13 July 2012

Dollhouse: Green Grass, Purple Shade


Only one race has the privilege of saying they live in a tree. Rising up out of the sea is the great tree Teldrassil, planted in an attempt to recreate the World Tree. In addition to the night elf starting area, the tree houses the capital city of the night elves. Friendly players will most likely approach from the sea, taking either a boat or hippogryph flight to the now-reclaimed Rut'theran Village. Teldrassil is little more than a looming shadow from this vantage point. The only things to do on Rut'theran's island are take one of three boats or step through the glowing pink portal.


Once among the branches, the city of Darnassus is laid out in an open, circular pattern. Major quarters ring the edges, while the central bank is surrounded by a large lake. I'm not sure if the trees on Teldrassil count as trees or merely branches, but the night elves make the most of them by carving them into buildings.


Just beside the city's portal is the flight master and quartermaster. Straight ahead is the tree housing the central bank, which is filled with piles and piles of gold behind an open window. Going counter-clockwise from the portal will bring players to the Temple of the Moon, where the High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind and her consort Arch-Druid Malfurion Stormrage hold court with diplomats and Sisters of Elune. This section draws on the Nordic-influenced elven architecture, with lots of lichen-covered towers and pillars. The white marble gives a cool solemnity to the religious center, and the few alcoves allude to quiet study by pious worshippers.


Continuing the circuit brings us to the Tradesmen's Terrace, which houses the city's auction house and several vendors. The buildings here are many-storied, wooden, and open in their construction. Many lack doors and only have enough walls to support the structure. The pathways are packed dirt and lined with grass and purple-leaved trees. Even though it's a capital city I can't help but want to take my shoes off and go for a walk! Happily, there are a few empty rooms that roleplayers could easily take up residence in. This section even features a barracks for the Sentinels!



Skipping back through the Temple Gardens, taking advantage of the lovely stone bridges over the lake, we come to the Cenarion Enclave, my Ally home-away-from-home. (What wouldn't I give for something like this in Thunderbluff?) The buildings are hollowed-out trees that house druid, hunter, and the elusive rogue trainers, and players can train their riding skill and purchase nightsaber mounts here. The top room in the druid section is conspicuously empty. The walls leading to the underground rogue trainers have some interesting runes carved in them!





Northeast of the Enclave is a recent addition to the city: The Howling Oak. This is the sanctuary for the Gilnean worgen, and houses class trainers and refugees and not much else. The atmosphere itself is cool enough: the Oak is a "worgen tree" much like the massive Tal'doren in the worgen starting area. Mysteriously, there are no residences at all here.


Southeast from the Enclave is the Craftsmen's Terrace, which holds the city's inn, the Argent Dawn ambassadors, and the city's profession trainers and vendors. Here are more wooden, open buildings, some of which contain creature comforts like beds and privacy screens, the answer to wall-less rooms. Along the outer edge are spectacular, five tiered buildings. When there was no flying in Azeroth, these were perfect, but now that I can fly up to peek in the frosted windows I would love to be able to fly right inside and move in!


Last, but not least, is the Warrior's Terrace. This brings us back to the classic marble pillars and houses the warrior trainers and battlemasters tucked away in corners. Continuing east through the wide walkway will bring players once again onto soft grass. Heading past the wisps and ancients will bring you to Teldrassil proper.



Darnassus has cool relaxation down to an art. You can see the serenity reflected in the open, guileless architecture and layout of the city and feel it in the always-shady, damp and mossy flora directly intwined with the buildings. There are a few locations in the city perfect for roleplayers to insinuate themselves into the daily life alongside the NPCs, which makes me very happy! As much as I love my Hordies, gorgeous cities like this one make me wish I could visit them more regularly.


Green Grass, Purple Shade

12 comments:

  1. I agree the Nelfs have gorgeous homes compared to our rustic huts. Nice pics Aka.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most gorgeous! I love their style :D

      Delete
  2. Darnassus is my favourite city! I prefer it to Silvermoon, although the latter is lovely too. Always feel really at home and tranquil there, so this was a great post :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Darnassus was my first "wow" moment in the game. My original toon was a night elf druid, and after making my way through Teldrassil hitting things with my staff (yes, I know), I finally made it to Darnassus. I remember walking up the road that led in and feeling a sense of awe as the music changed and "Darnassus - Alliance Territory" flashed across the screen. And that feeling of awe just continued as I ran through, completely amazed at this gigantic city with tons of stuff around. Somehow I managed to ignore the tradechat that suddenly popped up at the bottom of my screen.

    Even though I barely play Alliance now, Darnassus still always feels like home to me. There's just something about it I love, and that sense of wonder has never replicated itself in any other city, Alliance or Horde. Thank you for this post, it brought back some fun memories! Someday I swear I will actually RP in that city!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My first toon was a human, but I had the same awe-inducing moment when zone text popped up on the screen. Something about it is so...epic??

      Delete
  4. Really great post.

    I sometimes forget how beautiful my home city is since Stormwind is the central hub now. Great screenshots. I love the colours and the architecture of Darnassus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Don't forget to drop by your city...the trees must miss you! :P

      Delete
  5. Love the screens and interesting info!

    I don't often visit Darnassus except for world events anymore, but it always brings back good memories of when I first started playing WoW (my NE druid being my first char.) For some reason I just loved the architecture and woody feeling of everything and had fun messing around looking at all the furniture and finishings of the buildings. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cities like this one make me wish I played Alliance more often ><

      Delete
  6. I love Darnassus, that's why my banker is a human expat living there. You've got to love a bear bank!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That bank has spunk and pizzazz!

      Delete