Perfect Ten: MMO zones I love to hate

Let’s be frank: Not every MMO zone can be a masterpiece of art, design, quest flow, and navigability. I mean, they totally should be, but that’s not how it shakes out in actual games. Sometimes regions get rushed, or the developers get a little too crazy with level design, or someone with a doomsday device in the office threatens to set it off unless an area made up of nothing but jumping puzzles is included.

The end result? “Those” zones we love to hate. We all have them. They’re the ones we seem to relish whining and complaining about to anyone who will listen, often instigating an echo chamber of like-minded grudges. We’ve been there, done that, and felt that our psyche took a hit as a result.

Today I want to look back at 10 MMOs I’ve played over the years to pick out a zone from each that, honestly, I really, really disliked. Perhaps the fact that I still remember them so vividly means that they were more important memories than the well-done zones that escape me at the moment, but I’m not going to think on that too much. Let the gripe session begin!

1. World of Warcraft: Desolace (vanilla)

I sometimes wonder if the crowd that keeps clamoring for a return to vanilla World of Warcraft has selective memory regarding how incomplete that core game experience was, especially with the zones as you went further up in levels. One of the worst offenders was Desolace (or “Depressolace,” as we always called it), which committed the double sin of being flat-out ugly and having sparse content to offer. It was clearly an unfinished blotch of a zone, yet somehow I had to go into it for each character I leveled up to grab some of those rare quests. Also there was a rep grind with centaurs and I never want to speak of that again.

2. Warhammer Online: Badlands

I sometimes wonder if developers end up using barren wastelands as zone options because they’re easier to create. WAR’s Badlands was one of several such areas in the game, an eyesore to consider for the most part. But what puts it on this list for me is that there was a quarry or open mine in the north-east corner of the map that was one of the most frustrating areas to navigate. The hand-drawn map style didn’t help at all with this, and before I was done with the related quests I was gnashing my teeth in frustration.

3. Star Wars: The Old Republic: Quesh

I’m a big fan of the variety and visuals of most SWTOR planets, but I have to draw a line when it comes to Quesh. Actually, I think the devs drew a line too, because this “planet” only has a single puke-ugly zone that runs in a corridor, is coated in poison gas, and has no interesting storyline of which to speak. Also, every time I see the planet name I think “quiche” and then am disappointed when the game doesn’t satisfy my hunger.

4. City of Heroes: Faultline

I was severely tempted to put Perez Park on here, because if you’ve ever been lost in that forest, you accessed a level of loathing that turned you into a supervillain. However, I’m giving the nod to Faultline, because forget that place. Oh, the idea of an earthquake-ravaged area is interesting, but the reality is a zone that is only accessible by those with certain travel powers. If you had super-speed, forget it; this was not for you. And frankly, it was an eyesore of a place that was more of an empty setpiece than it was the staging ground for any truly exciting content.

5. Lord of the Rings Online: Moria

This might be a controversial entry for a few reasons. Some people do appreciate and even enjoy Moria to this day, and I cannot deny that it was a technical achievement to create and is one of the largest underground regions in an MMO ever. Plus, this is kind of a combination of several zones across a whole region, but I couldn’t pick just one.

So why Moria? Other than the pressing claustrophobia that this underground kingdom seems to trigger in pretty much everyone who plays, my biggest issue is that it’s incredibly frustrating to navigate. Once again, hand-drawn maps are more of a liability than an asset, especially in some of the spaces that involve a lot of verticality. I have many memories of trying to get from point A to B and not knowing exactly how to do that in this place.

6. RIFT: Goboro Reef

Nightmare Tide was somewhat of a misstep for this MMO, and I always felt the dev team had a hard time selling players on the weird water plane concept going on with it. For me, I could never level past Goboro Reef, which hit so many wrong buttons for me. It went on forever, was purple and pink as far as the eye could see, wasn’t always the easiest to travel around, wasn’t that fun to explore, and smelled of fish.

7. Guild Wars 2: Orr

Again, cheating a little bit by combining three zones for this entry, but this whole island just annoys me to no end. It’s definitely a neat concept with some striking visuals, but Orr’s dense undead population (from chickens on up to sharks) and cluttered landscape make getting anywhere and doing anything a chore. I know that the community is divided here, with some ardent defenders, but I cringe at the thought of having to do more map exploration on this island.

8. The Secret World: City of the Sun God

We’ll see how the reboot pans out with any quest flow changes to this region, but I’m not going to hold my breath in anticipation that I’m going to end up adoring it. City of the Sun God is a middling-to-bad desert region where most of the NPCs are statues or a genie that despises you. Just about nobody enjoys this place, and it sucks a lot of the momentum out of progressing through the story.

