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8-10-2008 @ 10:31AM
I grew weary of hearing people complain about how Outlands looks a year ago. It is an alien dimension, with its own rules, environments, and ecosystems (and then blow to bits, to boot!), and yet so many people want another generic fantasy world.I love all the areas in Outlands for their theme and structure. I dislike Blade's Edge because of the difficulty in getting around before you earn your flying mount, but the concept of it is spectacular. I love the peaceful look of Nagrand, although you can see the dangers lurking just out of sight. Hellfire Peninsula is a barren warzone, fought over repeatedly by forces with ever-diminishing material until there is barely anything worth fighting over. Zangermarsh is an alien environment out of an Escher drawing, with the native flora and fauna not only being beautiful, but appropriate as well. Terrokar is a haunted land full of ghosts and a savage race of birdman, all with ethereal spiders and sandworms.That leaves my two most-favorite zones: Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley. Both of these places truly epitomize the destruction wrought upon Outland. When you fly through Netherstorm you see a world slowing crumbling, the remains of an Alliance village doomed for all time, and the ruins of ancient towns. How can you not like that? Shadowmoon Valley is the depository of so much lore from the game, that it oozes character. The Dragonmaw orcs have been part of the Warcraft universe from day one. The Black Temple, former home of the Draenai, then the demon lords who fought over Outland, then Illidan. The corruption visited upon the world is most evident here, with felfire volcanos, a sulfurous haze in the air, and demonic outposts everywhere.Look beyond swords and sorcery, stop thinking spacegoats and zany sci-fi, and just enjoy the world.
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