Elfindale is not just the first character I ever began leveling, she’s the very first character I ever even rolled. When I launched the game for the first time, I didn’t jack around by checking out each race and experimenting with looks. I had already googled all the races and classes and knew I wanted to play a Night Elf Druid. I also had Elfi’s name picked out ahead of time. The only thing that has ever been changed about Elfi is her hair color and that was only after barber shops were introduced to the game. Well, except for changing her server once. I am so loyal to her that I paid $25 to server transfer her when she was only level 3 because I’m a dork and even though my brother told me what server he was on, I didn’t realize I had to create my character on that server if I wanted to talk to him. I believe it was day 2 for me when he asked me why I wasn’t on his server and explained how it works. He told me just to delete Elfindale and re-create her on Azuremyst. But I couldn’t do it. We had 3 levels and 7 or 8 hours of bonding already. I paid to move her and had to wait several days for her to reappear. That’s how much I loved her instantly; and I love her just as much today. One of the main reasons I never really finish levelling up any alts is because I just can’t stand to not spend most of my time on Elfi.
I had a good time in the night elf starting area. I really enjoyed running around Shadowglen killing mangy night sabers and thistle boars. When I followed the road to Dolanaar my level of excitement increased. I was in a city! There was a mailbox, an inn, vendors… it was so cool. [Now is probably when I should remind everyone that I had never played any type of mmo or even rpg game before. So I wasn’t just new to WoW, I was new to everything and I was easily impressed. Okay, back to the story.] I was soon sent to Fel Rock, which is where I first died repeatedly and learned how frustrating the game could be. And so on and so on, I quested throughout Teldrassil and stared in wonder at each new area. Then one fine day, I got to enter Darnassus.
Darnassus made me giddy from the moment I first laid eyes on it. Of course I found the owl vendor on the outskirts of the city right off the bat and bought my first ever non-combat pet. Then I walked up the steps to the Warrior Terrace and saw the city proper for the first time. I just stood there for several minutes mousing over all the people I could see and being impressed with their levels. I thought it was a huge deal to be near people who were level 40 and higher. I couldn’t even fathom being such a high level. The first place I headed in town was straight ahead of me to the bank. I mean it was a bear shaped tree, I had to get closer to it and check it out. I was so poor at the time I couldn’t even buy a bank slot yet. But I felt so important hanging out there by the mailboxes.
I spent quite a long time distractedly exploring all of Darnassus. I found the Auction House, the inn to set my hearthstone too, the Temple of the Moon, all of the stores and trainers. I looked into every nook and cranny. I even fell off the island by inspecting the waterfall and spent forever trying to figure out how to get my wisp form back to my body. But my favorite thing I stumbled across was the Riding Trainer and the Saber Handler. I love the Sabers so much, to me they are the coolest land mounts in all of Azeroth. I wouldn’t be getting a mount for months and months and months, but I spent a lot of time over those months staring longingly at the sabers. I googled screenshots of each different one trying to decide which would be the first one I would purchase. When I finally hit level 40…. I was still broke. I did not have enough money to buy my first mount. I was doing herbalism and alchemy at the time, so I could have been making money. But I was not working the Auction House at all. I was still completely clueless at this point and didn’t have anyone helping me out or telling me what I should be doing. Yes, my brother played, but he had even less money than me and didn’t log in as much as I did. But a few days after hitting 40 I swallowed my pride and asked my GM for a small loan. It was literally pocket change for him so he obliged me. I immediately went and bought myself a Striped Nightsaber. It was beautiful to me. It still is, but now that I own them all I really think the Striped Dawnsaber might be my favorite.
Why the trip down old-school memory lane? Because I miss Darnassus. I spent all of my time there in the very beginning. It’s like my childhood home. I used to hang out there, watching general chat and trade chat in an attempt to learn the lingo so I could pretend I knew what I was talking about in guild chat. [P.S. - don’t talk the way people in general chat and trade chat do]. As a druid, I could teleport to Moonglade and take a quick flight to Rut’theran Village, then walk through the pink stuff and boom! – I’m in Darnassas. I could set my hearthstone closer to where I was questing, but still get to a major city for the AH, bank, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love Stormwind City and Dalaran and I partially like Ironforge and Shattrath, but Darnassus is where I became me. And with all the lag that was in Dalaran and is now in Stormwind City, I am really mourning the fact that Darnassus remains mostly abandoned. Back when I was a lowbie, I thought it was an amazing bustling metropolis. But of course my first trip to Stormwind made me quickly realize that was not true. Darnassus is simply too far north to be a viable home city once you’re at any level over… idk, 30? Oh how I wish it were more convenient to be there. I would love to be able to make it my home once again and enjoy the fresh open air of a city that remains more natural than most. With the flight path to Darkshore and then a boat from Darkshore to Stormwind Harbor, it is almost within reach. Maybe I’ll stay there for a few days and see how it goes. If nothing else, I will at least have a few days of no lag at login and a quiet Auction House.