9. WildStar: Wilderrun

In my top three most-hated zone biomes, “jungle” only comes third after “lava” and “desert.” I’m seriously not a fan of sprawling, foliage-dense regions, of which Wilderrun is a card-carrying member. It’s seriously way too big and sometimes had me taking the long way around to get anywhere. I would prefer the infected regions, with all of their eyeball-stalks, to this humid hellzone.

10. Star Trek Online: Kobali Prime

Can someone explain to me how Delta Rising ended up so bad? I mean, Neelix and all that, but what a terrible expansion. It actually made me quit the game for a long time, and a big part of that reason was Kobali Prime. In a game where you mostly stayed on your starship with occasional away missions, suddenly you were asked to spend a long, long period of time on a planet that was nothing but a warzone. I called it “The Planet of Soul-Sucking” back when I was playing, and I stick to that. It was uncalled for, really.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at justin@massivelyop.com or eliot@massivelyop.com with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
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64 Comments on "Perfect Ten: MMO zones I love to hate"

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hughmbehavior
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hughmbehavior

Moria = insanely great.
Best dungeon in any MMO ever.

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Space Captain Zor

I would add:
WoW
-Westfall (Vanilla) (boring story, visuals, too many bandanas)
-Eastern Plaguelands (zombie fart gas)
-Badlands (Vanilla) (boring visuals and really tough elites everywhere)

SWTOR
-Taris (zombie fart gas planet)
-Hutta (fart gas planet)
-Makeb (mob density was originally horrendous)

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Castagere Shaikura

I like your list. I really agree with most of it. I just would like to add an old one to it. Anarchy Online’s Southern Artery Valley was i nightmare to run through back in the day. The mobs were just so evil and in groups at times.

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Fred Douglas

I’ve twice made it through City of the Sun God and then quit the game. It is indeed horrendous.

Quesh is alright because it’s a transition planet and not a main story zone, but indeed, the hutt drug dealing storyline is a little drab.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Oh right, Hoth is the WORST for me. And I can be OK with arctic zones. Hate Hoth so much. The worst. The worst.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I’m okay with Goboro Reef and I’m one of the weirdos that rather liked City of the Sun God but instead felt more of a slog in Blue Mountain (not the difficulty but a few annoying missions and I think 3 zones can be too much for a region in some ways) and Shadowy Forest (stopped my TSW mission completionism here, though I finished main story and one DLC).
In RIFT its harder to get through many Storm Legion zones as they multi-zone theme in too open of zones, went too far. I still assert they could have closed in that content by 1/3 (resulting in several zones instead of ten) and it would have been better.

atherenlightspeed
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atherenlightspeed

World of Warcraft: Desolace, I’ve been through the Cataclysm zones too many times now and they all make me cringe, all of the Broken Isles Zones.
Lotro: Angmar (so dark and dreadful), Foroschel (it just never fit in with the rest of the game, and I generally don’t care for snow zones), Lothlorien and it’s unending yellow makes me want to poke my eyes out.
Guild Wars 2 I really tired of the Asura area quickly, maybe I didn’t like my engineer as well, but the zone, ack. The rest are fine, though I favor the Sylvari areas.

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Alex Malone

Badlands in WAR….yeh, pretty desolate zone. However, it worked thematically. Also, the Badlands had Mount Gunbad, a pretty awesome open world dungeon. I loved working my way through each of the wings with my guild, some pretty interesting bosses and designs as you worked your way to the mountain’s roots (giant squig at the end!)

For LotRO, whilst I didn’t particularly enjoy Moria myself, it was infinitely better than Mirkwood! Mirkwood suffered from both terrible aesthetics, a quest-hub patchwork design that didn’t flow together and a general lack of feeling. Mirkwood just sucked on all levels!

SW:TOR…..meh, could pretty much just pick any zone. They all felt bland and lifeless.

Weilan
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Weilan

Desolace is the only one I’ve personally experienced and I can agree, it’s depressing and quite empty, I only go there now (on Vanilla) to get some levels so I can come back to STV and do my quests, this time I went to Thousand Needles instead, a lot better I have to say.

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Tithian

Orr can fuck right off, I always dreaded going to the zones.

City of the Sun God, I thought was fine. Not stellar, mind you, but I think it flew by for me.
Quesh was also just fine, and it served its purpose as a small zone tied to the Story. Not everything needs to be this majestic setpiece.

