I vote for the Black Shroud too. Too long ways, everything looks the same and if there is a thunderstorm you don't even see the lightnning.
In fact I agree with the people who say all starting areas need an overhaul. Thalanan is nice but empty, La Noscea is a bit better but also pretty empty.
The ways and tunnels in Black Shroud are nice and all but I agree that there should also be open areas and maybe some glades where you can see the sky.
What every area currently avaliable needs are landmarks though. They need some remarkable places players can explore like some ruins of an old stronghold or the entrance to an underground tomb, a strange dead tree in the woods, ruins of a town in the hills of Thalanan or an oasis in a hidden valley...
I'll never forget the fascination of seeing the giant spine-like structure in Meriphataud Mountains in FFXI everytime I came through that zone for example.
The areas are just too big for the very few interesting things in them. It's like they stretched them to look big without increasing the ammount of details.
Also mob distribution still needs improvements. I see marmots diving in the rivers of the Black Shroud for hours or I can run through an area and not see any living thing at all. And if you dare to go and explore a bit, some r50+ mob suddenly jumps into your face and eats you, just a minute away from the starting city. Though that's exciting it's not very starter friendly.
Another thing I'd like to see are new areas between the starting areas. So if you go from Thalanan to the Black Shroud you don't go through a deserted valley and suddenly you stand in the middle of giant trees. Why not make an area in between where the vegetation slowly changes from one to the other extreme along with the mobs.
EDIT: Just saw Mikhalia brought up my last point already. Well, even if it's unlikely to get these changes, with the change of leadership positions this might be the best chance to bring this point up.
Edited, Jan 11th 2011 12:31pm by RidingBean
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