Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Darnassus vs Exodar

Where do you go to visit AH and do other errands? A little while ago I made a comparison between Stormwind an Ironforge, in the belief that the Alliance players pretty much were either SW lovers or IF friends. Reading all the comments I realized though that I’d been pretty careless, even though my intention was to do this properly.

1. I didn’t with one single word mention the horde major cities. It totally slipped my mind and I guess it’s an example of alliance self centred behaviour at is worst. I can only apology to my horde readers. Even if I had remembered horde cities, I wouldn’t have been able to say anything about them, since I’ve just had a brief look at a couple of them on some low level alt ages ago. Anyway, you helped me out in your comments, so now we’ve got some information about those exotic places as well. Thank you for that!

2. I acknowledged that I purposely had let out Darnassus from the evaluation. But I didn’t say anything about Exodar. I just didn’t think about it. I guess I’ve never ever felt at home there since I look upon it as a sort of trap, which is better avoided.

A trap? What do I mean by that? Is it some kind of lore thing – perhaps draenei and gnomes are at war? No, not quite. The thing is that I’ve got a notorious bad sense for directions and easily get lost in dungeons, as people who have met me in game know by now. It has happened a few times that friends from my old server have dropped by, creating an alt at this server, just to say hi. Usually they want to see Larísa face to face, so we can do a few cute emos and they can inspect me. And for some reason they insist on making draenei. So it always end the same way:
Friend whispers: “Can’t you pop by and say hi?”. Larísa teleports to Exodar but is unable to find the exit. It ends up with the friend having to come to Exodar and meet up, since Larísa is still trapped in the glass palace.

I guess it’s no wonder that Exodar isn’t on top of my mind. I’ve simply repressed the memory of it.

Anyway, I clearly felt that my comparison was sort of half after last time. So even if I can’t do anything about the horde cities, at least I could do some research about Darnassus and Exodar, in the same way as I did before. And here are the results!

Distance to facilities Portal place (where I appear) – bank
Darnassus: 30 sec
Exodar 14 sec
Both places are well below the numbers of IF and SW and Exodar is just amazing. An extra plus for Exodar is that you actually appear right in front of a repair guy.An extra plus for Darnassus is that you can stay mounted while at the bank. In Exodar it’s an annoying walk down into a cellar.
Bank – battleground masters:
Darnassus: 20 sec
Exodar: 29 sec
Again the distances are shorter than in IF and SW. In Darnassus it’s just a wonderful, straight line, where you can mount the whole way and you have waters nearby where you can level your fishing while waiting for the AV lines.

In Exodar it’s a little more tricky to get there, but still not far or annoying as in SW.

Auctionhouse – mailbox/bank
Darnassus: 25 sec
Exodar: 12 sec/0 sec
The AH in Darnassus is quite far away and you’ve really got to know where to look if you want to find it. I couldn’t see any mailbox closer than the one at the bank, but I may have missed one.

In Exodar the bank and AH are close to each other. Still they’ve put up a mailbox right outside the AH, which is just wonderful.Bank – reagent vendor: Darnassus: 38 secExodar: 16 sec Comment: Again I was looking for a reagent vendor with full stock, who sells vials as well as powder and runes. Now Darnassus is very spread out and confusing. I may have missed something, but I couldn’t find any vendor closer than the one at the alchemist trainer. A very annoying place to reach since you’ve got to come from the right direction, jumping to the platform. Bah.

Bank – repair guy
Darnassus: 19 sec
Exodar: 14 sec.
The repair guy in Darnassus is available while mounted, as many other things in Darnassus, which will save you a great deal of time. In Exodar you’ve probably already repaired since you spawned right in front of him.

2. Looks and atmosphere

Neither of the cities have the majestic looks of SW and IF. They are rather outposts in the wild. Both are pretty bright when it comes to colour. Personally I prefer the open skies and the greenery of Darnassus to the transparent mysticism of Exodar.

What really strikes me about the atmosphere though is that both places are pretty empty of anything but NPCs. If you put it nicely you can really be left in peace here. It’s places for contemplation. If you look at it from other side it feels very lonely. Not that I miss the beggars and gold sellers, but hey, it’s supposed to be cities – you want some people around you.

3. Miscellaneous observations

  • Those places are really far away from everything. The fp of Exodar is a bit further away from the bank since it’s outdoors, but why would you want to go there in the first place, there’s only one destination to go to… I think the portal to the fp in Darnassus is pretty cool and you can mount the whole way. But there aren’t many places you want to access this way. If you’re going to CoT in Tanaris for instance you use the portal in Shattrath or at least go by Theramore. Only reason I can think of if you’re lvl 70 is to collect herbs in Winterspring and such. So if you go to either place you’re likely to HS back to where you came from.
  • Darnassus is excellent for fishing. That’s the good side about building a city in a marsh, at least if you want it to be a bit quiet around you when you fish. To fish in Exodar you’ll have to walk outside, but it’s not far. Neither of the places offer daily fishing q though.
  • If you’re a Mooncloth tailor there’s a moonwell in Darnassuss.
  • Doors and such in Exodar are said to be better adapted to draenae players and their mounts (I can’t verify this, since I only play gnomes at the moment.)
  • Exodar is ridiculously hard to learn to find your way in. Everything looks exactly the same – transparent glass and pinkish and purple light. I finally found the way out of town (an annoyingly long run up the ramp). There’s also a well hidden way out on the backside, but it doesn’t save much time. When I did my research I got lost several times. It really gave me a headache.
  • Darnassus is also very confusing. I can’t believe those tradesmen really get many customers.

My conclusions

Even though there are a few good things about Exodar and Darnassus, neither of them is really quite as good as Stormwind or Ironforge. I think they’re too messy and the atmosphere doesn’t attract me. They’re also isolated, far away from everything. There’s no interesting raiding instance around and when it domes to Exodar, you’re stuck on a very small island.

You could go to the outposts if the pesting from beggars in the major city just becomes too much to you. Perhaps you just want to wait patiently for a BG queue? Then Darnassus is a nice waiting spot in my opinion. You can also go there if you just feel that you need a change of environment, like you’re off for vacation.

Or you may call them your home if you really want to stick out from the crowd, not walking the same roads as everyone else in the game does. It’s a part of your identity: “I’m an Exodar fan”.
When it comes to me, I’ll stick to the conclusion from my former post – I’ll give Ironforge an honest chance, which I haven’t before.


gnomeaggedon.net said...

I think I have been to Exodar once, to pick up a recipe from memory (and maybe portal spell?), but recenly heard it was great for access to facilities.

But I guess I am an old-school Gnome. Never had one of those new fangled races, never explored the area.

Darnassus I find painful, but once again, because I have only ever used it as a shortcut to the Timbermaw.

I am going to stick with IF.. Shattrah doesn't even do it for me... why run to a central place for a port, when I can call one up anywhere I want?

Gevlon said...

I've seen SW and IF 3 days ago although I'm playing WoW one and a half year (as hordie). IF is much more useable and harder to get lost. I use that as hub.

Darnassus was seen first yesterday. Magnificent. It's away from everything but a beautiful place to be.

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