The Barrens. Even the name doesn’t bring pleasant images to mind. Across these dusty plains lies a couple of trees and maybe an oasis here or there. The appearance just sets a somber tone for the many young Horde adventurers who will be spending a good deal of time here. The lack of traffic has been noticeable to those who try to make a living in their harsh landscape. Sergra Darkthorn, a well known figure at the Horde settlement of the Crossroads, was quick to air her thoughts on the problem: “Too many young ones are walking across the bridge from Durotar and seeing this wide flat mess of dirt and weeds that contains a couple of animals, and little to look it. So they say why bother with the Barrens, spending hours killing quillboar to help the Horde and dealing with the cowardly Alliance attacks, we could just go hang out in the Ghostlands instead – it’s pretty there and they give nicer rewards too! …By the spirits, I hate the Ghostlands.”
Sergra isn’t the only one to notice the lack of adventurers coming through the area. Local legend Mankrik has been extremely distressed about the lack of aid, “I’ve written letters to the Warchief, I’ve asked every one of the vendors for help, and I get nothing. Without the help of some of these traveling adventurers, I don’t think I’ll ever find my dear wife.” Mankrik’s wife went missing five years ago, and so far no one has been able to give him directions to her current whereabouts. “Oh I’ve seen some experienced soldiers coming in from Northrend. Gussied up in their armor pulled off the dead of Icecrown. Seeking me out for some story to tell. They don’t care about my problems. They drop in, say she’s down south somewhere, dead – They THINK. Then they put a notch on their sheet and off they go, trying to prove something I guess.”
The people of the Crossroads are not taking this lying down though. They’ve begun what they’re calling the Big Barrens Beautification Project, or the 3B Project for short. Working on creating a more presentable appearance across the Barrens. “We’ve gone all out with some of these new ‘sight stations’ as we’re calling them.” says Boorand Plainswind, the innkeeper at the Crossroads, “We’ve flown in baskets from Thunderbluff, some fine rugs from Orgrimmar, and even the trolls donated some things. We’re trying to make them as eye catching as possible.”
The technique has proven to be quite successful, as both the Alliance and Horde are taking notice of the new Sight Stations. We caught up with Orïgnalgnkstä, a night elf rogue, who had this to say about the changes: “I wuz all like time to go killz some lowbie hordiez, but den I saw this thing off the side of the road and I was like… whoa… they gotz gongs and s*** out here now.” Even some fresh young faces just heading out from Durotar commented on how eye catching they were. Chainheelzftw, a troll shaman, shared her feelings with us: “I just saw this weird set up sitting over by the mountain. It didn’t look like the Centaur made it so I like checked it out. I mean it was like just a bunch of tarps and stuff, but it was like so random. I just stood there wondering like… Why?” One of Chainheelzftw’s friend, a Tauren by the name of Manox, mentioned that he found the stations to be “neat” and a “cool little detail”
So there you have it, some dedicated souls out here in the Barrens, trying to make things a little “cool”-er for all the world weary travelers out here.