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Michael18

I sometimes wonder if the crowd that keeps clamoring for a return to vanilla World of Warcraft has selective memory regarding how incomplete that core game experience was, …

Justin, I really like your articles and often share your opinion on MMO related stuff. But here you repeat one of the most stupid misconceptions of the “it’s only nostalgia!” crowd.

Most people “clamoring” for official vanilla servers actively play vanilla wow (at least on and off), so it’s certainly not a case of selective memory for the majority of people.

In my case:
– last character leveled from 1-60 in vanilla WoW: 1.5 years ago,
– last 1-60 leveling in retail WoW: around 2010-11 (shortly after cata release).

So my memory of Vanilla WoW is far more recent than the “revamped” 1-60 zones or retail WoW in general.

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cruzader

Moria – part of the problem with it was that the hallways often made it impossible to dodge around aggro circles so you were forced to do a bunch of tedious fighting between A and B, and then again back to A. They have since revamped the mob placement to make this much less annoying. I hated Moria on my first trip through, but now I like it.

Faultline – I loved the feel of the zone, even though I know I was in the minority. It frustrated me that they didn’t put regular door missions there (and Perez Park, and others) because the idea of hazard zones was already a bit obsolete by the time I started around Issue 6. However, Faultline was completely revamped so that it was largely a “normal zone” with only sections hinting at its former design.

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Byórðæįr

The absolute worst zone, had to the skyscraper zone in the matrix online. The developers built like nine buildings and instanced them a thousand times but if you tried to have three of the instances loaded at once you hit a rubber effect as your character would bounce back like fifty feet and then stutter in place as the game engine tried to figure out which instances where to be kept in memory. The game was fun but when you went from no rubber banding to your computer crashing it was weird, they never did fix that zone before the game got shuttered.

Corey Evans
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Corey Evans

if a city counts, Ul’dah from FFXIV is the fucking worst. No joke, it almost made me quit the game. I tried it out via the trial, and was a low-level monk getting very frustrated trying to navigate that stupid, stupid city with their shit map and UI.

fuck that place twice.

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Legend Of Vinny T

If I may go MMO-adjacent… the Ruins of Sescheron and the neighboring forest in Diablo 3. The aesthetics are fine, but something about the enemy placement in those zones sends pets into an aggro-pulling rampage. Even simple bounty runs feel like high level GRifts. My best character is a Torment 9 Monk with an Inna’s Mantra build, and I basically get dragged through those zones by my crazed horde of mystic allies. NOT looking forward to my first Necromancer run there.

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Stormwaltz

I actually found Kobali Prime intolerable for story / roleplaying reasons.

“Hey, Federation, we’re sitting on thousands of Vaadwaur in stasis, waiting for them to die so we can repurpose their corpses into more Kobali. Oh, but we’re not murderingthem! Goodness no. That’s slander! We’re simply waiting for their life support equipment to inevitably fail, and preventing their people from waking them before that happens. You’re just judging us for our means of reproduction, you racists. Now follow the Prime Directive and sell us more starships so we can fight off this Vaadwaur invasion. We simply can’t understand why they’re so determined to invade our world.”

Man, screw the Kobali. >_<

hurbster
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hurbster

Arrrgh. going through City of the Sun God last time took me 8 months because it was so bloody awful. Not looking forward to doing it again.

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Tia Nadiezja

Kobali Prime is a pain mostly because respawn rates make everything but the last two missions (which always have a bunch of people on them because they drop advanced marks for two popular reps) a pain just getting from point A to point B. I actually like the concept of it, but the execution is a pain.

Quesh is at least blessedly short. I despise rerunning Tatooine and Hoth because they feel neverending.

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MesaSage

I love/hate Moria. I think it has a certain beauty about it, but the place is so damn confusing. There’s plenty to see and a lot of variety to the activities, but after a while I’m just dying for sunlight. At level 58 I run to daylight in Lothlorien.

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Dividion

I love Moria, but there’s a refreshing physicality in transitioning to Lothlorien that I’m not sure I’ve experienced in any other MMORPG.

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Robert Mann

I loved Moria (no issues with claustrophobia here) but I can see where others might not. I had little to no issue navigating the areas, but I know people who were ready to rage quit following the first mini-dungeon on the entry story line as they got lost for hours in there. In the case of Moria, the atmosphere and feeling of a truly complex underground area was a huge plus, and a huge minus, depending on the player.

