomes a death knight.
- In the hall before the throne room, there are still scattered rose petals on the cobblestones from Arthas’ return.
- In the throne room itself, a slight trail of blood — from when Terenas’ crown rolled on the floor after Arthas murdered him — can be seen near the throne. What is most chilling is that the room echoes with Arthas’ own voice saying the words, “Succeeding you, father,” his words before he murdered his own father.
My only complaints are that it could really use a good tavern in the vein of Gallow’s End tavern, and my poor Troll and Tauren have to dismount to use the elevator. But these are small complaints. I hope the Cataclysm changes are kind to my beloved home city.
Alliance side, Stormwind City has long held my heart, despite my not playing any humans.
I love the many fishing spots along the canals, and wandering through the shops. The main bank/inn/auction house area is nice and compact. Folks always seemed to prefer Ironforge as a hub, but I love Stormwind for feeling like a city in which people actually lived, and worked, and sat around drinking beer with their buddies. You can stroll through the park, admire ships at the harbor, browse through the royal library and art gallery, or generally lose yourself in your character’s thought here.
Of all the places in the game, to me, this feels most like a real thriving capital city.
After writing this I am struck by the fact that my two favorite cities in WoW are those with canals. I guess my love for Venice, Italy is showing through here.
I don’t want to spend a bunch of time on the worst towns, but will say these are the major cities I avoid when possible:
- Darnassus. Everything is too spread out. It used to enrage me on my first toon, a druid, to run from the AH to the mailbox all the way at the bank and back again.
- Exodar. I made my Draeni hustle themselves to Ironforge or Stormwind at the first opportunity. Nothing about this place made e want to stop and stay a while.
- Thunder Bluff. I have wasted hours trying to get to the prairie dog vendor. Or to find anyone/anything here. The multi-levels always vex me. I’ve also never died from falling off from cliffs anywhere else.