Turns out that my gf doesn’t share my opinion of BRD. Specifically, she hates how long it is and how no-one ever goes anywhere in the right direction. Even the final quest requires the party to run back through a flame room and trash-infested irritation to hand in.
Hence we’re spending a little time questing. Now, every time I mention Silithus and laugh, my gf asks “what do you mean?”. See, she’s never had the exquisite experience of claustrophobic tunnels, groups of mobs travelling together in overlapping patrols with no space to safely fight them, quests that turn in literally across the map and repeatedly send the player back…
But there’s another side. Silithus is unique. She’s never had that experience because there is nowhere else in the game where one can. Blasted lands is the other option at lvl 55. Blasted lands is yet another red wasteland, though. Some characters have been seeing this since their starting zone. Right through Durotar, both sides of the barrens, the blasted lands, burning steppes, searing gorge… even hellfire peninsula is more of the same to look forward to.
Silithus is a desert, yes… but it’s unique. The weird floating crystals, the spires surrounded by swarms of bugs, the quivering claws extending from bugs’ nests, the completely alien structures of the nests themselves…
Some of these elements are found elsewhere, yes, with the silithids’ incursions into other zones. However, nothing is on the unnatural scale that we see in Silithus. It’s hostile, alien, largely mysterious… even the lack of other players just aids the feeling of isolation and brooding presence.
Odd thing is there seem to be some phasing artifacts in Silithus. It kind of adds to the atmosphere when a mob will walk across your field of view, then disappear in the middle to reappear a few hundred feet further down later on. I don’t know if it was always like this, and I don’t know if there’s actually something there, planned, waiting for us… but the thought of it is delicious. This was the stronghold of the Old Gods in Vanilla. Surely the world can’t have passed it by so completely?
Even if the artifacts are just a bug or in my imagination, all it does is add to the atmosphere and prove exactly how the place can capture one’s imagination. So yes, Silithus is presently neglected and outdated to the point where the first quest you can pick up tries to send you to the blasted lands. Yes, the quests are largely terrible and the mobs are a nuisance. But as a genuine change in scenery, it’s really a breath of fresh air.