Orr, solo, is effectively a pointless place. You really need a group. Which runs counter to almost everything GW2 up to the release of HoT. Where the ideas are okay, there are problems there… especially with a personal story that most people want to finish solo since they have done everything else there solo.

The rest of the list: Where I don’t mind games having some issues with getting places (as long as it actually makes sense, and all too often things don’t with invisible walls and the like) I find much of the list acceptable. Sadly, most MMO zones lack much for a sense of wonder anywhere, because they try for it everywhere. When every place is special, nowhere is special.

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Green Dragoon

As much as I do get some people don’t like Moria, I’m actually surprised that you disliked it more than Angmar. Agnmar is I think pretty universally considered soul sucking. It probably doesn’t help that you hit it during the level 40 doldrums.

As to Star Trek Online and Delta Rising, I’ve found peoples options about DR are a direct reflection of their opinions Star Trek Voyager. If you liked the show (and there are many people who do like it) then you liked DR. If you didn’t, then you don’t. I’ll be honest, Kobali Prime isn’t the greatest for progression, mostly due to the challenge of navigating a warzone full of challenging enemies. That said, the overall story is kind of interesting, and actually manages to bring up some Trek-style moral conundrums.

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Dividion

I agree about Angmar. It became better when they gave it another pass and redesigned the quest hubs. Still pretty soul-sucking though.

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Crowe

I’d have to disagree with a couple of those…
For City of Heroes, I’d go with The Hollows. Usually, for Faultline you’d have a travel power by the time you got to it. But The Hollows had missions for level 5-15 or so and you could easily fall into one of the cracks and get mobbed by magma guys before you could get out. (and sometimes, it was just easier to seek the magma guys out to hasten the process of getting out!) However, my wife always loved going with PUGs through there…
For LOTRO, I’d go with Evendim instead. Play a dwarf or hobbit through there and get back to me on that… The shorter folks end up swimming way before the taller ones!

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Ryuen

TSW: City of the Sun God and, before the first changes to these areas, any forest with Ak’ab because they were aggro city to a point of not being funny anymore.
WoW vanilla: Silithus, hated the look and the fact that it was bug city. Honestly wanted to nuke it from orbit.
LOTRO: the original Old Forest, if Tolkien had envisaged this zone like it was originally in the game those Hobbits would have never even reached Old Man Willow.
EQ2: The Feerott. Actually that zone is a really well done jungle which is probably why I dislike it.
EQ: West Karana.

Oh and Moria is a jewel of Dwarf craftsmanship, thank you.

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Paragon Lost

I’m amused that almost all the places Justin disliked in WoW, LotrO, TSW were places I actually liked a lot like Moria and City of the Sun God in particular. Desolace I have fond memories in during the Vanilla and BC time frame on the pvpr server I played on. Goboro Reef (Rift) was ok, it falls into the same feeling for me as Quesh does in SWTOR, I can take it or leave it.

I can’t speak about Orr yet because my main is hasn’t quite gotten there yet since I tend to level rather slowly in GW2, mid 60s currently. There appears to be a theme here where Justin dislikes something I tend to like it. Not sure what it says about either of us, but I am amused. Fun list, can’t say I ever dislike reading the Perfect Ten articles. :)

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Hirku

Hi, my name is Just A. Nobody, pleased to meetcha. City of the Sun God was awesome.

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Paragon Lost

After the Blue Mountains CotSG was such a refreshing change of pace. My wife and I loved the whole story line and exploring that place.

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Hirku

Yeah, Blue Mtn. gets my vote for worst zone in TSW. No interesting locations and by the time I got there I was sick of fog and ak’ab. Only part of it I liked were the Sasquatch.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I think it actually did have interesting locations. But because of previous zone completionism, by BM I am indeed sick of the regional stuff (like fog, the music, etc). I need to ‘reorient’ myself to like BM, whereas I think COTSG is ‘worse’ but I still enjoy it more personally.

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Paragon Lost

Yup as I recall Blue Mountains was the main place players crashed and burnt out. I know it hit me and one of my kids who played. We both did the step back and had to take another look at what we were doing.

The only two locations I really liked there were the CDC location interactions towards the end of the zone and I really enjoyed the Mansion as well.

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Oleg Chebeneev

I dislike:
WoW – vanilla Teldrassil. Leveling up to 10 level as night elf, especially hunter with no pet, was cancer. That furbolgs cave was cancer. Its why I only leveled as NE pre Cata only once. I also not a fan of another elves zone Ashenvale.

EQ2 – Antonica. Green sheet with randomly put trees and monsters.

