Unlike a lot of places from vanilla World of Warcraft, I do not have much in the way of fond memories of Darkshore.
I wouldn’t say it was horrible, but it occupied the same level range as Westfall and Loch Modan, both of which were better zones. (Reality check on leveling speed: Back in vanilla I used to finish up Westfall and then go do Loch Modan, finishing that zone up while quests were still green.) Westfall stood out especially, not so much due to the quality of quests… oh, there were a few horrible “kill many of thing x, y, and z” in there… but because it had a central story that integrated with the Deadmines instance. You were officially done with the zone only when you turned in the final quest and had your name shouted across the zone by Gryan Stoutmantle.
And Westfall was a reasonable size. You had to run around as much as in any other quest chain, but the square-ish shape of the zone. Likewise, Loch Modan was also squared off, though it had that lake in the middle.
My memories of Darkshore though, they tend to center around running up and down the length of that zone over and over for this quest and that quest, along with a couple of quests with rather vague directions that ended up with me lost as to where to go and what to do. But mostly running.
The one flight point was in Auberdine (one flight point per zone was all a you got most of the time back then) and hoofing it back and forth for progressively more distant quests, first to the north and then to the south was wearing. I tried running the zone a couple of times way back when as an alternative to Westfall, which I had done so many times, but ended up with the impression that it was much better to just repeat Westfall.
And then came Cataclysm, which brought changes to a lot of the old world of Azeroth.
While I still grumble about the changes to Westfall… though in truth, aside from some awkward phasing and the death of old Blanchy, whose blanket we used to wear with pride, isn’t all bad… and remain unconvinced Loch Modan is better for the change, Darkshore is another story.
And Darkshore was one of the zones hit hard by the events of Cataclysm, so there was a chance to make it a better zone, or at least one that flowed more smoothly. Or maybe just some more interesting scenery.
I know I have run at least a bit of Darkshore post-Cataclysm. The worgen starter zone dumps you in Darnassus and points you towards Darkshore as the next zone to run. But that might have been back during the Cataclysm beta. Right now I only have a single worgen character on my account, and he ran through Westfall with the instance group during our Cataclysm re-roll. I could have deleted a character (possible), or ran it on another server and have lost track of him (slim, but possible), but beta seems like the most likely answer.
Now, with my Loremaster summer project under way, I have the chance/opportunity/obligation to run through the zone again, in full. So I took my new night elf rogue, fresh from the starter zone and finally wearing long pants.
More after the cut.