Kul Tiras is truly a quaint place when you think about it. Each of its three zones hold a unique sense of awe and wonder, while still making you feel like you could get one from corner of the map to the other in a matter of seconds. Whether it’s the simple beauty of the Tiragarde Sound, the stunning balance of regality and humility found in the Stormsong Valley, or the haunting mystique of Drustvar, there’s a little something for everyone no matter where you roam in Kul Tiras.
And perhaps that’s what I’ve loved the most about Battle for Azeroth. Of course it’s reasonable to criticize the expansion for its shortcomings, but when it comes to the structure of each zone and the miniature worlds that have been built within, it’s obvious that Blizzard excelled greatly.
Still, some zones are stronger than others, and with each area of the world, there’s always going to be a tiny subzone in each expansion that stands out extraordinarily. For me, some of those places include the Tian Monastery from Mists of Pandaria, the Azurewing Repose from Legion, and the Amberpine Lodge from Wrath of the Lich King.
In Battle for Azeroth, that area is the Norwington Estate.
There’s just something about this area in Tiragarde that stands out immensely when compared to the rest of the continent as a whole. There’s many little settlements in Kul Tiras ranging across each continent, but there’s nothing like a full-blown private estate that’s completely disconnected from the rest of the world.
No matter where you go in BfA, there’s always some life-threatening peril that needs to be stopped immediately. The fate of the world is always on your shoulders. Between fighting the worshippers of Azshara, the remnants of the Drust empire, or the opposing faction as a whole, it seems like wherever you turn, there’s always a massive threat that you have to face next.
That isn’t the case at the Norwington Estate. There’s no major threat, there’s no imminent disaster. There’s simply peace.
Which is definitely strange for a continent that’s been completely ravaged by war. Sure, there’s definitely some quests where conflict arises – particularly with the Horde – but 99% of the time, the Norwington Estate is a place where you can go and be completely disassociated from the struggles and issues of the world (of Warcraft).
What I find so intriguing about the estate, regardless of whether I’m leveling through there again or just stopping by on a max level character, is that the entirety of the area is completely unrelated to the rest of BfA. The themes of war, death, and conflict aren’t present here. If anything, the Norwington Estate is a place where the wealthy elite of Kul Tiras can escape from all of the aforementioned plagues consuming Kul Tiras. Nobles from across the land are partaking in an “uppity” celebration that never ends, ignoring the struggles of the continent and the world as a whole. Ironically enough, your character can do the same.
Between a prestigious equestrian competition, a surplus of fireworks, and lively music coupled with dancing, you would never know that there was a historic, intercontinental conflict happening just outside the walls of the Norwington Estate. A perfect balance of amusement and tranquility makes the Norwington Estate’s neverending Equestrian and Hunt Festival is an event that I always want to come back to. The area is boisterous, yet serene. Lively, yet gentle. The disconnect from the “real world” of Azeroth might be immense here – but that’s precisely why I love it.
Photo Credit: World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment