A few disclaimers before we move forward:
- Traveling Thoughts is a means of putting down my thoughts in a bit-by-bit process that will eventually lead up to a formal review of the overall subject. These posts will be more personal than objective, though one should expect a good amount of both as is my personality of habit.
- These posts will absolutely contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Like with Azuremyst Isle, Eversong Woods has the benefit of the “new bias,” such that the area is given extra attention by developers as part of a brand new expansion designed to appeal to new and old players alike. Despite this, I don’t recall ever finding the questing area for the blood elves all that interesting or fun. It wasn’t until I matured that I came to realize just how detailed and varied Eversong Woods is.
It seems that everything that Eversong Woods wishes to achieve—whether through its aesthetic choices or treatment of its associated race—is that of a parallel mirror to Azuremyst Isle. Where the draenei are an outcast species clinging to survival, the blood elves are a dejected race similarly suffering, only through an insatiable need to feed their arcane magic addiction. Both settings involve a wooded area, one adorned with calming blues and purples while the other has lively shades of orange, yellow, and red. The quests, rewards, and situations involved highlight the races’ plight and their association with another race(s) in their respective factions (night elves/humans with draenei, undead with blood elves). There are as many similarities as there are differences, all pleasantly concocted in a detailed line of lore and entertainment.
I’ve always liked Eversong Woods and the quests provided by the region, but I’ve never loved it. Always within the shadow of its Alliance counterpart, combined with my own preferences regarding the aesthetic detail, there’s much to Eversong Woods that even I tend to overlook. The variety of quests, attentively placed by the developers for the new expansion, is something that rivals that of its Alliance counterpart, and far outweighs the rest of the starting areas. Perhaps my lack of fondness for the race itself (least favorite Horde species) gave birth to an indifference with everything associated, which is a shame upon my person from long ago, as Eversong Woods is an excellent starting area with very few aggravating qualities.
I’ll begin with those aggravating qualities. There are some spots, specifically outside the initial starting zone, that seem to favor doing a couple quests in one area only to have one travel large distances to achieve them. This is, however, alleviated somewhat by providing quests dedicated to leading the player to the next area rich in level-tailored quests. I recall Fairbreeze Village being one that provided more than enough opportunity to level-up towards zones adequate for levels in the double-digits. Even outside this specific area, there are plenty of other little spots one can travel to that can actually easily be missed if one isn’t careful. Again, like Azuremyst Isle, the game provides an overwhelming amount of things to do until level ten or eleven—so much so that one likely won’t get to all of them.
After the initial starting zone, one will come across Falconwing Square, the obligatory second area for the blood elves. This area doesn’t actually have too much to do, as after five or six quests, one is led to further pastures. This is something I find similar to both Azuremyst Isle and Durotar; each has other areas to quest in the meantime, though don’t spread it out as seemlessly as they’d like to. Eversong Woods is similar, and if not for the quests leading the player to those areas, this would be an issue of easily getting lost in a wide area, as Eversong Woods is pretty big.
To elaborate more on the initial starting area, the blood elves have a flurry of quests that involve killing creatures, collecting items, and quests specific to their racial abilities, much like the draenei. I recall during my youth this being one of the harder initial starting zones to beat, but recent expeditions have shown that I was a massive wimp in my younger years who didn’t know how to play. Eversong Woods, in general, is fairly easy, though the Dead Scar has imparted some PTSD with how hoard-y the zombies are within it. Its initial starting area is laughably easy, but again, most are.
Speaking upon the visual aesthetics of Eversong Woods, I still prefer the gloomy, tranquil look of Azuremyst Isle, but the brightness of Eversong can also be very poignant. Outside of nature (and also similar to Azuremyst for the millionth time), the region is very technological and fantasy-like, full of animated inanimate objects, cyborgs run on arcane energy, and sweeping structures that seem to compensate for the hollowness shared by the species. Much more Harry Potter, in some ways, than World of Warcraft, but I think the changes are interesting enough. Even now, like back then, I find myself preferring the simplicity of starting zones even before Burning Crusdae, like the darkness of Tirisfal Glades or the barren red of Durotar. It’s a nice-looking zone, just not personally appealing.
Its score is something I also find somewhat lacking. No starting area (other than perhaps Azuremyst Isle) has a musical composition that makes me immediately drool with nostalgia or appreciation; with Eversong Woods, I barely even recall hearing noise to accompany it. To be sure, one could play me the music for the zone and I’d recognize it. It’s only that I don’t have much of a connection to it. Again attributed to my relative apathy on the race itself, I have never spent a large portion of time making blood elves or going through their starting area. Nothing about the score really sticks with me, even if it’s more in-tune with the area than others. It’s there, and that’s all I can say.
Some increased travel time and some inconsistency with quest lines are minor hindrances to an otherwise very good starting zone. Blood elves aren’t among my favorite races in the lore of World of Warcraft, but that doesn’t stop them from having one of the best experiences one can have starting off with the game. With an aesthetic that will have lovers of Autumn fawning, and a race with proper motivation going into the deeper recesses of the game’s whole, there’s much to look forward to on one’s trip to Eversong. I don’t have much nostalgia for the zone; what I have now is a deeper appreciation for the content it provides and the variety in place from an increased focus from the developers. They did a great job with the two new zones exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
For more posts on this topic, feel free to check out the accompanying archive!
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.