Every human World of Warcraft character starts out in Elwynn Forest – more precisely in the Northshire Vale.
Northshire is situated in a peaceful area of Elwynn Forest, at least for most of its existence. Surrounded by steep mountains on three sides and a double wall with heavy gates guarding the southern entrance to the vale, it is easily defended and makes a good starting ground for a new character (possibly with an inexperienced player) to survive the first fights, gather some experience and maybe even some copper coins to start out into the big world.
When I first left Northshire Vale, I remember looking with awe at the world that unfolded before me – I was wondering just how big it might be and I have to admit: I had no clue how big it really was, even back then when there had only been two continents (that was before the Lich King Expansion pack).
The design of Elwynn Forest is following the human expectation of a “peaceful and idyllic forest” with small settlements spread out and almost familiar enemies – wolves, spiders, bears and the occasional Kobold.
The young character can find the initial trainers here, a tavern to rest and plenty of quests to solve which will in return provide for experience, equipment and money. Dragast has been spending quite a few hours here as well as in the quest areas to the south of Goldshire, first of which usually is Fargodeep Mine.
The mine is operated by Kobolds and the little guys can be really nasty at time, especially if you are a cloth-armored person like Dragast (and you did not have the advantage of having it all made ‘easy’ for new players then).
However, Dragast has mastered the mine quite a few times by now and Kobolds are of no horror anymore. Yet, it is a nice memory to think back to the days that the mine indeed has been a challenge.
A bit to the east of the mine, the Maclure Vinyards are located – another area for side-quests which merely will have you run around between the Vinyards, the Mine and Stonefield Farm west of the Mine.
The quests are merely around family things, a forbidden love between the two families and some list jewelery. Keeps you busy for some time, keeps you in a friendly environment and allows you to gather more XP (experience), equipment and money.
Today, a no-brainer – way back when it was a challenge, especially in cloth armor. But having had a challenge has been way better than stupidly killing though the landscape to quickly raise in the ranks.
Once the southern area has been cleared of quests, Dragast has been turing north, first to Crystal Lake and the Murlocs and then further east to the Eastvale Logging Camp.
Even today you can see new players trying to solve the logging quests, fighting the Murlocs and avoiding the wolves. When you are a grown-up character, take a moment to stop and help them.
There are a couple more areas in Elwynn Forest that I used to explore and enjoyed them – there is the Brackwell Pumpkin Patch – a farm taken over by bandits and also the target area of some quests.
Playing Elwynn Forest is mostly fun – it is a good starting point for human characters and – I have to admit – one of the nicest areas in the whole of WoW that I have come across. Maybe only because it was the first area I explored with Dragast… from here on, it is off to Westfall to further grow and gain experience.