Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ode to Sholazar

I've just finished leveling my third character, a night elf druid, through Sholazar Basin. Of all the new zones in Wrath Sholazar isn't the most epic, doesn't have the best quests, run ins with the Lich King, or any of that fancy phasing technology, but it is my favorite zone in the expansion. I remember when Wrath first came out and people liked to knock Sholazar, saying that it was just a new version of Stranglethorn Vale or Un'Goro Crater. Hey, I like those zones, they are some of my favorite old world zones. Sholazar has all the elements for a perfect atmosphere that makes it just plain fun to quest through.

First of all I love the music. All of the zone music in Wrath is great, but Sholazar has great replay value that I never tire of. The look and feel of the zone is also amazing. It's not unique or breathtaking, but its pretty and inviting. Every once in a while its nice to take a break from the frozen tundra of Northrend. I especially love the River's Heart area. The layout of the zone is one of the reasons that I think I enjoy questing in Sholazar so much. The other zones in Wrath have many different quest hubs and the zones themselves are huge, which are great features in their own right, but Sholazar just feels more intimate.

While I all of Wrath's questing experience was greatly improved and other zones housed the more famous chains of Wrath, my absolute favorite quest line is in Sholazar. By speaking to the Avatar of Freya you learn that Sholazar was the lab of the Titans, where they experimented with different life forms. The chain leads you to activate switches in the Maker's Terraces and eventually through a Waygate into Un'Goro Crater of all places to retrieve a guardian that you control to wipe out the encroaching Scourge. I also love the Hemet Nesingwary quest line and the quests to save the Oracles of Mosswalker village are heartbreaking. Of course the Oracle/Frenzy heart quests are also favorites and are laugh out loud funny. Even though my main is already exalted with the Oracles I sometimes go back to do the dailies just to laugh at their flavor text sayings.

On the practical side, Sholazar is a great place for a leveling or new 80 character to make some easy gold. Its a great zone to farm herbs, skins, or ore. Pro tip: killing all of the beasts for experience or skinning will also net you stacks upon stacks of chilled meat and rhino meat which are used for the cooking dailies and usually sell very well. In addition to the great farming potential you can hit up the dailies in the zone and net yourself a nice chunk of change.

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