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Reader Comments (53)

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:04AM Morde said

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Probably Haven, the old Haven in Ultima Online. (Not New Haven!) The way it was setup, and the way the community worked around it - it was a beautiful location. Though I will admit that New Haven is better setup for getting a new player into the game with tutorials.

As for new starting zones, hate it. One of my most detested decisions in Vanguard was the addition of the Isle of Dawn. It utterly removed most players from choosing the original starting zones which were quite well designed with rich lore and original, interesting content.

Instead they go to IoD and get the buffed up equipment and are done with it.

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:44AM (Unverified) said

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The Shire. (Even if its not technically a "starting" zone, it's close enough). Tortage the first time through is fantastic.

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 9:57AM milkpudding said

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Word. LotRO has one of the best starting areas that I've ever played

Though I would pick Ered Luin if it's talking about beginners' area, not just starting area.
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Posted: Nov 17th 2010 9:17AM Tom in VA said

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Loved the Shire! (I absolutely hated Tortage, though...)
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Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:13AM alzeer said

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GW Pre-Searing Ascalon nothing else comes to mind

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:43AM Klojamir said

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I'd totally have to agree.
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Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:16AM (Unverified) said

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One of my favorite starting zone is in Vanguard - Vulmane starting zone. I felt immersed in it in any way music, background, everything. I love almost every one of the starting zones in Vanguard.

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:21AM Birk said

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It's a strange thing, but I think my all-time favourite starter zone is Dun Morogh in World of Warcraft. It just seems that nothing comes close to the warmth and happiness of walking into a dwarven inn from out of the cold.

It's also why I generally prefer snow-covered zones in MMOs.

Even though I live in Canada (weird, eh?)

-Birk

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:55AM (Unverified) said

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Halgarad - Vanguard. I still remember the first time I popped into the area surrounding it and being amazed. It happened to be the sun fading into the distance thru the pine and the feeling of seclusion is still unmatched by other games.

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:25AM (Unverified) said

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Hands down, it is the Shire in LOTRO. No other starting zone is so immersive and just fun to be in. It is a sad day when you have to leave the Shire. There is still some innocence and happiness there, which quickly goes away when you get into the heart of the game. Sometimes I go back and run around, I even have a particular hill I like to venture to, just to sit and relax and enjoy the scenery.

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:28AM Damn Dirty Ape said

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The Shire gives me nightmares of a billion fed ex quests. Get your own darn pie!
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Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:39AM Tom L said

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I agree about The Shire. I think making my first hobbit (and my last, a warden) was what finally got me hooked on Lotr:O. I'd tried the other zones and classes and was having a problem with grokking the game or why anyone liked it. The minute I went to The Shire, though, that changed. Now, it's the only starting zone I'll do on a new toon, regardless of race.

Ta,
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Posted: Nov 17th 2010 9:13AM aillas said

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I love the Shire as well, many of my favorite quests (across all MMO's I've played) are there:

* the one where you help the hobbit kids with the bag stuck in the tree, and eventually throw a rock that stirs up a bees nest
* the "haunted" library quest which turns out to be a squirrel
* the "dark rider" quest
* the quest where you help the walking tree escape the spider's nest

There are a few others too I can't think of right now. Some are combat, some aren't, but they fit in perfectly.

As far as learning, pre-Searing Ascalon in GW is great also. You get a handful of skills, a few zones and outposts, and a variety of quests set for low level chars. You get to multi-class with every other one. There a hidden area with the Yakkington guy, the duo area with high level char (for pre-searing), and beautiful scenery all over.
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Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:36AM Pan1 said

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That is actually a very good question.

I really can't choose, it would either have to be the port/harbour in Anarchy Online or the dropship in Tabula Rasa.

For me entering the game has to make sense.
Just randomly spawning into the world is the easy solution.
If I can suspend disbelief I'm a happy camper.

I personally feel there should only be 1 start area.
It can evolve over time to freshen things up. Though I feel for now the actual potential of starting zones is not really being explored.

What if' the starter zone would be the character creation?
Appearance,class (if need be), faction (if need be) etc.
Telling people how to walk isn't perhaps the most interesting of activities.

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:44AM timthel0rd said

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Orc starting area from WAR, or GW starting area.

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 7:09PM drakon said

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The Greenskin starting area was very well done. It seemed full of life and fit what I imagined a Greenskin area should be. The quest that flings you on the Dwarf wall was very cool. The public quest was interesting (with the Giant and all). Unfortunately it's all down hill from there.
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Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:45AM Ocho said

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The Shire in LotRO.... truly shows the idyllic culture the hobbits have and really is a good starting point that starts you off nice and peaceful as the story descends into darkness.

Pre-Searing Ascalon in GW. The first time I played it, fresh from playing WoW, I was shocked to see a zone I spent a few days in and thought was just the peaceful starting area totally and utterly demolished and changed into a wasteland. It really brought you into the world that, really, there's a bad war going on... and you're on the losing side...

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:48AM Aganazer said

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The starting island in DDO. Its my favorite because it was such an eye-opener about what a dungeon instance can and should be. No other game has ever come close to making dungeons come alive like Turbine did. I'll be surprised if the next generation of MMOG's can even come close.

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 8:49AM (Unverified) said

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Not quite a starting zone, but suitably low-level.

The Barrens. Yup, hands down.

It has it all. Horrible, tired jokes, rage, tears, raids on the Crossroads, more strife, more tears rinse ad nauseum. The Barrens is the 4chan of MMO universe. Its fun sitting back and watching the trainwreck develop before your eyes.

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 4:26PM (Unverified) said

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The barrens is under attack
The barrens is under attack
The barrens is under attack
The barrens is under attack

That puts me off the barrens. I always end up in The Ghostlands nowadays.
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