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World of Warcraft Nostalgia: Duskwood

Updated on May 15, 2013
Darkshire
Darkshire

Technically next in the journey would be Redridge but nothing too memorable to me ever happened there. It was just a short zone with a few elite quests which were fun to group up for, not much else. Well I suppose the Loch monster was pretty cool and it's a shame that it was replaced with a shark in the zone revamp.

Theme

But on to Duskwood! This is one of my all time favorite zones despite the headaches it could give back in vanilla. This was one of those zones where you ran...a lot. Keep in mind this was before you got your mount at level 20, so those long treks across the zone took awhile and there were no flight path short cuts either. It was also an incredibly hostile zone, so cutting through the woods at certain parts could slow you down if you ran into too many wolves, spiders, or worgen.

The reason I like this zone so much really comes down to its atmosphere. Duskwood is a very dark place in lighting and color pallet. The worgen and undead also help really solidify the spooky feeling you get as you quest there. To this day the theme has really kept up even if some of the more memorable qualities have deteriorated.

Vanilla Map of Duskwood
Vanilla Map of Duskwood

The Legend of Stalvan

But of course, running. Two quests really made you go back and forth and those were The Hermit and The Legend of Stalvan. First off the Legend of Stalvan was a quest that took you out of the zone. First you'd just talk to someone in Duskwood and be sent off to gather clues. Your first stop was Moon Brook in Westfall and then back to Duskwood. You'd then head to Eastvale logging camp and then Goldshire before heading to Stormwind and then finally returned to Duskwood to fight Stalvan. Lots and lots of running with very few convenient flight paths. Despite all the running, I always thought this was one of the cooler quests. One that really got you into the story, I actually read all the parts on my first character, which was rare for me.

Roads you'd get used to looking at
Roads you'd get used to looking at

The Hermit and Stitches

Then the more memorable Hermit quest line. This was where you had to keep running from Darkshire to the graveyard which were literally at the opposite ends of the zone. Each time you'd do one more task for the Hermit and it would end with you being duped. The entire time you were helping him resurrect his wife as a ghoul as well as help him create an Abomination called “Stitches”. What was so cool about this quest was that in the end it would spawn Stitches who would make his way towards Darkshire to attack it.


Back in vanilla, Stitches was a level 40 elite who would just wreck players level appropriate to the zone (mid 20's). He would slowly make his way from the graveyard to the town, killing a lot of guards along the way. A lot of the time, higher level players would come by and kill him but not always. If no one stopped him, he would reach Darkshire and actually kill a lot of the npcs before dying himself. This was before incredibly high level guards would spawn in town, so the guards were between levels 20-40 so the monster was still a threat to them.


Throughout the course of the game Stitches lost power. First they introduced high level guards, so the town was safe. Then he eventually lost his elite status and eventually was turned into a level 25. He is still around today but is really only there for nostalgic purposes more than anything else.

Stitches!
Stitches!

Mor'ladim

Two other quests were pretty epic back in the day as well in this zone, one was for Mor'ladim and the other was for that strange house up on the top of the hill in the cemetery. Everyone remembers Mor'ladim, the elite skeleton that patrolled the graveyard and would kill unsuspecting players. He was pretty tough but what a lot of people didn't know back then (including myself) was that there was a quest related to him. This quest could be picked up off an interact-able gravestone. The quest did not appear on the map and this grave was out of the way, so unless you wandered around clicking on everything, you didn't notice it. This was another quest that required you to move back and forth between the graveyard and town where you spoke to Mor'ladim's living daughter. The quest even ended with the, now at rest, spirit of Mor'ladim saying goodbye to his daughter and you would receive his sword as a reward.


Finally the house on top of the hill. One of the cooler parts of the zone, for as you reached it everything gets very dark and a purple haze appears. Inside is a mage who is almost invincible because of a barrier he has. Sven (the quest giver) has you recover a holy artifact (which also required you to travel to Menethil Harbor) that destroys his barrier for a short time. This item was also an off-hand weapon so if you used a 2-hander, too bad. He was still tough though and required a group to kill him. I only ever did once in vanilla because honestly, despite the cool set up, it was a huge hassle to complete this quest.

House on top of the Hill
House on top of the Hill

There was also the Twilight Grove hidden in the middle of the zone. It was completely surrounded by a mountain and there was only one path up it. Funnily enough, I never went there on my first character. It wasn't until some time later that I found it and it is one of the more amazing spots in the game. Suddenly you enter Night Elf woods and a giant portal sits in the middle. This was one of the spots where a world boss could spawn but I never fought that one back in vanilla, only much later (Wrath) when I could 3-man it.

Twilight Grove
Twilight Grove

After writing this I just realized how much running this zone really entailed. All on foot. Next time I shall talk about the dreaded Stranglethorn Vale. You either loved that zone or hated it.

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      Inigo 3 years ago

      I've only been playing (very casually) about 3 1/2 years, but I found your pages when I was reminiscing about some of my favorite quest chains. I have to agree with you; Duskwood is one of my favorite zones. In fact, I'm leveling a monk now so I can repeat some of these quests you mentioned.

      I remember taking on Stitches with a couple of my guildies. I was on a wireless connection, and my router had been acting up on me. Right in the middle of battle the router decided to reboot itself. I got the connection back, logged back in as fast as possible, and managed to help my two friends finish off Stitches right before they were about to die!

      Duskwood has such good quest lines. They are the kind that I remember long after; the ones that tell a compelling story and have a satisfying (and sometimes sad) ending. The Mor'ladim quest line is one of my favorites. Another zone that I remember fondly is Dustwallow Marsh. The "Smiling Jim" quests remind me of Mor'ladim; they both have an emotional end. I was sad to learn that the Smiling Jim quests are gone after Cataclysm. I would have liked to have done them one more time.

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      Author

      Christopher Gordon 3 years ago from Massachusettes

      I'm glad you liked reading this. I really miss the old Stitches, the current watered down version is a crying shame.

      The more I think about it, I think you're right about Duskwood having the most memorable quest lines. I can actually remember the story of several of the quests because they were told so well even if you didn't read the quest text.

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