I really want to start in Ul'Dah so I can see if things like this can make up for the fact that the area around it looks like HD Tahronghi Canyon >.> I'm hoping for awesome dust clouds and stuff, but I'm scared I'm gonna disappoint myself with its barren-ness and have to start in Gridania.
I started in Bastok in FFXI, and tend to do similar things in other MMOs in regards to starting in desert-like areas. Bastok in particular I ended up developing a great love for that I think would have never blossomed without it being my home city.
The great part of it, and the reason for starting in a desert area, is to really be happy when I first encounter lush landscapes. I -love- trees and water, and I want to be thoroughly happy when I first encounter a tree that isn't halfway dead. I don't want to start in a forest and find trees to be average and expected, only to find a desert and think "I wish I were back in the forest". It makes the woods seem average and the desert seem awful, when I'd rather the desert feel average (and be my home ^^) and the woods be a welcome surprise.
Or maybe I just love barren, desert cities because I live in a wooded area in real life, and I like the change of scenery. =P