The Eastern Kingdoms is rife with conflict, whether it's the battles in Gilneas, the uprising of the trolls in Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub, or the plague-ridden shores of what used to be Southshore. Much like Kalimdor, the shattered lands are riddled with the continued brawling between Alliance and Horde. But you can still find a few spots here and there to get away from it all -- the dwarves of Dun Morogh have the right idea about it, like the one pictured above. Sometimes, you want to forget about the battles and just take a day off and go sledding.
Kalimdor may be riddled with conflict, but there are still some beautiful places for characters to get away and take a vacation, as we saw last week. Quiet locations in the Eastern Kingdoms may be a little harder to find, but there are still quite a few places where a character can take a welcome breather from the endless struggles of war.
Gilneas may be in the middle of a back-and-forth struggle between the Gilnean citizens and the Forsaken, but there's still beauty to be found in the gloomy hills. The flower-strewn arbor shown above may not be the best vacation spot in the world, but it's deserted and suitable for guild gatherings and events -- or heck, even a wedding, for that matter! The nearby hills are strewn with worgen, but since Gilneas is a leveling zone for new characters, they're all low level and don't really pose any immediate danger. There are plenty of benches for seating, and the path is strewn with flowers, an odd little moment of beauty in an otherwise bleak zone.
The arbor is located in Gilneas at coordinates 83,57, atop an otherwise deserted hill just northeast of Tempest's Reach. There are no NPCs of either faction nearby, so both Horde and Alliance characters can feel free to gather here without worry. If your character isn't able to fly, there are no worries about that either -- the area is easily reached on foot or on mount. Again, there are low-level worgen patrolling the area below the arbor, so characters that are extremely low level might want an escort, but it shouldn't pose a problem to level 85 roleplayers at all.
The gloom of Gilneas got your character down? Well there's always the cozy little camp in Dun Morogh pictured above. Nestled high in the snowy hills of the area, this tiny getaway offers a tent, a campfire, and a ... giant clockwork spider robot? Well, yes, but the robot doesn't go anywhere, and characters who are engineers might like the idea of being able to poke around in a piece of real gnomish engineering just to see what makes it tick! There are no NPCs or hostile mobs in the surrounding area, making this a great spot to have a snowball fight or simply settle around the campfire and tell a few tales.
This campsite is located at coordinates 34,61, north of Anvilmar and high in the mountains. Speaking of high in the mountains, while it may not be impossible to do some creative climbing to get up here, the easiest way is to simply fly on up, or if you're a low-level player, ask a friend for a summon or a ride. There are no NPCs of either faction here, so both Alliance and Horde players can feel free to visit without risk. If your character is looking for a wintry getaway, this camp is absolutely perfect! But hey, it's not all that Dun Morogh has to offer ...
Maybe fishing is more your character's speed! I know, the last thing you think of when you think of Dun Morogh is fishing, but there's a nice little hidden hideway on Dun Morogh's coast. You'll have to share with a few retired goblins, but otherwise, there's nothing here but a dock and the clear blue sea. Bloodsail Admirals, beware -- the goblins here are flagged with Booty Bay, so if you're not friendly with the Steamwheedle Cartel, you may not want to pay this place a visit. Since these guys are Booty Bay and not Bilgewater, Alliance and Horde both can spend some quality time here if they wish to.
It may not look like it in the picture above, but this place is actually in Dun Morogh proper, albeit on the coast. Located at coordinates 17,75 on the Dun Morogh map, this fishing getaway has a dock, the NPC goblins, and an empty house as well, just in case your character doesn't feel quite up to completely roughing it in the great outdoors. Low-level players can get here by swimming around the coast, but it's a fairly long swim; it's far easier to get to with a flying mount. If your character doesn't mind spending some time with a retired goblin and swapping some stories about the one that got away, this may be the perfect location.
If, on the other hand, your character would rather do some fishing on their own, there's a great spot nestled in the hills above Elwynn Forest. This is actually a pretty well-known location, accessible with a bit of a hike in the days before we could use flying mounts; it's gotten considerably easier to get to these days, however. For Alliance players, this place is literally a quick flight east of Stormwind, making it a good spot for a vacation that feels miles away from the world but is in reality pretty close to the action. It's a bit more of a hike for Horde players, but since it's not in Stormwind proper, you won't find yourself suddenly flagged for PvP. There's even another camp a little farther down the river that's a little more secluded with a few more trees around, too!
This quiet little pond is located at coordinates 53,15 in Elwynn Forest. For Alliance players, simply fly east from the island with the portals to the Cataclysm zones; for Horde players, you'll likely want to fly to the Burning Steppes and then head southwest from there. There are no NPCs in the direct vicinity, although Horde players will want to make sure they don't travel too far to the west, unless they want to run into Stormwind territory. While you can hike your way up to this area from the Burning Steppes, it's much easier to simply fly. Low-level characters will need to take a summons or a ride up to this restful little retreat, but it's well worth the trip!
I know, right now you think I am absolutely crazy, suggesting a character would enjoy a vacation in a high-level troll instance like Zul'Gurub. Except this version of Zul'Gurub is 100% troll-free. Say what? That's right -- not a troll to be found here, just a bunch of pretty amazing scenery, a vast spread of troll ruins and villages, complete with a temple at the center that looks nothing like Hakkar's temple in the heroic Zul'Gurub we're running through. So what gives? Well ... this is the Zul'Gurub you'll find if you simply fly over the wall, rather than zoning in. It's what Zul'Gurub looked like before it was even a raid, way back in vanilla. It's a complete zone, but it's missing all those nasty mobs that would make quick work of a low-level character.
You already know Zul'Gurub is located in the northeast corner of Stranglethorn Vale, but what you may not have known is that flying over that wall means you're in a different ZG altogether. It is more reminiscent of the old raid layout than the new 5-man layout, but there are still plenty of differences, like the troll village above, which never existed in the raid, instead replaced by a few camps and a lot of trash mobs. The center of the place is vastly different from what it looked like in either the raid or the 5-man, and a lot of the areas have temples that were never there in the "real" versions of the zone.
In short, there are a ton of places to explore here, and none of them are populated with mobs, so it's ideal for characters that would like to get away but do some exploring while they're at it. Low-level characters will either need a ride over the wall or a summons inside, but once there, they can feel free to wander to their heart's content without worrying about anything lurking nearby. And hey, who wouldn't want to say that they spent their vacation trolling around in what used to be the heart of troll civilization? That's not just a vacation -- that's an adventure!
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