LoTRO – Forochel and Misty Mountains. I usually dislike snowy zones in MMOs cuz developers unable to make them look good and interesting.

AoC – Ymir’s Pass. I stopped playing AoC when i reached this zone.

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Paragon Lost

Agreed with Teldrassil and Antonica. Actually liked Forochel and the Misty Mountains though. Ymir’s Pass was “meh”, I didn’t feel strong feelings one way or another about it.

Edit: Forochel and the MM area’s were where I tended to go when I wanted to just wander alone. Go figure.

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Tobasco da Gama

I think the biggest issue with CotSG is just with the geography. It’s unnecessarily mazy in parts, unless you cut through that Filthy garden area, which is annoying to do because Filth. Everything else about the zone is fantastic.

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Paragon Lost

“Unnecessarily mazy”, yeah sums up my only real criticism of it. Otherwise it did indeed rock as a zone.

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Hirku

That’s one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. It felt like tomb raiding without the frustration of falling damage, and I could always anima leap out if I got tired of it.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Before anima leap it was torture to me. Just an eerily beautiful torture. I’m sure there will be plenty of teleport points this time.

luxundae
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luxundae

I fully agree with City of the Sun God.

Desolace….I quite liked, actually. I was Horde at the time, and that little fishing village in the southwest was really just about perfect.

Of course, I also liked the original Silithus. I guess, in world as large as that offered by WoW, it made perfect sense to me that there would be parts of the world that were largely empty and ugly and dangerous. The frontiers or the abandoned wastes.

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Paragon Lost

Yep the fishing village, where those cages were off shore is where I first ran across one of those old iron fishing poles. Good fishing pole. Plus the chests off shore to the north where you could work lock skills as a rogue. :)

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Roger Christie

Remember that the remade Faultline to remedy the travel problems. As for Moria, I quite liked it even though it was difficult. Moria SHOULD be difficult.

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Viktor Budusov

>5. Lord of the Rings Online: Moria

HOW DARE YOU!!!!!

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Roger Edwards

Moria? Moria? No way. Mirkwood, Enedwaith & Dunland. Filled with Elves and the Welsh. Tedious zones that took us too far out of our way. These regions deserve a kick in the junk and Turbine a slap. Or vice versa

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Paragon Lost

Agreed on the tedious repeated lazy paint jobs that was Dunlands etc. Loved Moria.

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Legend Of Vinny T

Dunland is the LOTRO version of Halo’s Assault on the Control Room: “We’ve run out of time for what we really wanted to do, so we’re just going to repeat ourselves to pad out the original size of the plan.” It starts out with such promise, but “Go to this village and play errand boy until they like you” gets bloody tedious after the 4th or 5th time.

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Kiyoko Gustav

I am one of the few people who loved Desolace in Wow. Yeah, it wasn’t much to look at and the quests were rather meh…

But I loved it because from Vanilla to Cata I played on a PVP server, and Desolace was the only zone in the whole game where I could level in peace with little fear of being ganked. Everyone else avoided it like the plague. It was a nice little break back then.

Now a days, I love to hate Hellfire in Outlands and most Cata zones.

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johnwillo

Anybody else hate Age of Conan’s Conall’s Valley? Maybe it was just the contrast with the starting zone that immediately preceded it, but I always hated grinding through it.

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BalsBigBrother

Just getting in to Egypt in Secret World Legends so I am going to be soon into City of the Sun Gods. Yeah it was always the biggest hump for me in TSW and is often the cause of several months worth of breaks in my progress.

Who knows if the area revamp will make a difference this time, I guess I am going to find out soon ™.

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Rees Racer

I understand the vote(s) for Desolace, but no zone made me gnash my teeth more than…

Silithus.jpg
Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

As i remember, Blizzard stopped developing for this zone, they didn’t do much for it, and now the zone can’t wait to send you quickly via a portal to Blasted Land.

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TheDonDude

That zone was terrifying. The twitching… mandible… things? Coming out of the ground? The swarms of very deadly wasps? The super dull quests???? Brrr.

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Matthew Yetter

You know, other than Foundations of Stone, I always rather liked Moria. The LotRO zone that I absolutely loath has always been Evendim. It’s better (a little) now that they have more boats to get around but it’s still a pain in the keester to get around. Which makes it more trouble than its few redeeming qualities end up being worth.

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Legend Of Vinny T

For some reason, I never had as much of a problem with “Everswim” as others, even though I completed it before they added the boats. Maybe it’s because LOTRO never attempted to model “underwater” content with nuisance fish mobs and just had characters crawl-stroke along the surface. You could hit auto-run when you needed to cross the lake.

