This post is somewhat delayed so I’m going to have to cram several IntPiPoMo posts into the remaining week and a bit of November in order to hit my target of 50 pictures. For this third post I’m showcasing some of my favourite MMO locales, places in these virtual worlds that I found strikingly beautiful, memorable or otherwise extraordinary. There are twelves images representing these locales after the cut.
The Deeprun Tram, WoW
The Deeprun Tram, running between Stormwind and Ironforge blew my mind when I first started playing WoW. It spoke of the grandeur and wonder of a deeply detailed virtual world. It also harks back to a time when travel was more onerous and more social than the modern era of flight almost everywhere all of the time.
Zul’Drak, World of Warcraft
This zone in the Northrend continent was my favourite zone in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. It’s rich pickings for Troll lore and has the evident threat of the scourge in the two brooding Necropoleis floating above it.
Celondim and its surroundings is the starter zone for Elven characters. I’ve always found the area serene yet tinged with the sadness of the people living there. Most blogposts I have read about the starter zones seem to prefer the Shire but I have a particular fondness for the mountains of Ered Luin.
This particular section of the epic main storyline in LOTRO is set in the citadel of Isenguard, home of Saruman the Wizard. The quests are very memorable and told from a totally different perspective than the usual “hero of the story” trope of MMORPGs.
Taris offers a contrast to the civilised city-worlds like Coruscant or Nar Shaddaa. It’s a planet where nature has taken back over. The broken hulks of the once towering buildings offer some exploration fun for interesting vistas. It also has some wonderful nods to the KOTOR games.
Despite the civil war brewing among the nobility, I do find Alderaan a nice change of pace in SWTOR since it’s a beautiful, mountainous world with little of the signs of devastation from the galactic war visible on other worlds. As a bonus you get to fly between mission zones on giant manta-like Thranta.
Atlantic Island Park, Savage Coast, The Secret World
There were many possibilities for this entry from The Secret World but this ultra-creepy Amusement Park in Savage Coast is possibly the most atmospheric location I’ve ever come across in any MMO.
Metrica Province, Guild Wars 2
Since my favourite race in Guild Wars 2 is the Asura, it follows that I have particularly fond memories of early play sessions in the Metrica Province starter zone. It was very exciting to explore and the architecture and zone design was so detailed and intricate.
Labyrinthine Cliffs, Guild Wars 2
Back in July 2013, the Bazaar of the Four Winds appeared in Guild Wars 2 offering a new zone full of exploration, collection activities and some combat events. It was an aching beautiful zone which I thoroughly enjoyed despite the emphasis on jumping challenges.
La Noscea, Final Fantasy 14
The weather and daylight/night cycles in Final Fantasy 14 are particularly impressive. Although my character is loyal to Uldah and a member of the Immortal Flames, I have a soft spot for the coastal region of La Noscea because I love the seaside/piratical themes of the region and because the sunsets here just can’t be beat.
Of the Wildstar zones I’ve played through Algoroc, with its Wild West frontier vibe is my favourite. It also features an impressive gigantic Eldan robot set piece finale that’s hard to beat!
Lakkar’s Axe, Neverwinter
The Icespire Peaks are a generally impressive mountain zone in this game but they are particularly memorable for the giant’s axe that is now used as a bridge to cross a ravine.
This is the lot, many were tough choices but it’s hopefully some good illustrations of the many wonderful locales our virtual selves can visit.