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11-01-2011 @ 1:38PM
#3: Visual DiversityI started playing during Winter Veil 2008. My first character was a human paladin, and I still remember how cool and amazing it felt when she left Northshire. That road out of the starting area felt so long at the time, and it was just really cool as she came around the big curve in the road and Goldshire slowly came into view. Everything decorated with colored lights ... wow. Then later, having spent most of her time in Elwynn and Westfall, taking the tram to Ironforge and walking out the front gate into the winter wonderland that is Dun Morogh ... and seeing her breath in the frigid air.But the visual diversity really hit me a couple months later when I was playing my first Horde character, a tauren hunter. He spent what felt like an eternity lumbering around the Barrens (on foot, since mounts still required level 30), but then he finally came across the breadcrumb quest that sent him to Ashenvale. After seeing almost nothing but various shades of tan and brown for so long, walking into Ashenvale felt a lot like I imagine people felt when The Wizard of Oz first debuted in theaters way back when. The movie started out in black & white, which was what everybody was accustomed to at the time ... and then when Dorothy and Toto arrived in Oz, it burst into glorious color. It was like that. Just ... completely amazing and beautiful.Later, my tauren moved on to Stonetalon Mountains, a zone I found comfortable because it strongly reminded me of the dry mountain forests near where I live, and then on into Desolace, which had an emotional impact, following as it did after the beauty of Ashenvale and the peacefulness of Stonetalon. Entering Desolace for the first time just felt, well, desolate. And lonely.
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