The Water Works, on the other hand, was miserable. Easily the worst part of Moria. (The novelty of psychotropic toads wore off quickly.) Loved the First Hall and the Bridge of Khazad-Dum, though. SSG’s design made far more sense than the movies did. On the gripping hand, my main is a hunter, so when I got claustrophobic, I’d just fast-travel to Bree or Rivendell instead of the Twenty-Third Hall when I needed a sell-and-craft break.

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Baron von Munchausen

Boo, I love City of the Sun God. It’s a desert zone that feels very different from the one that comes just before it (pretty good for a biome that is generally thought of as ‘flat, lots of sand’). It has a dark, oppressive feel annnd a huge evil pyramid in the middle of it. Plus tragic backstory.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Yeah that’s its plusses to me. I’ve been through it like twice before and looking forward to SWL’s ‘third’ time, but sure I’ll finally be too annoyed after that.

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Daniel Reasor

My first attempt to level a Warrior came to an ignominious end in Vanilla Desolace. The place was so infested with basilisks and scorpions that, even traveling on the road, I couldn’t stay out of combat long enough to recover health between one meaningless fight and the next.

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zoward

I liked vanilla Desolace. Maybe it’s just because it was different enough to off some contrast to many of the other zones. I’d have to agree 100% about city of the Sun God though. As for Moria, I found that after grinding out a couple of levels there I would have to step away form the game altogether for a while. If I’m leveling an alt, I do as many quests as possible before Moria, and then take breaks to do instances, skirmishes and/or festivals in between just to avoid “Moria fatigue”.

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johnwillo

I completely agree with Desolace and Quesh. Quesh would be worse, because you can’t bypass it, but it is brief and without a centaur rep grind, so I think Desolace “wins” the title.

I will also say, for more recent WoW, Vashj’ir (the underwater zone) annoys the hell out of me. I can’t identify one root cause, but it’s awful for me. We hates it with a passion, we does.

Oh, and yes, City of the Sun God is terrible, too.

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TheDonDude

1. I loved Desolace in vanilla! Man I don’t know how I ever ended up there, but it lived up to its name. One great thing about vanilla WoW was that travel was juuuust difficult enough that when you were out in the boonies, you really felt like it. That said, I never ever ever ever ever EVER went back.

3. Quesh is so weird. I don’t know if it was the first planet they built as a test-bed and never got around to finishing, or the last planet they built… and never got around to finishing. The only saving grace was that, indeed, the above mentioned weirdness. Most of the vanilla planets in SWTOR followed a strict formula, but Quesh broke it. Just… not really in a good way.

4. Hazard Zones as a whole never really panned out the way they were intended for CoH.

9. I have high marks for Wilderrun. I loved the catchy music and adored the deep dive into Cassian lore. I even liked Artemis Zin and Dorian Whatshisname. I agree it was a big much, though.

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Nyt Andras

City of the Sun God worse than Blue Mountain? Man, talk about hitting a wall , BM was a *slog* the first time thru solo, for me at least.

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Malcolm Swoboda

COTSG is more of a boring slog for players than the hard slog of BM. I still like a lot of it though, personally.

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Brown Jenkin

I’ve gotta agree on Moria, but also totally understand why some would love it. The zone seems so true to lots of what one would expect of it, I got lost all the time, it was super-challenging and just generally all around unpleasant.

Reader
Robert Mann

Yeah, I can see where some wouldn’t like it… but the area was lovely for those looking at it for the lore and all!

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Alex Willis

inb4 the Moria pile-on

Moria lover for life! Still my favourite LOTRO zone, home to my favourite LOTRO experiences. The density of history and lore in that zone is absolutely incredible. Anybody who RPs as a Dwarf is MORALLY OBLIGED to love this place, and I won’t hear any opinions to the contrary!

Now the Trollshaws — there’s a zone I still can’t stand. I still have PTSD from the damned Delosad/Sara Oakheart epic quests and the pre-horse climb up the hill to get to Rivendell. Sure it made getting there worthwhile, but UUUGGGHHHH I can’t step foot in the zone anymore without getting the shakes.

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MesaSage

It seems like there’s always a counter-opinion on zones because I really like the Trollshaws. It can be frustrating at times, and a lot of back and forth, but just for sheer variety, I really enjoyed it from end to end. You start out with yappy little Whiskerbacks and end with Stompy Giants. And with all the landscape dailies it’s fast leveling.

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