It’s practically expected of a major MMORPG patch or expansion to add new zones — the more, the better, setting aside their self-inflicted endgame population wounds. But not all zones are created equal. That’s probably why MOP reader Agemyth suggested “best new zone” to us as a possible community award: to recognize a high-quality offering that might be overlooked when the big expansions are collecting all the accolades.
I teased Guild Wars 2 plenty for the addition of Flaming Skull Land — I mean, Ember Bay — but honestly, that’s partly because the zone added in the previous chapter, Bloodstone Fen, set such a high bar. The pacing of that chapter is so perfectly matched with that zone — which is eyecandy in all the right ways to begin with — that I feel I got to see a little bit of everything just dawdling through the story. It reminded me of the old Blizzard philosophy, that devs are searching for the goldilocks timeblock: They want to keep you in a visual area just long enough that you’re enjoying it but not so long that you grow bored.
So the Fen would get my vote. How about you? What would you propose as the best new zone added to an MMORPG in 2016?